In May of 2019, Autumn and I had the pleasure of visiting the small Central American country of Belize. What we found was an adventurous tropical paradise – home to beautiful beaches, reefs for snorkeling/ scuba diving, dense jungles, Mayan ruins, caves for exploring, and so much more. If you are planning your next exotic getaway, I highly recommend Belize as a port less traveled.
The following suggestions are based solely on my personal experience and trip, so there may be some additional locations and attractions that are worth seeing. Be sure to do you own research as well – that’s half the fun of traveling!
Belize - Brief History and Influence on Tiki:
The history of Belize is equal parts mysterious, unique, eclectic, and downright chaotic.
Belize was early home to the Mayans, who built a powerful and sophisticated civilization throughout Central America and in neighboring countries of modern-day southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. The Mayan civilization peaked in the 6th - 8th century, but mysteriously vanished around the 14th century (not long before the Spanish arrived in the 16th century).
For a brief period, Belize was inhabited by the Spanish as they explored the new world and established ports throughout the Caribbean and central Americas, however, English and Scottish privateers posed a challenge to this rule in the 17th century, settling in Belize for its rich resources and fruitful jungles.
In 1789, Britain officially gained full control of Belize from Spain after defeating the Spanish Armada off St. George's Caye. While the United States was embroiled in Civil War, Great Britain declared Belize to be the colony of British Honduras. This colonization lasted for nearly 200 years, with self-governance being granted by the British government in 1964, and Belize gaining full independence in 1981.
With its long history of colonization, Belize was heavily influenced by foreign cultures in the way of language, social structures, politics, trade, and agriculture. Today, the country draws from the lifestyle and palate of many of its Caribbean neighbors – including language (Creole, English, and Spanish), rum (cane juice and coconut rums), fruits, and spices. Belize arguably has more in common with its Caribbean island neighbors than its bordering Spanish-speaking countries. Known for its laid-back island lifestyle, vast jungles, and an underwater world of neon fish and twisted coral, Belize is a true tropical treasure.
When to Go
Many travel websites and experts will tell you that the best time to visit Belize is between the months of November and April, during the country’s dry season.
We suggest taking your trip in May, that way you can avoid the April crowds and potentially score lower prices on hotels/ activities. Beware though, there is a slightly higher risk of rain in May, so be prepared for some potential weather.
Additionally, the following local festivals occur annually in Belize. You may want to consider planning your trip around one of these events: