Belize
in Central America
North America

National active POI Bordering countries
Location Summary
Currency and Currency Code:
Dollar - BZD
Spoken languages:
English, Spanish
Local electricity:
110 V / 220 V - 60 Hz (plugs: A, B, G)
Mobile phone / cellular frequencies (MHz):
1900 MHz, 3G, 4G
ISO 2-Letter code:
BZ
Internet top level domain:
.bz
Country phone prefix:
+501
Local Time (capital):
Timezone:
UTC/GMT offset: hours

Explore Belize

Belize with its capital Belmopan is located in North America (Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea). It covers some 22,967 square kilometers (slightly smaller than Massachusetts) with a population of 360,346. English and Spanish are the languages spoken by people in Belize. As an interesting fact, is sharing borders with Guatemala and Mexico.

Belize is the only country in Central America without a coastline on the Pacific Ocean (though to the Caribbean Sea) and the only one in the region with English as its official language. Several cruise lines call on Belize City. Unfortunately they usually stay only one day, which doesn't allow the opportunity to really see Belize. Belize is a fairly small country, and transportation between most destinations is rarely long and tedious. The Belize dollar is officially worth exactly 1/2 of a U.S. dollar. Because of this simple and consistent exchange rate, U.S. dollars are widely accepted, but this means you should be careful to clarify which dollars you're talking about when negotiating prices. Violent gang related crime is extremely high as of late, especially in Belize City and surrounding areas. The violence is a relate of narcotic trafficking and the struggle for power in the streets. Rape, theft and assaults are daily occurrences in many parts of the country. Human trafficking also plays a role. Travelers should maintain a high degree of vigilance when traveling the country. Belize is a relatively healthy country. Bottled water is a must in most areas. And, unless you eat only at ultra-touristic restaurants, dysentery will probably strike at some point; be prepared with over-the-counter medication and prescription antibiotics.

Popular Destinations in Belize

Administrative regions of Belize

About the country

Official logo of Belize tourism

Website: Belize Tourism

New Central Bank Building, Level 2
Gabourel Lane
P.O Box 325
Belize City
Belize

Phone: +501 223 1913
Fax: +501 223 1943
Mail: info@travelbelize.org

The topography is flat, swampy coastal plain with low mountains in south. The average density of population is about 16 per km². The climate in Belize can be described as tropicalvery hot and humid, rainy season (May to November), dry season (February to May). Potential natural disasters are frequent, devastating hurricanes (June to November) and coastal flooding (especially in south).

To reach someone Belize dial +501 prior to a number. The local cellular networks are operated on 1900 MHz, 3G, 4G. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".bz". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery chaarger), keep in min the local 110 V / 220 V - 60 Hz (plugs: A, B, G). The sign for the locally used currency Dollar is BZD.

Royal blue with a narrow red stripe along the top and the bottom edges; centered is a large white disk bearing the coat of arms; the coat of arms features a shield flanked by two workers in front of a mahogany tree with the related motto SUB UMBRA FLOREO (I Flourish in the Shade) on a scroll at the bottom, all encircled by a green garland of 50 mahogany leaves; the colors are those of the two main political parties: blue for the PUP and red for the UDP; various elements of the coat of arms - the figures, the tools, the mahogany tree, and the garland of leaves - recall the logging industry that led to British settlement of Belize.

Flag of Belize

Belize was the site of several Mayan city states until their decline at the end of the first millennium A.D. The British and Spanish disputed the region in the 17th and 18th centuries; it formally became the colony of British Honduras in 1862. Territorial disputes between the UK and Guatemala delayed the independence of Belize until 1981. Guatemala refused to recognize the new nation until 1992 and the two countries are involved in an ongoing border dispute. Tourism has become the mainstay of the economy. Current concerns include the country's heavy foreign debt burden, high unemployment, growing involvement in the Mexican and South American drug trade, high crime rates, and one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in Central America.

Geography

Area
Total (World Rank: 152) 22,966sq km
Land (World Rank: 150) 22,806sq km
Water (World Rank: 138) 160sq km
Forest (World Rank: 179) 2.20%
Comparative slightly smaller than Massachusetts
Coastline
386
Landborder
542
Elevation
Highest point (World Rank: 159) 1,124m
Agricultural land
Total (World Rank: 204) 6.90%
Arable (World Rank: 163) 3.30%
Permanent crops (World Rank: 108) 1.40%
Permanent pastures (World Rank: 179) 2.20%
Irrigated land (World Rank: 156) 35sq km
Map reference
Central America and the Caribbean
Environment
Issues
  • - agricultural runoff
  • - deforestation
  • - industrial effluents
  • - solid and sewage waste disposal
  • - water pollution from sewage
Agreement party
  • - Biodiversity
  • - Climate Change
  • - Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
  • - Desertification
  • - Endangered Species
  • - Hazardous Wastes
  • - Law of the Sea
  • - Ozone Layer Protection
  • - Ship Pollution
  • - Wetlands
  • - Whaling
Hazzards frequent, devastating hurricanes (June to November) and coastal flooding (especially in south)
Location
Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico
Climate
tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to November); dry season (February to May)
Terrain
flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south

People

Population
Total (World Rank: 176) 360,346
Deathrate (World Rank: 161) 0.60%
Birthrate (World Rank: 55) 2.40%
Growthrate (World Rank: 58) 1.80%
Fertility rate (World Rank: 58) 2.85%
Median age
Male (World Rank: 173) 22.50
Female (World Rank: 173) 22.90
Age structure
0 14 male (World Rank: 170) 62,454
0 14 female (World Rank: 170) 59,896
15 24 male (World Rank: 171) 37,730
15 24 female (World Rank: 171) 36,339
25 54 male (World Rank: 178) 66,880
25 54 female (World Rank: 178) 65,082
55 64 male (World Rank: 181) 8,834
55 64 female (World Rank: 181) 9,130
65 x male (World Rank: 187) 6,562
65 x female (World Rank: 187) 7,439
Health
Infant mortality rate (World Rank: 85) 1.89%
Life expectancy total (World Rank: 160) 69years
Life expectancy female (World Rank: 163) 71years
Life expectancy male (World Rank: 153) 67years
Physicians per 1000 (World Rank: 121) 0.77
Hospital bed per 1000 (World Rank: 143) 1.10
Sanitation access total (World Rank: 96) 90.50%
Obesity adult (World Rank: 60) 24.10%
Drinking water access (World Rank: 55) 99.50%

Energy

Electricity
Production (World Rank: 179) 248,000,000kWh
Consumption (World Rank: 171) 413,000,000kWh
Import (World Rank: 88) 230,000,000kWh
Source fossil (World Rank: 147) 52.40%
Source nuclear (World Rank: 69) 28.30%
Source renew (World Rank: 30) 19.40%
Crude oil
Production (World Rank: 89) 2,000bbl / day
Exports (World Rank: 66) 3,000bbl / day
Proved reserves (World Rank: 95) 6,700,000bbl
Refined products
Production (World Rank: 108) 33bbl / day
Consumption (World Rank: 179) 3,700bbl / day
Import (World Rank: 171) 3,638bbl / day
Natural gas
Consumption (World Rank: 164) 5
Carbon footprint
700000

Nation

Budget
Education (World Rank: 31) 6% of GDP
Military (World Rank: 101) 1% of GDP
Health (World Rank: 111) 6% of GDP
Surplus (World Rank: 111) -3% of GDP
National symbol
keel-billed toucan
National colours
red
Adjective
Belizean
Noun
Belizean(s)
Background
Belize was the site of several Mayan city states until their decline at the end of the first millennium A.D. The British and Spanish disputed the region in the 17th and 18th centuries; it formally became the colony of British Honduras in 1862. Territorial disputes between the UK and Guatemala delayed the independence of Belize until 1981. Guatemala refused to recognize the new nation until 1992 and the two countries are involved in an ongoing border dispute. Tourism has become the mainstay of the economy. Current concerns include the country's heavy foreign debt burden, high unemployment, growing involvement in the Mexican and South American drug trade, high crime rates, and one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in Central America.
Flag description
royal blue with a narrow red stripe along the top and the bottom edges; centered is a large white disk bearing the coat of arms; the coat of arms features a shield flanked by two workers in front of a mahogany tree with the related motto SUB UMBRA FLOREO (I Flourish in the Shade) on a scroll at the bottom, all encircled by a green garland of 50 mahogany leaves; the colors are those of the two main political parties: blue for the PUP and red for the UDP; various elements of the coat of arms - the figures, the tools, the mahogany tree, and the garland of leaves - recall the logging industry that led to British settlement of Belize

Economy

Gdp
Purchasing power parity (World Rank: 186) 3,097,000,000USD
Real growth rate (World Rank: 190) -0.80%
Per capita purchasing power parity (World Rank: 144) 8,200USD
Source agriculture (World Rank: 93) 9.70%
Source industry (World Rank: 181) 14.30%
Source service (World Rank: 107) 61.80%
Labourforce
Total (World Rank: 179) 120,500
In poverty (World Rank: 36) 41.00%
Products
Industries
  • - construction
  • - food processing
  • - garment production
  • - oil
  • - tourism
Agriculture
  • - bananas
  • - cacao
  • - citrus
  • - cultured shrimp
  • - fish
  • - lumber
  • - sugar
Exports
  • - bananas
  • - citrus
  • - clothing
  • - crude oil
  • - fish products
  • - molasses
  • - sugar
  • - wood
Imports
  • - beverages
  • - chemicals
  • - food
  • - fuels
  • - machinery
  • - manufactured goods
  • - pharmaceuticals
  • - tobacco
  • - transport equipment

Communication

Phone
Landline total (World Rank: 170) 23,000
Landline per 100 (World Rank: 148) 6.00
Mobile per 100 (World Rank: 191) 64.00
Assessment 0
Internet
Users (World Rank: 171) 157,735
Population (World Rank: 133) 44.60%

Transport

Air
Airports paved (World Rank: 140) 6.00
Airports unpaved (World Rank: 67) 41.00
Road
Total length (World Rank: 169) 2,870
Paved length (World Rank: 160) 488
Unpaved length (World Rank: 118) 2,382
Water
Total length (World Rank: 72) 825