Belize: Why You Should Visit At Least Once In Your Lifetime
Why you should experience Belize at least once in your lifetime:
We know that you travel for many different reasons; for fun, self-discovery, relaxation, change of scene. Whatever your reasons are, we're sure Belize has a little of everything in store for you!
Best of both Caribbean and Central American worlds
If you read our "Where is Belize?" Blog, you'll know that our geographic location puts us at a center point between the Caribbean and mainland Central America. Having two culturally different regions in essence "border" us may be confusing to some travelers but makes Belizeans feel just right. In the short east-west, 62-mile span of our country you can go from experiencing that famous Caribbean "yah man!" personality to the welcoming mestizo hospitality in just two hours driving. it seems almost funny that the coast vs mainland translate so literally to mirror the culture closest to influence it.
Food in Belize
While not exclusively so, our coastal areas are pronouncedly more Caribbean in nature and the always fresh seafood will make you feel like you're on a Caribbean island even though you aren't.
Traveling west and north our Mestizo culture becomes more dominant more Spanish is spoken, and tamales or soup dominate the menus.
Belizean Folklores and Beliefs
This wonderful mix of peoples not only makes languages and food varied but also practices and folklore, children of Belize grow up hearing tales from both Caribbean/African mythos and Spanish/Mayan figures.
Many of the stories are meant to teach life lessons, the stories of "Anansi" told by Belizean Creoles and The Garinagu are themed behind different values which are brought across by the protagonist learning lessons in difficult ways.
The mestizo stories like that of "La Llorona" and "El Duende" are more macabre than those of Anansi and aim to teach children good behavior by scaring them into not doing certain things.
Belizeans tend to live in mixed communities and stories, food, customs, and language get swapped among people, all this has given rise to the one-of-a-kind mix that Belize has so proudly become, a mix you will come to love when you visit us all here!
Unique natural formations
Belize, by natural process, has become home to a number of distinctive geographical and natural formations. Many of these formations have been opened to the public so you and your families can come and become daring explorers of some of the most unique natural occurrences in the region.
While limestone sinkholes are not uncommon around these parts, especially to the north in Quintana Roo (Mexico) Belize's most famous sinkhole the Great Blue Hole is one that formed millennia ago then got covered by water, making it the only sinkhole in the Caribbean sea that is so close to the surface to snorkel and scuba dive in.
The second of its fame, the Belize Barrier reef is part of the Mesoamerican reef system and stretches down along 180 miles of coastline in our waters. the Belize Barrier reef is the healthiest length of coral reefs and the largest on this side of the world.
The limestone formations that didn't sink, still stand today as deep winding Caves. These caves were sacred to the Maya, the ancient inhabitants of this area and traces of them can still be seen in some of the larger caves around Belize.
Large trees stretch their trunks high above the ground all over Belize, trees that take decades to mature and live for hundreds of years. The Maya Revered the Ceiba Tree, the roots that held up the world, and today the national tree of Belize is the Mahogany Tree which can live upwards of 350 years.
while not of any incredible height (although considerable in a couple places) the mountains of Belize were home to the ancient Maya and our watershed, where most of our aquifers originate. Other than Baldy Beacon and Victoria peak which are popular Hiking and mountain climbing points, the Sleeping Giant formation on the southern road is a great sight to behold from the highway.
Belize's population density is 15.4 people per square kilometer (as of 2014) which is the lowest of its statistic in the entire region. With most of the country's land mass still largely uninhabited by people, the local fauna has seized this perfect opportunity and have settled into making most of Belize, even close to the towns, their homes. It is not uncommon, especially along the roads which in some stretches cut through large uninhabited areas to see wildlife crossing such as Tapirs in Boom or Jaguars down south.
The Maya mountains of Belize are home to a large, and rare (in our immediate area) population of Scarlet Macaws, one of the larger species of bird within the macaw family. Macaws are monogamous birds who live high in the canopies and are famed for their long plumage and bright red blue and yellow hues.
Belize has the largest, healthiest population of Jaguars in the region. The jaguars roam the entire expanse of Belize but seem to favor the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife sanctuary, which is a wildlife preserve dedicated to the Jaguars. These big cats, third largest of all the cats are rarely seen, if you do then luck was certainly in your side :).
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Have you Visited Belize? What was your once in a lifetime experience? Comment below!