Belize, an English-speaking country with a diverse population, is most renowned for its tropical beauty and outdoor experiences. With their magnificent beaches and world-class diving locations, Belize’s hundreds of cases and coral islands are also among the best places to visit.
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- Belize City
Belize City is the capital and largest city in the country. It’s on a small peninsula near the mouth of Haulover Creek. It was the capital city until the 1970s when flooding and other damage from a hurricane forced the government to move to Belmopan. Most visitors to Belize City use the city as a transportation hub and spend little time there. Having said that, Belize City remains the country’s cultural centre, with a plethora of cultural attractions.
Hopkins is well recognised as the cultural centre of Belize’s Garifuna population. It is a small village south of Dangriga that runs along a bay. The Garifuna are African, Island Carib, and Arawak descendants. Garfuna is still spoken here, and the village is an excellent opportunity to learn more about this fascinating culture.
- Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, known as the Jaguar Reserve, is one of Belize’s largest protected areas. Although the sanctuary is home to approximately 60 of Belize’s 700 jaguars, the chances of seeing one are remote. For those with the time, a four- or five-day walk to the peak of 1120 metre (3670 feet) Victoria Peak is also doable.
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- Tobacco Caye
Tobacco Caye is a small island in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, about 16 kilometres (10 miles) from Dangriga. Visitors to this island can select from six various small and inexpensive lodges in which to rest and unwind. Tobacco Caye is well-known for its outstanding shore diving because it is in a protected marine reserve. This cay has developed a devoted following among hikers, snorkelers, and scuba divers over the years.
- San Ignaci
It’s a perfect base for exploring the region’s Mayan sites and natural reserves, as it’s surrounded by rivers and forested hills. San Ignacio is also a significant transit town on the way to or from Guatemala. Locals refer to the town as Cayo, which is the same word used by the Spanish to choose the outlying islands.
Placencia is a popular beach and outdoor resort on Belize’s Caribbean coast, with a long, narrow peninsula of sandy white beaches. Placencia is made up of three settlements: Maya Beach, Seine Bight, and Placencia Village. The majority of Placencia’s activities revolve around the natural beauty of the peninsula.
Caracol, located 500 metres (1650 feet) above sea level on the Vaca Plateau, is Belize’s most important Maya site. It was one of the largest ancient Maya towns, with a population of around 150,000 people, more than twice the size of Belize City today. Its peak construction period was between 484 AD and 889 AD when 40 monuments were created. Canada (Sky Place) is the largest pyramid in Caracol, and at 43 metres (143 ft), it is the tallest man-made building in Belize.
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