View Map

Overview

Diminutive Belize — population 266,500 — is a former British colony (it was known as British Honduras until 1973) hurtling into the 21st century as an eco-tourism powerhouse. World class diving, Mayan temples deep in the jungle, caves galore to explore, the unique and friendly Garifuna culture (don't miss the coconut-seafood stews), plus wildlife roaming free in copious national parks conspire to offer something for everyone. Add to this Belize's diverse cultural mix born of British pirates and colonists, African slaves, Guatemalan and Salvadoran war refugees, Yucatecan Maya, the Garifuna and expats, plus an environmentally-conscious policy ...

Diminutive Belize — population 266,500 — is a former British colony (it was known as British Honduras until 1973) hurtling into the 21st century as an eco-tourism powerhouse. World class diving, Mayan temples deep in the jungle, caves galore to explore, the unique and friendly Garifuna culture (don't miss the coconut-seafood stews), plus wildlife roaming free in copious national parks conspire to offer something for everyone. Add to this Belize's diverse cultural mix born of British pirates and colonists, African slaves, Guatemalan and Salvadoran war refugees, Yucatecan Maya, the Garifuna and expats, plus an environmentally-conscious policy towards its natural wonders, and it's no surprise Belize has been posting record tourist numbers for the past several years. Fully 40 percent of the country is protected in some measure, signaling an ecological commitment that has served it well in its bid as eco-tourism hot spot. Small, manageable, and largely English-speaking, the country often serves as a jumping off point for further Central American travels. In the past, it has also played a supporting role in the international drug trade as illicit goods made their way north via Belize.

Conner Gorry
About the Expert

Conner Gorry is a contributor to more than a dozen Lonely Planet guidebooks and is the lead writer for Lonely Planet's Yucatan, Belize, and Guatemala guides.

view full overview

Conner Gorry for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Now Happening in Belize

Facts at a Glance