Belize is the nation-state in Central America and the only country in the region without a coastline on the Pacific Ocean, as well as the only one that has English as its official language. Belize, formerly the colony of British Honduras, is located bordered by Mexico to the north, by Guatemala to the west and south, and by the Caribbean Sea to the east. The country occupies an area of 22,966 km2, and the mainland is approximately 290 km long and 110 wide. The capital is Belmopan, while the largest city is Belize City.
What to see & do
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary - Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is a nature reserve created to protect the forests, fauna, and watersheds of the eastern slopes the Maya Mountains. It was founded in 1990 as the first wilderness sanctuary dedicated to the preservation of the Jaguar (Panthera onca).
Belize Zoo - The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center was founded in 1983, covering 29 acres on the Western Highway about 47 km west of Belize City. The zoo houses over 125 of about 48 species, all of which are native to the country. Unlike in many zoos where the animals are kept in cages, Belize Zoo keeps the natural environment within the zoo entirely intact, with the natural vegetation separated by gravel trails through the forest. The zoo is dedicated to educating its visitors about the Belize wildlife by encountering and observing the animals in their natural habitat.
Lamanai - Lamanai, located in Orange Walk District in the north of Belize, is a Mesoamerican archaeological site. It was once a city of the Maya civilization, originally documented in Maya inscriptions as Lam'an'ain. The most notable large structures include the Jaguar Temple, the Mask Temple, and High Temple. The site is accessible to tourists from Orange Walk Town or through the Mennonite area of Shipyard. There are tourist facilities, small shops, and a small museum that displays artefacts and gives a historical overview.
How to get around within Belize
Belize is a small nation with plenty of options for getting around, including by plane, helicopter, bus, car, boat, or even horse. There are several domestic airports around the country connected by Tropic Air and Maya Island Air for travellers who have limited time to get around. Understandably, domestic flights are quite pricey compared to local transportation, but tickets are generally reasonable. Booking in advance is advised due to the limited capacity.
Down on land, the road system is very extensive, connecting all the mainland towns and villages for easier access to the tourist attractions. The bus stations are in the main towns, but buses en route can pick up passengers on the side of the highway if flagged down. Payment is usually collected by the conductor. Express buses are much faster, but do not pick up passengers off the road, sticking instead to scheduled pick-ups and drop-offs. Taxis can be more useful if you are in a hurry and need to be dropped off directly at your destination. This can get pricey for long distance trips, so always negotiate with the driver before getting in. Rental cars are available for tourists who prefer independent travel. Car rental agencies can be found at the Philip S.W. Goldson Airport, and many have rental offices in Belize City.
For a truly unique way of getting around Belize, try taking a water taxi at least once. San Pedro Belize Eexpress departs from the Brown Sugar Terminal to Belize City to San Pedro and Caye Caulker.
How to get there
Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport is the primary international gateway in Belize. It is located in Ladyville, to the northwest of Belize City. The airport receives direct flights from Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Flores, Newark, Miami, Roata, San Pedro Sula, and San Salvador.
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