Formerly called British Honduras, Belize became independent from the UK in 1981. It is the only Central American nation which uses English as its official language, though Creole is the most widely spoken.
The tropical country is blessed with an enviable marine ecosystem making it a hotspot for ecotourism. Belize offers a range of adventure activities- scuba diving, snorkelling, river rafting, kayaking, and hiking, as well as birdwatching.
The 300-km long Belize Barrier Reef is the second longest coral reef system in the world. One of its coral reefs, the Lighthouse Reef boasts of a stunning geological feature- the world’s largest underwater sinkhole, the Great Blue Hole. A perfectly formed giant circle measuring over 300m across and 125m deep, it was first popularized as a diving spot by the celebrated explorer Jacqueline Cousteau.
Along with natural wonders, Belize is home to several ruins belonging to the Maya civilization. Of them, Carocol was once the largest and most important political centre of the Mayan kingdom.
It is said that caves are to Belize what cheese is to the Swiss! Its vast network of underground caves is yet to be fully explored. Cave tubing, in which people float down the underground rivers on black rubber tubes, is a new fun way of discovering these caverns.