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10 Fascinating Facts About Belize To Inspire Your Next Vacation

By Leah Freeman-Haskin

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Belize is a small country located on the eastern side of Central America. Known for its world-class scuba diving and Mayan sites, this beautiful nation is full of rich culture, friendly faces, and fascinating history.

History

According to travelbelize.org, the first people to develop Belize were the Maya around 1500 B.C.E. As shown in archeological records, they established a number of settlements here. These include Caracol, Lamanai and Lubaantun. Belize has about 900 Mayan sites that you can still visit today.

Mayan ruins of Belize | Jennifer Sharp | Getty Images

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Language

Belize is the only English language-speaking country in Central America. While English is the official language of Belize, Kriol is the language that many locals speak. 

People

The Belizean people are made up of Maya, Mestizo, Kriol, Garifuna, East Indian, Mennonite, Arab and Chinese. 

Weather

Belize has an annual average temperature of 84 degrees. You can enjoy some cool relief from the constant coastal breeze as well as some shade from the jungle and rainforest.

Island in Belize | Stig Stockholm Pedersen | Getty Images

Transportation

Getting around Belize by horse is a common mode of transportation, and for a small nation, they have a well-planned highway and road system that connects all mainland towns, villages and attractions.

Nature

Belize has the first Jaguar reserve in the world, known as Cockscomb Basin Wildlife sanctuary.

Attractions

The Great Blue Hole is the largest sinkhole in the world at around 984 feet across and 410 deep. It has become a world class destination for divers to explore the stunning coral formations and active marine life.

Blue Hole in Belize | Michael Conlin | Getty Images

Food

Rice and beans are staples in Belize cuisine and you can expect to eat some form of them with every meal. Stew Chicken is another favorite. It consists of a mix of spices and tender chicken. Served with the rice and beans and a scoop of Belizean potato salad, stew chicken is enjoyed any time of day.

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Geography

The islands in Belize are called Cayes (pronounced “keys”) and total around 450 including those on the outer atolls.

Natural Disasters

The former capital Belize City was nearly entirely destroyed by Hurricane Hattie in 1961. Following this destruction, the capital city was moved to Belmopan. With just over 12,000 inhabitants, Belmopan is the smallest capital city in the World.

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