Belize

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Belize is bordered on the north by Mexico and on the south and west by Guatemala. It is the only country in Central America whose official language is English. Off its coast lies the world's second largest barrier reef.

   

Belize City was founded in 1638 by British lumber harvesters. Although severely damaged over time by hurricanes and fires, it still maintains buildings of its colonial past and continues to serve as an important transportation hub.
 

From the cruise port, visitors can access tours to the Belize Zoo, the historical centre of town, and outlying natural sites and Mayan ruins.

The Belize "tourism village" attracts shoppers with its selection of handicrafts, local chocolate, duty free goods and deeply discounted pharmaceuticals.

 

Belize is a leader in protecting biodiversity and natural resources. Approximately 1/3 of its area has protected status.
 

Belizean architecture, cuisine and recreation reflect the numerous cultural groups that have settled there.

A bus trip from Belize City to Orange Walk took us through typical Belizean communities.

 

We took a water excursion up the New River and Lagoon towards Lamanai.

From the boats, visitors can view birds, bats, crocodiles and spider and howler monkeys. The water route passes Mennonite farming communities.

A welcome centre and museum exhibit local artifacts and provide an historical overview.

 

The spectacular Lamanai archeological reserve contains over 900 structures from the 2500 year Maya habitation.

The well-preserved statues of the Mask Temple were uncovered by archeologists in 2011.

Visitors are allowed to climb to the top of the pyramids, from where they can get views of the surrounding rainforest.