Facts on Belize
As the adage goes, "forewarned is forearmed", so if you're planning a Central American getaway here are some preparatory facts on Belize.
Once a British colony, Belize gained its independence in 1981, but retained English as its official language. Tourism and proximity to the United States also guaranteed wide acceptance of the U.S. dollar, which is worth exactly twice the Belizean dollar. Confined between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer, heat and humidity are unsurprising but travelers are advised not to visit during hurricane season (June-Nov.) as it's a popular vacation spot for hurricanes, too!
As a tourist attraction, the mainland offers lush jungles, exotic plants, salt marshes, and jaw-dropping Mayan ruins. Tours of Belize's phenomenal limestone caves are both educational and safe, as many of the guides are also members of the nation's Disaster and Rescue Response Team. Belize is also known for its excellent fishing; bonefish, which are exceptionally powerful and difficult to catch, are the game of choice. Vacationers can travel to nearby islands and cays, which offer excellent dive sites for snorkeling and scuba, or to the neighbouring countries of Mexico and Guatemala.
Belize is not without its dangers though. Gang violence and drug trafficking are prevalent in more poverty-stricken parts of the country. In particular, the capital of Belize City can be very dangerous outside the tourist zone.
Although the local food of Belize (a spicy and unique mixture of Central American dishes and Caribbean ingredients) and their specialty cashew wine are quite good, the water should only be imbibed by the brave who don't mind possibly experiencing dysentery. Malaria and AIDS are also abnormally prevalent for a country of this size, and because of the climate, dehydration is a legitimate concern. All that aside, smart travelers can stay safe in Belize and have a rewarding and eye-opening experience.
Currency: Belize dollar (BZD)
Electricity Voltage: 110 V / 220 V
Calling Code: 501
Popular Travel Destinations:
- Belize City
- St. John's Cathedral
- El Pilar Archaeological Reserve in San Ignacio
Official Website: www.travelbelize.org/
*Note* - Some of the graphics on this page were taken from the CIA World Factbook which contains a wealth of information on every country in the world. I highly recommend it.