Belize is a beautiful Central American nation located on the Yucatan Peninsula hard by the Caribbean Sea. Belize, formerly known as British Honduras, is unique in a number of ways. It is the only English speaking Central American nation. It is also the only one without a Pacific Coast. But those are not the only reasons Belize stands out. You can also shop until you drop because clothing and other souvenirs cost a lot less in Belize.
Travel Tip: When you are done shopping you can ship it all home using international shipping available there. This will keep you from having to pay the high costs of an extra carry-on, or being penalized for surpassing the weight limit on luggage.
Visiting Belize can be a lot of fun. Some of the most interesting and beautiful caves in the world are located there. Like most of Central America, Belize once had a large Mayan population. Remnants of their social and spiritual lives can still be found intact inside magnificent caves with underground waterfalls and fantastic mineral growths. Cavers and intrepid tourists need only hire an experienced, licensed guide to show them an underground world they will never forget. The combination of mythology, geology and artistry are unmatched anywhere in the world.
The cultural history of Belize is also very interesting. The Mayan ruins at Altun Ha, Lim Ni Punit, Caracol, Xunantunich, Lubaantun and Lamanai hints of the great civilization that once flourished there. But the Mayan caves are the country’s most striking cultural feature. Caves were a very important part of Mayan religious practice. The Maya believed the caves were Xibalba, a doorway between the world of the invisible gods and the visible world of man. It is in these caves the Maya performed some of their most sacred religious and social ceremonies.
Cayo in western Belize is a region known for its amazing number and types of caves. Chechen Hah Cave is one of the most important spiritual and cultural sites in Belize. This cave, which is made of several layers, had a number of uses for the Maya. The large number of huge clay pots found in the cave identifies it as a place the Maya used to store their grain. But Chechen Hah had another important function. Research has shown the cave was used for one of the Maya’s most important ceremonies. It was a place where the Maya performed bloodletting rituals associated with the connection to the after-life. There is even a chamber where some of the implements used in the rituals were found.
Actun Tunichil Muknal is another important cave in Belize. One of the most recent ones discovered, the entrance to Actun Tunichil Muknal is known to only a few guides and special permission from the Belize Department of Archeology is needed to explore it. This has prevented treasure hunters from looting the cave and lucky visitors can see calcified remains in the burial chambers and numerous other artifacts lying just where the Maya left them hundreds of years ago.
A visit to the caves of Belize is a spiritual journey into the soul of the Maya culture.