Whether you fell in love with Waldo after reading Martin Handford’s international best seller or didn’t meet him until you read “Where’s Waldo?” to your kids, chances are, he captured your heart. In the book, Waldo’s tour leads to lots of misunderstandings—a thing we know a thing or two about because, as a young nation, not everyone knows where we’re located, what we’re all about and why we’re so different from neighboring countries.
Now considered the hottest Caribbean destination (we won not one but two 2015 World Travel Awards!), Belize is exactly where you want it to be: at the epicenter of the greatest vacation experience in the world, so here are some insights to help you learn more about us before you book a flight on any of the major airliners serving Belize with daily nonstop service.
-Belize is a small nation—about the size of Massachusetts–located in Central America. Look on a map and you can pick out our neighbors on three sides: Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. Sometimes, people group Belize with Jamaica, Cuba and the Virgin Islands, but we’re so far away from these lands, the only thing we have in common is the Caribbean Sea!
-Belize is situated in such close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef—the world’s second longest reef—lots of visitors come here just to explore, swim, dive and photograph this wonderland of coral rock, exotic fish species, huge turtles and some of the scariest creatures of all: sharks, rays and other big, toothy aquatic creatures.
-Belize is home to so huge a mix of natural wonders, you would be hard pressed to visit a country with this much ecological diversity. Thanks to geological shifts over thousands of years, Belize became the recipient of a bounty of natural gifts, including jungles, rainforests, beaches, rivers, streams, gorges, wildlife, waterfalls, natural pools, an extensive cave system and the biggest bonus of all, our Caribbean shoreline.
-Belize isn’t part of South America, though plenty of people who have studied geography insist it is! Belize is part of the natural and graceful isthmus that bridges North and South America, snaking south and north. It’s not terribly far from the only man-made gateway between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans: the Panama Canal.
-Belize is composed of both a mainland and hundreds of islands, making it unique among nations in the western hemisphere. A great debate continues on within the marine science community about how many islands there are off Belize, but you can’t go wrong if you guess 600 bodies of all sizes that pop up from the sea along the Belize coast.
-Belize is a wonderland of tiny, private islands. A super example is Turneffe, an atoll that attracts travelers eager to avoid crowds. Stay at the Turneffe Island Resort if you hope to experience quintessential island life since this lush private island is the antithesis of hustle and bustle. As soon as resort guests arrive, staff takes over, so whether you crave a gourmet meal or spa treatments, your wish is their command.
-Belize has a colorful history. It was abandoned by Mayans, conquered by European explorers, declared a British protectorate (hence its’ former name, British Honduras, that bears no relation to the Central American country of the same name) and American patriots came here in the 1700s to help rid Belize of foreign rulers.
-Belize is spelled with an “I,” but given the diverse population within our boundaries–Creole, Brits, Germans and huge numbers of American ex-pats, you’ll hear lots of accents so the nation’s name is frequently spelled Beleez, Balees, Belese or Beleze. At Turneffe Island Resort, we like to say that long as it rhymes with breeze, you’re welcome to use any pronunciation that gets you here!
This is a sponsored post by Turneffe Island Resort.