With an eventful history, diverse culture, and a spectacular array of wildlife, Belize is an exciting place. There is still much to be discovered about the country, though, and it holds as much mystery as it has observable natural beauty. Find out about what you can see, and what is still to be discovered, by reading our interesting facts about Belize.
Countries around the world compete for the world’s tallest building, frequently building skyscrapers that tower higher than their predecessors.
Belize knows that size doesn’t matter. The tallest building is in Caracol and, at 137 feet, it is appropriately called El Caana (“Sky Place”). You can climb to the top and see for miles over the rainforest canopies.
About 900 Mayan ruins are scattered throughout the Belizean landscape, places where the ancient Maya lived, and built impressive structures to house their elite and worship. Some of these ruins are over 1500 years old, and many still lie undiscovered beneath the forest floor.
Belize has 95 protected areas, including terrestrial and marine national parks, national monuments, wildlife sanctuaries, archaeological reserves, nature reserves and private conservation areas. In the country’s three nature reserves, there is no access without a permit, and only researchers can enter.
To throw in a couple more interesting facts about Belize, over half of the country is rainforest, home to 540 species of birds, and also contains the only jaguar preserve in the world, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. With so much to treasure, is it any wonder that the people of Belize want to protect their wildlife.
With a population of about 313,000 people, the country receives nearly 1 million tourists every year. Tourism is Belize’s largest source of revenue, and one in four residents of the country is involved in the industry. Belize’s low population density, combined with its abundance of natural wonders, means that many more tourists visit the country each year than there are national residents.
At 185 miles, the Belize barrier reef is the largest in the Western hemisphere. It is currently known to house over 500 species of fish. However, marine biologists estimate that only 10% of barrier reef species have been discovered. With 90% still a mystery, there could be all kinds of weird and wonderful creatures out there.
5. Belize has no Starbucks, McDonalds, Burger King, or KFC
The last of our interesting facts about Belize is that it lacks the franchises many people take for granted. Most of Belize’s tourists are American, and used to an abundance of fast food chains wherever they go. Many of them are surprised to find none of the staples they are accustomed to in Belize. Instead, Belize’s cultural diversity means there is a plethora of delicious dishes to try, from Mestizo panades (a fried corn patty) to Garifuna cassava bread.
The most interesting things about Belize are best experienced first hand, and there are more exciting things to discover than can be written here. Find out about some exiting adventures you can have in Belize while staying in Hopkins Bay, such as snorkelling, fishing, and going on a cave expedition.