One of the most interesting facts in regards to Belize is that it is the only Central American country that does not share a coastline with the Pacific Ocean. Its only beaches are instead located on the Caribbean Sea. Still, this does not detract from the beauty to be found here. Lush tropical jungles, Mayan ruins and countless exotic animals coexist alongside a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere.
The Best Times to Visit Belize
Like many other equatorial countries, Belize is known to have a pronounced rainy season. This will normally occur between the months of June and September. So, it only makes sense to avoid these times of the year. Most visitors choose instead arrive between November and April. March, April and May are particularly good times to visit. There are few (if any) cloudy days and yet the temperatures have still not reached the stifling limits occurring during the height of the summer.
It should first be noted that Americans are not required to possess a passport to visit Belize. The major airport located here is the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport. Direct flights will arrive from such cities as Atlanta, Newark, New York Miami and Dallas. Flights from New York City (those without any layovers) will normally take approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes. American Airlines, Avianca Aerovias, United Airlines and Delta are all common carriers to and from these airports.
Like many other Central American countries, the capital of Belize City offers a number of world-class hotels such as Radisson and Best Western. However, one of the primary benefits is that there are countless boutique properties and most of these are located within agreeable walking distances to the beach and downtown Belize City. Camper vans and cottage rentals are not as common here although some tour companies may be able to provide such accommodations. Belize is also an extremely popular destination with students due to the fact that a number of clean, cheap and friendly hostels can be found.
Things to do in Belize
Belize is known for its natural beauty. One common attraction can be seen in the Cayo district. Cave exploring is quite common here. Due to a vast number of sinkholes and its natural geology, some of the largest caves in the world are able to be entered. In fact, the Maya occupied these caves for years and numerous artifacts are still being discovered. The largest cave within this complex is known as Actun Tunichil Muknal. Guided tours are available to obtain a first-hand experience of this natural beauty. Not only are these guides quite friendly, but they will explain how the caves formed as well as some of the local mythology surrounding their unique history.
Due to its proximity to the Caribbean Sea, scuba diving and snorkeling are other popular pastimes that many visitors will experience. Those who may be interested in taking longer excursions should look into chartering a local catamaran or sailboat; a few notable shipwrecks and coral reefs can be located in this way. However, those on limited budgets can still take part in smaller excursions or simply rent equipment at local dive centers. Some of the best beaches to enjoy these aquatic activities include Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulkner. There is a larger site called The Blue Hole, but this tends to be more expensive to visit.
Old Belize is a final destination that should be considered. This district offers a massive exhibit that will take tourists back to the colonial days of the city. Some other features are relics of the Mayan culture and a depiction of an 18th century mining camp. While these are very impressive, an advantage of Old Belize is that it is found near a popular strip of sand known as Cucumber Beach as well as next to a large marina. There are luxury restaurants, a full-service conference hall and other smaller cafes. Old Belize is only a few miles from the center of Belize City and is worth having a closer look.