7 Fun Facts You Should Know About Belize
Thought you knew everything there was to know about Belize? Not so fast. There are many fun facts and observations that may be missing from your version of Belize trivia. We’ve dug up nuggets sure to entertain you at the very least, and if you rely on witty bon mots at social gatherings, dropping a few of these can’t hurt.
1. Belizean Food is intriguing. Little coconut rice and bean stands are everywhere, but even if you sit down to dine, Belize menus are exotic blends of West African dishes like mashed plantains (hudut) and cassava. Sample gibnut, once served to Queen Elizabeth, and be prepared to dine on rodent meat. Try covering it with ketchup, always served with fried chicken, or Belize’s famous national culinary condiment, Marie Sharpe Hot Sauce.
2. The language mix in Belize is fascinating and emulates a modern day Babel. Walk down a street and you’ll hear Kriol, Garifuna, Mayan dialects and even German being spoken. The nation’s primary language is English, and many of the people you meet are trilingual. Prime examples of multi-language speakers are found at Belize resorts like Turneffe Island Resort where staff also speaks the language of hospitality fluently.
3. The animal kingdom in Belize is exceptional. Belize is the modern equivalent of Noah’s Ark, but there are many more than two of everything throughout the land! Find hundreds of species of rare birds, ear-splitting Howler Monkeys capable of out-shouting loud roosters, enough snakes to rival Eden and some of the rarest wildcats on the planet. See as much wildlife as you wish by booking excursions through Turneffe Resort.
4. Mayans are gone but not forgotten. Belize was once an epicenter of Mayan life and more than a dozen major archaeological sites have been unearthed to prove it. Excavation projects continue in the search for more palaces, ball fields, villages, caves dwellings and ceremonial sites that range from tiny finds to Caracol, home to Belize’s tallest pyramid, the 236-foot high Caana Temple.
5. Belize is full of surprises. A thriving community of Mennonites call Belize home, yet there isn’t a single chain resort in Belize. The low population ratio of 35 people per square mile often surprises people, too. Visitors tend to stop short when spotting jaguar and tapir crossing signs on highways, and most have no clue that the term “sleeping policeman” refers to speed bumps, not slumbering law enforcement officials.
6. The debate over Belize’s islands is never ending. Some say there are 300 cayes. Others insist the number is closer to 600. Locate and document them all and someone might dedicate a statue to you! If you decide to undertake part of your caye search by ferry and happen to wind up on one that is hand-cranked, you’ll be charmed by this nostalgic reminder of Belize’s past.
7. For a small nation, Belize has more than its share of natural wonders. From the Belize Barrier Reef to the largest sinkhole in the world—the Blue Hole plunging 400 feet into collapsed underwater caves and a Herculean challenge for divers—undersea wonders are everywhere. But the sea isn’t the only environment in which you will find natural wonders if you’re a huge fan of chocolate. This important crop (cacao) and chocolate-related products make Belize a “naturally sweet” place indeed.