14 Fun Facts About Belize’s Geography, Animals and Culture

fun facts about belize featured image

Belize might be one of the smallest Central American nations, but it has a long history and established culture, and today, is a very popular tourist destination. 

Belize is an unspoiled destination and is home to waterfalls, Mayan ruins, jungle adventures, caves and many natural secrets. I’ve crafted these fun facts that’ll make you book that trip you’ve been thinking about.

1. Home To The Only Jaguar Preserve In The World

Belize is home to more than six great cat species, including pumas and jaguars. While the country is small, it still has the world’s only natural sanctuary, Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary & Jaguar Preserve.

2. Belize Has A Lot Of Speed Bumps On Their Country Roads

The country doesn’t use traffic signals but uses a lot of speed bumps, but a little too many for my liking. You’ll find many bumps near schools, villages, town entrances, and town exits. 

Street vendors strategically sell spices, fruits, vegetables and many other products right next to speed bumps, given that cars HAVE to slow down and will naturally pull over to buy their products. 

3. Royal Rat Of Belize Was Fed To Queen Elizabeth

When Queen Elizabeth visited Belize, she was served the country’s finest delicacies, including the popular ‘gibnut meat’ of Belize. 

A sleeping gibnut

Locals refer to this dish as ‘Royal Rat’, a large rodent that tastes delicious, similar to a rabbit. This rodent seems like a cross-breed between a tapir and a chipmunk. 

4. Despite Its Beauty, Belize Has Just 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System was the only UNESCO World Heritage Site inscribed in 1996. The site consists of seven protected areas, which include:

  • Bacalar Chico
  • Half Moon Caye 
  • Blue Hole 
  • Laughing Bird Caye
  • South Water Caye
  • Sapodilla Cayes
  • Glover’s Reef
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These seven protected areas constituting the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, comprise 12% of the country’s entire Reef Complex. 

5. Loud Shrieks Of Black Howler Monkeys Are Heard 3-Miles Away From Thick Rainforest

Black howler monkeys or baboons are surprisingly loud and are commonly heard in Belize.

Black Howler Monkey

Even on suburban streets, the loud shriek of these baboons can be heard clearly from the deep rainforests. 

6. There Are No Fancy Food Outlets In Belize

Have the urge to have your favorite McDonald’s burger, KFC chicken, or coffee from Starbucks in Belize? Then you’ll be out of luck.

There are no such outlets in the country, but trust me – the local dishes are delicious enough to satisfy your cravings. 

7. The Only Central American Country With English As Its Official Language

While many are fluent in English, many locals will also speak Spanish, Garifuna, Mayan or Creole.

8. No Parts Of Its Coastline Touch The Pacific Ocean

Belize is the only country in all of Central America that doesn’t touch the Pacific Ocean, due to its location on the Caribbean side.

Belize graphic map

Belize is separated from the Pacific Ocean by Guatemala and Mexico. 

9. Belize Has More Than 300 Orchid Species In The Country

The country has more than 300 species of orchids with the Black Orchid being the national flower of Belize.

The Belize Botanical Gardens is worthwhile visiting to learn more about their research and conservation practices, or to simply snap up the perfect Instagram photo!

10. Home To The Largest Cave System In All Of Central America

Belize is home to one of the most important archaeological sites, the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave. This cave is sacred for the people of Mayan culture and is the source of many artifacts from the ancient Maya civilization. 

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On a dark note, it’s home to those who lost their lives as victims of human sacrifice.

11. Dive Deep Into The ‘Blue Hole’ In Belize

The ‘Blue Hole’ is an underwater sinkhole and natural monument. People come from across the world to The Blue Hole to enjoy a memorable scuba diving experience, or even break world free-diving records. 

The blue hole

The ‘Blue Hole’ is 300 meters deep, and numerous coral reefs surround it to add to its beauty. 

12. Belize Witnesses Only Two General Seasons Every Year

Belize witnesses only two general seasons throughout the year, dry and rainy. The rainy season starts in May and lasts till October, with the dry season occurring from November to April. The average annual temperature around the country is 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

13. Toledo District Of Belize Is Called ‘The Forgotten Land’

Toledo district of Belize has around 1700 square miles of untouched rainforests, offshore islands, and rivers. As researchers have not explored much here, it’s earned the name ‘The Forgotten Land.’ 

14. Its Independence Day Celebrations Last For Two Weeks

The 10th of September is Belize’s ‘National Day’ when they start their celebrations for Independence Day. This date represents the ‘Battle of St. George’s Caye.’ The celebration continues till their date of independence, the 21st of September. 

The country hosts marches, floats, live bands, and parades, with people across the country wearing colors with their sense of patriotism. If you plan to visit Belize for a vacation, pick September to witness its unmatched joy.

Joshua Smith

Joshua has visited 10 countries and has another 110 to go! He plans to sail around the world over 5 years, and then spend the next 5 years driving around the world in a 4×4. He prefers to explore the more remote places without the tourists, and yet, doesn’t mind the ritzy feel of business class at 10,000 feet either.

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