Belize, formerly known as British Honduras, is a small country situated on the east coast of Central America. Its earliest known inhabitants were the Maya, speciﬁcally the Cuello in the Orange Walk District, whose history traces back to 2000 BC. The Maya established a thriving civilization throughout the region, with an estimated one to two million people living inside Belize alone. In the 16th century, Spanish conquistadors and missionaries colonized the area but were later driven out by the British who went on to rule from 1862.
Belize gained independence in 1981 and has since become a popular tourist destination – renowned for its natural beauty, diverse wildlife, vibrant culture and friendly people. Slowly but surely, the country has gained more and more tourists – lured in by beautiful places such as South Eastern Belize, the offshore caye and the Great Blue Hole. Belize was even named among Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel for 2022, a testament to how much tourism has developed in the tiny nation of 400,000.
Unique Aspects of Belize
The most unique aspect about Belize is its incredibly diverse population. Over half are of mixed indigenous and European descent – with the rest having some sort of Maya, Creole or Garifuna (Afro-Amerindian) heritage. Belize is increasingly considered a peaceful and prosperous part of the world. Visitors talk of the very positive experiences here. In fact, most travelers who come to Belize are blown away by the hospitality of the locals.
Since independence, Belize has relied on its three main industries to drive economic growth: agriculture, tourism and services. The country rebounded from the pandemic with a GDP rate of 15.2% in 2021. The ofﬁcial currency is the Belize Dollar which trades against the US Dollar at $0.50. This means that $1 USD gives you $2 Belize Dollars. Below are a few more facts about Belize.
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