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Belize Travel Information and Hotel Discounts Belize Travel Information and Hotel Discounts


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Newton Barracks Kings Park - Belize City, Belize

Belize Travel Information and Hotel Discounts

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Island Getaway That Will Rejuvenate Your Mind, Body, And Soul, Belizean Shores Resort Is The Perfect Secluded Caribbean Resort Experience.


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Swing Bridge, on Haulover Creek. Belize
Swing Bridge, on Haulover Creek. Belize

Mayan ruins in Belize
Mayan ruins in Belize
Altun Ha archaeological site, Belize.
Altun Ha archaeological site, Belize.
Xunantunich, Belize
Xunantunich, Belize
Main article: History of Belize   Belmopan

Xunantunich, BelizeThe Maya civilization spread over Belize between 1500 BC and AD 300 and flourished until about AD 900.

The first Europeans arrived in the area in the early 16th century and settlement began with British privateers and shipwrecked English seamen as early as 1638.

The origin of the name Belize is unclear but one explanation is that it derives from the Spanish pronunciation of Wallace, the name of the pirate who created the first settlement in Belize in 1638. Another possibility is that the name is from the Maya word belix, meaning "muddy water", applied to the Belize River.    Belmopan

The early "settlement of Belize in the Bay of Honduras" grew from a few habitations located at Belize Town and St George's Caye, into a de-facto colony of the United Kingdom during the late 18th century. In the early 19th century, the settlement was called the British Honduras, and in 1862 it became a Crown Colony.

Hurricane Hattie inflicted significant damage upon Belize in 1961. The government decided that having a coastal capital city that is below sea level was too risky. Over several years, the British colonial government designed a new capital Belmopan at the exact geographic centre of the country, and in 1970 began slowly moving the governing offices there.

British Honduras became a self-governing colony in January 1964 and was renamed Belize in June 1973; it was Britain's last colony on the American mainland. George Price led the country to full independence in September 1981 after delays caused by territorial disputes with neighbouring Guatemala, which did not formally recognise the country until 1992.

Throughout Belize's history, Guatemala has claimed ownership of all or part of the territory. This claim is occasionally reflected in maps showing Belize as Guatemala's most eastern province. As of 2005, the border dispute with Guatemala remains unresolved and quite contentious, at various times the issue has involved mediation assistance from the United Kingdom and the CARICOM heads of Government.

Belize was recently the site of unrest directed at the country's ruling party concerning tax increases in the national budget.

Belize is a small nation on the eastern coast of Central America, on the Caribbean Sea bordered by Mexico to the northwest and Guatemala to the west and south. The country is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy which recognizes Queen Elizabeth II as Sovereign. The nation of Honduras is a near neighbour, 75 km away (47 miles) across the Gulf of Honduras to the east. The name is derived from the Belize River which Belize City, the former capital and largest city, is also named after. In Spanish it is usually called Belice. Belize was a British colony for more than a century, known as British Honduras, until 1973. It became an independent nation in 1981. Belize is a member of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Sistema de Integracion Centro Americana (SICA) and considers itself to be both Caribbean, and Central American.


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. The country remains plagued by high unemployment, growing involvement in the South American drug trade, and increased urban crime.
Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico
Geographic coordinates:
17 15 N, 88 45 W
Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean
total: 22,966 sq km
water: 160 sq km
land: 22,806 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Massachusetts
Ethnic groups:
mestizo 48.7%, Creole 24.9%, Maya 10.6%, Garifuna 6.1%, other 9.7%
Roman Catholic 49.6%, Protestant 27% (Anglican 5.3%, Methodist 3.5%, Mennonite 4.1%, Seventh-Day Adventist 5.2%, Pentecostal 7.4%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.5%), none 9.4%, other 14% (2000)
English (official), Spanish, Mayan, Garifuna (Carib), Creole
Belizean dollar (BZD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Belizean dollars per US dollar - 2.0000 (fixed rate pegged to the US dollar)

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