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BELIZE HOLIDAYS   >   CENTRAL AMERICA   


Belize is located in the southeast of the Yucatán Peninsula, on the Caribbean coast of the Central American isthmus, and offers an intriguing mix of tropical forests rich with wildlife, majestic 3,675 foot mountains, mysterious Maya temples, and diving and fishing experiences beyond compare.In a single day you can go from tropical forest to the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere.

Districts in Belize : Belize District, Cayo, Corozal, Orange Walk, Stann Creek and Toledo.

Capital City of Belize: Belmopan


car hire, hotels, tour operators - belize tours, travel guides, travel to belize

links


Car Rentals / Bike Rentals

Bicycles and motorbikes can be hired on the Cayes.



Holiday Homes / Villas / Apartments in Belize

Living Abroad in Belize   -   Lan Sluder
Imagine living in Belize. Author Lan Sluder left his life as a newspaper editor to make a home there, and shows readers how to make their own dreams take shape. With Lan's expertise, future expats will get the information they need on visas, money, jobs, housing, health, language, culture, and history. Whether it's a thatched cabana in Placencia, a jungle hideaway in the Cayo District, or a retreat in lively Ambergris Caye, there's a place that matches their budget, needs, and dreams. With "Living Abroad in Belize", it's easy to make the dream become a reality.
Paperback 260 pages (November 9, 2005);  Publisher: Avalon Travel;  Language: English;  ISBN: 1566919193

Hotels in Belize

 

 
Centrally located hotels ranging from small family run budget accommodation to world-class five star hotels.

National Parks

  Bermudian Landing Community Baboon Sanctuary  -  ca. 30km west of Belize City
It's tough to spot the endangered black howler monkey in South or Central America anymore,  but this is the best place in Belize to find one. The villagers of Bermudian Landing have set up a reserve in the forest near their village and there's a visitors center with displays about the howler and the 200 other animals and birds in the sanctuary.
  Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Home to jaguars, pumas, ocelots  margays, agoutis, anteaters, armadillos, boa constrictors, and birds galore.
  Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
Bird-watchers should check out the rivers, swamps and lagoons of this sanctuary, midway between Belize City and Orange Walk Town, which attract flocks of migrating birds between November and May.
  Mountain Pine Ridge  -  forest reserve in western Belize  -  800 sq km
This  forest reserve in western Belize's beautiful, unspoiled mountain country is dotted with waterfalls and teems with wild orchids, parrots, keel-billed toucans and other exotic flora and fauna. The rough forest roads in the reserve are often impassable in the wet season, but it's this inaccessibility which keeps the area pristine for those willing to explore it on foot, horseback or canoe. Excursions include the Rain Forest Medicine Trail [ a rainforest walk focused on herbal medicines ];  Chechem Ha (a recently discovered Mayan cave complete with ceremonial pots);  Caracol [ a vast, unrestored Mayan city engulfed by jungle ]; Thousand Foot [ Hidden Valley ] Falls [ a 300m high silver cascade plunging into a misty valley ];  and Barton Creek Cave  with skulls and bones and lotsa pottery shards.

More parks, Natural reserves, and Wildlife sanctuaries : Bacalar Chico, Burdon Canal Nature Reserve, Blue Hole National Park, Great Blue Hole, Caracol, Chiquibul National Park, Columbia River Forest Reserve, Five Blues Lake National Park, Glover's Reef Marine Reserve, Guanacaste National Park, Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Laughing Bird Caye, Marco Gonzales, Mexico Rocks, Payne's Creek National Park, Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area, Shark Ray Alley, Shipstern Nature Reserve, Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary, Turneffe Atoll. See Attractions Belize.

Travel Agents / Tour Operators / Belize specialists

  G Adventures

 Kuoni

   -   Create your perfect trip to Belize
Flight, Hotel and Car.

  Thomas Cook



  Exodus   -   The Different Holiday
They do more than simply visit an area, they get under its skin by exploring its many facets: people, landscapes, wildlife, mountains, food, history, culture and music.
  Global Travel   -   Central American Travel Specialists
Their Eco-Adventures, Island Vacations & Scuba Diving Tours to Belize and surrounding Central American Countries combine the Emerald Mystique of the Rainforests Teeming with Wildlife and the Crystal Clear Waters of the Caribbean.
  Guerba World Travel Limited   -   Adventure Holidays & Discovery Tours
Find the best selection of culture, adventure activity, safari, overlanding and trekking holidays.
  Last Frontiers   -   a small, specialist Tour Operator for Latin America
  South American Experience  -  one of the leading specialists for Latin America.
All their tailor-made itineraries which involve flights and ground arrangements are ATOL protected.

  Belize Explorer   -   Eco Vacation Specialist   -   Educational Tours and trekking in Belize
Belize Explorer Services is based in San Ignacio, Cayo District

Travel Guides Belize / Related books

Travel Guides Belize  [ amazon.co.uk ]

The Rough Guide to Belize - ISBN 1848365128 The Rough Guide to Belize 
Peter Eltringham (Author)
The Rough Guide to Belize is the ultimate travel guide to this unique country, with clear maps and detailed coverage of all the best attractions, from the beautiful, sun-washed cayes to the soaring Mayan pyramids. Discover Belize's highlights with stunning photography and extensive information on everything from the country's magnificent Barrier Reef – the longest in the Western Hemisphere – to its mist-shrouded jungles. Find detailed practical advice on what to see and do in Belize, relying on up-to-date descriptions of the best resorts, hotels, spas, and restaurants for all budgets. The Rough Guide to Belize also features two full-colour sections featuring Belize's splendid underwater life, plus its ancient Mayan pyramids and sites. Explore every corner of Belize with more user-friendly maps than any other guidebook. Make the most of your time on Earth with The Rough Guide to Belize.
Paperback: 312 pages; Publisher: Rough Guides; 5 edition (1 Nov 2010); ISBN-10: 1848365128; ISBN-13: 978-1848365124.

Belize (Lonely Planet Country Guide) 
Mara Vorhees and Joshua Samuel Brown
Paperback: 336 pages; Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications; 3rd Revised edition edition (1 Oct 2008); ISBN-10: 174104703X; ISBN-13: 978-1741047035.

Belize (Lonely Planet Diving and Snorkeling Guides) - ISBN 1740595319 Belize (Lonely Planet Diving and Snorkeling Guides) 
Tim Rock (Author)
A guide that delivers in-depth information on Belize for divers and snorkellers of all abilities. It features photography and useful planning tools including maps of dive regions.
Paperback: 144 pages; Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications; 4th Revised edition edition (1 Aug 2007); ISBN-10: 1740595319; ISBN-13: 978-1740595315.

Transportation / How do I travel to Belize

Belize is nestled between Mexico and Guatemala

  Belmopan Airport

Flights from Los Angeles,  Houston and Miami to Belize Airport; Also from Guatemala.

   -   Flights to Belize
Book cheap flights to Belize at ebookers and benefit from discounted airfares. View their latest offers and book your flights, accommodation, car hire and insurance online

  Airline Tickets Belize / Discount Flights  
Flight tickets Belize / Price comparison possible

Bus services from Belize City to Chetumal in Mexico and to Benque Viejo del Carmen and Melchor de Mencos in Guatemala.

By boat from Punta Gorda in southern Belize to Puerto Barrios and Lívingston in Guatemala, or from Dangriga and Placencia to Puerto Cortés in Honduras.

Fast and frequent motor launches connect Belize City with Caye Chapel, Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye


Links

  Belize Tourism   -    The Official Web Site of the Belize Tourism Board
[ History ] [ Culture ] [ Geography ] [ Government ] [ Things to do ] [ Places to see ] [ Places to stay ] [ Tour Services ] [ Plan Your Visit ] [ Getting Here ] [ Getting Around ] [ Travel Tips ] [ Online Tour ] [ Specialty Travel ] [ Common Questions ]
  Government of Belize

  Belmopan   -   Capital City of Belize
See Wikipedia.

  Belize District   -   District Capital = Belize City, the nation's largest city
The Belize District is centrally located between the northern and southern borders of the country with a variety of transportation options to any point both inland and out to the cayes. Fishing, snorkeling, diving and swimming are excellent around nearby St. George's and Goff's caye while the rivers and lagoons are great for boating and sightseeing.
Other towns in the belize District: Hattieville, Ladyville, and San Pedro Town; the villages of Barrel Boom, Crooked Tree, and Gales Point; and Rockstone Pond.
Belize District also includes the Crooked Tree and the Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuaries, Belize National Zoo (30 miles west of Belize City), as well as the ancient Maya ruins of Altun Ha.
The Belize District also includes various off shore islands of Belize, including Ambergris Caye, St. George's Caye, and Goff's Caye.
  Cayo   -   in the west of Belize  -  district capital is the town of San Ignacio Cayo
In the Cayo District are the Belizian national capital of Belmopan, the town of Benque Viejo del Carmen, the villages of San Antonio Cayo Valley of Peace, St. Margret's, Roaring Creek, Albaina, and Spanish Lookout. Cayo District also contains the Pre-Columbian Maya ruins of Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, and Caracol.
  Corozal   -   northernmost district of  Belize  -  District capital = Corozal Town.
Other towns and villages in the Corozal District: Chunox, Consejo, Little Belize, Louisville, Patchacan, Progresso, and Xaibe.
The Pre-Columbian Maya ruins are found in Corazal at Santa Rita near Corazal Town, at Louisville, and at Ceros.
  Orange Walk   -   in the north west of Belize  -  District capital =  Orange Walk Town
Other towns and significant villages : Carmelita, Guinea Grass Town,San Estevan, San Jose, San Pablo, Shipyard, Indian Church, San Carlos and Trial Farm.
Orange Walk District includes the ancient Maya ruin of Lamanai, and the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area, a large private nature reserve.
  Stann Creek   -   in the south east of Belize  -  District capital = Dangriga / Stann Creek Town
Other communites: Big Creek Port [ main port Belize's banana industry ], the peninsula and village of Placencia [ popular tourist resort ], the villages of Independence and Mango Creek and Mullins River.
The Stann Creek District is home to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary & The Jaguar Preserve. Within the preserve is Victoria Peak, the highest point in Belize, at 1120 meters (3,675 feet) above sea level.
  Toledo   -   southernmost district in Belize  -  District capital = Punta Gorda
Other communities: towns of Monkey River Town and Toledo Settlement, the villages of San Pedro Columbia and Silver Creek, and the ancient Maya ruins of Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun, and Uxbenka.

  Ambergris Caye   -   north of Belize City [ 58 km ]  -  portal site
The largest of the country's cayes. 40km long and almost connected to the Mexican mainland on its northern side. Like Caulker, it has an engaging laid-back atmosphere. The reef is 1km east of the main town of San Pedro. There are a host of excursions offered to diving and snorkeling spots and to other cayes in the region, including to Blue Hole,Half Moon Caye and Turneffe Islands, the only three coral atolls in the western hemisphere
  Belize City
This ramshackle, colorful Caribbean city was Belize's former capital and is the country's only settlement of any size. it's the transport and commercial hub of the country. The main commercial streets are Albert, Regent, King and Orange Sts.
  Caye Caulker   -   north of Belize City [ 33km ]
7km long and only about 600m wide at its widest point. Actually, Caulker is two islands now since Hurricane Hattie split it just north of the village in 1961. Mangroves cover much of the shore and coconut palms provide shade. The reef is just a short boat ride from the eastern shore and offers some of the world's most exciting diving, snorkeling and fishing. Underwater visibility can be an astonishing 60m  and the coral and tropical fish are wonderful.
  Corozal   -   North Belize, about 200 miles south of Cancún
  Dangriga
  Monkey River Town
  Placencia   -   Southern Belize
Perched at the southern tip of a long, narrow, sandy peninsula, this laid-back beach town is worth every bump and grind of the dirt roads you need to travel to get here. All commerce and activity used to be carried out by boat, thus the village's 'main street' is just a narrow concrete footpath less than 1m wide. The main attractions are the beaches and water sports, but there's also fishing, bird and manatee watching, overnight camping on remote cayes, and excursions to jungle rivers and the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.
  San Ignacio
  San Pedro

  Lamanai   -   semi-restored, semi-excavated Mayan site
This impressive site is located in its own archaeological reserve near the settlement of Indian Church. Its 60 significant structures include a grand 34m high late Preclassic building, a small temple and a ball court. Lamanai (submerged crocodile) was occupied as early as 1500 BC and became a major ceremonial center with immense temples long before most Mayan sites. The Maya lived here right up until the arrival of the Spanish; two ruined Indian churches nearby testify to the fact that there were still Maya here to be converted . The 90-minute boat trip up the New River from Orange Walk to reach the site is an adventure in itself. The boat passes the Mennonite community of Shipyard and offers the opportunity to see plenty of birdlife and crocodiles
  St John's Cathedral in Belize City
The oldest [ 1847 ],  and most important Anglican church in Central America
  The Cayes   -   barrier reef
Belize's 290km long barrier reef is the longest reef in the western hemisphere. To the west of the reef are numerous cayes basking in warm water usually not much more than 5m (16ft) deep. The two most popular with travelers are Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. Caulker is commonly thought of as the low-budget island; Ambergris is more resort-oriented.
  Xunantunich  [ Stone Maiden ]   -   archaeological pride of Belize
Set on a levelled hilltop near the Belize River close to the Guatemalan border, Xunantunich controlled the riverside track which led from the hinterlands down to the Caribbean coast. The site flourished as a ceremonial center and is thought to have been abandoned after an earthquake damaged it around AD 900. The site has not been extensively restored, though its tallest building - El Castillo - rises an impressive 40m out of the jungle.

  Baron Bliss Day   -   on March 9
Honors a philanthropic British nobleman who fell in love with Belize and upon his death willed the bulk of his fortune in trust to the people of Belize.
  Belize Audubon Society
A good source of info on national parks and wildlife reserves throughout the country
  Garífuna Settlement Day   -   on November 19
Commemorates the arrival of the Garinagus [ Black Caribs ] in dugout canoes from Honduras in 1823. Dangriga is the place to celebrate this festival: the small town explodes in a frenzy of dancing and drinking.
  NEMO   -   National Emergency Management Organization of Belize
  Press   -   Belize Times   -   web-site of the Belizean newspaper
  Protected Area Conservation Trust
  TV   -   Channel 5 Belize
Leading television station and foremost provider of local and regional programming.
  Zoo   -   Belize Zoo   -   The Belize Zoo & Tropical Education Center, Belize City

Cuisine  -  Belize Foods / Recipes

Belize never really developed a national cuisine. You will find elements from the UK,  the USA, Mexico and the Caribbean. Traditional staples are rice and beans, often eaten with chicken, pork, beef, fish or vegetables. Coconut milk and fried plaintain add a tropical flavor. Exotic traditional foods include armadillo,  venison and fried paca.

  Cuisine of Belize
Belizean cuisine is an amalgamation of all ethnicities in the nation of Belize, and their respectively wide variety of foods.
  Cooking in Belize 
Belizean Recipes: The standard faire in Belize is pretty pedestrian:  Rice, Beans and Chicken in a variety of ways, with some interesting side dishes .....

History of Belize

Independence: 21 September 1981 (from UK)

  History of Belize   -   Wikipedia
The area now comprising Belize was originally inhabited by Amerindian groups [ Caribs, Arawaks, and Mayas ] The Maya civilization rose in the Yucatán Peninsula to the north, spreading to Belize between the 16th century BC and the 4th century AD.
Contents : Belize before European contact, First European contact, Arrival of the British, Independence of Belize
  Belize History
  Maya Civilization   -   about the pre-Columbian Maya civilization
The Maya are people of southern Mexico and northern Central America (Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras, and El Salvador) with some 3,000 years of history.
The Maya built breathtaking temple complexes aligned to the movement of celestial bodies. Although they remained technically a Stone Age culture, they also developed sophisticated mathematics, astronomy and calendars.

Music, Art & Culture, Events in Belize

  Music of Belize
The music of Belize has a mix of Kriol, Mestizo, Garifuna, and Maya influences.
  Music of Belize 
Belize culture is a mix of Mestizo, Maya, Spanish, British and African influences. After many centuries of Mayan domination, Spanish and then British colonizers arrived in the area, the latter keeping Belize as its only colony in Spanish-dominated Central America. Far more influentially than either European power's arrival, however, was the importation of African slaves. Europeans brought polkas, waltzes, schottisches and quadrilles, while Africans brought numerous instruments and percussion-based musics, including marimba. African culture resulted in the creation of brukdown music in interior logging camps, played using banjo, guitar , drums, dingaling bell, accordion and an ass' jawbone played by running a stick up and down the teeth. Brukdown remains a rural, rarely recorded genre ......

  Culture of Belize
The Belizean culture is made up of influences and people from Kriol, Maya, Garinagu (also known as Garifuna ), Mestizo (a mixture of Spanish and Native Americans), Mennonites who are of German descent, with a blend of many other cultures from Chinese to Lebanese.

  Garifuna people
The Garinagu (singular Garifuna) are descendants of Carib, Arawak and West African people.
  Maya_peoples
See also The Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya [ Life at the Maya Court ].
  Mennonites
The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after the Frisian Menno Simons (1496–1561)

Reading the Maya Glyphs  -   Michael D. Coe, Mark Van Stone
In the recent past, a working knowledge of the Maya script has been confined to epigraphers, art historians and other specialists. Its very unfamiliarity to the general public, and the daunting aspect of its approximately 800 signs, have made the system appear more complex and arcane than it really is. Reading the Maya Glyphs is a compact, portable guide to enable students, tourists and armchair travellers to read and understand commonly encountered Classic Maya texts. Topics covered include the nature of the script, the intricate Maya calendar, dynastic and political texts, and every aspect of the natural and supernatural world in which they lived. Written by the world's leading authority in Maya studies, Michael D. Coe, and illustrated by the drawings of Mark Van Stone, one of America's outstanding calligraphers, the book presupposes no previous training in Maya epigraphy or archaeology. Whether in the hands of visitors to the great Maya sites of Mexico and Central America or consulted by museum-goers, this guide should enhance their appreciation some of the world's greatest art and architecture.
Hardcover 176 pages (November 1, 2001);  Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd.;  Language: English;  ISBN: 0500051100


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