Everything You Need to Know About Belize
Belize is a small country in Central America with a population of approximately 334,000. Unlike much of Central America, the population density in Belize is very low, with an average of just 35 people per square mile. The people of Belize are world-renown for their friendly natures and laid back attitudes. The Belizean people are made up of Arab, Maya, Kriol, Mestizo, Garifuna, East Indian, Mennonite and Chinese., making the country a cultural melting pot and a truly fascinating place to explore. The country is surrounded by Mexico to the South, Guatemala to the West, and the Caribbean sea to the east. Its central positioning makes it popular with tourists wishing to enjoy multi-location vacations.
Tourism in Belize
Belize is an incredibly popular vacation destination, and itís easy to see why. The country offers lush rainforests, Mayan ruins, and the second largest barrier reef in the world (after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia). Belize is the only country in Central America where the official language is English, because the country used to be part of the British Empire (when it was known as British Honduras). This makes the country an incredibly popular vacation destination for tourists from the United States and the United Kingdom as the common language makes travelling in the country relatively simple, and the infrastructure much more simple to navigate. This also makes Belize a very attractive tax haven for the super-wealthy, and means you will be able to enjoy fine dining and fabulous cocktail bars aimed at these ex-pats when you are in the country. Despite all of this, the healthcare in large parts of Belize is surprisingly basic and in others woefully inadequate. The healthcare in neighbouring Mexico and Guatemala is of a much higher level, and many of Belizeís wealthier residents choose to travel to hospitals in those countries when they need medical assistance. Tourists travelling to Belize are therefore advised to ensure they have a fully comprehensive travel insurance policy that will not only ensure they receive the best possible care should the need arise, it will also repatriate them either to their home country or to Mexico and Guatemala should they need a standard of care that the hospitals in Belize are currently unable to provide.
Famous for its Nature
The nature available is one of the main attractions of a visit to Belize. Around 60 percent of the country is covered in dense rainforest (much of it protected by the government) which is home to over 500 different species of birds. The lush rainforest is also home to howler monkeys, jaguar and puma and at last count the area was home to 145 different species of mammal. Many of the mammals in the country are rare and endangered: so although they live here, itís unlikely youíll spot one of the big cats in their natural habitat when you visit the rainforest. In terms of the aquatic life, there is nowhere better in this part of the world. The barrier reef of Belize is home to 400 species of fish, 70 types of hard coral and a seemingly endless array of dive sites. Itís no wonder, then, that the coastal areas of the country are so popular with adventure tourists.
All About The Money
The official currency of Belize is the Belize dollar. To make spending and converting Belize dollars is particularly easy for American visitors to the country, as the exchange rate is locked at $2 Belize being equivalent to $1 USD. This makes it very easy to work out how much youíre spending when youíre out and about! Youíll find prices listed in both BZ$ and USD when youíre out and about, depending on where you are. More expensive purchases, such as hotels and guided tours, tend to list their prices in American dollars. Exchanges where the purchase price is likely to be smaller, such as in restaurants, bars and shops, tend to list their prices in Belize dollars instead. Itís recommended that you carry some Belize dollars with you when you visit the country, but almost everywhere will also accept USD and travellers cheques too, making your money very easy to spend when youíre in Belize! Youíll also find that ATMs are readily available across the country.