With a heady mix of Maya ruins, coral reefs and tropical rainforests, Belize appeals to those who relish great lodges and a lack of crowds
Formerly known as British Honduras, Belize has so much to offer the adventurous naturalist traveller. With its long barrier reef, idyllic islands, unspoilt rainforests, friendly English-speaking population, stable democratic government and exemplary conservation approach to its natural and Maya heritage, Belize was always an oasis of peace in the once volatile Central America region. Indeed, Belize often resembles a Caribbean rather than Central American country.
With roughly 40 per cent of its land classified as protected, the forests of Belize support a wide variety of wildlife including five cat species – margay, jaguarundi, ocelot, puma and jaguar. Bird life is also abundant with over 500 species recorded.
Boasting exceptional jungle lodges (including one which the late Gerald Durrell described as the model to which all other lodges should aspire) and island reef resorts, Belize has something for everyone – adult and child alike – who enjoys nature both below and above water and relishes good accommodation, reliable service and lack of crowds.