Map of Belize
If you’re looking for Belize on a map, you’ll find it just south of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Belize lies on the Caribbean coast of Central America, wedged between Guatemala’s L-shaped nation and Mexico’s southeastern tip.
Belize’s mainland is relatively small, about the same size as the state of Vermont, but the country also has several hundred islands lying just a few miles offshore. These islands are part of the Belize Barrier Reef, the largest reef system in the western hemisphere.
You can cross into Belize by land from the Mexican city of Chetumal or via Guatemala at Melchor de Mencos. Cruise ships often dock at Harvest Caye (an island) in southern Belize, but most people arrive by air at the Philip Goldson International Airport. Often described as the “Belize City” airport, the Philip Goldson Airport is actually located in the village of Ladyville, some nine miles north of Belize City.
Getting to Belize from North America is easy. From Canada or Los Angeles, it takes about five hours to get to Belize but only two or three hours from cities like Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, and Houston. All of the biggest airlines in both Canada and the United States now fly non-stop to Belize.
People of Belize
The total population is less than 400,000, with most people living in small, rural areas. The largest urban area in the country is Belize City, the former colonial capital, with around 75,000 inhabitants. Other destinaions include Belmopan (the current capital), San Ignacio (the second-largest town), Orange Walk, and Dangriga.
Belize is home to a “melting pot” society composed of several distinct cultures, including the Creole (descendants of African slaves), Mestizos (indigenous people originally from Mexico), the Maya, and the Garifuna (an Afro-Caribbean people). Other groups include Mennonites, Chinese, Arabs, and expats from Canada and the United States.
Belize’s official language is English, but Spanish is widely spoken.
A Brief History of Belize
As many as 2,000,000 people lived in Belize during the height of the ancient Maya culture which largely disappeared around the year 900 A.D. The Spanish arrived in 1638 but met with stiff resistance. Following a series of skirmishes, the British prevailed over Spain in a naval battle in 1798. Belize remained a British colony until 1981 when it gained full independence.
Belize welcomes travelers from all walks of life, including LGBTQ travelers. Whether you’re flying solo, want to enjoy a family vacation, or are in search for romance, Belize Gay Travel can help you organize a wonderful trip to Belize.