Holidays in Belize from A to Z
Belize – English-speaking corner of Central America, which is located on the ancient land of the Mayan ancestors. The state is located between Mexico and Guatemala. The country is a diamond for tourists and exciting travels, as there was an incredible mix of cultures and traditions. This land has a rich history, which began back in ancient times, only in 1981 this country became independent and officially became known as Belize.
This area lived in the red-skinned Indians, the well-known Mayans. Today, everyone can visit the ruins and temples left from the great ancient civilization. Belize attracts sandy and snow-white beaches, hot sun, impenetrable forests and many attractions.
The country’s culture, foundations and rituals are borrowed from Europeans, particularly from the conservative population of the Foggy Albion. A variety of festivals and celebrations are present, typical of Latin American states. The most popular celebrations are Columbus Day, San Pedro Carnival, San Ignacio Fair.
Holidays in Belize in 2022
For those who prefer more aquatic activities, Belize vacations are the way to go – diving, scuba diving, fishing, snorkeling.
The main attraction is the Barrier Reef. It is recognized as the longest in the Western Hemisphere. If you want to learn more about the history of such an extraordinary country, you must go to the largest island – Ambergris Key. This place is recognized as a favorite among tourists.
Those tourists who prefer mesmerizing nature rather than warm beaches will also not be disappointed with the country. Here, half of the territory are national parks and nature reserves, karst mountains, lakes, lagoons and mountain ranges. Those who prefer tourism with an ecological bent, they can offer tours of the ruins of the Maya city, visit the butterfly gardens, to feel the radiation of medicinal plants, as well as watch the manatees and birds.
Thanks to this variety of offerings, tourists can fully experience the uniqueness of nature and feel transported thousands of years back into an outlandish atmosphere. If you are more into archaeology and history, then be sure to visit Altun Ha Archaeological Park and Independence Hill, the Art Box exhibition or the Belize Ahead Memorial.
In Belize, you can enjoy the buzz of the warm sea and the incredibly delicious cuisine, which is rich in fruit and seafood. Belizean cuisine is appreciated for its variety of traditions, which were able to combine harmoniously on one table. All the hotel complexes are represented by modern buildings, cozy huts and villas. Here you will encounter luxury, comfort, trained staff, and excellent service. Resting in Belize, you will have an unforgettable experience.
Cities and attractions of the country
Belmopan is referred to as the smallest capital on Earth. The town will delight you with a large number of green parks and a concrete layout. The main attractions are the colorful nature and buildings in the style of “art nouveau”, which amaze and delight the eye. For this reason, many travelers begin their journey just from the tiny capital Belmopan.
San Pedro is one of the major cities located on the island of Ambergris. Around this area, you can find gorgeous beaches that are the most beautiful in the state. Entertainment industry, too, will not let you get bored: a variety of discos and dances, cafes, restaurants, many places to drink and relax. Great for those who like to party at night, because after the sun goes down, life in the town begins to boil with even greater intensity.
A must-see is the former capital of the Latin American state, Belize City. This picturesque city was founded by English settlers in the late 18th century. This is a symbol of the country with a chic and exciting architecture. Also please affordable prices for gifts for loved ones and buddies, there are a lot of interesting souvenirs.
Recommended places that every tourist should visit and include in your list:
- Near the Mopan River there is a row of Shunantunich ruins. This site was formerly a religious and ceremonial center of the Maya Indians.
- For lovers of underwater life, the Hol Chan San Pedro Sanctuary has about 150 varieties of fish, and the underwater life will delight any avid diver. Lobsters, sharks, sponges, stingrays, porpoises, and other creatures are fascinatingly colorful.
- If you want to see not only the kingdom of the sea depths, but also, for example, birds, then, welcome to the national park Blue Hol. This park is home to many tropical birds.
Aktun Tunichil Muknal Cave
There are so many Belizean caves that they have formed entire underground systems over time. The ancient Mayan civilization, used them for burial and various ceremonial rituals. Those they buried can still be seen today.
To get into the cave of Aktun-Tunichil-Muqnal is not easy. You will have to overcome the dense jungle and make several wading crossings. In order to ensure your comfort and safety, you must wear appropriate clothing and shoes. In front of the cave is a river, its depth is 6 meters, but the water is just icy. You must be prepared for the fact that you have to walk knee-deep in water and then climb the rocks. But it’s all worth it to see all the beauty of the scenery: stalactites, covered with various transparent crystals that shine like diamonds.
The ceremonial hall is famous for the remains of bonfires, all sorts of clay dishes and real human bones. The most interesting thing in the cave is the complete skeleton of a girl, which has been preserved to this day.
The whole adventure in the reserve consists of descending the mountainous Belize River. It is necessary to rent a canoe along with a rugged Mayan helmsman to guide, and it is a must on the tour. You can see all kinds of birds and reptiles, howler monkeys, and iguanas in the reserve. For those who don’t like that kind of extreme, walking tours are also offered.
This is a small area located in northwestern Belize. There is an opportunity to see unusual inhabitants. The Mennonites are the ancient inhabitants of Europe, who found a new religion for which they were expelled from their villages. This denomination does not welcome entertainment, the use of the benefits of civilization and the prohibition of war. Therefore, the community lives under the conditions of the eighteenth century.
The indigenous people of Belize have long worked on plantations, and now they are happy to give that work to someone else. People use only hand tools, there are no agricultural equipment such as tractors. Similarly, the people provide food for the entire state.
The city is located on one of the most populous islands in the state, Ambergris. You can try out snorkeling and diving at any time of the year so there are plenty of tourists. There are many different festivals and holidays, which will not make you bored in San Pedro.
Its peculiarity is that the zoo-reserve is located in the heart of the jungle, its inhabitants are in a natural environment, but limited to the fences. About 130 species of animals live here, which is not very many for such an area, they are only exclusively “authentic” – caught in the territory of the state. The greatest pride of the zoo – jaguars, where they live more than a dozen.
Getting to the zoo is easy, just an hour drive from Belize City. If you don’t like crowds, the best solution is to arrive in the morning. But if you don’t want to wake up early, there are wooden cabins for tourists where you can spend the night in the thickest of the jungle.
The zoo is a great place to travel with children.
Belize is famous for its national dishes. Here you can enjoy dishes of rice, corn and beans, as well as varieties of meat: beef, poultry, pork. You can also try fish dishes with vegetables. All this is diluted with coconut milk and cassava. Delight your stomach and such exotic local viands like venison meat, armadillo meat, rodent meat “kibnut”, “Paki”, delicious wild duck. The recipes for these dishes are classic. Often local chefs use recipes from other states. This is a paradise for meat-eaters, because there is plenty of meat.
Surprisingly, the table is even served dishes from the eggs crocodile, iguana and wild birds. The situation with vegetables is poor. As a side dish they offer “amos”, stewed corn, potatoes and fried bananas, as well as beans and rice porridge in all their combinations. Always on the table you can see the traditional maize tortillas, sometimes wrapped with meat, sprinkled with herbs and dressed with sauce. The result is a light and delicious appetizer.
You can not ignore the cuisine of the products of the sea depths, which many tourists have come to know and love. Delicious fish cooked in charcoal, more than 10 varieties of soup first courses of sea products such as “Hudut” or “Baruaru”, fried lobsters, iguanas, melting in the mouth shark meat. More often sea deliciousness is stewed with coconut milk or curry sauce, unusual “pasta” with eggs and lobsters, as well as sea bass and barracuda steaks will please you. You may also try some sea animals in assortment. Exotic dishes from clam “Cahuaca” – such a meal was eaten in their time by the ancient Mayans.
The cost of accommodation and recreation
The question of prices is also relevant. Belize City is quite affordable, so it can be visited all year round. Reviews show that the most comfortable and favorable prices are affordable hotels: The Great House, Best Caribbean Pickwick Hotel.
Below you can see approximate prices for accommodation in Belize, depending on the type of room (one night):
Single 264 rubles. Double 769 rubles Triple 910 rubles
When to go to Belize – climate and weather
Relief of Belize is lowlands and plains. Here stretches the mountains of Maya – the highest point of the state. Its height is 1122 m. Along the coast, the second longest stretch of coral reefs is a splendid spectacle. This natural wonder is included in the UNESCO list as a natural treasure of mankind.
There are two types of seasons – dry and rainy. The first lasts from February to May, the second, in fact, from June to November. During the rainy season, there is a danger of a hurricane. Following from this, the best time to visit is considered the dry season, from February to May.
Belize is nestled in a band of tropical trade winds. This climate is characterized by constant annual temperatures that range from +24 to +26 degrees. Rainfall is up to 3,000 mm, which is quite a lot during the rainy season. The coldest month of the year is January, the temperature at night drops to +15 degrees. During the summertime, the temperature reaches more than +35C. From such a heat there is an escape, you can take shelter on the coast or in the mountains, it’s cool and moist, gives freshness in such a hot season. Humidity is 85%.
+23 +27 degrees Celsius reaches the temperature of the water in the Caribbean Sea, and it stays like that almost all year round.
It is worth to visit Belize also because it has a healing air, thanks to the sea and fresh cooling Caribbean wind. It is a pleasure to vacation all year round. But it is recommended to pay attention to the weather in the months in order to be prepared for various surprises that nature can give you.
Belize: how to get there
This small hospitable country is waiting for its guests all year round, and to get to this piece of paradise is possible only by air with multiple transfers. The most convenient flight would be Moscow-Spain, changing planes in Madrid and flying to Cancun. And from there you can take a flight to Belize. Also from this city you can get to the country by bus.
Russian citizens, to get into the country must obtain a visa. Timing and price can be clarified by booking a tour operator. The document is executed at the British Embassy in Moscow. Necessary documents: passport, two photos, application form, two tickets (return journey and return), and a document confirming the payment of expenses ($ 50 per day).
General information about transportation in the country
Traffic in Belize is right-handed. The country has 4 types of highways: Northern, Western, Southern, and Hummingbird Highway. The other roads are not paved, there is no logic in navigating, and you can only drive if you rent an SUV.
Roads and many streets do not have names, their width is too small to move two-way. The chaotic movement of cabs, bicycles and pedestrians is just really not convenient.
Moving around on public transport
The intercity buses are very old (in the form of former U.S. school buses, slightly adapted for intercity passenger transportation, without air conditioning). Many of the buses have a conductor, who is a prompter. The average cost of a trip is $2-5 (depending on the distance). Boarding should be done at the bus station or by voting on the road.
What to bring from the country
From the country for family and friends you can bring a lot of sundries. There are many interesting souvenirs, a variety of crafts made from mahogany, musical instruments made from expensive woods, ritual masks, Mayan calendars, baskets, ceramics and rum. Some even bring furniture to their native land.
On the safety of travelers
This country can not be called safe. There have been incidents of attacks on foreign nationals here.
Therefore you should always follow simple rules: walk only in tourist areas, walk only on the lighted streets, in no case carry large sums of cash and expensive jewelry.
You should always watch your bags and pockets carefully in crowded places and on public transport, and not go far from the center.
Tourists who regularly travel to different countries like to discover new unexplored places. Great rest is possible not only in countries that have a huge area, but also in smaller states. One of them is Belize – a country whose area is only 22,948 square kilometers. But the small area is more than offset by the stunning natural beauty and an abundance of attractions.
Due to the fact that the country has only recently become open to travelers in terms of recreation and tourist excursions, many people ask the question: Belize – where is it? But having visited the state once, one wants to come back here again and again.
Description and location of Belize
Belize – a young country, which gained independence in 1981, before it was a British colony. Many people who first think about traveling to this small state wonder, where is Belize? It is located on the northeast coast of Central America. Its length from north to south is 280 km, and from west to east is 109 km.
If you consider Belize on a map, you can see that it has a very good location. In the east, its coastline is washed by the Caribbean Sea, which makes it even more attractive to tourists from all countries. In total, the country has more than 100 small islands in its composition.
The capital of Belize is Belmopan City (formerly Belize City). Belize has the monetary unit Belize dollar. Belize coins in circulation are: 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 cents, $1, and bills: $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.
The population of Belize is 324.5 thousand people. Many of the inhabitants have a mix of African blood.
The main religion – Catholicism, which professes a large half of the population, in second place is Protestantism.
Belize’s economy is underdeveloped, about a third of the population live below the poverty line. The country is agrarian, also in recent years tourism plays an important role here.
History of Belize
Before the time of European colonization, these lands belonged to the Maya tribes. In the XVI century the first Spanish conquistadors landed here, and in an attempt to penetrate deep into the new land met with active resistance to the Maya, whose resistance ended only at the end of the XVII century.
But the development of these lands, overgrown with dense vegetation, the Spaniards were not active, and shelter for themselves here found the British pirate ships, actively operating in the waters of the Caribbean Sea. Gradually Belize began to be developed by English navigators. It began the long years of confrontation between England and Spain for possession of the land of Belize. Today the state of Belize is considered a former British colony.
Flag of Belize
The state has one of the most unusual flags in the world. This can be seen if you consider the flag of Belize in the photo. You can give such a description of it:
- Is a rectangular cloth, which has dimensions, where the length refers to the width as 3:2;
- The main field has a deep blue color, which symbolizes the Caribbean Sea;
- At the top and bottom are narrow stripes of red, which symbolize respect for the patriots who fought for their homeland;
- in the center is the country’s coat of arms, circular in shape, its borders marked by the leaves of a tree;
- in the center of the coat of arms are the figures of two woodcutters holding a shield, one of them light-skinned and the other a mulatto;
- behind the shield is a tree with valuable red wood, which was traded by the first Europeans.
Belize – Climate
Belize is characterized by a tropical trade wind climate. Weather conditions are extremely diverse for such a small area. The average summer temperature is about +26 ° C in the plains and +19 ° C in the mountains, and in winter – about +21 ° C in the plains and up to +17 ° C in the mountains.
Maximum precipitation is usually from June to August. From June to November, devastating tropical storms are possible.
Visa to Belize
Tourists who want to visit Belize should know that the conditions for obtaining a visa depend on such factors as the estimated period of time they plan to stay in the country. Depending on this, visas can be issued in different places:
- If the period is less than 30 days – there are 2 options for visa processing: in the English embassy and consulates or at the border, located at the entrance to Belize.
- If the period is more than 30 days – a visa is made in advance, it can be done in the English embassy and consulates.
International Airport of Belize is the first place tourists find themselves in this country. It has a name that resonates with the famous local politician – Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson. The airport is close to the capital, Belize City, just 14 km away. It was opened and began operations in 1943. It has one runway, which is 2.9 km long.
Interesting facts about Belize
Belize is a very unusual country and there are many interesting facts associated with it. Among the most impressive of them are the following:
- The country of Belize has English as its official language, but interestingly, the local population speaks Spanish, and many still speak the Mayan dialect.
- Many Belizean traditions coincide with European ones. This is influenced by the country’s past as a British colony.
- Belize has preserved traces of the ancient Mayan civilization – they are present in about 30 cities.
- The country has the second largest coral reef in the world.
- There is also the largest waterfall in Central America, Big Rock.
- Belize is known for its rich flora and fauna. For example, on Half Moon Island there are about a hundred species of birds, and at the Green Hills Farm there are more than eight dozen species of butterflies.
- Only in Belize such animals as jaguars are protected at the state level.
- The largest island of Belize belongs to Bill Gates.
Belize – beaches
The beaches of Belize are one of the decisive factors why it attracts tourists from all over the world, attracted by the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. Local beaches are ideal for recreation, thanks to their location – on a peninsula surrounded by coral reefs, so there are no treacherous undercurrents.
There are resorts in Belize, which are considered the most popular:
- Beach at Lighthouse Reef Island , next to which is the Great Blue Hole, which is 305 m in diameter. This place is ideal for diving enthusiasts.
- The beach on Half Moon Cay , is for quiet holiday lovers, as it is sparsely populated. Also the place is notable for its rich fauna: sea turtles and birds.
- Goffs Key beach , which is very convenient to get to because it is close to the capital of Belize. The place is extremely popular among experienced divers.
- Placentia Beach is known for its picturesque fauna and flora – there is an abundance of sea plants and coral reefs. Among the wildlife is a rare whale shark, which is protected by the state. Near the beach are the ruins of the Indians, so it will be very interesting to fans of antiquities.
- Kay Caulker Beach, a place that appeals to windsurfers and divers, as well as exciting boat rides.
- San Pedro Beach , a haven on earth, is perfect for a relaxing beach holiday.
- Split Beach, which is located on Key Corker. He is notable for the fact that here is a Rastaman bar Lazy Liard Bar, which tourists love to visit. On the beach like to sunbathe, but in the sea is problematic because of the large amount of seaweed.
Belize – attractions
Those who are going to Belize for a vacation can be sure they will not be bored, because this country is characterized by an abundance of ancient cultural sites, which is due to the history of its territory, which was inhabited by the Mayan tribes. Also the country is famous for its pristine nature, so there are many picturesque sites. Among the main attractions of Belize are the following:
1. Cultural and historical attractions:
– The central square of the city of Ousitza, which is an ancient complex of Mayan structures;
- Ruins of ancient Mayan cities and settlements – the ruins of Cahal Pech, the ruins of Cuejo, Serros, Lubaantun
- Ruins of ancient cultural and religious centers – Lamanai , Shunantunich ;
- Image Factory Gallery of Contemporary Art – in its permanent exhibition, there are non-traditional types of paintings and photographic works; – it is a building where concerts and theatrical performances are held.
2. Natural attractions that can be seen if you consider Belize in the photo:
- Baboon, Coxcombe, Crooked Three Preserves ; -the largest in the country ; -represents a historical landmark, Mayan settlements were excavated here.
Restaurants of Belize
Travelers who visit Belize bring back unforgettable experiences from the local restaurants, which offer numerous national cuisines. Some of the most famous restaurants include: Wet Lizard , Nerries , Marva’s Restaurant and Harbour View Restaurant .
The cuisine of Belize is truly unique. It presents very original dishes that resemble both African and European culinary masterpieces. Particularly popular are meat dishes that chefs prefer to cook over an open fire. There are such exotic combinations as pork with coconut or iguana meat. Seafood is also in great demand. Surprise guests Belize and designed and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, for example, they may contain seaweed.
Best hotels in Belize
Tourists who have decided to visit Belize, it is not difficult to stay in any cozy and comfortable hotel. Some of the most famous hotels that have received the best reviews from travelers include:
- Princess Hotel and Casino – is not only a hotel, this complex is also home to a casino, recognized as the best in the city. The hotel features panoramic windows with stunning views and is deservedly recognized as one of the chicest in town. It is home to a top-notch restaurant and a spa.
- The Great House Inn is surrounded by a picturesque garden of tropical plants. The hotel building is of historical value, it has been renovated and is in excellent condition. The hotel is famous for its restaurant, which corresponds to the best traditions of national cuisine.
- Guest House Bella Sombra Belize – is located in central Belize. It is located in close proximity to the most famous attractions, and 600 meters from the hotel there are ferry terminals, from which you can travel to the islands of Ambergris Caye and Caye-Colker.
- Elizabeth Place Guest House is extremely well located. The Caribbean Sea and the Belize River are in close proximity. Therefore, you can enjoy an incredibly scenic view of the canal from the rooms, and if you wish, you can book a trip along it.
- Hotel Chateau Caribbean is famous for its hospitality and excellent restaurant where you can taste national and Chinese cuisine.
- The fashionable Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel – known for its aristocratic interiors and top-notch service. It has an outdoor pool, fitness center, luxury restaurant.
How to get to Belize?
To get to the country by plane, you need to fly to Madrid, Spain, and from there to the Mexican city of Cancun. From there, there are regular flights to Belize. From Cancun you can also travel overland by bus or car.
Another way is Moscow – Frankfurt – Cancun (Mexico) – Belize. In Germany transit visa is not required if the way will lie through the airport of Frankfurt, the passenger does not move out of the airport area, the departure takes place within 24 hours.
In order to transit through Cancun, Mexico, an electronic permit will be required. It only takes a few minutes, and you can stay in the country for up to 180 days.
Those who have a U.S. transit visa can come to Belize via Miami or Houston. Most importantly, to get to the resort, you need a visa, which is processed at the British Embassy or Consulate. Wanting to visit Belize in the summer, during the height of the vacations, it is recommended to apply several months in advance, because the number of tourists at this time increases, and the process of issuing visas is delayed.