With its musical inspiration and cuisine emanating from the reggae and rasta Caribbean culture, and everyone speaking English, Belize still has its own national identity, no more so than on the coast.
There are sugar-white Caribbean beaches on the mainland and the offshore cayes with coral reefs lying just offshore and wrecks harbouring a wealth of underwater life. Ambergris Caye, the largest island, offers access to the reef. Caye Caulker, a lobster-fishing island, is a long-time hippy paradise which has retained its easy-going atmosphere. Placencia, a barefoot resort currently under development, is at the tip of a spidery spit of land south of the little clap-board fishing port of Dangriga.
When's the best time to visit the Caribbean in Belize?
The best weather conditions are during the dry season Dec-May, when temperatures hover around 30°C. There’s a risk of tropical storms or hurricanes June-Nov. The busiest time for tourists is Dec-Mar.
What's the official language of Belize?
How do I get to Belize's Caribbean coast and cays?
The cayes, and the southern resorts such as Placencia, are accessible by light aircraft and boat from Belize City.
What are the festivals, cultural and sporting events in Belize's Caribbean?
Belize chocolate festival: Toledo in southern Belize, 3 days in May annually.
Belize Carnival: (Feb/Mar). Lively celebrations especially in San Pedro, on Ambergris Caye.
Costa Maya Festival: San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, early Aug. A five day festival with music, dance, cuisine, and other cultural celebrations from the Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.
Lobster season: Lobster season starts Jun-Jul, with lobster on offer in all its forms, with drinking and partying.
Belize Independence Day: throughout the country, 21 Sep. Parades, processions and parties.
How do I get local money in Belize's Caribbean coast and cays?
Belizean dollar. Notes can be obtained from money exchanges and from banks (Ambergris and Caye Caulker have them) which will supply advances on a debit or credit card. There are ATMs in Belize City where you can use a UK credit or debit card. You may have to get authorisation from your bank first, and withdrawal amounts may be limited. Time difference: GMT -6 hrs.