Destination Fact File
Belize is paradise below the surface.
Belize lies on the eastern coastline of central America, bordered on the north by Mexico, on the south west by Guatemala, and on the east by the Caribbean Sea. It is separated from Honduras on the southwest, by sea. Belize covers approximately 8,866 square miles. The mainland is approximately 180 miles long and up to 68 miles wide. Belize also consists of over 200 islands, ranging in size from a few hundred feet to 25 miles long and four miles wide; most of which are located inside the 200 mile Belize Reef.
A fusion of Caribbean, Mexican, Spanish, and Mayan Food Traditions are what make up Belizean cuisine. Traditional food comprises of rice and beans. Most food served in Belize is on a bed of rice, and the beans are cooked in coconut and covered with meat gravy.
If you would like a break from too much sea, sand and tranquillity, look no further than the Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize City. It is the nearest you will get to a Las Vegas style casino in Belize. The hotel/casino is to be found on the waterfront just off Barracks Road. The casino is on the right as you enter the lobby. The superb décor and Las Vegas-style layout, gives the casino an authentic feel as if you are really in Las Vegas!
Belize is a necessity for the professional or amateur bird-watcher. In the Orange Walk District (the country’s lead bird paradise) alone, over 400 species of birds have been recorded.
Belize Diving Holidays - Diving Information
Belize has the second largest barrier reef in the world. Towards the north of the country the barrier reef runs near the shoreline and is possible to shore dive in some places. In the south the barrier reef is 20 miles out. Over the horizon from the outer edge of the barrier reef, there are the true Belize reef systems, the Turneffe Atoll, the Lighthouse Reef and the Glovers Reef.
The Turneffe Atoll is one of the most important biological systems in the Caribbean home to mangroves, palm forests, pristine coral reefs and excellent drop-offs including the amazing “Elbow” at the southern tip where currents mix force feeding the marine life.
This atoll offers over 200 cayes within the reef which are covered with mangroves, offering a natural nursery for a wide variety of exotic fish, including the rare white spotted toadfish, which is very common in Belize. Other marine commonly found in this atoll include eagle rays, dolphins, turtles, green morays, giant jewfish, nurse sharks, reef sharks, trunkfish, grouper, snapper, permit, and horse-eye jacks.
Out of the three atoll reefs off the coast of Belize, the Lighthouse Reef is the farthest offshore. The Great Blue Hole is a circular hole in the middle of Lighthouse Reef about 1000 feet across and just over 400 feet deep. Here, you will only be able to find coral at the very top of the hole due to the lack of sunlight on the inclining walls of the hole. At about 130 feet of depth, huge stalagtites hanging off the overhang and several reef sharks and an occasional bull shark can be found.
Glovers Reef underwater scenery ranges from some shallow lagoons to abyssal drop-offs which means you have the chance of seeing everything from young fish and seahorses to dolphins, manta rays and whale sharks.
Because of the atoll protected status, the marine life commonly found here include grouper, moray, colourful queen trigger fish and large parrot fish abound.