When you look on the map Belize you notice a small country, second smallest after El Salvador in Central America, with an almost rectangular shape; the eastern side is entirely a long "boundary" of over 350km along the Caribbean Sea. It is the only Central American country that has no exit to the Pacific Ocean but is also the only Central American country where the official language is English (some time ago the country was called British Honduras, is one of the British colonies).
This feature comes from the ambition of the British Empire to grab a slice of the new land in Central America, so although Columbus haunted through the area, the British managed to colonize this region in 1638 on the pretext that they wanted to exploit the wild forests. Obviously, among the woodcutters, the notorious British pirates found a place in the scenery and started attacking the Spanish fleet and ransacked countless galleons filled with gold on the way to the metropolis. At one point, the Brits were expelled, however, in the late eighteenth century, the “Treacherous Albion” managed to colonize it again. Until this day, there has been a continuous waltz between the Spanish and the British authorities. The Spanish colonial authorities did not recognize this annexation and claimed that Belize is a part of Guatemala national territory, and the situation is still persisting.
But Belize is the home of ancient civilizations, like the Mayan civilization, which have left traces of their existence. There are a few archeological sites that still preserve Mayan pyramids in stairs, slightly smaller in size than their Mexican counterparts, but equally beautiful and exquisite.
You may have heard of Belize City before arriving to the small Caribbean republic, but it really is not capital. The capital is called Belmopan, it counts only 8000 inhabitants and was proclaimed the state capital in 1961 after hurricane Hattie had knocked down Belize City; and authorities thought of moving somewhere inside the territory, in order to preserve their safety in front of Nature’s temper tantrums.
Now leaving the socio-political and historical uncertainties aside, we must know that Belize owns the third largest coral reef, after Australia and New Caledonia. The Belize coral reef is a place with an amazing biodiversity and the cradle of more than 100 species of exotic fish and more than 500 species of corals.
Here is the mysterious Blue Hole, which Jacques Cousteau had declared it one of the best places for scuba diving in the world. The Great Blue Hole is the name of a huge perfectly round underwater pit located in the center of the Lighthouse Reef. It has a 305 meters in diameter and a depth of circa 120 meters.
If scuba diving in this spectacular and mysterious place sound too risqué for you, you can do snorkeling (and scuba diving) on the two islands belonging to the state of Belize: Caye Caulker and San Pedro.
After about one hour by boat you will reach the small island of Caye Caulker. It is an island of 800 inhabitants, about two kilometers long and and 800 meters wide, where there are no paved roads - only sand; the only classic car you will encounter is the police car and the residents stroll in electric golf carts. Everywhere you look, there is a holiday atmosphere. Caye Caulker is a place where you feel good, you throw you shoes and enjoy the warm blue sea, the soft golden sand and the shadow of the palm trees.
In addition, Caye Caulker is near some of the most beautiful diving sites in the world. And not only the above-mentioned Blue Hole, but many other marine sites filled with fish and corals.
Evening walks on the islands represent extraordinary experiences. And beside walking and diving, you can also get close to wildlife: get on a boat that will take you to the islands and the locals will show you the best places to feed the stingrays and sharks that do not attack people, but are used to come and be fed and nursed by them! They are so placid that you can jump into the water and take pictures of stingrays and sharks that let themselves petted and hugged.
Pic1, 3 www.cunoastelumea.ro
BELIZE – DIVE DEEP IN THE BLUE HOLE AND SWIM ALONG DOCILE SHARKS BELIZE – DIVE DEEP IN THE BLUE HOLE AND SWIM ALONG DOCILE SHARKS