Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Belize!

Ok! For those of you that were paying attention to our geography quiz a couple of months ago, this map will look quite familiar. Belize is a small country located immediately south of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and directly east of Guatemala. Belize is the only country in Central America who's primary language is English. Known as British Honduras, Belize was a British colony until it was granted independence in 1981. According to one of our guides, Luis, Belize remains officially part of the British Commonwealth. Luis stated that Belize has had a long standing dispute with neighboring Guatemala over border lines. Evidently, Guatemala would like nothing more than to nab the entire country; however, Belize, a small country with a small defense force, is under the protection of the British, making Guatemala hesitant to mount a hostile takeover action. Or as Luis succinctly put it: "Guatemala has 13 million people; we have 314,000. They need our land." That's the story according to Luis, anyway. If you would like additional information, you can wiki it here.
That little dispute aside, Belize is a very safe country in which to travel. Belize City can have a bit of shady reputation but I have never had any problems and felt comfortable at all times. Of course, I don't make a habit of wandering around after dark in unknown areas.

Here is our general itinerary, basically a big circle going clockwise from Belize City (See map, above)

  • Fly into Belize City from Dallas/Ft. Worth
  • Take a boat from Belize City to Glover's Reef, Long Caye (pronounced key)
  • Boat ride to Dangriga.
  • Fly from Dangriga to Placencia.
  • Drive from Placencia to Maya Center (Cockscomb Wildlife Reserve)
  • Drive from Maya Center to Caves Branch (near Belmopan)
  • Drive from Caves Branch to Black Rock Lodge (near San Ignacio)
  • Drive from Black Rock Lodge to Belize City

Belize is a small country so none of the above travel distances were more than 2.5 hours in length

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