Categories
Belize

Ambergris Caye

Ambergris Caye, pronounced “am-BER-gis”, is the largest island of Belize located northeast of the country in the Caribbean Sea. Though administered as part of the Belize District, the closest point on the mainland is part of the Corozal District. The Caye (pronounced as “key”, meaning an island, derived from Spanish: cayo) is about 40 kilometres (25 mi) long from north to south, and about 1.6 kilometres (1 mi) wide. It was named after large lumps of ambergris which washed ashore here.

The Belizean island, where it has not been modified by man, is mostly a ring of white sand beach around mangrove swamp in the centre.

A Maya community lived on the island in Pre-Columbian times, and made distinctive polished red ceramics, most notably small well molded figurines of animals.

San Pedro Town is the largest settlement and only town on Ambergris. There are also a number of small villages and resorts. Captain Morgan’s and Mata Chica resorts north of San Pedro played host to the first season of Fox’s Temptation Island in 2000, aired in 2001. More recently, the availability of skydiving during the winter has become a draw for tourists so inclined.

Tourism development of Ambergris Caye began in the early 1970s and grew considerably in the later years of the 20th century. The main attractions are the Belize Barrier Reef and its beaches. That barrier reef is the second largest in the world, after the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. The caye has a small airstrip serviced by Tropic Air and Maya Island Air, and can be reached by plane from Belize City as well as by numerous fast sea ferries.

Source: Wikipedia (under GNU Free Documentation License)

Categories
Belize

Belize

Belize, formerly British Honduras, is a country in Central America. Belize has a diverse society, composed of many cultures and speaking many languages. It is the only country in Central America where English is the official language. It is bordered by Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the south and west, the and Caribbean sea to the east. Kriol and Spanish are also widely spoken. With 8,867 square miles (22,960 km²) of territory and 320,000 people (2008 est.), the population density is the lowest in the Central American region and one of the lowest in the world. Belize is the least populous non-island nation outside of Europe. The country’s population growth rate, 2.21% (2008 est.), is the highest in the region and one of the highest in the western hemisphere. Culturally, Belize considers itself to be both Caribbean and Central American.

Belize is located on the Caribbean coast of northern Central America. It shares a border on the north with the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, on the west with the Guatemalan department of Petén, and on the south with the Guatemalan department of Izabal. To the east in the Caribbean Sea, the second-longest barrier reef in the world flanks much of the 386 kilometres (240 mi) of predominantly marshy coastline. The area of the country totals 22,960 square kilometres (8,860 sq mi), an area slightly larger than El Salvador or Massachusetts. The abundance of lagoons along the coasts and in the northern interior reduces the actual land area to 21,400 square kilometres (8,300 sq mi).

Source: Wikipedia (under GNU Free Documentation License)

Categories
Belize

Caye Caulker

Caye Caulker is a small limestone coral island off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean Sea measuring about 5 miles (north to south) by less than 1 mile (east to west). The town on the island is known by the name Caye Caulker Village, though the correct name from old maps is Santa Elena. Some have said the island’s name is derived from the practice of caulking or sealing the seams in wooden boats to make them watertight, due to the high number of shipwrights on the island. “Caye Corker”, the alternative spelling of the name used by British cartographers, has largely fallen into disuse. This was a phonetic spelling which in older English was pronounced the same.

It is now generally agreed that the name was derived at a much earlier date from the Spanish name for the island “Cayo Hicaco”. This refers to the Hicaco plum which grows wild on the island and was gathered by Spanish seafarers to combat scurvy.

Caye Caulker is located approximately 20 miles (32 km) north-northeast of Belize City, and is accessible by high-speed water taxi or small plane. In recent years the island has become a popular destination for backpackers and other tourists. There are over 30 tiny hotels, and a number of restaurants and shops.

Source: Wikipedia (under GNU Free Documentation License)