Belize is a small country in Central America, bordering Mexico and Guatemala. Going here, you need to have an idea that this country with a rich culture, born before the age of seafarers, as well as representing interest in its colonial culture. In addition, in addition to cultural and historical attractions, you should devote sufficient time to study unique natural sites, a rich flora and fauna.
Cultural and historical sights of Belize
Belize is a country with a rich history, here was the ancient Maya civilization. Therefore, in the territory of Belize there are many attractions that reflect this culture. Among the main of them you can list the following:
- Caracol . In the south of Belize there is an ancient complex of Mayan buildings - the city of Ousitsa. The testimonies of scientists prove that it was a city with a population of about 150,000 people, its central square (Karakol), now open to tourists, had a radius of about 10 km. Caracol was discovered by chance in 1937 by loggers who worked in local forests in search of rare species of wood. Since then, the terrain has been explored by archaeological expeditions. The city found baths, dams and reservoirs. Interesting are the finds of jade statuettes and women's jewelry.
- Ruins of Kahal Pecs - the ancient city of Maya, is located near the modern San Ignacio . Now the ruins are completely found and partially restored. It can be said that the complex consists of 34 stone buildings, including a bath and a small sanctuary. Excavations are carried out, and to this day, but despite this, the city is open to tourists.
- Ruins of Quayo . If you go west of the city of Orange Walk , you can come to another major historical site - the ruins of Maya Quayo. This complex is of great interest precisely because it is one of the oldest inhabited places of the Mayan civilization and the civilization that precedes them. In the city there are buildings in the form of stepped pyramids, as well as the earliest stone structures dating back to 2000 BC. You can get to Quayo by taxi or a rented car from Orange Walk, only you need to choose the time to visit in advance, as the complex does not work daily.
- Lamanay . It is the ruins of the ancient cultural and religious center of Maya, which is located on the coast of the Caribbean Sea. It has many buildings dating back to 1500 BC.
- Shunantunich - a city that was a religious center of the ancient Maya. During the excavations, many ritual objects were found, huge pyramid sanctuaries were erected, as well as some objects designated by archaeologists as observatories. In many places of the ancient city, bas-reliefs and steles with images of the supreme god and the tree of life were found, skillfully carved directly on the stone.
- Altun Ha . Not far from the modern city of Old North Highway are the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Altun Ha. Unfortunately, the original name was not preserved, and Altun Ha is the name invented by archaeologists. The ruins of the city were accidentally discovered by a pilot, a seeker of antiquities in the twentieth century. Since then, excavations have been conducted in Altun Ha, as a result of which the evidence of the ancient Mayan presence on this land is repeatedly found.
- Serros is one of the most ancient Mayan cities, it is located near Chetumal Bay. Surprisingly, this city is not in the depths of the continent, but near the shore. In it you can find masks and traces of worship of the sun god and the jaguar, as well as ancient sanctuaries to these gods, set on the shore, but facing the facade not to the ocean, but deep into the mainland. An active maritime trade in honey, gold, jade and obsidian was conducted in the city.
- Lubaantun is another ancient settlement of the Maya civilization. Excavations in this area began in 1903. Interestingly, it was in this city that a famous artifact was found - a crystal elongated skull, the origin of which is still not known.
Belize is attractive to tourists with its pristine pristine nature, here you can see many picturesque objects, which include:
- A large blue hole and the Belize barrier reef . Probably, these are the most popular natural attractions of Belize. A large blue hole is a well of natural origin located on the coast of the country, having an almost ideal circle shape, which in diameter reaches 300 m and in depth - 130 m. This place is listed in UNESCO, and it was found by Jacques-Yves Cousteau. For diving enthusiasts A large blue hole is almost the ideal place to dive. At a depth of 70 m you can meet amazing species of fish and underwater plants.
- Reserve Babun . Surprisingly, despite the fact that Belize is a small country, there are many nature conservation zones and reserves on its territory. Baboon Reserve is engaged in the protection and increase of the population of monkey-howlers, bright representatives of the fauna of Belize. It is located near the small village of Bermudian Landing.
- Kokskombe Nature Reserve . The main direction of work of this natural park is the preservation of the population of the South American jaguar. In addition, more than 100 species of rare plants grow in the reserve, scientific ornithological studies are regularly conducted. Not all the territory of the park is open to visitors, wooded parts are closed to tourists. There is a nature reserve in half an hour's drive from the city of Stan Creek.
- Rio Ondo River . This largest river of the country is the natural boundary between Belize and Mexico. It is full of water, thick forests grow along its banks. For a long time the river served as a rafting of the forest to sea vessels for further transportation.
- Cave Aktun-Tunichil-Muknal . This sea cave was found as a result of excavations of Mayan settlements. Archaeologists were surprised to find in the depths of the cave several human skeletons. Most likely, they were sacrificed, because the cave was perceived by the ancients as an entrance to the world of the dead. Despite its proximity to the water, the climate in the cave is dry.
- Reserve Crooked three . This ornithological reserve is located in the central part of the country, 40 km from Belize City . The name from English translates as "crooked tree", in honor of cashew trees, which grow in the park in large numbers. The reserve contains many species of birds, some are unique and characteristic only for this region. The park is open daily for tourists.
Museums and public places
Tourists caught up in Belize can diversify their leisure time and visit various interesting places, which include:
- Battlefield Park . Conditionally it can be said that the park is one of the first public places of the settler era. Since the XVII century it was an area intended for city meetings. Right now, Battlefield is a classic city park with green spaces, benches and avenues. Its location is the city of Belmopan.
- Gallery of Contemporary Art Image Factory , which is located in the capital of Belize. The official opening took place in 1995, since then the gallery regularly exhibits the works of modern Belize artists, as well as artists and sculptors of Mexico and Guatemala. In the permanent exhibition of the gallery there are non-traditional types of painting and photography.
- Zoo of Belize . This is the largest zoo in Central America. Surprisingly, there are no cells, all animals walk freely, in their natural conditions. They are restrained only by barriers, hills and small enclosures. The main concept of the zoo is the free coexistence of people and animals. There is a zoo on the outskirts of Belmopan .
- The lighthouse of Bairon Bliss , who was a childless millionaire from England. Once visiting Belize, he for the rest of his life fell in love with this picturesque country, and all his fortunes bequeathed to the development of Belize. The lighthouse is located on the embankment in the city of Belmopan, the height of the monument is 18 m. Every year on March 9 from the waterfront in memory of Beyron Bliss the sailing regatta departs.
- Institute of Happiness . This is the official name of the building, in which concerts and theater performances are held. The building was built in 1955 on the money left by Bairon Bliss to this country. The Institute regularly hosts concerts of famous local performers, as well as world touring celebrities.