What makes Belize unlike anywhere else?

Is it the lush rainforest and unspoiled nature? The stunning dive and snorkeling sites and pristine beaches? The atmospheric and majestic Maya sites? It’s hard to identify what makes Belize the magical destination that it is, so we asked some Belizeans for their opinions.

“Belize is a melting pot of different cultures. Like the Garifuna, Maya and Creole among others. Each culture has its own musical traditions. You can dance to our music all night long but it also has a soulful groove that will touch your heart.

Belize has a special sound and our role is to preserve and promote our musical treasures for Belize and the world to enjoy.” —Ivan Duran, of the Garifuna Collective

“The music scene in Belize is very diverse, vibrant and has a bright future ahead. We have many genres and fusions including our very own homegrown Punta (afro beat) that make for very interesting sounds and unique movements! We’re very creative and naturally talented here in Belize and I see only good things to come.” —Tanya Carter, singer

“Belize is unlike anywhere else because of the people. There’s a noticeable difference as soon as you cross the border. It’s friendly and has an island-relaxed atmosphere.” —Kirsten Miglio, owner Ak’boL Retreat

“Belize is a diverse melting pot of cultures and people. This means that I am a mixture of so many different cultures and ethnicities, which connects me with all the beautiful people around the world.” —Khadija Assales, jewelry designer

“What makes Belize so unique and unlike anywhere else in the world is the natural beauty that exists literally from north to south. We are proud of our beautiful beaches, healthy barrier reef systems that support an array of marine species, awesome cave systems that tell the tales of our rich Mayan heritage, and lush flora and fauna for trekking with excellent opportunities to spot wildlife in their natural habits. Here in Belize, we appreciate all the nature that exists around us and we strive hard to protect it with many terrestrial and marine preserves.” —Vladimir Rodriguez, manager, La Milpa Eco Lodge

“It is a small country with an incredible diversity of things to do and see. From water falls, caves, rivers, and villages to the beautiful underworld of diving and snorkeling. And you can get from one end of the country to the other in about six hours.” —Lynn Armstrong Carpenter, owner Almond Tree Resort

“We have hidden waterfalls, exotic birds and other wildlife, and many opportunities for canoeing, zip lining, horseback riding and other adventures, but our culture also sets us apart. There are mestizos—the descendants of Spaniards and Maya people, Garifuna, and also Lebanese, East Indian, and we’re now becoming home to Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants and retired foreigners. You can get a taste of these cultures in our restaurants and at our friendly markets.” —Luis Godoy, guide Belize Nature Travel