Top 10 Most Interesting Belize Facts
There are many Belize facts that new visitors to the Caribbean region might find interesting, especially since tourism continues to flourish here. According to international tourism reports, in 2010, over 2.3 million vacationers arrived that year. The majority of these tourists come by cruise ships, only about 250,000 fly into Belize City Municipal Airport.
The top 10 most interesting Belize facts include:
1. There are five languages spoken in Belize and they include: English, Spanish, Creole, Mayan and Garifuna, which is spoken generally by the Arawakan people, who were the original inhabitants. It is rarely used or even taught to anyone outside of this tribe and is extremely difficult to learn because there are different words used by men and women. This is definitely one of the most intriguing Belize facts.
2. Another one of the more interesting, albeit sad Belize facts is the average life expectancy age. Unlike many other countries, including the US, where the majority of the population lives to the mid 70s, residents of Belize only reach the age of 67, on average.
3. In addition to tourism, which is their main economic bread and butter, Belize also exports bananas, sugar, citrus, fish products and apparel. According to the official Belize travel guide, 65% of their economic structure is reliant on tourism; the other 35% is the exporting of goods.
4. Belize is filled with wonderful artifacts including Altun Ha Mayan ruins, which receives over 2 million visitors annually. It is so popular because of the history. Between 250 and 900 A.D. the natives used Altun Ha as a center for their cultural ceremonies.
5. The Great Blue Hole of Belize is a massive sinkhole and contributes to the Belize Barrier Reef. The formation of the Great Blue Hole occurred over many thousands of years, starting as far back as 153,000 years ago. It is also home to over 500 types of fish and 100 kinds and colors of coral.
6. Belize cave tubing is a journey that takes you approximately 7 miles under the ground surface. Although the tour is underground, there is natural light filtered through windows carved out of the caves. There are also underground waterfalls.
7. There are over 570 different species of birds in Belize. For this reason, there are actually Belize vacation packages featuring tours that focus only on the jungle. Because they roost near and along the lagoons, rivers and the broadleaf forest, it can take days to see them all.
8. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is the only preserve in the world that houses Jaguars. By being located on Belize in the tropical weather and lush vegetation allows them to flourish. To date, there are approximately 80 living strong.
9. The population of Belize is only 328,000. It is one of the countries with the smallest population. During the peak of the tourist season, the number of visitors outnumbers the residents 5 to 1.
10. Each year, over 300 Big Foot groups come to Belize to spot the infamous and elusive beast. The natives call it El Sisimito, because it doesn’t have knees and the feet are turned backwards.