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Latin America Travel & Tour Information

Belize Travel Information

country overview

In 1924, the British explorer Frederick Mitchell Hedges began excavations in Punta Gorda Jungle within the territory of Belize, in search of ancient Mayan ruins. After long months of work, he discovered one of the most remarkable Mayan architectonic sites in Central America, which he named 'Lubaantun'. Mitchell Hedges was convinced that this city had links to Atlantis, the legendary Greek island lost in the sea. He rose to prominence not only for these findings, but also for unearthing one of the oldest mysteries of the Pre-Columbian era: the glass skulls.  The "Skull of Fate", a perfectly carved quartz skull that would inspire one of Indiana Jones films, was found by the explorer's daughter. They both agreed that it was at least 3.600 years old and was used by the Mayans for esoteric rites, regardless of its supernatural powers. Although a scientific analysis in 2008 determined that the mysterious skull was a fraud carved in the late 19th century, Belize features many other elements that support its halo of mystery and the country is still an almost unexplored destination!

Small in size, but big in history, Belize is a Central American country that belongs to the British Commonwealth. Unlike its neighbors, Belize did not accept Spanish domination and in 1530, the Mayan king Nachankan and his troops defeated the conquistador named Dávila. Gonzalo Guerrero, a Spanish soldier who had been captured by the Mayans and ended up married to the king's daughter, fought on the natives' side. Guerrero appears in the chronicles as 'the father of the mixed people', since his sons were the first to be born from European and Mayan parents. The first British colony was founded in 1638 and 20 years later, the pirate Bartholomew Sharpe would place Belize on England's interest agenda. The rest of the story is more exciting to hear from the locals themselves.

A 20km long coral reef extends along Belize's coastline, hosting an incredibly attractive underwater world for diving fans. Haggling is the rule at the markets in town; otherwise the price is always higher than the item's real value. The Belize River traverses the country from east to west and empties in the sea by Belize City. Despite having lost its capital status to Belmopan, Belize City is still the chief metropolis.

Here is some of the things this country has to offer: lush tropical jungle to explore through its rivers by canoe, accompanied by the diverse wildlife around; the treasures of the Caribbean with virgin coastlines, islands and coral keys like Ambergris, Turneffe Island and San Jorge Cay; mountains to discover white waterfalls and caves; and the ruins of Lubaantum, Caracol, Lamanai, Xunantunich, a whole mystic world to unravel.

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