13 Unique Things About Belize That Might Surprise You

Featured in About Belize

Belize is the hidden jewel of the Caribbean. It is an independent country lying in the south-east corner of the Yucatan Peninsula, and has a population of just over 390,000. Its history is fascinating, its natural beauty is amazing and its lifestyle will make you want to stay forever.

Belize has many secrets. These 13 might surprise you:

1. Its barrier reef is the second biggest reef in the world

The reef was created on limestone fault blocks, not extinct volcanoes, as many assume. Its drop-offs descend thousands of feet into the clear Caribbean water

2. It has a plethora of national parks

Ranging from the country’s highest point, a mountain known as Doyle’s Delight, to beautiful coastal atolls

3. Wildlife is abundant

There are 500 types of tropical bird, 5 species of wildcat, 56 + species of snakes, 145 species of mammals and 139 species of reptiles and amphibians.

4. There are 17 national dishes

Ranging from Caldo, a Mayan chicken soup, to Gibnut stew. The stew is made from a forest rodent known as Royal Rat because Queen Elizabeth II said she liked the taste

5. You can scuba dive in the Great Blue Hole

It is one of the world’s largest underwater sink hole and was formed after the last Ice Age. Jacques Cousteau, who invented scuba diving equipment, said it was one of the best diving spots he had ever seen

6. Belize produces some of the world’s highest quality chocolate

And hosts a three-day chocolate festival to celebrate it

7. Meaning of the word Belize

Belize is a Mayan word meaning muddy waters

8. Belizeans speak multiple languages

Most people speak English, Spanish, Kriol and Garifuna

9. There are numerous Mayan archaeological sites to visit

A jade pendant, the size and shape of a human heart, was discovered in May 2015. It is believed the Mayan king wore the pendant when he witnessed human sacrificial ceremonies

10. Home to the best snorkeling & scuba diving in the world

Ambergris Caye is considered, by many, to be the best snorkeling and scuba diving spot in the world

11. Has hand-cranked ferries

You can cross the Mopan River in a hand-cranked ferry boat

12. You can learn traditional Garifuna drumming

Visit Dangriga or Hopkins for a unique Garifuna drum lesson. You will learn up to five traditional segunda bass drum rhythms before you leave

13. The highest building in Belize is a Mayan temple

Which you are welcome to visit

Belize is beautiful, quiet and welcoming. There is nowhere else on earth where you can you swim with harmless whale sharks, scuba dive in the deepest sinkhole, snorkel along the Western Hemisphere’s longest coral reef, visit ancient temples, eat the Royal Rat, hear ancient and modern languages spoken on almost every street corner, and get there on a two-hour flight from either Miami or Dallas-Fort Worth.

We look forward to seeing you!

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