Unlike its Central American neighbors, Belize stands alone in terms of its history and culture, because only Belize was named a member of the British Commonwealth. As a result, England’s influence has differentiated the nation from others, a fact not lost on visitors looking for a vacation experience that is beyond the ordinary.
Belize’s past includes the presence of a formidable populace of Mayas who spread their influence throughout an empire that included southern Mexico and Guatemala between 1500 BC and 800 AD. We don’t use the word empire indiscriminately. These people flourished under creative leadership overseeing the building of cities like Caracol, Altun Ha, Lamanai, and Xunantunich. Underpinning this advanced culture was a religious fervor that remains as fascinating today as it did to believers.
When Spanish explorers arrived in Central America, their fleets swept past Belize, favoring other nations along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. What happened to the Maya? The mystery of their disappearance has yet to be solved, but scholars point to a mix of overpopulation, environmental degradation, warfare, shifting trade routes, and extended drought as potential causes of the collapse of this society.
Unlike Spain, the Brits saw in Belize prime territory for exploiting timber and dyewoods. Occupying present-day Belize, England renamed the nation British Honduras. African and Caribbean slaves were imported to service a lumber industry that remained a vital resource to England until independence was declared in 1981.
Given a historical background filled with this much diversity, Belize’s cultural mix is equally fascinating. Based on a foundation of Maya advances, a one-of-a-kind cultural heritage was built of a conglomeration of immigrants. Africans, Caribs, Chinese, Indian, and Mexico conscriptions contributed mightily to this society’s complexity, thus a distinct cultural identity emerged from the fray.
From arts and crafts that borrow from Caribbean and African traditions to a diverse music scene that can only be described as revolutionary, Belizean music pairs West African and Caribbean beats much of which is based on Garifuna music that gives Belizean music its signature sound. Traditional Mestizo and Maya music remain an important segment of this nation’s “sound.” This picture would be incomplete without mention of Belize’s distinct culinary scene. Like other aspects of this society, the Belize culinary world has become as diverse as its people and its complex history.
What’s the best way to immerse yourself in the nation’s history and culture? Settle into a spacious Belizean Dreams Resort accommodation giving you not only the best Belize all-inclusive packages in Stann Creek, Hopkins but also offering guests full access to tours that reveal myriad aspects of Belize’s historic and cultural heritage.
See as much of this nation’s riches as time allows by acting immediately to take advantage of a Belizean Dreams’ spring special that is so generous, you could afford to see more of Belize’s past by staying extra days thanks to the additional money you save if you get in on this offer!
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Local Belize Reservation Desk: +501-522-2400
Local Belize Front Desk: +501-670-2251
(add "011" to the local numbers to call from US)