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Belize is an anomaly in Central America.

In a Spanish-speaking region, Belize is a little corner of the British Empire. A place where they play cricket and where the Queen of England appears on bank notes. For Anglophiles everywhere, Belize is a place where you’ll be able to feel at home. Belize has more in common with Jamaica and Barbados than it does with Guatemala and Mexico.

It’s a small country, even by Central American standards, with only El Salvador having a smaller area. Population-wise, it’s tiny. It has the least amount of people in Central America and the lowest population density.

Fewer people generally means more nature, and Belize doesn’t disappoint. Belize is stunning. It’s covered in jungle, from the steaming lowlands to the green-clad Mayan mountains. It’s home to the second-biggest barrier reef in the world. Belize has the largest percentage of protected land of all countries in Central America. Its deforestation rate is one of the lowest in the world. Belize is now a prime eco-tourism destination with some of the best eco-lodges in the region.

If you want a Caribbean island life with a twist of Latin America, there’s no place better than Belize. It’s a tiny place but it’s got it all.

Five Facts About Belize

  1. Belize was once part of one of America’s greatest civilizations: the Mayan empire. As small a country as it is, Belize has over 900 Mayan sites. They are so common, the government has had to move to stop construction companies from using the stones.
  2. Belize’s capital city, Belmopan, is the smallest capital city in Central America. It is also one of the world’s newest capitals, founded in 1970.
  3. The song “La Isla Bonita” was originally written as a lament for the town of San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye. Later on, it was picked up and reworked by Madonna to become one of the top hits on her “True Blue” album in 1986.
  4. Belize has armed forces, but they’re pretty small. Combined, Belize’s army, navy, and air forces (the Belize Defence Force – BDF) amount to around 1,600 members. Now compare that with the 62,000 people who work at Disney World. In fact, if all Disney World employees were from Belize, they would make up over 16 percent of the population.
  5. Belize is a paradise for scuba divers. It’s home to the Great Blue Hole, a perfectly-round sea sinkhole that happens to be the largest in the world. It is the holy grail of diving spots and gets visited by over 200,000 divers each year.