Situated on the east coast of Central America, the nation of Belize is bordered by Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west and south, and by the crystal clear waters of the Carribbean Sea to the east.
Belize is approximately 8,886 sq miles including the offshore cayes that number as many as 450.
The many splendors of Belize include the largest barrier reef in the Western hemisphere and second largest in the world next to the Great Barrier reef of Australia. If a traveler is looking for an excellent diving experience, Belize has many sites with a variety of reef types and marine life unequaled in this half of the world. The best known dive site in Belize is the Blue Hole, which is an almost perfect circular hole about 1,000 feet in diameter and 412 feet deep. The Blue Hole was originally a cave whose roof fell in some 10,000 years ago, and covered with water as the land receded into the sea.Apart from the Blue Hole, Belize has three major atolls, Light House Reef (where the Blue Hole is located), Glover's Reef and Turneffe.
Belize contains an abundance of rainforest and has gained much publicity for its preservation and conservation. This nation also boasts "the most accessible tropical wilderness in the Western Hemisphere". For the small size of Belize, it contains many different habitats with flora and fauna specific to those areas. Belize contains thousands of species of plants and animals including manatees, ocelots, jaguars, tapirs, deer, coati mundi, pecarries and other animals too numerous to mention. Here in Belize you can find the only Jaguar reserve in the world, the Cockscomb Basin Jaguar preserve.
Intertwined within the rainforest are thousands of Ancient Mayan ruins sprinkled all over the nation, many not discovered as yet. Sites include Altun Ha, Xuantunich, Lamanai and Caracol where one can view and learn about the mystique of the Mayan civilization that thrived so many hundreds of years ago.
Belize being both Caribbean and Central American contains a unique blend of cultures that makes it stand out from it's neighboring nations. Unlike other Central American nations made up mainly of people with hispanic and mayan origin, Belize contains an array of different cultures including Mayas, Creoles, Mestizo, Spanish, Garinagu (Garifuna), Mennonites, North Americans, Europeans, East Indians and Chinese. Although these cultures are quite different they have managed to get along and many times have mixed creating a unique culture specific only to Belize.
Belize has a taste of everything, beautiful waters, coral reefs, rainforest, mayan ruins, friendly people and an overall pleasing atmosphere. Belize is perfect for the adventurer and those who just plainly wish to get away from it all.