TRAVEL: 192-PART GUIDE TO THE WORLD - PART 18: BELIZE
Sunday 11 July 1999
Belize. Derived from the ancient Mayan word belix meaning "muddy water".
About 8,866 square miles. Slightly smaller than Belgium.
Difficult as Belize contains many incredible Mayan ruins within its jungles, all of which bear testimony to the great civilisation which dominated the area from around 2,000BC until the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century.
MOST FAMOUS CITIZEN
The Hon George Price, leader of the Peoples' United Party, led the way in the Belizean fight for independence in 1954, being voted in during the country's first elections. More recently, Michael Ashcroft, a naturalised Belizean, received press attention for being a major contributor to the Tory party.
Rice and beans are the base of every meal, served with meat, from chicken to chinchilla and armadillo. There is only one beer in the country, but plenty of cashew-nut and berry wine and the area's ubiquitous rum.
BEST MOMENT IN HISTORY Independence in 1981.
WORST MOMENT IN HISTORY
The 1931 and 1961 hurricanes destroyed Belize City, killing over 1,000 people.
Diving gear: Belize has the longest barrier reef in the Western hemisphere and is considered to be one of the seven underwater wonders of the world.
HOW NOT TO BEHAVE
Just don't touch the coral.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 2 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
£26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Product Development departm...
£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£30000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Estates Team of this group ...