Belize – A piece of heaven!

A natural beauty in the center of America, Belize is surrounded on three sides by the Mexican and Guatemala borders. However, Belize likes to pour its heart out on the crystal-clear seafronts on the eastern side, where the treasure of the Caribbean Sea is part of its pride.

Fact file

Belize is 8867 square miles in total and offers a rich and diverse fertile land consisting of pine forests, tropical rainforests, savanna and mangrove forests, sandy beaches, rivers, streams and lagoons.

Off the coast there are hundreds of white sand islands called Cayes and reefs that enchant divers. All these treasures are engulfed and caressed by the crystal clear Caribbean waters. Belize’s fertile ecosystems are rich in rare and exotic species of birds, mammals and fish, all of which thrive under the protected status of the Belize government.

People and life

Life here is serene, as is the environment. With only a small population of about 300,000 people, Belize is the only English-speaking democratic country in Central America. Belize’s economy is based on tourism and agriculture, with sugar cane, citrus fruits, bananas and aquaculture as the main products. Even the manufacturing industry is agro-based and fills the gaps.

The cost of living and services are relatively cheaper than in the other neighboring countries. You could live comfortably in Belize spending less money. US$1,500 to US$2,000 per month would easily see you through. Good health care, insurance and household services are available at reasonable costs.

Belizean invitation

Foreign ownership is encouraged here by the government, especially if it creates employment opportunities for Belizeans. Incentives are also offered for projects that are export-oriented. These include income tax benefits and exemptions from import duties.

Work permits are also issued to non-citizens under the guidelines of the Belize Labor Department. These last from 3 months to a year and are renewable. Anyone with permanent residency or who has been a legal resident for the past 5 years can apply for Belizean citizenship under the Belizean Nationality Act, 1981.

Tourism – A wonderland

Travel and tourism in Belize is vigorously promoted and generates foreign exchange for Belize. Wildlife and the coast, along with Belize’s serene natural beauty, have contributed greatly to Belize’s tourism industry.

The list

There is so much in Belize, it’s hard to list every place. However, a few famous places can be talked about –

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary – The World’s Only Jaguar Preserve

A unique sanctuary, initiated by the efforts of one person, is located in southern Belize and covers 240 square miles of tropical forest area. It was declared a Forest Reserve in 1984 and was finally declared a Jaguar Reserve in the year 1986. This is home to not only the Jaguars but also a variety of wildlife including birds, animals, fauna and flora. Rare bird species such as the Macaw, the Great Curassow and the Kiel-billed Toucau are common sights.

Community Baboon Sanctuary

The Community Baboon Sanctuary is an innovative and grassroots project to protect a habitat for the endangered black howler monkeys. You can become a member here simply by adopting a monkey and are encouraged by the CBS authorities.

Ancient Mayan Sites

The ancient Mayan ruins can be found all over Belize. Said to be the place where the ancient Maya civilization flourished, more than 600 such sites have now been identified. This ancient civilization existed between the periods 300 BC to 900 AD. This culturally vibrant society was known in their time for its beautiful art, imposing architecture and highly developed mathematical and astronomical systems.

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The coast is unforgettable. Here are a few places that will never leave our minds.

Dive sites

Nearly 40 of them, pristine dive sites well maintained with coral reefs, 20 foot stalactites, mangroves and sublime internal lagoons. Mother Nature is at her best here. You have black corals, orange sponges and many more to choose from. If you like diving you can’t ask for more.

The big blue hole

Imagine the Great Blue Hole, 300 meters wide and over 120 meters deep. Aside from the divers, many colorful species of fish regularly visit the Great Blue Hole. The Great Blue Hole is the largest ocean sinkhole in the world, large enough to be visible from space. This marine vault stores red algae, hydroids, and gorgonians that cover most corals. These are also shrub-sharing homes, mermaid fan algae, moose horns, club fingers, shallow water starlet corals, giant green anemones, and various urchins.

Half Moon Caye

Nature opens up in full glory in the southeast corner of the atoll. A densely populated bird sanctuary to the west and coconut groves to the east, home to 98 recorded bird species including frigatebirds, red-footed boobies, pelicans, ospreys, egrets, gulls, storks, terns and many more. And don’t forget to visit the lighthouse on Half Moon Caye.

The wall

This is located south of Half Moon Caye. Divers can experience a depth of 9 meters and a visibility of up to 30 meters. This natural aquarium in Half Moon Caye features garden eels, clams, rays, flounder, hermit crabs, tilefish, manta rays, groupers, yellowtail snappers, razor clams, toadfish, spotted eagle rays, turtles, and black groupers.

Long Caye Ridge

A perfect diving spot for beginners; with minimal currents, a depth of 12 meters and a visibility of 25 meters. Soft coral, vase and tube sponges, yellow pencil corals, coral niches for spotted crabs, lobsters, file fish and arrow blennies hold your sight. Check this out for underwater photography.

The aquarium

Northwest of Long Caye is the Aquarium, home to the abundance of flora and fauna that enchant visitors with myriad colors and perfect visibility. The richness and variety of marine life is perfectly demonstrated here and leaves all visitors simply enchanted.

Lighthouse Reef

A diving expedition to the Lighthouse Reef Atoll starts from the northern shores. It is teardrop shaped and one of the few pristine and pristine atoll reefs in the world. The Sandbore Caye and The Northern Two Cayes greet you at the gate. These cayes have an internal lagoon that acts as a giant natural cooler. At the southern end of Lighthouse Reef Atoll is Long Caye, known as the closest island to the best dive sites and fishing grounds in all of Belize.

Belize me

There is so much packed into this small country. Belize is only 68 miles wide and 108 miles long. But then the open and crystal clear seas blessed this land, giving rise to the vastness of the ocean.

For Belize you just have to be here yourself.

Once, twice – and you’ll realize it’s never enough.

Be here to find out.