What comes to mind when you hear “Belize?” A tropical paradise? A deserted jungle? Something kind of like Mexico 🙂 ? You’re not alone if you don’t know what to expect. Here are 5 things you may not expect to hear about Belize, but they truly define the country as it stands and as a travel destination.
- “Sub Umbra Florero” is the motto on the Belizean flag.
It means, ‘Under the shade, I flourish.’ The passage refers to the great mahogany trees the country is famous for. Belize offers miles of jungle on one side, and its natives and tourists alike have recently come to respect and replant the mahogany jungles. You will find the previous wood everywhere.
- You can “Get a Piece of the Jewel”
Belize is lovingly called “The Jewel” by locals and tourists. It owes this knickname to having the longest Barrier Reef in the Western or Northern hemisphere, and a wider array of birds, fauna and butterflies than all of North America. Surrounded by the ocean to one side and jungles to the other, Belize offers an abundance of national treasures to explore. Popular among these is the “Big Blue Hole” – a geological anomaly among similar craters due to it’s size and unique underwater rock formations. Divers regularly experience the Big Blue Hole, and you can, too, even with little or no diving experience. There are a number of Mayan sites to be explored in addition to the natural treasures.
- It’s not Costa Rica
Many people lump all Central American nations into one category – something like Mexico, but slightly less crowded. Each Central American nation has a very unique feel, and Belize is quite different from it’s popular travel destination cousin, Costa Rica. Tourists describe Belize as more natural, less developed by Western land owners, and with a plethora of activities owing to its Mayan heritage, mountain ranges and jungle habitat.
- The locals will love you
Tourism is Belize’s number one source of industry. Despite being a relatively small travel destination when compared to other Central American countries, Belize has a healthy array of visitors coming through each month. Because of the importance of this industry as well as the nature of the Belizean people, you will find yourself welcomed and honored wherever you go. Tourists often report their surprise and joy at the openness of the country, most locals simply wanting to ensure you are enjoying your time and exploring the vast treasures of their nation.
- It’s easy to get to
Flights to Belize remain low in price. They can vary from just a few hundred to $500 depending on the time of year, when you book and where you are coming from. You can set a travel notice with most airlines to receive emails when rates drop sufficiently. Further, once you arrive in the country, there is a network of smaller aircraft, buses and taxis to take you where you need to go. Because the country is relatively small in size, you can reach most of its diverse activities in a week’s time.