Belize, A Curious Place, A Remarkable Country

This small (only 8867 square miles) country is packed with endless vacation opportunities that are sure to satisfy the thrill-seeking adventurer, the laid-back beach bum, the culture and history explorer and more.

Belize is a tropical destination that is; Caribbean and Central American, reef and rainforest; ancient and new; adventurous and relaxing, exotic animals and friendly people, and much more.

Caribbean and Central American

Belize is in Central America, bordered by Mexico and Guatemala on the north and the west, with the Caribbean Sea on its east. The dense tropical rainforest on the west side of Belize separates it from most of Central America, Belize’s culture is unique and diversified. Belize is one of the most diverse countries in Central America; it’s Central America with a Caribbean vibe.

Reef and Rainforest

The Belize Barrier Reef is the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, stretching for 185 miles along the coastline of the Caribbean Sea. The Belize reef system, is a world-famous destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. The best snorkeling and diving places are located close to the islands of Belize known as the Cayes and are easily accessible by boat. The clear waters of the Caribbean coupled with a mostly white sand ocean floor make for some stunning views of the reef and other marine life.

Nearly half of the mainland of Belize is rainforest. Rainforests are critical to help stabilize the world’s climate and are often referred to as the “lungs” of the earth. Much of the rainforest area in Belize is under government protection in the form of a national park, animal sanctuary or wilderness area. The highly diverse ecosystem of a rainforest is a wonder to explore and is home to an astonishing number of plants, trees, animals and birds. When you explore a rainforest it’s like exploring an entirely new world, the sights, sounds and especially the wild tropical smells will live in your memories forever.

Ancient and New

The Mayan culture of Belize spans thousands of years and is almost mystical and most definitely fascinating. Discover the hidden secrets of ancient Mayan cities, once inhabited by these mysterious and highly complex people. Belize is home to over 600 Mayan sites, many of which are unexplored and partially buried. These sites range from ceremonial caves to small mounds to temples over 100 feet high in ancient Mayan cities. Definite must-see sites on your Belize experience are:

Xunantunich – here you will find Belize’s second tallest ruin, six plazas and remnants of over 25 palaces and temples.

Cahal Pech – there are 34 structures located over two acres to explore at this site.

El Pilar – this 100-acre site is still being excavated, currently 12 pyramids and 25 plazas have been unearthed.

Caracol – this still active dig is one of the largest Mayan cities ever excavated in Belize with a majestic temple that visitors can climb.

Every time you visit Belize you will find something new. New things to do, new areas to explore and discover, new adventures to try, new sites to see and new places to stay.

Adventurous and relaxing

There are endless opportunities for adventure in Belize, for such a small country, it packs a big “adventure” punch. Get your adrenaline pumping on the longest zipline in Belize. Located in Mayflower Bocanina National Park. This course is 2.5 miles long, has 14 platforms and nine different runs with longest being 2,300 feet. For an even bigger adrenaline rush try the nighttime zipline. Zip through the canopy as the rainforest comes alive with the nighttime noises of the jungle. Or rappel down a waterfall after a hike to the top of Antelope Falls. Channel your “Indiana Jones” and go caving in Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave. Swim, climb and walk to the interior of this cave where you will see ancient artifacts and remains of sacrificial victims. Or for a less strenuous caving experience try cave tubing. Climb onto your own inner tube to float down the Caves Branch River, where you will enter miles of passageways that feature artifacts and sacred objects. Cave tubing in these sacred passageways is almost a spiritual experience.

With approximately 380 kilometers of coastline on the Caribbean Sea there is no shortage of beaches to stroll or simply relax on. Or venture to one of the many offshore islands or cayes, some of which are virtually uninhabited and really get away from it all. Go for a leisurely snorkel in the clear, shallow water and then relax on the beach while watching exotic seabirds soar with the ocean breezes. Follow up a day of relaxing on the beach by diving into some delicious local cuisine at a beachside restaurant and enjoy a Belizean sunset.

Source: WestJet Blog


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