(BLACK PR WIRE) (August 24, 2009) -- Belize is a unique nation in many ways. Although bordered by the Spanish-speaking nations of Mexico and Guatemala, English is the official language, though Spanish and Creole are widely spoken. Modern Belizeans are a mix of Black African, Mayan Indian, Carib Indian, Asian Indian, Chinese, Mennonite and European influences.
One of the most famous attractions to Belize is its well-conserved environment. Both the land and underwater ecosystems of Belize are home to diverse families of flora and fauna, attracting the attention of visitors, scientists and environmental organizations alike. Make sure to bring your scuba gear, because Belize has the world’s second-longest barrier reef. As you explore beyond the coastline, keep your eyes peeled for the Blue Hole, a 1,000-foot-diameter hole in the center of the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Over 400 feet deep, Blue Hole is the place to be for recreational diving.
You’ll be able to tell everyone you swam with the sharks when you visit Shark Ray Alley, part of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, a protected barrier reef. Visitors to the alley will encounter nurse sharks and southern sting rays, easily recognized through clear water. Other marine ecosystems to check out are Half Moon Caye, home to nearly a hundred bird species, and Laughing Bird Caye, popular for scuba diving and snorkeling.
Some other points of interest in Belize are the ruins of the ancient Mayan civilization. Many temples, castles and other buildings have been restored and made accessible for tourist visits through the Belize Institute of Archaeology. Cave expeditions also showcase other Mayan artifacts, including pottery, artwork and skeletal remains. Keep in mind that these adventures require plenty of physical exertion.
If you prefer to stay on dry ground, you can visit the Belize District in Belize City. The district contains several wildlife sanctuaries, the Belize Zoo, government buildings, historical landmarks, shopping, restaurants and nightlife. Visit the Museum of Belize and discover the history of modern Belize spanning back some 3,000 years. In case you just can’t figure out where to start, make a stop at the Belize Tourism Village. The main building has is a staffed informational center where you can get information, get oriented, get your questions answered, and get going!