Traveling Luck for Belize
Belize is located in Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico.
Land in Belize is flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south.
Belizean land covers an area of 22966 square kilometers which is slightly smaller than Massachusetts
As for the Belizean climate; tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to November); dry season (February to May).
Belizean(s) speak English (official), Spanish, Mayan, Garifuna (Carib), Creole.
Places of note in Belize
Belizean National Map
Territorial disputes between the UK and Guatemala delayed the independence of Belize (formerly British Honduras) until 1981. Guatemala refused to recognize the new nation until 1992. Tourism has become the mainstay of the economy. Current concerns include high unemployment, growing involvement in the South American drug trade, and increasing urban crime.
In this small, essentially private-enterprise economy the tourism industry is the number one foreign exchange earner followed by marine products, citrus, cane sugar, bananas, and garments. The government's expansionary monetary and fiscal policies, initiated in September 1998, led to sturdy GDP growth averaging nearly 5% in 1999-2005. Major concerns continue to be the sizable trade deficit and foreign debt. A key short-term objective remains the reduction of poverty with the help of international donors.
Belizean natural resources include arable land potential, timber, fish, hydropower
only country in Central America without a coastline on the North Pacific Ocean
Belizean religion is Roman Catholic 49.6%, Protestant 27% (Pentecostal 7.4%, Anglican 5.3%, Seventh-Day Adventist 5.2%, Mennonite 4.1%, Methodist 3.5%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.5%), other 14%, none 9.4% (2000).
Natural hazards in Belize include frequent, devastating hurricanes (June to November) and coastal flooding (especially in south).
- Most visits to Belize are trouble-free. The main types of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance in Belize are for petty crime, sports-related incidents and road traffic accidents. However, you should be on your guard and exercise caution, as there have been occasional violent incidents against tourists.
- The threat from terrorism is low. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
- The hurricane season in Belize normally runs from June to November. Please see the Natural Disasters section of this Travel Advice and Hurricanes for more information.
- We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. Please see: Travel Insurance.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
There have been incidents of violent crime and physical assaults, including armed robbery and rape, targeted at tourists. Armed criminal gangs have been known to operate in and around densely forested areas of Belize and close to a number of remote tourist sites. On 15 May 2006, several vehicles carrying US tourists were held up at gunpoint on the way to visit the Mayan ruins at Caracol, two women were sexually assaulted and a man sustained a gunshot wound. In February 2006, armed robbers attacked a resort popular with foreign tourists near Belmopan – a member of staff was shot in the hand and guests were robbed of personal possessions.
Belize Country Profile.
There has been a number of sports-related incidents resulting in injuries to and fatalities of foreign tourists. Severe weather conditions and inadequate safeguards being applied by local tour operators have been cited as causes. You should consult weather forecasts locally and ensure that you use registered and licensed operators before undertaking sporting activities.
You should exercise particular care when travelling in the Belize/Guatemala border area because of the ongoing dispute between the two countries. You are strongly advised to use only the officially recognised border crossings.
You can find more information on local travel on the Belize Tourism Board's website at: http://www.travelbelize.org.
You can use your UK Driving Licence or an International Driving Permit to drive in Belize for visits under 3 months. For longer stays, an International Driving Permit is required.
Road traffic accidents are a common occurrence and local driving standards are poor. You should take great care when driving.
LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS