The population of the former British colony is only 700 thousand people, it is much less than in neighboring states. Belize lives mainly at the expense of money from numerous tourists who come here for a good and carefree holiday. Some people are attracted to local beaches and nightlife, some are national nature parks, and some come to this country specifically to visit the ancient ruins of the Mayan cities. Despite the size of the state, there are many interesting sights. Today we will tell you about the five most famous ones.
The city of Kahal Pech
The ruins of the ancient Maya settlement are located near the city of San Ignacio. It was established that people first settled here 2,200 years ago, however, for unidentified reasons, they left this land in the 9th century, and the city was abandoned and desolated. The most important building of Kahal Pecha is a temple about 25 meters high. All other buildings of the ancient city were located around it. Currently, excavations are carried out here, but most of the historic complex is open to visitors. The cost of an entrance ticket is 330 rubles when translated into our money.
Crooked Three Reserve
One of the most famous bird sanctuaries in Central America is located 40 kilometers from the city of Belize. To watch the inhabitants of this park, you will need to rent a pie with a guide. Floating through the lagoons, clear streams and canals among the thickets you can see a variety of birds. About 300 species live here, among them vultures, hawks, cormorants, and hummingbirds. But the main inhabitant of these places is the stork-jabiru. Many come here solely to admire this bird. Its wingspan reaches 3 meters. It feeds on snails, mollusks and lizards. Even the crocodile cubs enter the stork menu: with one blow of the beak, he stuns a small animal and then finishes and eats.
Coral Island Half Moon Cay
Since 1996, the coral island has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. At the moment, Half Moon Cay has practically no tourist infrastructure facilities. There are no hotels, restaurants and other attributes of comfortable rest. Therefore, the island was chosen by divers, ecotourism lovers and connoisseurs of wildlife. This is not surprising, because there are about 130 species of beautiful birds. Including red-footed booby and a magnificent frigate. You can visit the island as part of an excursion tour, which can be easily booked at any hotel nearby, or by negotiating privately with the owner of a boat.
In 1989, near the city of San Ignacio, a cave with traces of human presence was discovered on the territory of the modern natural park of Mount Tapir. It consists of several successive rooms. In the course of further research, historians found out that this place was used by the Maya Indians to perform the rite of sacrifice. According to the legend of the Indians, the last room Actun-Tunichil-Muknal leads directly to the underworld.
During the excavations in the cave, elements of pottery and remains of human skeletons were found. One of them once belonged to a young girl who was sacrificed to the gods. Gradually, the remains were covered with natural layers and gained shine. So the cave got its second name – the Crystal Girl Cave.
Visit Aktun-Tunichil-Muknal can only be in the framework of the tour. Complicating the situation is that the entrance to the cave is flooded, and some part of the route has to go on the water. Visiting the ritual part of the cave in shoes is strictly prohibited. Guides closely follow the implementation of this rule. In the light of the lanterns, a picture of the sacrificial hall appears the skeletons of people, dishes made of clay, remnants of decorations and menacingly hanging vaults. The travel time to the cave and its inspection is usually about 5-6 hours. The cost of such an adventure ranges from 5 to 6 thousand rubles.
Big blue hole
This giant karst funnel on the territory of the Belize barrier reef has been protected by UNESCO since 1996. The depth of the Blue Hole reaches 120 meters. The diameter of the funnel is more than 300 meters. How was it formed? Scientists believe that during the next ice age a large limestone cave arose at this place. At that time, the water level in the Atlantic was much lower. Over time, the cave flooded, and its arch collapsed. Thus, the Blue Hole appeared. She owes her world-renown to Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who added a funnel to the list of 10 ideal places for scuba diving.
Thanks to such advertising, divers from all over the world constantly come here. During the dives, they view the amazing inhabitants of the coral reef. Including reef sharks, giant grouper and numerous colorful fish.
However, funnel diving is associated with great danger. At high tide in this place, there is a strong whirlpool, which draws under the water trash, algae and even people floating on the surface.
Useful information for tourists
- Permission to enter the country for Russian citizens is issued by a British consulate, since Belize does not have its own representative office in our country.
- Belize is considered a safe country for tourists, but you should avoid walking along dark streets and remote areas of cities.
- The most favorable holiday season is from November to May inclusive.
- Rest in Belize can hardly be called budget, but market vendors willingly bargain and can make a substantial discount on their goods.
- Orchids and other plants, natural corals, turtles, and products from their shells should not be removed from the country.
- As a rule, shops open at 8 am and work until noon, leaving for a four-hour break. They usually close between 7 and 9 pm.
Have a nice trip!