Vacation in Belize
Although Belize is not known for high end tourism, hotels are small and clean, the food has a Caribbean flair and the drinking water is safe. The tourist industry is growing and Belize offers a wide range of accommodations from all-inclusive resorts to small bed and breakfast operations along with eco-tourism sites and campgrounds which are prevalent throughout the country. Vacation travel to Belize is safe and comfortable.
Belize has daily scheduled flights from the U.S. and is served by 3 major carriers, American Airlines, Taca Airlines and Continental Airlines. You only need a current Passport and Visas are given for 3 month periods, but you must have your passport stamped every 30 days that you remain within the country. Extended visas are available and if you want to become a permanent resident, you must be in the country for almost a year before you can apply and the cost generally runs $600.
Belize also has some small airlines that run daily scheduled and charter flights, rental cars are costly, but a large fleet of Taxis are available. Most of the roads are in need of repair, but this condition is improving.
With over 40% of protected parks and nature reserves, Mayan ruins, and incredible scuba diving along their extensive living reefs and atoll’s, Belize is certainly an interesting place to visit.
The Belize Barrier Reef which is made up from a series of smaller coral reefs that run along the coast and begin only 300 meters from shore in the northern portion of the country and lie 40 kilometers from the Southern coastline. People from around the world come to enjoy the snorkeling and scuba diving which makes up for half of the annual tourism the visits Belize. An estimated 90% of this reef system has yet to be categorized and studied and it is estimated that only 10% of all the marine life has been found to date. While a large portion of the Barrier Reef is classified under protection and as reserve, despite these measures the reef is now being threatened by Ocean pollution, fishing, shipping and increased tourism. Global warming has become a significant threat in recent years due to the higher water temperatures which is causing coral bleaching, and some studies show that over 40% of the Barrier reef system has been severely damaged in the ultimate 10 years.
One of the larger tourist attractions is located near Lighthouse Reef, a small Atoll only 50 miles from Belize City that is called The Great Blue Hole which is over 100 feet across and almost 400 feet deep. Formally a limestone cave during the last Ice Age, this site was made famous by Jacques Cousteau who brought his ship ‘Calypso” to the site to chart the bottom and afterwards declared the Great Blue Hole one of the 10 best scuba diving locations in the world.
Belize is more popular today then ever. Perhaps because of its english speaking native population and laid back lifestyle close to the United States. This creates an excellent escape from the madness of modern life. Move to Belize is a new cry heard round the world and land prices while falling elsewhere are stable and increasing in Belize.