Although located in Central America and surrounded by the Spanish-speaking countries of Guatemala and Mexico, Belize is unique in that it shares a common cultural heritage with many of the Anglophone island nations of the Caribbean. Similar to these islands, Belize was originally part of the British Empire and is today a member of the Commonwealth realm. It is also the only Central American country to have English as its official language.
This dichotomy in Belize’s character is further reflected in its landscape. On one side, it is fully embraced by the jungles of Central America, and on the other side, it is caressed by the Caribbean Sea. The country’s large swathes of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries make it an ideal home for a wondrous variety of terrestrial flora and fauna, including the keel-billed toucan and the country’s national animal, the Baird’s tapir. Amazingly, some sixty percent of the country is still covered in forests. Belize’s coastline, on the other hand, is dotted with magnificent beaches and splendid luxury resorts—offering a refreshing variety for your luxury vacations.
Under the sea, Belize’s biodiversity is equally as stunning. The country is home to the Hol Machine Marine Reserve, where visitors can snorkel with stingrays. Belize is also where the Great Blue Hole can be found. This 124-meter-deep (407-ft-deep) giant submarine sinkhole features crystal-clear waters and a collection of interesting marine animals, including the midnight parrotfish and the Caribbean reef shark. These locations are part of the 300-kilometer-long (190-mi-long) Belize Barrier Reef that runs parallel to the coast of the country—one of the world’s top snorkeling and scuba diving destinations. Aside from having been inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List, it also holds the distinction of being described by Charles Darwin himself as “the most remarkable reef in the West Indies.”
Inland, Belize offers other attractions that are headlined by its rich cultural treasures. Make sure to visit the Actun Tunichil Muknal (the Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre), which is a popular Maya archeological site that features numerous artifacts including ceramics and stoneware. In addition to this cave, there are various other sites in the country where remnants of the Maya culture are still evident.
Aside from visiting natural and archeological destinations, there are many other things to do in the country. From zip-lining and horseback riding to listening to performances of punta music, you’re bound to find something that you’ll truly love in Belize. If you’re visiting in September, you might be able to catch the September Celebrations, a pair of festivities meant to commemorate the Battle of St. George’s Caye (September 10) and Belize’s Independence Day (September 21). The celebrations feature parades, beauty pageants, talent shows, concerts, a carnival, and many other activities.
Discover the natural splendor and rich cultural heritage of Belize. Book any one of Villaway’s luxury villa rentals today as the launch pad to your dream Central American vacation.