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Belize

Travel Guide 2022

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Belize, the state in the southeast of the Yucatán Peninsula, on the border with Mexico and Guatemala, is two things: rich in history and yet young. The country only became independent in 1981 and is now considered a calm pole in a troubled region. It was the tense relationship with its neighbour Guatemala that repeatedly led to tensions. It was only thanks to the intervention of British troops that Belize was granted sovereignty, as Guatemala's claim to access to the Caribbean Sea remains unbroken. The dwarf state of Belize considers - probably also out of gratitude to England - the British as a protecting power. Only in this country is English the official language in South America. Holidaymakers can look forward to a Caribbean feeling of a special kind.

Belize at a glance

Population375.000
LanguageEnglish
Area22966 km2
ContinentNorth America
CurrencyBelize Dollar (BZD)
Neighboring countriesGuatemala und Mexico

Guide to Belize

They still exist – the traces of a great past, and the Mayan period is visible in many places in Belize. Here and there the jungle has released the secrets of the former advanced civilization, and so the famous pyramid of Caracol is the tallest structure in the country. The indigenous Maya people founded a gigantic empire in pre-Columbian “Mesoamerica” that encompassed large parts of the Caribbean. Meanwhile, archaeologists claim to have recognized that the pyramid of Caracol was the center of a city in which almost one million people lived. That is, five times the population of Belize today. It was attributed to chance and a lumberjack that this wonder of long ago was discovered in the then territory of British Honduras in 1937 on a high plateau off the Maya Mountains. The historic structure is said to have been commissioned by a king named Te K’ab Chaak. He ascended the Mayan throne in 331 AD. Today, the remains of this pyramid in the jungle are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In addition to the evidence of the Maya, Belize impresses with species-rich habitats. Nature is virtually untouched in this country above and below the water. The reef off the coast is a firework of shapes and colours and has an extension of 250 kilometres. Only the Great Barrier Reef off Australia is even bigger. If you are looking for diving equipment during a round trip through Belize, you are well advised, because the aquarium on your doorstep is a real paradise. In the rainforest of Belize, you need a pinch of luck to spot the elusive jaguar. It was once revered by the Maya as the ruler of the forest and the image of the priest-kings. Diving and animals – that is an exciting balancing act in Belize.