Belize

Bryan & Dylan

facts about belize

Peak times in 2011 for sighting whale sharks in Belize are March 17 to 29; April 16 to 28; May 15 to 27; and June 13 to June 25 (the times are in sync with the advent of the new moon)?

Belize's Black Howler Monkeys are one of the top 10 loudest animals in the world?

Some of the exotic names for Belize's natural wonders include the Owl-Eye Butterfly, the Blue Morpho Butterfly, the Swallow Tail Cattle Heart Butterfly, the Peanut-Head Lantern Bug, the Red-footed Booby Bird, the Lady-of-the-Night Orchid and the False Vampire Bat?

Close to 1 million tourists visit Belize annually, 70% of whom are Americans?

Real estate agents in Belize are not licensed (all the more reason to choose a RE/MAX realtor in Belize!)?

The Belizean shoreline water temperature averages between 79 to 83 degrees F?

Belize houses the only Jaguar preserve in the world (commonly known as the Jaguar Reserve or Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary)?

Whale sharks are harmless to humans (fish eggs are not so lucky)?

Approximately 900 Mayan ruins are scattered throughout Belize?

Belize is one of the least populated countries in the world?

There are about 200 cayes (islands) in Belize, most of them located inside the Belize Barrier Reef?

Ambergris Caye, which is 25 miles long, is Belize's largest and most developed island?

Belize's mainland is about 180 miles long and up to 68 miles wide?

More than 400 species of fish live in the waters of Belize's 185-mile (298-kilometre) long Barrier Reef?

There is a hyperbaric chamber for scuba divers in San Pedro, Belize?

If you select Gibnut from a menu, you're about to chow down on a rodent which is a popular game meat in Belize?

Vanilla plants are vining orchids that grow wild in Toledo's rainforest (and fetch a higher price than any Toledo crop including ganga!)?

Belize's wetland habitats provide refuge for 2 of the 23 species of Crocodilians - the fresh water Morelet's Crocodile and the saltwater American Crocodiles?

You can arrange a homestay in a Mayan village in Toledo, Belize?

Birding enthusiasts can go bananas in Belize while trying to spot over 500 species of birds that live in Belize full-time or during the winter?

About 2/3 of Belize's forests are still intact?

Some of Belize's most interesting place names include Laughing Bird Caye, Cattle Landing, Monkey River, Gallon Jug, Bullet Tree Falls, Rio Frio Caves, Teakettle, Coco Plum Caye, More Tomorrow, Never Delay, Mama Noots, Crooked Tree, Hummingbird Highway, Man-of-War Caye and Labouring Creek?

Belize has its own version of the Sasquatch (the legendary, North American gorilla-like creature) known as El Sisimito ? El Sisimito , a creature with no knees and its feet on backwards, purportedly has a penchant for human flesh!

It is considered rude to greet people in Belize by their first names (unless you know them, of course!)?

Acceptable greetings in Belize include handshakes, pats on the back, thumbs locking....and to show great appreciation...a kiss on the cheek?

A typical Belizean breakfast consists of bread, cheese, beans, eggs or cereal with milk sipped by the kids and coffee or tea by the adults?

Many Belizeans avoid swimming in the ocean or rivers on Good Friday with the belief that it will bring good fortune?

A typical Belizean lunch might include tamales, meat pies, seafood, cassava, garnaches (fried tortillas with beans, cheese and sauce), panades (fried maize shells with beans or fish), chirmole (soup), coleslaw, escabeche (onion soup) and vegetables?

The least visited destination in Belize is the Toledo district, sometimes referred to as "the forgotten land" (1,669 square miles of rainforests, mountains, rivers and Maya Villages)?

The national motto of Belize is "Under the shade I flourish" which refers to Belize's economy being linked, historically, to the forestry industry. However, to most Belizeans and visitors today a more appropriate motto would be "Under the hot Belizean sun we flourish"!

Belizean folklore includes a 3-foot tall, evil dwarf? The thumbless dwarf, dubbed El Duende , hangs out in the forest and punishes any kids who kill the animals. Two thumbs up for El Duende!

Belize is the only Central American country with English as its official language. However, you will hear a medley of Creole, Mestizos and Spanish in some of the greetings you'll hear: