Kayaking in Belize

Bright reefs, Green Mangroves and Dark Waters

Some dream of drifting through a quiet mangrove estuary, binoculars in hand as they watch the birds. Others imagine themselves island hopping through clear waters, with stops to snorkel coral reefs and camp beneath the stars on a deserted beach. Even more exotic are images of dark-water drifts into hidden river caves deep in the jungle. Whatever forms a tropical padding vacation might take, Belize provides the environments that will turn dreams into reality. Adventures can begin at riverside eco lodges, beach resorts or rustic outposts set on remote islands surrounded by coral reefs. It's a destination sought by experienced paddlers, but also one that is kind to newcomers to the sport.

Highlights

  • Best for: Everyone, from relaxing and beach travelers, to soft and rugged adventurers
  • Best season to visit: Year round, drier from January to June
  • Weather: Belize enjoys a sub-tropical climate moderated by Caribbean sea breezes. Winter temperatures occasionally dip below 70 during northerlies, while summers may reach into the 90s, with increased humidity and rain showers after June

Things to Do

Belize Information

Paddle Sports in Belize Overview

The Caribbean coast of Belize is lined with coral reefs and small islands known as cayes that provide hundreds of square miles of shallow, protected waterways for exploration by kayak. Additional paddling opportunities await in the coral-fringed lagoons of offshore atolls, and in the rivers and flooded caves of the country's jungle-clad interior.

Paddle Sports in Belize Tips

If you are new to kayaking, a good way to gain familiarity and build skills is to start with shorter half-day trips and work up to longer paddles. Resorts that offer stay-and-paddle packages are ideally suited for this strategy. Winter months are coolest, but coastal winds are lighter in summer.

Best Places for Paddle Sports in Belize

Turneffe Atoll rewards paddlers of all abilities with sheltered routes through shallow lagoons and mangrove islands, with easy access to open water and the Caribbean's longest barrier reef. Trips on the Caves Branch River can range from two-hour drifts to all-day or multi-day paddles that pass through subterranean channels.

What to Pack for Paddle Sports in Belize

A brimmed hat for sun protection and a shirt that provides both sun protection and freedom of movement. Include a waterproof case for valuables—preferably one that floats. Secure sunglasses with a floating tether. Closed-heel sandals are a good choice for ocean trips, while textured-sole water shoes work well in rivers and caves.

Specials

Paddle Sports

Belize

Hidden Valley Inn and Reserve

CAYO DISTRICT - ADVENTURE PACKAGE + 2 FREE NIGHTS includes 7 night’s Estate Room accommodation, airport transfers, fresh water pool/hot tub, use of mountain bikes, canoes and access to 3 yoga platforms.

7200 acres of private property with trails and forest roads amounting to over 90 miles through broadleaf rainforest and pine forest, leading to pools and waterfalls. Trails are clearly marked. An onsite guide is available at an additional cost if requested. If you choose to go independently a map and a radio are mandatory as well as notification of your chosen route! These you can pick up from the front desk. If you prefer to be dropped off at a particular location rather than hike out this can be arranged with the front desk. Pick-ups are also available.
Optional add-ons for Watersports Activities and Topside Activities available in the shopping cart after room category is selected.

Valid: through 10/31/21.
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From $876 per person double occupancy

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Paddle Sports

Belize

Hidden Valley Inn and Reserve

CAYO DISTRICT - MAYA MOUNTAIN CAYO TO AMBERGRIS CAYE - DIVING-HIKING-CAVE TUBING-BIKING-SNORKELING PACKAGE includes 4 nights Estate Room accommodations at Hidden Valley Inn, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, hiking and biking on 7,000 acre’s of private reserve, choice of Half Day Horseback Riding or Half Day Cave Canoeing Barton Creek. 4 nights in a Deluxe Room with Partial Ocean View at the Sunbreeze Hotel, including choice of 1 local 2-tank boat dive & 1 night dive (weights/belt/tanks) or 1 full day sail & snorkel (includes snorkel gear, park fee, refreshments). Air transfer Maya Island Air Municipal-San Pedro-Belize International, all taxes and service charges included where applicable.
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From $2,206 per person/double diver

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Paddle Sports

Belize

Turneffe Flats

TURNEFFE ATOLL - DIVE PACKAGE includes 7 night’s Beach Cabana accommodations with a Panoramic View including all taxes, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily with basic beverages plus daily hors d’ oeuvres (excl. alcohol). Activities include sea kayaks, snorkeling, pool and gym. Airport (ground/boat) transfers Sat and Wed only.

Diving Inclusions: Six (6) full dive days (2 am dives and a 3rd pm in the afternoon) at more than 60 sites around Turneffe Atoll. 1-day trip to the Lighthouse Reef (weather permitting) to dive the famous Blue Hole, Half Moon Wall and a 3rd site - $40 per per park fee not included.

Atoll Adventure Package for non-divers including world-class snorkeling combined with eco-tours such as manatee/dolphin adventures, birding, night walks and many activities such as boat tours to see manatee and porpoise.

Call Caradonna Adventures 800.328.2288 with any additional questions and book your tailor-made package.
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From $3,217 per person double diver

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Paddle Sports

Belize

Kaana Resort

SAN IGNACIO - ADVENTURE PACKAGE includes 5 nights Balam Suite accommodations, continental breakfast daily including coffee & tea, one bottle of water per person per day, daily bar snacks in the evening, free WiFi, one Cave Tubing & Ziplining Adventure Tour with lunch and one Xunantunich Maya Ruins Tour with lunch, roundtrip ground transfers from Belize International Airport, hotel tax and service charges. (meal plan upgrades available)

Rates from $974 per person, double occupancy.

Valid for travel through 12/17/2021.
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From $974 per person double occupancy

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Paddle Sports

Belize

Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort

DANGRIGA - ADVENTURE PACKAGE includes 7 night’s accommodations in your choice of beachfront or treehouse options, breakfast, lunch, dinner daily, air/ground transportation from Belize International airport to resort, hotel tax, service charges and a welcome cocktail.

Guests may choose 5 of the following adventures: Barrier reef diving (certified divers only), barrier reef snorkeling, Mayflower jungle & waterfall hike, Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve, cave and jungle adventure, tropical birding, jungle river canoeing or the magical Mayan history tour.

Valid for travel 7/17/21-11/19/21 & 11/27/21-12/17/21.
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From $2,108 per person double occupancy

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Packages

Paddle Sports

Belize

Hidden Valley Inn and Reserve

CAYO DISTRICT- DISCOVERY PACKAGE includes 4 nights Estate Room accommodations at Hidden Valley Inn, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, full day tour at Caracol Maya Site with stops at Rio Frio Cave and Rio Hon Pools, guided Barton Creek cave canoe tour or half day guided forest horse-back riding tour, , access to pools, waterfalls, hiking trails, canoes, mountain bikes, roundtrip airport transfers from Belize City, hotel tax and service charges.
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From $1,375 per person double occupancy

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Paddle Sports

Belize

Hidden Valley Inn and Reserve

CAYO DISTRICT - MAYA MOUNTAIN CAYO TO AMBERGRIS CAYE - DIVING-HIKING-CAVE TUBING-BIKING-SNORKELING PACKAGE includes 4 nights Estate Room accommodations at Hidden Valley Inn, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, hiking and biking on 7,000 acre’s of private reserve, choice of Half Day Horseback Riding or Half Day Cave Canoeing Barton Creek. 4 nights in a Deluxe Room with Partial Ocean View at the Sunbreeze Hotel, including choice of 1 local 2-tank boat dive & 1 night dive (weights/belt/tanks) or 1 full day sail & snorkel (includes snorkel gear, park fee, refreshments). Air transfer Maya Island Air Municipal-San Pedro-Belize International, all taxes and service charges included where applicable.
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From $2,206 per person/double diver

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Paddle Sports

Belize

Turneffe Flats

TURNEFFE ATOLL - DIVE PACKAGE includes 7 night’s Beach Cabana accommodations with a Panoramic View including all taxes, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily with basic beverages plus daily hors d’ oeuvres (excl. alcohol). Activities include sea kayaks, snorkeling, pool and gym. Airport (ground/boat) transfers Sat and Wed only.

Diving Inclusions: Six (6) full dive days (2 am dives and a 3rd pm in the afternoon) at more than 60 sites around Turneffe Atoll. 1-day trip to the Lighthouse Reef (weather permitting) to dive the famous Blue Hole, Half Moon Wall and a 3rd site - $40 per per park fee not included.

Atoll Adventure Package for non-divers including world-class snorkeling combined with eco-tours such as manatee/dolphin adventures, birding, night walks and many activities such as boat tours to see manatee and porpoise.

Call Caradonna Adventures 800.328.2288 with any additional questions and book your tailor-made package.
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From $3,217 per person double diver

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Paddle Sports

Belize

The Lodge at Chaa Creek

SAN IGNACIO 5 NIGHT INLAND EXPEDITION includes Cottage Collection accommodations, full breakfast, lunch, dinner daily, entry into 400-acre rainforest, guided tours of Natural History Center, Butterfly Farm, Rainforest Medicine Trail and early morning bird watching, access to Maya trail system, canoeing on the Macal River, nature walks, swimming, and visit the Belize Zoo with transfer on arrival or departure. Roundtrip airport transfers from International Airport or Belize City. All applicable taxes & service charges on above and gratuities to Chaa Creek Staff.

5-night Expedition also includes your choice of two full day tours, a half day tour on non-transfer days.

Not Included: Optional tips to drivers and guides, Visa/border crossing fees, bar beverages, and park entrance & park guide fees.
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From $2,079 per person double occupancy

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Paddle Sports

Belize

Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort

DANGRIGA - ADVENTURE PACKAGE includes 7 night’s accommodations in your choice of beachfront or treehouse options, breakfast, lunch, dinner daily, air/ground transportation from Belize International airport to resort, hotel tax, service charges and a welcome cocktail.

Guests may choose 5 of the following adventures: Barrier reef diving (certified divers only), barrier reef snorkeling, Mayflower jungle & waterfall hike, Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve, cave and jungle adventure, tropical birding, jungle river canoeing or the magical Mayan history tour.
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From $2,108 per person double occupancy

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Paddle Sports

Belize

Ramons Village Resort

AMBERGRIS CAYE - DIVE PACKAGE Includes 7 nights in your choice of room accommodations, 6 days of 2-tank boat dives, breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges.

Optional add-ons for Watersports Activities and Topside Activities available in the shopping cart after room category is selected including Island Tours, Mayan Ruin Tours, Snorkel Tours, Off-roading Tours, Paddle Adventures and Zip-lining Excursions.

Contact Caradonna Adventures at 800.328.2288 for additional information.
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From $1,059 per person double diver

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Paddle Sports

Belize

Ramons Village Resort

AMBERGRIS CAYE - ADVENTURE PACKAGE includes 7 nights in your choice of room accommodations, breakfast daily, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charge.

Optional add-ons for Watersports Activities and Topside Activities available in the shopping cart after room category is selected including Island Tours, Mayan Ruin Tours, Snorkel Tours, Off-roading Tours, Paddle Adventures and Zip-lining Excursions.

Contact Caradonna Adventures at 800.328.2288 for additional information.
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From $570 per person double occupancy

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Paddle Sports

Belize

Turneffe Island Resort

TURNEFFE ISLAND - SNORKEL PACKAGE includes accommodations in your choice of Deluxe, Superior or Private Villa including all Belize taxes. Guided snorkel trips by boat, water depths range from 5 to 15 foot, scheduled daily at 10:00 am or 3:00 pm except Saturdays, full-day trip on Tuesdays to the Blue Hole and Lighthouse Reef

Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily including basic beverages plus daily hors d’ oeuvres (excluding alcohol). Complimentary activities include kayaks, shore snorkeling, pool, hobie kat, paddle boards, horseshoes, and volleyball. Complimentary airport transfers on Saturdays.
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From $3,257 per person double diver

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Resorts

Paddle Sports

Belize

Hidden Valley Inn and Reserve

CAYO DISTRICT - Hidden Valley Inn is a private nature reserve set on 7,200 acres of wilderness in the Maya Mountains of Belize. The Reserve includes miles of trails, crystal clear creeks, majestic waterfalls and breathtaking vistas. Over 81 species of wild orchids thrive here, clinging to the walls of rocks and fern that line aqua-blue jungle pools. An estate lodge with six cottages, each with two suites, for a highly personal and exclusive vacation experience. The lodge, once the Main House of the estate, boasts several fireplace lounges, a handsome bar room opening to the pool's stone terrace, surrounded by beautiful gardens of orchids, lilies and bromeliads. At night, enjoy the Jacuzzi under Belize's starry skies or cozy up with a book after dinner. The restaurant is an epicurean delight reserved for guests only. At the end of the night, guests make their way back to their cottages and enjoy warm glowing firesides on cooler evenings.
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Paddle Sports

Belize

Turneffe Flats

TURNEFFE ATOLL - DIVE PACKAGE includes 7 night’s Beach Cabana accommodations with a Panoramic View including all taxes, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily with basic beverages plus daily hors d’ oeuvres (excl. alcohol). Activities include sea kayaks, snorkeling, pool and gym. Airport (ground/boat) transfers Sat and Wed only.

Diving Inclusions: Six (6) full dive days (2 am dives and a 3rd pm in the afternoon) at more than 60 sites around Turneffe Atoll. 1-day trip to the Lighthouse Reef (weather permitting) to dive the famous Blue Hole, Half Moon Wall and a 3rd site - $40 per per park fee not included.

Atoll Adventure Package for non-divers including world-class snorkeling combined with eco-tours such as manatee/dolphin adventures, birding, night walks and many activities such as boat tours to see manatee and porpoise.

Call Caradonna Adventures 800.328.2288 with any additional questions and book your tailor-made package.
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From $3,217 per person double diver

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Paddle Sports

Belize

The Lodge at Chaa Creek

SAN IGNACIO - Rated one of the world's best Eco Lodges & a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize. Wildly civilized sums up the philosophy of this Belize Jungle Resort, located in the heart of Maya civilization. Coexisting with nature while creating a true jungle experience and the result is an exquisite blend of natural beauty & man-made comforts. Chaa Creek continues to win recognition as one of the Caribbean region’s best examples of sustainable, Green tourism.
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Paddle Sports

Belize

Kaana Resort

SAN IGNACIO - Ka'ana Resort is Belize's first Small Luxury Hotel of the World. True to its Mayan name 'Ka'ana' meaning, 'heavenly place,' this delightful resort, set in tropical gardens, offers exceptional accommodation in charming cottages with fine dining, superb service and easy access to ancient Mayan sites and numerous thrilling activities. Enjoy the best of Belize - its people, its food, and its attractions at a world class resort.
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Paddle Sports

Belize

SunBreeze Hotel

AMBERGRIS CAYE - Located on the southern edge of the friendly town of San Pedro in the heart of Ambergris Caye, convenient seaside resort catering to divers with pool, restaurant and massage studio. Custom boats with state-of-the-art equipment. Daily barrier reef dives, Blue Hole/Lighthouse Reef and Turneffe Atoll dives, and PADI courses available. SunBreeze’s Latin-Caribbean architectural design forms a wide crescent that embraces the waterfront as well as its own private white sand beach and palm and tropical garden complete with a fresh water pool.

Optional add-ons for Watersports Activities and Topside Activities available in the shopping cart after room category is selected.

Contact Caradonna Adventures at 800.328.2288 for additional information.
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Paddle Sports

Belize

SunBreeze Suites

AMBERGRIS CAYE Comprised of twenty comfortable one bedroom vacation suites overlooking the beautiful blue sea. Each comes with a private balconies from where you can enjoy breathtaking sunrises, refreshing cool sea-breezes and romantic moonlight nights. It is within walking distance to grocery stores, entertainment centers, local and gourmet restaurants, banks, fruit shops, cafes, and Belizean art galleries.
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Paddle Sports

Belize

Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort

DANGRIGA - Hamanasi is a boutique hotel on the southern coast of the Belize mainland offering spacious treehouse, beachfront room and honeymoon suite accommodations with handcrafted hardwood furnishings, air conditioning and private porches. From scuba diving Belize’s Great Barrier Reef and Belize's three atolls to climbing Mayan pyramids, hiking through rainforests in search of hidden caves, to birdwatching, Hamanasi resort offers it all at one comfortable, convenient location.
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From $2,108 per person double occupancy

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Paddle Sports

Belize

Ramons Village Resort

AMBERGRIS CAYE - Authentic palm-thatched cabanas. Full service beachfront resort nestled in a tropical garden of Royal Palms, bougainvillea, lilies, hibiscus and dozens of other types of tropical flora. Dive the Belize Barrier Reef, Turneffe North, and the Blue. Hole/Lighthouse Atoll. PADI 5-Star IDC Resort.

Optional add-ons for Watersports Activities and Topside Activities available in the shopping cart after room category is selected.

Contact Caradonna Adventures at 800.328.2288 for additional information.
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Paddle Sports

Belize

Windy Hill Resort

BELIZE - Cassia Hill Resort is located in the foothills of the Maya Mountains, the most diverse area of Belize. This beautiful resort provides all the modern conveniences in a lush tropical setting and just minutes from the archaeological sites, rivers, caves and other attractions that visitors come to see and experience in Belize. After a busy day of trekking around the Maya temples, canoeing or tubing through the caves, hiking through the rainforest, or horseback riding along jungle trails, you will enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and the amenities of Cassia Hill Resort.
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Paddle Sports

Belize

Roberts Grove Beach Resort

PLACENCIA - Robert’s Grove is a beautifully appointed Hacienda-style Belize beach resort nestled on 22 acres of the finest white sand beach in Placencia Belize. Its ideal location allows guests to be surrounded by Belize’s best attractions- the Barrier Reef, Tropical Rainforest & Mayan Ruins. This unique position makes it easy for guests and especially families to choose from a vast array of Belize’s most sought after activities, including diving tours, fly fishing trips, and many more exciting adventures.
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Passport and/or Visa Requirements

A current passport, valid through your departure date, is required for entry into Belize. Your passport needs to have at least 1 blank page for the entry stamp. Proof of onward or return flights may be required at entry as well. No visa is required for stays less than 30 days. Upon departure from Belize, there is a departure tax of approximately $40.00 U.S. which should be included on your international ticket.

Check the entry/exit requirements here.

Immunizations

There are no required immunizations for entry into Belize, although you should check with your doctor and reference the Centers for Disease Control on recommended vaccinations.

Culture and Customs

Belize is a true melting pot of cultures, stretching back to the stone cities of the ancient Maya, and the Arawak roots of the Garfunkel dialect that are still heard through the country. British settlers arrived in the 1600s, and English remains the nation's official language. But Spanish influences are equally prevalent, and Mennonite, Creole, Lebanese, Chinese, and East Indian immigrants have all left their mark on the collective consciousness. Today, they are all just Belizeans, and everyone gets along in a society that places a high value on civility and inclusion. This is a country that doesn't need an excuse to dance and throw a party. Weekends are reason enough for celebration, and dozens of festivals, carnivals and concerts are staged throughout the year. Head up to the country into the rainforest and wooded mountains of the interior and you are in the land of Indiana Jones where thatch-roofed eco lodges serve as base camps for jungle hikes and inner tube drifts through river caves. Head offshore and island times takes over when you land on the offshore cayes. On Ambergris Caye a flipflop and tank top vibe permeates the beach town of San Pedro, where beach bikes are the preferred mode of transportation, and packed-sand streets are fronted by colorfully painted wooden shops and taverns.

Electricity, Phone and Internet Access

Belize electricity is 110 Volt/60 cycles and uses the same plug types as the U.S., so no converters are required.

Belize has a standardized seven-digit phone numbering system and a country code of 501.

Many hotels offer WiFi. Be sure to check with your mobile provider to see if International plans are available for phone and data usage while in Belize.

Water Quality

Bottled water is recommended in Belize and readily available for purchase and also supplied by some resorts.

Language & Currency

English is the official language, but Spanish is widely spoken. Other languages spoken are Maya, Garifuna, and Creole.

The BelizeDdollar (BZD) is pegged to the US dollar at 2:1 - always verify whether you are paying U.S. or Belize Dollars. It's easy to change U.S. dollars just about anywhere.

ATMs are available in many cities and accept major cards such as Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, although cash will be dispensed in Belize Dollars.

Most businesses will accept U.S. cash without question. They usually give change in Belizean Dollars, though they may return U.S. change if you ask.

Time

Belize is on Central Standard Time, 6 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-6 GMT). Belize does not observe daylight saving time.

Location, Size and Population

Belize is located on the Eastern coast of Central America, along the Caribbean Coast. Its capital city is Belmopan.

Belize is bounded on the North by Mexico, South, and West by Guatemala, and the beautiful Caribbean Sea washes its 174-mile coastline to the East.

Belize has an area of 8,866 sq. miles including 266 sq. miles of islands.

The population of Belize is 367,177 (2016), while the island of Ambergris caye has an estimated 22,000, the area of Placencia approximately 1,500 and the area of Dangriga close to 10,000.