Quick facts about Belize
Currency: Belize dollar (BZD)
Official languages: English
Religion: Christian 74.3%, Buddhists 0.3%, Hindus 0.2%
Total Area: 22,966 km2 (8,867 sq mi)
GDP: $3.484 billion
Country Calling code: +501
Time Zone: UTC−6 (CST)
With one side on the Central American jungles and the other in the Caribbean Sea, Belize is packed with islands, adventure and culture and has fully embraced its Central American and Caribbean roots.
Belize is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations the ancient Maya and the Cayo District and Toledo’s Deep South are dotted with its archaeological sites.
Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest in the world. Snorkelers will be treated to an amazing experience of coral, fish, whale sharks and turtles, while divers can explore underwater caves and walls and the world-renowned Blue Hole.
Belize has a rich variety of wildlife because of its unique position between North and South America and a wide range of climates and habitats for plant and animal life.
Belize is a mesmerizing combination of cultures and landscapes. Its people celebrate their diversity and take great pride in the country’s spectacular natural beauty.
English is the official language of Belize, formerly being a British colony, it is the only country in Central America with English as the official language. Also, English is the primary language of public education, government and most media outlets. Over half the population is multilingual, with Spanish being the second most common spoken language.
The staple of Belize Cuisine is rice-and-beans cooked in coconut milk and served with your favourite meat and accompanied by potato salad. With the addition of immigrants from India, mainland China, Nigeria and neighbouring Central American countries over the years, Belizean cuisine has a diverse international flavour as well.
Chinese restaurants are all over Belize. The best Chinese restaurants are run by the Chon Saan Palace group. The best Lebanese restaurant is Cedar’s Grill in Belmopan. The best Indian restaurants in Belize are Sumathi Indian Restaurant in Belize City, and Everest Indian Restaurant in the capital Belmopan.
The climate in Belize is tropical, with a hot and rainy season from June to October, and a cooler season from November to February. The mean temperature in Belize City is about 74 °F (23 °C) in December and 84 °F (29 °C) in July.
Belize is a melting pot of colourful personalities. The Belizean people are made up of Maya, Mestizo, Kriol, Garifuna, East Indian, Mennonite, Arab and Chinese. There also are a number of expatriates in Belize from Canada, Europe and the United States who prefer to retire here.
A blend of cultures has resulted in one of the happiest and most peaceful countries in the region with a reputation of one of the world’s friendliest tourist destination.
The Belizean dollar (BZ$) is fixed to the US dollar at two to one (BZ$1 = US$0.50). Nearly every business in Belize accepts US dollars and prices are often quoted in US dollars at resorts and hotels. Always confirm in advance whether the price is in Belize dollars or US dollars.
ATMs are widely available in Belize and credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants and shops.
The locals have created a nice little handicraft and art industry complemented by some very delicious packaged food items. Each of Belize’s different ethnic groups makes their own crafts using local materials and traditions. Woodcarvings of sea creatures and ships, replicas of ancient Mayan hieroglyphics, figurines and modern interpretations of the Mayan style and symbolism using stone, Bottled sauces available in many gradients and styles are few things you can look out for.
Travellers can navigate the country by plane, bus, car or boat. Transportation includes local airlines, helicopter, rental cars, tour operators and buses that make getting around Belize easy.
Belize has a well-planned highway and road system that connects all mainland towns, villages and attractions. Boat services operate from all major coastal regions and island towns. Travelling via local airlines in passenger aircraft is the fastest and most popular means of transportation throughout Belize.
HOW TO REACH BELIZE FROM INDIA
The Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport is in Ladyville, to the northwest of Belize City where it receives international direct flights from Atlanta, Charlotte, Newark, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Flores, San Salvador, Roatan and San Pedro Sula.
If you are travelling from India you can opt for a connecting flight via the US with a duration of 23h 48m.
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