Belize the Little Jewel of the Americas

The little jewel of the Americas, Belize offers much to the adventure traveler. Belize has excellent sport fishing; safe waters for boating; unparalleled scuba diving and snorkeling; beautiful rivers for rafting and kayaking; numerous jungle and wildlife reserves for observing the many species of animal and plant life that live in Belize; trails for trekking and hiking; Maya archaeological sites for the history buff; and the largest cave system in Central America for spelunkers. All of which support the thriving tourism of Belize. Nearly a million tourist visited this small country during 2012, contributing over a billion dollars to the Belizean economy.

nature world adventure  belize  scuba diving

Belize has become a popular adventure travel destination due to its beautiful scenery and abundance of wildlife. Belize is a country with a rich diversity of wildlife and flora. Positioned between North America (Nearctic ecozone) and South America (Neotropic ecozone), many species from the Nearctic and the Neotropic ecozones are found in Belize. In addition, Belize has a variety of climates and ecosystems that further contribute to the country’s tremendous biodiversity.

While more than 50 percent of Belize is covered by rainforests, Belize also has mangrove swaps, coastal plains, savannahs, scrublands and wetlands. Belize also contains the Maya Mountains in the south. Belize has the largest cave system in Central America. In addition, Belize has the second longest barrier reef in the world. This incredible tropical reef is over 170 miles long and offers some of the best scuba diving and snorkeling in the world. In addition, Belize has over 450 offshore Cayes (small islands) and its ocean waters support large populations of marine fish.


Belize is located on the Caribbean coast of Central America, just south of Mexico, in relatively close proximity to the United States. It is the only country in Central America where English is the official language. The entire country of Belize is less than 9,000 square miles (approximately the size of the state of New Jersey). With a population under 400,000 (by comparison, New Jersey’s population is nearly nine million), Belize has the lowest population density of any Central American country.

Belizeans take pride in their native wildlife and beautiful rainforests; and Belize has one of the most extensive systems of protected lands in the Americas. Belize has created many wildlife corridors, allowing for the free movement of wildlife between habitats. These wildlife corridors offer habitat protection necessary for sustaining wildlife populations and promote genetic diversity within these wildlife populations. Nearly 40 percent of Belize is under some form of official protected status. One example of Belize’s conservation effort is the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. A nature reserve on the eastern slopes of the Maya Mountains in south-central Belize and established in 1980s, Cockscomb was the first wildlife sanctuary, and possible the most important, for jaguar preservation in the world. Belize has 17 national parks.

Belize is home to an more than 4,000 species of flowering plants, including nearly 300 orchid species. There are more than 100 species of mammals in Belize, including ocelot, margay, jaguarundi, cougar, jaguar, Baird’s tapir, Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey, Black Howler Monkey, various bats, foxes, Tamandua, nine-banded armadillo, West Indian manatee, skunk, coyote, and kinkajou. More than 100 species of reptiles and amphibians live in Belize.

Belize is home to an impressive number of bird species. Among the bird of Belize are waterfowl and wading birds (e.g.Fulvous Whistling-Duck), song birds (e.g. Golden-cheeked Warbler) , woodpeckers (e.g. Yucatan Woodpecker), raptors (e.g. Harpy Eagle) , parrots and parakeets (e.g. Yellow-headed Amazon), game birds (e.g. Ocellated Turkey) , swifts (e.g.Vaux’s Swift), toucans (e.g. Keel-Billed Toucan – the National Bird of Belize) and nighthawks (e.g.Yucatan Nightjar) , and more, nearly 600 species in total. Belize is one of the world’s birding paradises.

Belize has a number of well-known and historically important pre-Columbian Maya archaeological sites. Those interested in Maya ruins can visit Caracol, Cerros, Lamanai, and more than 20 other archaeological sites. Belize is a must see for any amateur archaeologist.

Belize has thousands of caves, if you like spelunking. Some of the caves have easy access and others require challenging hikes and/or climbs. In most of the caves, you can find extensive stalactite and stalagmite formations. In some you can even find underground waterfalls. The Belizean caves were used extensively by the ancient Maya so in some caves you can find pottery shards, intact ancient pottery; and even human skeletons. For the adventure traveler that wants to explore caves, Belize is an outstanding travel destination.

There is excellent sport fishing year round in Belize as a result of the abundance of game fish. Belize offers fishing for bonefish, tarpon, permit, jacks, cobia, shark, snapper, snook, yellowtail, barracuda, wahoo, dorado, blackfin tuna, yellowfin tuna, king mackerel, roosterfish, sailfish, blue marlin, and grouper. Fishing Belize would be any sports fisherman’s dream come true.

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