Belize is situated on the Caribbean Sea, south of Mexico, and east and north of Guatemala in Central America. In Area it is about the size of New Hampshire. Most of the country is heavily forested with various hardwoods. Mangrove swamps and cayes along the coast give way to hills and mountains in the interior. The Highest point is Victoria Peak 3681ft.
History-The Mayan Civilization spread in the area of Belize between 1500bc and ad 300 and flourished until about 1200ad. Several major archeological sites -notably Caracol, Lamanai, Lubaantun, Altun Ha, and Xunantunich-reflect the advanced civilization and much denser population of that period. European contact began in 1502 when Columbus sailed along the coast. The first recorded European settlement was begun by shipwrecked English seamen in 1638. Over the next 150 years, more english settlements were estabished. This period was also marked by piracy, indiscriminate logging and sporadic attacks by Indians and neighboring Spanish settlements. Great Britain first sent and official representative to the area in the late 18th century, but Belize was not formally termed the Colony of Briish Honduras until 1840. It became a Crown colony in 1862. Subsequently, several constitutional changes were enacted to expand representative government. Full internal selfgovernment under a ministerial system was granted in Jan. 1964
Aldous Huxley wrote that British Honduras, as Belize was called before its independence in 1981, would certainly be one of the ends of the world. "It is not on the way from anywhere to anywhere else...it is all but inhabited." With only a population of just over 250,000, Belize remains one of the most relaxed countries in Central America. It is gratifyingly cosmopolitan with a mixed population of black Creoles, Spanish-speaking mestizos, Maya, East Indians, Syrians, Mennonites, Chinese and North Americans. Today, Belize is one of the world's leading ecotourism destinations. We were looking forward to jungle hikes, wildlife and snorkeling around a coral reef whose size trails only Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
With the exception of cruise ship passengers, all visitors to Belize must present a valid passport before entering the country. Please note that driver's licenses and birth certificates are not approved travel documents and cannot be used to enter the country. Passports must be valid up until time of departure.
In cases where a visitor remains in the country for over 30 days, an extension of entry must be requested. Extensions are available for the cost of:
Up to 6 months for US $25
After 6 months US $50 per month
Who does NOT need an visa to enter Belize?
Nationals of the following countries do not require visas:
CARICOM member states
Nationals of European Community countries do not require visas.
The Belize Embassy
2535 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest
Washington, D.C 20008
Telephone: (202) 332-9536
Fax: (202) 332-6741
International Passengers by Air
Philip Goldson International Airport Passenger Service Fee $15.00 Airport Development Fee $15.00 Conservation Fee $3.75 Security Fee $1.25 Total Airport Departure Fees: US $35.00 Payable ONLY in US currency. All fees apply to non-Belizean citizens and non-Belizean permanent residents. These fees are sometimes included in the cost of your airfare.International Passengers by Land Santa Elena: Northern border with Mexico Benque Viejo del Carmen: Western adjacency zone with Guatemala
Border Processing Fee $15.00 Conservation Fee $3.75 Total Border Departure Fees: US $18.75 or BZ $37.50 Payable in US or Belize currency. All fees apply to non-Belizean citizens Exemptions: children under 12; permanent residents of Belize; visitors from border towns for first 24 hours. International Passengers by SeaDeparture by boat from Punta Gorda, Dangriga or San Pedro Conservation Fee $3.75 Total Sea Departure Fees: US $3.75 or BZ $7.50 Payable in US or Belize currency. Domestic Air PassengersInternational Airport to Domestic Airport Security Fee $0.75 Total Fee for Domestic Air Passengers: US $0.75 or BZ $1.50