20 Amazing Facts About Belize

In this blog post, we bring to you 20 amazing facts about beautiful Belize.

belize facts

Belize Fact#1

Belize is the only Central American Country where English is the official language. Apart from English, there are many recognized regional languages: Kriol, Spanish, Garifuna, and Mayan.

Belize Fact#2

September 10 in Belize is celebrated as the National Day or St George’s Caye Day. On this day in 1798, Spanish forces were repelled by the British in the Battle of St George’s Caye, with no reported casualties on either side.

See also: 7 Reasons Why You Have to Travel to Belize this Summer

Belize Fact#3

Belize has a private enterprise economy that is largely dependent on agriculture, agro-based industry and merchandising. However tourism and construction and the recent discovery of oil field have presented new prospects for the country. The estimated GDP of the country is 1.354 billion dollars and the major trading partners are the United States of America, Mexico, Central America and the European Union.

facts about belize

Belize Fact#4

Belize obtained its independence from the United Kingdom on September 21, 1981. George Cadle Price was the first prime minister of Belize and he served from 12 September 1981 to 17 December 1984.

Belize Fact#5

The currency of Belize is Belize dollar and its ISO 3166 code is BZ. Since 1978, the official value is pegged at 2 BZD = 1 US dollar.

See also: Chabil Mar, Placencia’s Only Guest Exclusive Resort

Belize Fact#6

Belmopan is the capital of Belize and its name derives from the union of two words: “Belize” and “Mopan”. After the devastating Hurricane Hattie destroyed the former capital, Belize City, in 1961, the government was shifted to Belmopan in 1970.

Belize Fact#7

Belize has the only Jaguar reserve in the world which is known as Cockscomb Basin Wildlife sanctuary.

Belize Fact#8

The islands in Belize are called Cayes (pronounced “keys”) and total around 450 including those on the outer atolls.

belize facts and information

Belize Fact#9

Belize has around 900 Maya temple sites.

Belize Fact#10

The largest city of Belize is located at the mouth of the river Belize River and is known as Belize City. It has an estimated population of 79,600 and is the main port and the industrial hub of the country. It was discovered in the mid-17th Century by British lumber harvesters and was the capital of British Honduras.

important facts about belize

Belize Fact#11

The total land area of Belize is 8,867 square miles or 22,700 square kilometers.  The country’s greatest length, north to south, is 170 miles (274 km) and its greatest width, east to west, is 68 miles (109 km).  Using an offshore territorial limit of 20 km, the country covers 46,620 km2 (18,000 sq mi), of which only 49% is land.

See also: 25 Things You Need to Know Before You Travel to Placencia Belize

Belize Fact#12

Belize is in the Central Standard Time zone and does not observe daylight saving time.

belize resorts facts

Belize Fact#13

Belize is subtropical, with a mean annual temperature of 80o F.

Belize Fact#14

The first people to inhabit Belize were the Maya around 1500 B.C.E. As shown in archeological records, they established a number of settlements such as Caracol, Lamanai and Lubaantun.

belize information

Belize Fact#15

Belize’s Black Howler Monkeys are one of the top 10 loudest animals in the world.

See also: 12 Incredible Belize Vacation Photos

Belize Fact#16

Some of the exotic names for Belize’s natural wonders include the Owl-Eye Butterfly, the Blue Morpho Butterfly, the Swallow Tail Cattle Heart Butterfly, the Peanut-Head Lantern Bug, the Red-footed Booby Bird, the Lady-of-the-Night Orchid and the False Vampire Bat.

things to know about belize

Belize Fact#17

Close to 1 million tourists’ visit Belize annually of which 70% of are Americans.

Belize Fact#18

Belize is one of the least populated countries in the world.

belize things to know

Belize Fact#19

Ambergris Caye, which is 25 miles long, is Belize’s largest and most developed island.

belize fact

Belize Fact#20

More than 400 species of fish live in the waters of Belize’s 185-mile long Barrier Reef.

For more information about travelling to Belize, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

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Belize Cave Tubing

Belize cave tubing

Although Belize is best known for its gorgeous beaches, lush rainforests, majestic waterfalls, and world-class snorkeling and diving on the Belize Barrier Reef, one of the most ubiquitously Belizean experiments is the unique sport or adventure option known as cave tubing.

The geology of Belize has created thousands of caves, many of which were used as sacred ceremonial sites by the ancient Maya that once ruled the country in the long centuries before the arrival of Europeans. The ancient Maya believed that the natural limestone formations of caves were sacred nexuses that connected the upper world of humans with the underworld of the gods.

Some of the caves in Belize are home to underground creeks and rivers. Cave tubing is the uniquely Belizean sport of floating on inner tubes through a series of subterranean labyrinths, many of them still containing artifacts, weapons, pottery, and even skeletons of the humans who were sacrificed by ancient Maya priests.

Although cave tubing is a very safe sport, transitioning from the bright saturation of jungle foliage to the inky darkness of a cave can be quite daunting to some visitors. Some of the enormous mineral formations inside the cave have not seen light for centuries, reflecting strange and eerie flashes in the light of a head torch or flashlight. Experienced guides ensure that participants can safely enjoy the experience while offering educational insights about the geology and long history of the caves.

Cave tubing is often marketed as a sport or adventure experience, but many participants find it has a meditative or deeply spiritual effect. Gently floating down a stream or river on an inner tube, passing from the world of light and noise into a world of utter darkness, silence, and enormous monolithic structures that go on for miles before once again returning to the light of day leaves many participants with a sensation of being reborn.

Because the ideal rivers for cave tubing are located deep in the jungle, many participants enjoy combining cave tubing with other complementary activities including zip lining through the canopy or spelunking one of the many sacred caves in the country, including ATM (Actun Tunichil Muknal) Cave that still hosts the complete skeletons of young children sacrificed to Maya gods more than 1,000 years ago.

Chabil Mar resort located on the Placencia Peninsula offers guests Belize jungle and sea packages that include cave tubing, zip lining, and other exciting activities.

For more information about cave tubing in Belize, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

27 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Belize

 

belize facts

Here are 27 quirky facts that many travelers to Belize are not aware of.

1. The official language of Belize is English.
2. Most Belizeans are trilingual and Spanish and Kriol are also widely spoken in the country.
3. Belize was once home to over 1 million Maya people.
4. Belizean cuisine is an amalgamation of all ethnicities in the country.
5. If Belizean food is what you like, then don’t miss trying the traditional Belizean rice and beans.
6. Placencia, the captivating Peninsula of Southern Belize, offers a tropical paradise with everything from sun-kissed beaches to awe-inspiring diving sites. Arguably, Placencia is one of the most visited vacation spots in Belize.
7. After the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Belize stands second in the world with its longest reef featuring an abundant of marine life.
8. Belize is home to traditional Mennonites.
9. Belize has acres of pristine coastline featuring white sandy beaches and beautiful offshore islands. Laughing Bird Caye and South Water Caye are two such destinations.
10. Belize’s tropical setting is an ideal habitat for birds, and the country boasts over 300 species of native birds.
11. One of the famous dishes in Belize is made from Gibnut meat. This was the dish presented to Queen Elizabeth during her first visit to this country.
12. Belize’s jungle is home to wild cats, including jaguars and ocelots.
13. Apart from its historic archeological sites, Belize is known for its scuba diving sites. The Blue Hole, one of the world’s most popular sinkhole, is one famous dive site here.
14. Belize received its Independence from Great Britain on 21st September, 1981.
15. Unlike any urban city with high-rises, Belize is blessed with lush nature, acres of rainforest, and the tallest building in the country is Canna Temple, a Maya pyramid at Caracol.
16. Belize is home to many luxury resorts and jungle lodges. However, there are not many all-inclusive branded resorts here.
17. Belize’s size is close to that of New Hampshire in area wise. With a population just over 350,000, the country is one of the sparsely populated nations in the world.
18. Belizeans do use a number of funny Creole phrases such as the ‘Sleeping Policeman’ term for speed breakers.
19. Belizeans love ketchup with their fried chicken instead of hot sauce.
20. Belizeans eat the Marie Sharp hot sauce with almost everything.
21. No time to exchange money? You can use US dollars anywhere in Belize.
22. The locals here love the Punta Rock music.
23. Belize is one of the world’s top destinations for a wedding or honeymoon vacation.
24. Belizeans make some finest handmade chocolates from locally grown cocoa.
25. You will be surprised to find a jaguar crossing sign on the highway.
26. Fry jacks is a favorite breakfast of Belizeans.
27. Belize is home to the world’s loudest creature: the Black Howler Monkey.

Visit our website chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Belize, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning a Belize vacation.

3 Beautiful and Enchanting Mayan Ruins to Explore in Southern Belize

The Maya Empire was among the most advanced civilizations in the world for more than 2,000 years, and the epicenter of the civilization was located in Belize. At the civilization’s peak, the area now known as Belize was home to more than two million Mayan people, making it one of the most densely populated areas of the Mayan civilization in Mesoamerica.

Many who visit Belize today will take time to explore some of the Mayan sites located across the country, and three of the most overlooked yet fascinating archaeological sites to visit are Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun and Uxbenka. With a closer look at what these Mayan ruins have to offer, you may decide to spend time exploring them on your upcoming trip to Belize.

Nim Li Punit

nim li punit
The Nim Li Punit ruins sit in a scenic location overlooking the Toledo plains and rain forest area. The site features a ball court, a pyramid and a main plaza as well as several other buildings that you can explore in greater detail. The area notably has 26 stellas and fascinating carvings that make it unique from other Mayan ruins. In fact, one of the carved columns is the largest of its kind in Belize.


See also: The Best Maya Temple Sites to Visit in Belize


Lubaantun

Lubaantun-Mayan Ruins Belize

Situated in the southern end of the Toledo District, the Lubaantun ruins are also worthy of spending time exploring while you are in southern Belize. Lubaantun was once a ceremonial center of the Mayan civilization, and it boasts several large pyramids and residential buildings that you can explore in greater detail during your visit. The ruins uniquely have no mortar binding them, and some of the buildings were made from perishable materials. Because of this, the area is known as the “Place of the Fallen Stones.”

Uxbenka

Uxbenka

Uxbenka is the smallest of these three Mayan ruins, but it is fascinating to explore. It is also a ceremonial site that offers stunning views of the Blue Creek Canyon and the Maya Mountains in the distance. Notably, the area has a main plaza and several smaller plazas, terraced grounds, seven stellas, a water supply tower and an open tomb.

If you are interested in exploring any of these 3 Mayan sites or other ancient Mayan cities while on your Belize vacation, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at:reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

The Placencia Lobsterfest

placencia lobsterfest belize

A Brief History of The Placencia Lobsterfest

The Placencia Lobsterfest began in the summer of 1998. The Placencia Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) recognized a need to improve the local economy and decided to create an event that would attract visitors from all over world to Placencia Village. They planned for the event to coincide with the start of the Placencia Fisherman’s Cooperative annual Fisherman’s Day festivities and with the start of lobster season.

From Humility to Greatness

It was in June of 1998, at the Placencia fishing harbor with just a single table, the only party represented was The Green Parrot Resort of the Maya Beach Community from the northern Placencia Peninsula. They served lobster bruschetta and the proceedings went forward rather quietly. The small gathering invited the public to play a few makeshift carnival games to raise funds for the Placencia Chapter of the BTIA. But the humble event was successful, drawing enough patronage to double in size two years successively.

In the summer of 2000 The Placencia Lobsterfest had grown considerably, stretching down the beach beyond the docks and attracting foreign visitors. Local artisans of every stripe and performers came to contribute to the atmosphere.

Lobsterfest was well on its way to becoming an annual event to rival those of New Orleans.

A Tradition of Festivity

To keep up with the exponential growth of the Festival, the Placencia BTIA collaborated with the village council and moved the event to the Placencia Village Beach Front. Now there was ample room for the event’s 60+ booths and carnival games. Visitors enjoy the full range of Belizean sea-food treats and delicacies such as lobster fajitas, grilled lobster, stews, pies and an array of novelty confections.

Guests and participants enjoy the thrill of the Lobsterfest raffle, a fully stocked bar which is operated by the village council, terrific live music acts- all of which come together famously to create a three-day event, summertime celebration.

Since 2011, the Placencia BTIA has incorporated the Placencia Fisherman’s Saltwater Tournament in order to make room for the Southern Environmental Association’s first annual Lion-fish Tournament as a response to the environmental threat this invasive species presents to wildlife throughout the Atlantic seaboard. This, like the La Ruta Maya river racing event, has become not only a massive celebration- but it is also a great event for environmental conservation and serves as an example to the world of what can be achieved by combining grand festivals with conservationism.

Placencia Lobsterfest 2019

 

Scheduled from June 21 -23, 2019, the Placencia Lobsterfest is a grand celebration of the opening of the lobster season in Belize attracting thousands of local and international visitors. The event is organized by the Placencia BTIA and the Placencia Village Council and has long been a traditional mainstay of Placencia’s economy.

What to expect at Placencia Lobster Fest 2019:

  • Game for kids
  • Belikin beer drinking contest
  • Biggest lobstah’ competition
  • Lionfish tournament
  • Mr. & Ms. Physique
  • Tug-o-War
  • Tipsy tuna toss
  • Hot spicey wings eating contest
  • Kayak racing
  • Placencia Lobsterfest Classics
  • Throw the cast net – A Placencia Lobsterfest original. Throw the cast net over the sand and try to scoop up a schilling!
  • Reel in the kayak – That’s right! Grab a fishing rod and reel in a kayak with one person on board to shore!
  • Fly fishing on the beach – Throw your fly fishing rod and land your fly in the center of a circle drawn in the sand. If you can do this, you are a real champ!

This is the most popular event of the season in Placencia so we hope to see you there!

Contact us today for more details on the Placencia Lobsterfest 2019!

 

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