Although small, Belize is a heavyweight destination in almost every way. Nature reserves, national parks, protected jungles and a spectacular barrier reef compete with Mayan ruins and archaeological sites for your attention. Belize travel and holidays to Belize are about adjusting to the country's Caribbean rhythms and then discovering the bountiful range of natural attractions on offer.
The capital Belmopan, cut out of the tropical jungle sits amidst the foothills of the Maya Mountains. Belize City is grittier but still colourful; Corozal is the centre of Belize's booming sugar industry; just outside it are the Mayan ruins of Santa Rita.
Other Mayan sites in Belize include Lamanai, which is only accessible by boat, Altun Ha, which is home to 13 temples and a giant jade head, and the Canaa Pyramid in Caracol, which is the tallest man-made structure in Belize.
The islands and mangroves of the Belize Cayes are found between the mainland and the reef perimeters of the offshore atolls. The mangroves are ideal for bird and marine life whilst the open waters attract water sports enthusiasts, snorkellers and divers; Caye Caulker is the most laid-back of the various beaches whilst Half Moon Caye is entirely given over to birds.
Belize diving holidays are centred around the Blue Hole, the most famous dive site in Central America. At 400m across and 145m deep, this great sinkhole in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll is visible from space.
There's also a spectacular blue hole in the Five Blues Lake National Park; a lake comprising a collapsed cave system, the hole appears in an array of aqua hues and is home to a wide range of wildlife. The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is also good for wildlife holidays in Belize and for spotting animals, including jaguar and the rest of Belize's big cats.
The Practical information displayed here is taken from The Traveller's Handbook, published by WEXAS (2009). While all possible care was taken to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, we are aware that situations change, so for the latest information and up-to-date visa requirements, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0617.
Subtropical, with prevailing winds from the Caribbean sea. Dry and hot from January-April, with rainy season from June-September.
February sees the traditional annual nationwide Fiesta de Carnaval, and the San Pedro Carnival, a traditional, slapstick, Mestizo carnival. May's celebrations include the Cashew Festival, a celebration of the harvest season, and the week long Toledo Festival of Arts. A three-day party honouring St Peter is held in June, the Dia de San Pedro. Historical re-enactments are part of the Deer Dance Festival in August. Regattas, billfish tournaments and other celebrations are held throughout the year.
Generally cheap Latin-American and Creole influenced food. Some international-style restaurants. Coconut rum with pineapple juice and the local beer - Belikin - are popular drinks.
The British influence is still prevalent in most social situations. Flowers and confectionery are good gifts for hosts. Dress is casual but beachwear should not be worn in towns. It is mostly inadvisable to discuss politics, especially if of a partisan nature. Taxi drivers are not tipped.
Philip S W Goldson International (BZE), 16 km from Belize City.
Local air services between main towns, also linked by all-weather roads. Good, modern buses.
The itinerary ideas listed below are designed to give you a flavour of the things to do in Belize. We can adjust any element and tailor-make your trip though, to suit your individual needs and available time. To start planning your trip, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0617.
Patrick Griffin - Central America Specialist
To make an enquiry or to start planning your trip talk to our team of specialists on 020 7590 0617