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Under the Open Sky

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Key Facts

Location: On the East coast of Central American in the heart of the Caribbean Basin. It borders Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south.

Size: 174 miles long and 68 miles wide. It’s about the size of Massachusetts in the USA or Belgium in Europe.

Climate: Subtropical. Average temperature is 79 degrees F (26 C) and average humidity is 85%. Annual rainfall is 50 inches in North and 170 inches in South. There are two seasons: wet and dry. Wet Season is from June thru November, the same as hurricane season. Dry season runs November thru May. The coolest months are November thru February. Saltwater temperatures vary between 75 and 84 degrees F.

Physical features:

  • To the East: The Barrier Reef which is the second longest in the world; over 450 cayes (islands) and three of the four atolls in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Northern half is a flat plain with expansive open areas, used for agriculture.
  • Central area contains large savannahs that give way to the subtropical forest.
  • Southern and western half contain the Maya Mountains with karst limestone formations, including the country’s highest point, Victoria Peak, at 3680 feet.
  • Settlements
    Capital City: Belmopan since 1970
    2 cities: Belize City and Belmopan City
    7 towns: Corozal Town, Orange Walk Town, San Pedro Town, San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town, Benque Viejo Town, Dangriga Town and Punta Gorda Town.
    All other settlements are villages.

    Population: 274,000 density 31 persons per square mile.

    Ethnic Groups: Creole, Garifuna, Mestizo, Spanish, Maya (Kekchi, Mopan & Yucatec), Mennonite, Lebanese, Chinese, East Indian

    Language: English is the official language although Spanish, Creole, Garifuna and Maya are spoken throughout the country.

    Major industries: sugar, citrus, bananas, tourism, and marine products.

    Government: Belize is an independent country with a parliamentary democracy based on Westminster system of Government. Belize is a member of the British Commonwealth.

    Currency: fixed at US$1 to BZ$2. All businesses accept US paper currency. Well-established businesses accept traveler’s checks and most credit cards (with a service charge).

    Time: Same as US Central time

    Water: Most locations have potable water and bottled drinking water is available throughout the country.

    Health Care: Government hospitals and clinics are located in all towns and cities. Private hospitals and clinics are present in most towns and cities. Emergency evacuation services are also available.

    Electrical: Electricity is at 110 volts AC (same as USA).

    About Belize:  Key Facts | Interactive Map | Practical Guide

    What is the most commonly eaten meat in Belize?
    Gibnut (local game meat)

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