This one may be little, but its many entries in the natural wonders section sure pack a punch. Both a Central American pride and a Caribbean jewel, Belize tops many of the world’s most coveted travel lists.
The Natural Wonders
With a myriad of wonders gifted by Mother Nature herself, Belize, from the forests to the reefs and cayes, is a beauty to behold. The Belize Barrier Reef, the second-largest in the world, gives the country’s Caribbean waters more than 100 types of corals, and an abundance of diverse marine life.
This makes the insular charms of the country a hotspot for scuba divers and snorkelers from all over the world. Not to mention the world-renowned Blue Hole just off the coast from Belize City. Jacques Costeau even named the site one of the best dive sites in the world – and with good reason.
Apart from the beautiful cayes and reefs on pristine blue waters that the country is known for, the jungle interiors of the country are a marvel as well. Belize is home to 16 forest reserves, with a combined area of 380,328 hectares, or 939,810 acres, making about 9% of the territory of the country.
With this, the country is not only teeming with marine life, but with terrestrial life as well. Belize’s many reserves and wildlife sanctuaries have allowed wildlife to flourish and have made quite a reputation with its several species of birds, mammals, and reptiles.
The Maya Footprint
Nature and wildlife are not the only things the country has preserved and promoted, but its ancient Maya roots as well. Central America is once the hotbed of the Mayan civilization that saw the height of its culture during the pre-colonial era.
Now, all that remains of the once-thriving civilization are the many ruins that speckle across the interiors of Belize. But, make no mistake, the Maya people are still alive today, although they may make up the minority of the people in the country, their civilization has influenced modern-day Belize’s culture.
The largest ruins go deep in the interiors of Belize, near rivers, and at the foot of mountains, some of which are still being excavated.
The People of Belize
The people of Belize may come as the most surprising, yet the most important part of the Belize experience. Belizeans have diverse racial demographics that make the country even more interesting and inclusive.
From the Garifuna folk that descended from the Black Caribs that migrated to colonial Belize, from the slaves imported in the Caribbean, the mestizos, the Mennonites from Germany, and a slew of other people coming from Asia, and other parts of Latin America. The country speaks English, predominantly, which is one draw that makes it an enticing destination for travel-savvy anglophones.