Belize

 

Bordering on Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean, Belize is the second smallest country in Central America.  More than half of the mainland is covered with dense forests, in fact, the government has set aside about 20% of its land as nature reserves. 

 

Diving is Belize’s main claim to fame due to an almost unbroken line of reefs and cayes extending for 150 miles along its coast that make up the longest reef system in the western hemisphere and the second longest in the world.  Belize also has the highest concentration of Mayan sites of all the countries in Central America. 

 

All ships anchor in Belize City harbor and passengers are whizzed from ship to shore via speedy Belizean tenders which take around 20 minutes to tender ashore.  All passengers disembark at the docks in Belize’s Tourism Village.  This tourism village is the city’s main shopping area with a variety of stores, shops and restaurants. The city’s downtown area and the Marine Terminal are about five minutes away on foot and there is always a line of taxis waiting adjacent to the Tourism Village.  Taxis are readily available at the Tourism Village as well as in the city.  Taxis do not have meters and although most drivers charge a standard fare, make sure to determine the fare before getting in.

 

BEST THINGS TO DO:  Diving and snorkeling are number one in Belize because of the outstanding clear water and also don’t miss the Mayan heritage with its many Mayan ruins. 

 

ADMIRAL TIP:  Belize City is made up of many wooden building and exudes some colonial charm, but the downtown area also has some seedy neighborhoods and tourist should beware of walking around the city after dark.  When using cash, particularly with merchants that accept U.S. dollars, be sure you get change in U.S. currency. 

 

Enjoy this stop which is also a birders delight as it is home to more than 500 different species from toucans to egrets.