Where is Belize? It's a common question given that it's one of the smallest of the countries in Central America, and frequently overlooked.
Belize is located on the western Caribbean Sea, just below Mexico's Yucatàn Peninsula. Formerly known as British Honduras, it was the only foothold of the British Empire in Central America. All other nations in the region were colonies of Spain.
Though tiny, Belize encompasses a wide range of geographical features, and therefore, a wide range of habitat for wildlife, giving it an excellent reputation for birding and wildlife watching.
Belize boasts the second-longest barrier reef system in the world, second only to Australia's famed Great Barrier reef. Its atolls and cayes (pronounced "key" in Belize), or islands, offer some of the world's best diving and snorkeling.
On the coast, white sand beaches are interspersed with river estuaries where manatees and Morelet's crocodiles thrive. The coastal plain stretches inland for miles and here most of the agriculture upon which Belize depends for its food and exports exists. Cattle ranching and citrus groves are common.
Gradually the Belize coastal plain gives way to the Maya Mountains, a beautiful range of limestone hills and mountains. Here the rainforest begins with enormous tropical trees along the banks of clear-running streams, great for canoeing and kayaking. This region is full of caves, many used by the ancient Mayans for ceremonial and religious purposes. Some of the cave systems have partially collapsed and streams run through them. A favorite activity is cave tubing through these grottoes.
To get a better idea of where is Belize, take a look at this map of Belize.
In terms of access to major cities in the United States and Canada, many major airlines offer regular air service into Belize City, the main city of Belize. Its airport code is BZE. Currently, American, Delta, Continental/United and USAir all offer flights. Belize City is only slightly more than a two hour flight from either Houston or Miami, two popular gateway cities, making Belize a convenient destination for a quick getaway for diving and a tropical experience.