Where exactly is Belize? Â Belize isnâ€™t that in Africa? Is that part of Brazil? These and many similar questions were put to me several years ago, while I was in the process of moving from the United Kingdom to Belize.
While it is off the beaten track, Belize is not, in fact, hidden in deepest darkest Africa, or part of a huge developing country. It is a small country on the Caribbean coast of Central America, just south of the popular resort areas of Mexicoâ€™s Riveria Maya, and bordered by Mexico to the North and Guatemala to the East and South.
While visitors have travelled to Belizeâ€™s rainforests, Maya sites, caves and coral reef system for decades, over the last few years, the countryâ€™s profile has been raised by a steady stream of publicity and references to this tiny country I now call home. It hasnâ€™t hurt that movie stars and other celebrities have also discovered that Belize is a great place to unwind and to avoid the pressures of their careers.
The â€œarrivalâ€ of Belize really started with Foxâ€™s Temptation Island (2000) which established Belize as a romantic destination. Subsequently,a steady stream of TV productions have used Belize for romantic, adventure and even business oriented episodes. Last year, Belize was the set for a portion of ABC Televisionâ€™s The Bachelor, and it is now common for the word â€œBelizeâ€ to be heard on such hits as How I Met Your Mother or Breaking Bad. Hollywood, it would seem has fallen in love with the range of backdrops that Belize has to offer.
So while Belize has become cool, it has lost none of its appeal to visitors from near and far. They continue to come in record numbers to climb its pyramids, fish its mangroves, dive its Blue Hole or just simply escape from it all.
-Guest Blogger, Jo Sayer
Here at Exito, we welcome ‘Guest Blogging.’ These photos are copyright of the Belize Tourism Board and we thank them for their contribution.