Facts about Belize
How much do you know about Belize? This tiny Central American country is one of my favorite places in the world! I’ll admit that I didn’t know too much about it until my first trip there in 2015 but since then I’ve learned a lot more about it (and keep going back). While there’s plenty to write about when it comes to facts about Belize I’ve put together a few highlights. Check out these *ahem* unBelizeable facts now (sorry, couldn’t help it):
Home to the Second Largest Barrier Reef
That’s right! The world’s second largest barrier reef is off the coast of Belize (the largest is, of course, the Great Barrier Reef). What exactly does this mean? Belize is an underwater wonderscape, full of sea life! From snorkeling to scuba diving you’ll be able to catch turtles, rays, sharks, eels, a multitude of fish and corals galore! The Belize Barrier Reef is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Country is the size of the State of Massachusetts
This country is quite small when you think about it! In spite of its small size, Belize has a very diverse population with an interesting history. Mestizos (mixed European & Mayan descent), Creole (African and mixed African and European descent) and Garifuna (mixed African and Amerindian descent) make up the largest groups. There are also those of East Indian, Chinese, European and Mayan descent.
There’s a Jaguar Preserve
Yes, jaguars! Unfortunately I’ve never seen one on my trips here but I have seen wildlife cam footage of them. The jaguar preserve in Belize is known as the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and it’s home to jaguars, ocelots, margays, pumas, howler monkeys, deer, tapir and more! The preserve stretches over 128,000 acres and is great for birding, wildlife spotting and hiking.
Belize is the Only Country in Central America with English as the Official Language
While Belize’s official language is English, Spanish is widely spoken along with Kriol (Creole), which is similar to Jamaican Patois.
Belize is Home to the Famous Blue Hole
Images of the Blue Hole off the coast of Belize are pretty iconic. This massive sinkhole is a huge draw for divers and is a main attraction for those visiting Belize (you can even charter a helicopter flight over it!). At 125 meters deep it is a natural wonder and has enchanted the likes of Richard Branson, Jacques Cousteau and Bill Gates.
There are More Than 400 Islands
No kidding! The islands that makeup parts of Belize are called cayes (pronounced “keys”) and there are a lot of them. Some are large enough to hold resorts, some are part of the marine reserve, some are uninhabited…..one is even owned by Leonardo DiCaprio! The cayes of Belize are great for day trips, fishing, snorkeling or just taking a break from it all.
You’ll find Mayan sites galore!
If you’re going to do anything in Belize make it a visit to a Mayan site. There are quite a few here and no matter what part of the country you’re staying in you’ll be in close proximity to one of these amazing ruins. Caracol, Nim Li Punit, Xunantunich and more – they are an integral part of the area’s history and are worth a stop.
These are just seven facts about Belize, a country that’s rich with history, ecological wonders and diversity! Hopefully it’s clear to see why it’s one of my favorite spots to go! Have you been to Belize? Let me know your favorite part in the comments below!