Selina

Written by Selina

Modified & Updated: 02 Jun 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

Location Belize. Red pin on the map.

Belize, a small country with a heart as vast as its marine life, is a gem in the heart of Central America. From its rich history to the stunning landscapes, there’s much to explore. Let’s dive into 15 fun facts about Belize that make it one of the most fascinating places on earth.

Table of Contents

Belize Barrier Reef

Belize is home to the second-largest barrier reef system in the world, after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a paradise for snorkelers and scuba divers, teeming with diverse marine life and breathtaking underwater views.

The Great Blue Hole

The Great Blue Hole, an underwater sinkhole off the coast, is one of Belize’s most iconic landmarks. Formed thousands of years ago, it’s a top attraction for divers around the world due to its unique circular shape and abundant marine life.

The Only Jaguar Preserve

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is the world’s first and only jaguar preserve. It’s home to approximately 200 jaguars along with other exotic wildlife species, providing a safe and protected environment for these majestic creatures.

jaguar walking slowly
Image from Wikimedia Commons

Home to Endangered Species

Belize provides a sanctuary for several endangered species, including the West Indian manatee, the Central American tapir (Belize’s national animal), and the scarlet macaw. The country’s conservation efforts aim to protect these species from the brink of extinction.

Cave Tubing

Cave tubing, an adventure activity that involves floating through ancient cave systems on inflatable tubes, is unique to Belize. It’s a great way to explore the country’s underground world, filled with fascinating rock formations and historical artifacts.

Diverse Cultures

Belize is a melting pot of cultures. From the Garifuna, Maya, Creole, Mestizo to smaller groups such as the East Indian and Chinese, it’s a place where different cultures live harmoniously, adding to the country’s vibrant multicultural heritage.

Ecological Diversity

Despite its small size, Belize boasts a stunning variety of ecosystems. From lush rainforests, savannahs, and mangroves to mountain ranges and coral reefs, Belize’s ecological diversity is a nature lover’s dream come true.

Belizean Cuisine

Staples of Belizean cuisine include rice and beans, stewed meats, and fresh seafood. Belize is also known for its hot sauces, with the Habanero pepper playing a starring role. For the sweet tooth, don’t miss out on traditional treats like coconut tarts and cassava pudding.

Ancient Mayan Civilization

Belize was once the center of the ancient Maya civilization. Today, there are more than 900 Mayan sites scattered across the country, with some, like Caracol and Xunantunich, being major archaeological sites, offering insights into this advanced ancient civilization.

Mexico, Chichen Itza, Yucatn. Mayan pyramid of Kukulcan El Castillo at sunset
Image from Adobe Stock

The Garifuna Settlement Day

Every year on November 19th, Belize celebrates the Garifuna Settlement Day. This public holiday includes vibrant parades, live music and dance, and reenactments, celebrating the arrival of the Garifuna people to Belize in the 19th century.

The Mennonite Community

Belize has a significant Mennonite community, who contribute substantially to the agriculture industry, particularly dairy, and poultry. They maintain a traditional lifestyle, often driving horse-drawn buggies instead of cars.

The official Language is English

Unlike other Central American countries, English is the official language of Belize, a legacy from its days as a British colony. However, you’ll also hear Spanish, Creole, Garifuna, and Mayan languages spoken throughout the country.

Belize’s Population

With a population of around 400,000, Belize is one of the least densely populated countries in the world. This small population contributes to its friendly, close-knit community vibe.

Belize’s National Flower

Belize’s national flower is the Black Orchid. This beautiful, rare, and unique flower is native to Belize and can be found growing on trees in damp areas.

black orchid
Image from Wikimedia Commons

Carnival in Belize

Every September, Belizeans celebrate their independence with a two-week-long carnival. The celebration is marked by lively street parades, music, dance, and colorful costumes, showcasing Belize’s rich cultural diversity and spirit.

Final Word

Embark on a journey to Belize and experience its vibrant cultures, stunning natural beauty, and captivating history. It’s a land that invites exploration and promises unforgettable adventures.

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