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New diving holidays & sites 2012
Belize - small country, big holidays!
Compared to its neighbours Mexico, Guatemala or Honduras, Belize really is a small country with scarcely 300.000 inhabitants and a tiny area of 23.000 square kilometers. Unsurprisingly, the souvenir shop bestseller in Belize is a t-shirt printed in big, colourful letters: "Where the hell is Belize?” When it comes to holidays, however, Belize makes it big.
The largest barrier reef of the Northern Hemisphere
The star turn of the small country is the Caribbean coast and its offshore barrier reef of 260 km length, home of more than 350 species of fish. Hundreds of small islands are scattered along the Belize Barrier Reef, the so-called Cays. Thanks to them Belize is a first-class destination when it comes to watersports. But the inland with its mountains, tropical forests and Mayan remains has also a lot to offer for the holiday-maker.
Simple formalities make travelling easy
For Europeans, a valid passport is sufficient for travelling in Belize. As Belize - formerly British Honduras - was under British rule up to 1981, basic English is spoken all over the island. In cash travelers should bring US-Dollars. Unless travelling via Mexico or Guatemala, the point of arrival will usually be Belize City, the only international Airport of Belize. Belize City makes a good starting point for a holiday not only for the charme of its colonial atmosphere, but also because it is connected to one of the three tarmac roads of the country and there are boat connections to the northern Cays. Virtually all towns in the country are accessible from Belize City by domestic flights.
Off the beaten track
Watersports fans have a big choice. Ambris Cay and Cay Caulker, the northernmost main islands, are the most easily accessable, but also the most touristically influenced ones. To get away from it all the best choice is one of the outer Cays. These islands usually host only one resort in a larger area.
Value for money in the South
Everything has to be transported by ship onto the islands, so the resorts generally offer package deals of several days in the upper price range. A low-priced alternative is Placencia in the South of Belize. This little town of two thousand inhabitants is located on the edge of a peninsula and therefore a convenient place of departure for diving tours to the nearby Belize Barrier Reef as well as a base of Moorings Yachtcharter. Placencia forms itself a tropical idyll with small pensions and restaurants.
Encounters with whale sharks
A special experience in April and May are the excursions to Gladdens Splitt, where whale shark spottings are frequent at this time of year. Brian Young of the Sea Horse Dive Shop was the first to organize excursions to the whale sharks and he is still one of the most successful guides. Other hot spots for divers can be found mainly at the outer reef. With a diameter of 300 meters the Blue Hole, situated in the Light House Atoll, deserves closer attention. Seemingly endless depths open up at the edge of the reef.
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