Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America as the country was colonized by the British. Nevertheless, the majority of its population is of Mexican or Guatemalan descent, which is why Spanish is widely spoken too. The second most common and perhaps Belize’s “own” language is Creole. English is often usually a second language (after Spanish or Creole).
Indigenous cultures found in Belize are Maya and Garifuna. The Mayan culture is also found in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and has a much more numerous population than the Garinagu. Nowadays Garinagu are found on the Caribbean coasts of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
The areas that attract most tourism are the Cayo District, which borders Guatemala, and the Belize Cays off the Caribbean Coast. Visiting these two top travel destinations makes for a perfect vacation due to its variety in landscape and activities.
Cayo District offers the active traveler tours to Mayan ruins, canoe and inner tube rides on jungle rivers, horseback riding, mystic caves, medicinal jungle trails and much more. The town of San Ignacio and its surroundings provide the perfect base for doing these activities as it offers lodging from 5 star Jungle Lodges to basic hotels.
A visit to one of Belize’s Cays should not be left out of your travel schedule. The genuine laid back Rasta culture will make it impossible not to de-stress. If you do not fancy lying on the beach all day, the ocean and its colorful reefs offer plenty of fun. Belize Cays are one of the world’s top scuba diving destinations and, furthermore, have amazing snorkeling reefs and (fly) fishing spots.
If you are interested in the indigenous cultures of Belize you should visit the districts of Stan Creek and Toledo. These districts are less touristy but certainly not less interesting! Stan Creek has beautiful beaches and Hopkins village still thrives with Garifuna music and culture.
The Toledo District hides several small Mayan villages in its jungle and the Mayan culture is preserved by this remote location.
Travel to Belize… It’s an experience you will never forget.
Chantal Willigers for Duende Tours.