Belize, More Than Just a Exotic Beach
By Patrick Van De Velde | Submitted On November 11, 2011
Belize a hidden pearl in Central America is a lush exotic paradise with waving palm trees, beautiful white sand beaches, a Caribbean vibe and a coast littered with many tropical islands. This is the destination that the few people who are aware of Belize, have pictured in their mind. In Belize there is definitely much more to explore. Belize is home to unspoiled Jungles filled with wildlife, enormous Mayan pyramids and one the most famous diving spots in the world The Great Blue Hole, a favorite diving spot of the famed Jacques Cousteau!
Formerly known as British Honduras, Belize became a fully independent nation in 1981 and is Central America's only English speaking country. Being able to communicate in English to practically everyone in the country is very convenient, although it should be said that anyone who prefers to speak Spanish, would have no problems to get around. Especially in the Northern part of Belize you might have an easier time to get around knowing the Spanish language.
Being on of the smallest countries in this world, Belize is not as well known as some Central American destinations as for example Costa Rica. Belize is about half the size of the Netherlands and slightly larger than the State of New Jersey. Surprisingly it is also one of the least populated countries of this world. With only three hundred thousand Inhabitants it is no wonder that Belize has stayed fairly unknown and unspoiled.
Belize is a multicultural rich nation with friendly people and a strong Caribbean vibe. It is a great destination for a nice relaxing holiday where you can relax on the beach, have a drink, enjoy the sunshine and take it easy! However Belize is not just a destination for the rich, enjoying luxurious exotic beach holidays. Even more it is a paradise for wildlife lovers and adventure junkies who are on a tight budget. Rafting, Kayaking, Zip lining through the jungle canopy, expeditions deep in to the wild, diving with sharks and exciting island survivals for those who are looking for something really different.
Belize's real beauty and excitement can be found further in land where most of the country is still covered by virgin jungle as far as they eye can see. Here remainders can be found of the ancient Mayan Empire. Rnormous pyramids surrounded by rainforest who over time have overtaken these lost cities, It is also here where you can venture in the jungle not seeing another soul for days where Jaguars, Tapirs, Peccary, Howler Monkeys, Morelet's Crocodiles and Macaws still thrive in good numbers.
Some call it the green hell but for the real adventurers and wildlife lovers it is a true paradise where you can wake up in your hammock under the jungle canopy opening your eyes and ears to an awaking world of roaring howler monkeys, over flying squawking Macaws and beautiful serenades of hundreds of tropical birds.
Unfortunately not all is perfect in paradise and loggers and poachers, which have a serious impact on the environment and wildlife, threaten the beauty of Belize. Luckily there are many opportunities to join expeditions and volunteer abroad projects. These trips often go deep in to the jungle with the main goal to give the environment a sustainable financial value through responsible eco tourism and volunteerism. For locals the income through travels and volunteers is often the only alternative to the short-term gain of logging and poaching.
For those who prefer the blue and underwater wildlife Belize will definitely not disappoint. By many acclaimed to be one of the best diving spots in the world, Belize houses one of world's largest intact coral reef systems. Second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, it is a divers paradise. With famous diving spots as the Great Blue hole, diving in Belize is an adventure not to be missed and a great destination to get padi scuba diving certifications.
For those who would like to do more than just observing the local marine wildlife there are many opportunities to help with the marine conservation of turtles, manatees and coral reefs systems.
One very different adventure trip Belize has to offer is the unique opportunity to join a ten-day island survival experience. Participants first get extensively trained for days in the art of island survival. Following the training under supervision of professionals a helicopter evacuation is simulated at sea. After the simulated crash the participants swim to a nearby deserted island with the goal to survive with whatever means the island and surrounding sea provides.
Whether it is a luxurious beach holiday, an adventure trip or a volunteer experience Belize is country that should not be missed. It is a destination that has something to offer for everyone. For a country the size of Belize a responsible approach to travel is of outmost importance and key point to keep in mind for both the tourist and tour operator so that the unique blend of Belize can be preserved.