With its Spanish-speaking neighbors to the south and west and the laid-back Caribbean to the east, Central America's youngest nation offers a cultural mélange - including Maya, mestizo, Garifuna, Creole, Mennonite and more - unrivaled in Central America.
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Ramon's Village is a sanctuary nestled in a tropical garden of royal palms, bougainvillea, lilies, hibiscus and dozens of other types of tropical flora.
Belize offers brilliant diving, dramatic ruins and pristine jungle - secluded eco-lodges cater for sedentary adventurers.
Belize is a paradise for water-sports enthusiasts, offering all the swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, windsurfing and fishing anyone could want. If that's not enough, travelers can canoe on the Macal, Mopan and Belize Rivers around San Ignacio and tube through caves along the Chiquibul.
Belize is a marvelously lazy place - if you can manage to struggle out of your hammock, you'll be rewarded with crumbling Mayan sites, rustic colonial architecture, spectacular offshore atolls, thick jungle, and wildlife ranging from lemon sharks and king vultures to endangered howler monkeys.
The big national holidays are dictated by the Roman Catholic calendar, but other celebrations include the wonderfully titled Baron Bliss Day, which honors a philanthropic British nobleman who fell in love with Belize and, upon his death, willed the bulk of his fortune in trust to its people. Belize National Day commemorates the Battle of St George's Caye; celebrations continue until Independence Day. More festivities occur on Day of the Americas and Garifuna Settlement Day. The latter commemorates the arrival of the Garifuna (or Garinagu, also called Black Caribs) in dugout canoes from Honduras in 1832. Dangriga is the place to celebrate this festival - the small town explodes in a frenzy of dancing and drinking.
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