Belize is a relatively small country with a total population of approximately 239,000. Bordered on the north by Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, on the east by the Caribbean Sea, and on the west and south by Guatemala. Belize is the only country in the world able to boast that in a single day it’s possible to go from tropical forest to the longest barrier reef (185 miles) in the western hemisphere.
Belize enjoys a balmy subtropical climate. The humidity, averaging 85%, is nicely tempered by the prevailing breezes from the Caribbean Sea. With an annual mean temperature of 79°F, ranging from a low of 60°F in winter to 96°F in the summer, Belize welcomes you to a land with a practically perfect climate year round. The ocean temperature ranges from 75°F to 84°F.
Belize enters its rainy season at the end of June, and anywhere from light rain showers to heavy storms can be expected through the middle of February. Annual rainfall ranges from a low of 50 inches in the northern sections to a high of 170 inches in the rainforests of the south.
Belize is steeped in Caribbean culture and the lifestyle here is very casual. The Belizean people are a unique cultural combination of Maya, Creole, British, Spanish, Garifuna, and Mennonites. All share the rich lands that make up Belize. These myriad cultural and racial backgrounds have succeeded in maintaining their distinct heritages, while managing to live harmoniously. The influence of all these cultures has made Belize a remarkably integrated society.
The barrier reef is comprised of more than 170 Cayes and atolls as well as numerous mangrove systems both offshore and along the coast. A tremendous wetlands environment exists here offering homes and refuge to many birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and other marine life. Whether your interest is exploring the depths of the sea, or relaxing in a beachfront hammock, this area offers something for all fans of salt water and beach.
The mainland of Belize combines a great variety of landscapes, terrains and vistas. From the soil rich coastal belt of the south, and the coastal plains of the north, to the majestic heights of the Maya Mountains and the Mountain Pine Ridge in the west, exploration and adventure abound.
More than 500 Mayan ruins dot the country, so wherever you are, exploring one of these sites is just a short trip away.
Belize is on Central Standard Time, however, they do not observe Daylight Savings Time. The local time is Greenwich mean time minus six hours.