Belize lies on the east coast of Central America bordered by Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west and south, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. It is 174 mls long & 68 mls wide.
Belize's 8,867 sq mls is dominated by mountains & waterfalls. About 15 mls offshore stretches the second largest coral reef in the world, nearly 190 mls of crystal clear reefs forming a barrier and over cayes along its eastern coastline.
One hour behind CST. Daylight Savings Time - not observed.
Temperatures vary from 70 to 94 degrees Fahrenheit during the year. Annual rainfall averages 50 inches in the north & 170 inches in the south during the rainy season - June to August. The driest months are February through May.
The early Mayan civilization existed here until around 1000 A.D. & possibly even up to the beginning of the European colonization in the 17th Century. The settlement became a British colony in 1862 after a major dispute with the Spaniards in 1798. Universal Adult Suffrage was introduced in 1954 & the country achieved its Independence in 1981. The name of the country was officially changed from British Honduras to Belize in 1973.
English is the official language. Spanish, Creole, Maya, Garifuna & other dialects are widely spoken.
331,000 (Mid-2009 est.). Source: Statistical Institute of Belize