With its palm islands and atolls on America's largest barrier reef, Belize stretches far into the Caribbean. A fantastic underwater world awaits divers, including the world-famous circular Blue Hole.
Globetrotters meet on Caye Caulker, deep-sea anglers, crusaders and bathers on the more exclusive Ambergris Caye. The mainland lures with the white beach of Placencia, Mennonite villages, hidden lodges, numerous national parks and enchanted Mayan sites like Caracol: An inscription tells of the victory over Tikal in the neighbouring Guatemala. Here, in the heartland of the Maya, you’ll find mighty temples, a lively culture of the most diverse indigenous tribes and magnificent colonial cities. The dramatic landscape offers enormous mountains, 33 volcanoes, coffee plantations, dense coniferous forests, the karst landscape of the cone mountains and finally the green jungle of the Petén with its famous Mayan ruins Tikal, Uaxactún, Dos Pilas or Aguateca.
The main magnet for all visitors who land in the metropolis of Guatemala City is Antigua, the old capital with its colonial charm. The highlight not far from Antigua is Lake Atitlán, picturesquely situated in front of the silhouette of volcanoes, with its Tzutuhil communities.
Tikal, Quirigua, Antigua (all UNESCO World Heritage), Uaxactún, Guatemala. Mayan ruins of Lamanai, Xunantunich and Caracol, Belize.
Great Barrier Reef with Blue Hole (UNESCO World Heritage), Cockscomb Jaguar Reserve, Belize. Lago di Atitlan, Coban Cloud Forest, Guatemala
Fishing, Diving, Bathing, (Belize) Trekking, Rafting, Canoeing (Guatemala)
Semana Santa (Easter week) in Antigua, Indian market of Chichicastenango (Sundays and Thursdays) both Guatemala
National dish Belizes is "Rice and Beans" (rice cooked with kidney beans in coconut milk). The most important influences come from Mexican, Creole and Mayan cuisine. Guatemala's cuisine is very similar to Mexican cuisine with Mayan and Spanish influences.
From the popular little town of Livingston in the east of Guatemala a fascinating tour starts up the Rio Dulce to the freshwater Lake Izabal. The boat trip leads through grandiose landscapes, untouched nature reserves and small settlements with straw huts. Again and again there are opportunities to observe animals, especially birds. The Castillo de San Felipe is worth a visit at the terminus at Rio Dulce.
DATES AND FACTS
Country & People:
In Belize live 360.000 inhabitants on 22 956 sqkm. Capital is Belmopan with 165.000 inhabitants. In Guatemala, 17.5 million people live on about 109.000 sqkm. The capital is Guatemala City with approx. 5 million inhabitants.
Belize Dollar (BZD)
Climate & travel time:
Year-round travel countries, best travel time October - May (Guatemala), January - May (Belize).
6 months valid passport for stays up to 30 days.
Mandatory for entry from yellow fever areas (Belize), none mandatory (Guatemala).
CET -7 hours, CEST - 8 hours (April to Sept. in Guatemala -7 hours)