The former British Honduras was in Belize in 1973 renamed. The name comes from the Maya language and means “cloudy water”.
According to best-medical-schools, Belize is the second smallest state on the American continent. It borders the Caribbean Sea to the northeast and shares land borders with Mexico and Guatemala. Its north-south length is 280 km. Its width is 280 km.
The time difference between Germany and Belize is – 6 hours.
The country of Belize, with an area of almost 23,000 square kilometers, has very large swamp areas. The only elevation in the country is the approximately 1,000 m high Maya Mountains with the 1,122 m high Victoria Peak. There are numerous islands and coral reefs in front of the coastline.
E inst the region belongs to the core area of the Mayan culture, whose heyday took place in the 8th century. Conquered and exploited by the Spaniards around 1600, it became an interesting base for English pirates in the 17th century. In 1667 they established a permanent settlement, Belize City. In 1871 the country becamepart of the British Crown Colonyas British Honduras. In 1964 it achieved at least internal self-government and officially renamed itself Belize in 1973. In 1981, Belize finally gained its independence, but is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The head of state is therefore Queen Elizabeth II. The head of government of the country, which is divided into 6 districts, is Dean Barrow.
Flora and fauna
Evergreen, partly deciduous forests and tree savannahs characterize the flora, in the coastal area there are also mangrove swamps. The abundant wildlife is dominated by jaguars, pumas, ocelots and tapirs. The barrier reef off the coast is around 250 km long and offers a refuge for many endangered species.
Agriculture still plays a major role in Belize, with almost every third employed person working in this area. Agricultural products make up almost 90% of exported goods, e. B. sugar, bananas and mahogany. In recent years tourism has also developed into a major economic factor, with great efforts being made to promote ecotourism.
Due to the settlement of slaves under the English, blacks and mulattos make up about 30% of the population, which is quite high for Central America. The largest group of the population is the mestizo, mixed race between Indians and Europeans, with approx. 45%. The Mayas, who still make up about a tenth of the population, live secluded inland. A total of about 275,000 people live in Belize.
Most of the population are Catholics, otherwise there are followers of Indian cults and Mennonites.
As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the official language is English. In addition, Spanish, Creole and various Indian dialects are spoken by the various ethnic groups.
Food and drink
Most of Belize’s food is rice, beans, chicken, fish, and beef. As a side dish there is ColeSlaw (coleslaw). A national dish is rice n beans, which is rice with kidney beans, coconut milk and a few other ingredients.
There is usually no coffee to drink, but rather tea. Also, soft drinks, wine made from rice, berries or sorrel and rum are very popular.
When entering Belize, a passport that is still valid for at least 6 months must be carried with you. If you are staying for more than a month, you need to apply for a visa. In addition, a return or onward ticket is required upon entry. There is a fee of $ 37.50 for departure by air.
Current information on vaccinations can be obtained from your family doctor or the website of the Center for Travel Medicine (CRM).
Belize has a stable government and thus forms an oasis of calm in the troubled states of Central America. Current travel advice with information about the security situation can also be found at https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/.
Frequently asked questions about Belize
What are the entry requirements for Belize?
German citizens require a passport that is valid for at least 6 months upon entry if the visit does not last longer than 30 days. If you stay longer than this, a visa is required, which can be applied for at the Immigration Office for the current US-D 12.50. Children / adolescents need their own children’s passport or passport that is valid for at least 6 months. Entries in a parent’s passport and the old child ID card issued before 2006 are not recommended.
What vaccinations do you need to travel to Belize?
No vaccinations are required for direct entry from Germany. A yellow fever vaccination must be proven only when entering Belize from so-called yellow fever endemic areas. Contrary to official regulations, it may occasionally be the case that a cholera vaccination certificate is required. This is particularly the case if you are arriving from a country where cholera is present or if you are entering outside the capital’s international airport. For the short stay in Belize, vaccinations against hepatitis A, tetanus and diphtheria are recommended. If you are staying in the host country for a longer period of time, vaccinations against hepatitis B, typhoid, and possibly rabies could also be useful. An experienced tropical medicine specialist should be consulted on this before departure. Protection against mosquito bites, e.g. through mosquito nets or the use of mosquito repellants is recommended. When visiting rural areas, malaria prophylaxis may be necessary; it is also advisable to consult an experienced tropical doctor for advice. It is always advisable to take out health insurance abroad with repatriation.