We mentioned elsewhere in these pages, we love the Central American country of Belize. We started going to Belize in the early 1980's. There were only two flights a week out of Houston back then, now lots of American cities have multiple flights per day.
The country is part of the British Commonwealth. The government is stable. The native language is English. Tourism is a mainstay industry.
Flora and fauna are complex and plentiful.
Orchids, and a large variety of other exotic plants, are common. Rosewood and Mahogany are plentiful along with many other valuable hard and soft woods.
There are five kinds of cats: Jaguar, Margay, Ocelot, Jaguarundi and Puma. Other mammals are Spider Monkeys and Howler Monkeys, Coati, Gibnut, Kinkajou and Tapirs. Belize has approximately 145 mammal species living within its boundaries.
The total number of reptiles and amphibians in Belize is unknown. New species for the country appear at regular intervals. To date, 139 species have been identified. The reason the total number of species is so tentative, is because of the habitats that retiles and amphibians are found.
Parrots and many other bird species abound. Belize supports more than 543 species of birds. Birds thrive in all of Belize's habitats. Wading birds congregate along the coastline and inner lagoons. The grasslands and savannas provide seeds for the many finches, and nesting trees for the giant jabiru Stork. And in the tropical forests, there is an astonishing diversity of bird species.
The Belize Zoo Website has pictures and descriptions of many of these animals.
Fishing is GREAT, both fresh and saltwater. The east coast of Belize is the Caribbean where the world's second longest unbroken barrier reef lies. It extends out approximately 300 miles. Hundreds of islands lie just off the coast including the most famous, Ambergris Cay. Another feature made famous by Jacques Cousteau is called the Great Blue Hole. The diving is world class and spectacular. Inland there is tarpon, bass and other fish in abundant numbers.
Toward the south of the country are the Maya Mountains where exquisite waterfalls are the rule. It also has one of the largest cave systems in the world. Here is a nice link to Edrika' website who took an Eco Tourism study trip sponsored by Sir Sanford Fleming College in Lindsay, Ontario. She has some great pictures.
There are places where no modern man has trod since the Mayans built the many ruins that are peppered all over Belize; some are outstanding.
We usually stay at the Maruba which is situated between Belize City and Orange Walk Town off the old Northern Highway and not far from the Mayan ruins of ALTUN HA.
We have land there. Nearby is what was the site of a Mayan tool factory. Primitive tools are to be found if you look for them. There are a number of nice fishing lakes and the road is all weather.
If you want any additional information about Belize, mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org