What You Need to Know About Belize Before You Go
If you’ve decided on Belize for your next adventure, you need to know several things:
Belize is tough to get to. Air schedules are not kind to the Belize-bound nor are the fares in the cheaper range. American Airlines routes you through Miami, even if departing from the West Coast. One friend took a cheap flight to Cancun, Mexico and drove to Belize.
Even though reasonably priced flights from Los Angeles to Belize City, via Houston, on Continental Airlines, can be found, you may have an inconvenient 6:30AM departure.
Belize is a Caribbean nation stuck inside Latin America. The former British Honduras (pop. 300,000), Belize’s Creole population is English-speaking and identifies with its Carib Indian, African, Rasta/Jamaican and Spanish bloodlines with a splash of Mayan. And the country exists (sometimes warily) next to its Latin neighbors, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. In fact, squabbles over borders and access to the Caribbean Sea with Guatemala only recently calmed with a solid treaty.
Expensive to get there but reasonable once you are in country. The Belize dollar is tied to a valuation of half of the American dollar. So transportation and tours are reasonable, such as the 45-minute, $20 water taxi from Belize City to the Caribbean isle of Caye Caulker.
Best Reasons to Go To Belize Now
Belize offers so much for explorers. Here are the three best reasons why you should go now:
- A wondrous array of Mayan ruins, many recently discovered within the jungle growth, with astounding histories. In the inland Cayo District town of San Ignacio, you can explore the Cahal Pech Archaeological Site or ride horseback to Xunantunich, another Maya archaeological site.
- Eco-tourism hostelries and jungle lodges in Belize offer abundant hiking and butterfly farms in preserved rainforest, tube caving adventures, or canoeing rivers teeming with toucans and jaguars. Wander the Rainforest Medicine Trail at Chaa Creek to learn about the herbal medicines growing in the rainforest called “bush medicine,” used by local healers still today.
- Home to the second largest reef in the world, Belizean cayes and clear water are prime for all ocean sports, sailing, diving, snorkeling. San Pedro town on popular Ambergris Cayeis the dive and water sports capital. Some, such as tiny Caye Caulker, have no cars, using bicycles and golf carts as transportation.
So explore this different corner of Latin America, where the people are Creole, your rice and beans arrive with coconut shavings and the sun washes massive Mayan plazas.