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Life in Belize is unlike anywhere else in the world. This country is a true diamond in the rough.  Because of its small size and third-world status, Belize might be expected to deliver an underwhelming experience but visitors and residences know this to be quite the contrary. From its abundance of natural sites to explore to the warm demeanor of its people, one visit and you’re sure to be captivated by the lifestyle in Belize.

Geography of Belize

Belize is ideally located in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west and south and the Caribbean Sea along its entire coast line. Belize is only a short plane ride from the US or Canada, guaranteeing the conveniences of modern amenities are still in reach. Belize’s total size is 22,960 km² and is home to the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere which spans approximately 322 km.

Belize’s Climate

Belize’s climate is tropical meaning that its temperatures are mainly warm and average 80 degrees Fahrenheit. During the winter months, temperatures in Belize rarely fall below 60 degrees Fahrenheit and in summer the temperature is usually in the high 80’s and  low 90’s. Sea breezes bustling in from the coast and the large jungle and rainforests keep the inland cool during these summer months.

Belize has only two season in contrast to the normal four – the wet and dry seasons. The dry season is from December to May and the wet season lasts from June to November. During the wet season, annual rainfall ranges between 60 to 160 inches. This period is also known as the hurricane season. Belize has been spared in recent years from these storms, but the country still receives strong winds and constant rainfall throughout this time with the exception of July and August which are primarily dry months.

Currency in Belize

Belize’s official currency is the Belize Dollar (BZD); however, the US Dollar is widely accepted here. It is worth mentioning, however, if you pay with USD most places only issue change in BZD. If you wish to exchange currency before venturing the country, you can do so at any of the commercial banks who buy USD at a rate of around BZD $1.98 per US Dollar plus commission in some cases. When using USD to pay venders and suppliers, though, USD is usually accepted at a higher rate of BZD $2 per US Dollar.

Other currencies accepted by the commercial banks are the Canadian Dollar, Euros and the Great Britain Pounds. The exchange rates for these currencies usually fluctuate daily and are based on the rates the commercial banks receive from the Central Bank of Belize.

Languages Spoken in Belize

The official language in Belize is English. This is a unique characteristic only to Belize in comparison to other Central American countries. Because a large part of Belize’s population is made up of immigrants from different parts of the world, many people here speak their native language as well as English. Other tongues spoken here are Spanish, Dutch, French, Chinese, Mandarin, Hindi as well as local dialects of Kriol, Garifuna and Maya.

Belize’s People and Culture

One of the most outstanding features of Belize is the friendly and genuine nature of its people. Despite having a diverse culture comprised of countless ethnicities, Belizeans all share the same innate desire to do go by others. In Belize, you’ll always feel as if you are among friends ready to help show you a good time.

The local ethnicities established in Belize are the Creole, Mestizo, Ketchi, Yucatec and Mopan Mayas, Garifunas and East Indians. Ethnic groups that can also be found here due to an inflow of immigrants include German and Dutch Mennonites, Chinese, Arabs, and Africans. Regardless of Belize’s cultural diversity, the country remains peaceful and harmonious.

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