Central America: Reefs, Ruins, Rain Forests in Belize

Belize City: In this busy, bustling port city, the top sights include Government House Museum, St. John's Anglican Cathedral and Maritime Museum. Clients can take a break for lunch at the Four Fort Street Guest House or Mango's. The Belize Zoo, Community Baboon Sanctuary, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary and the Maya site of Altun Ha are easy day excursions.

Cayo District: San Ignacio in western Cayo is the gateway to the many acces-sible ruins, such as Xuantunich, as well as the granddaddy of Maya archaeological discoveries, Caracol; from San Ignacio, also head for the hills and Mountain Pine Ridge, with its forested scenery and outdoor activities, from river rafting to mountain biking and horseback riding.

Orange Walk: In northern Belize, this district is noted for its jungle lodges, such as Lamanai Lodge at the Maya ruins, and pristine nature as found in Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary.

Ambergris Caye is the biggest and most popular island, a short flight from Belize City; off shore is the barrier reef, a mecca for divers and snorkelers .

Placencia: Small-plane service and new roadways make it easier to reach the southcoast of Plancencia, a sleepy corner of Belize now waking up with small high quality beach resorts and good restaurants. Send clients on day trips to nearby Cockscomb Basin Preserve, trips to the barrier reef, and excursions south to the Maya villages around Punta Gorda.

Belize Fast Facts
  • Capital City: Belmopan
  • Area: 8,866 square miles (approximate size of state of Vermont)
  • Country population: 240,000
  • Language: English is the official language; Spanish widely spoken
  • Entry documents: valid passport, no visa necessary
  • Currency: Belizian dollar
  • Local time: Central Standard (Greenwich Mean Time -6)
  • International phone code: 501
  • Recommended guidebook: Belize Handbook by Chicki Mallan, Moon Publications. (fax (828) 667-1717)
  • Information: Belize Tourist Board: (800) 624-0686; Web site www.belizenet.com
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