400,031 inhabitants (2021).

Official Language


Languages Spoken

While the official language of Belize is English, most of the population also speaks creole patois, with many of the country’s residents being multilingual. Yucatec, Mopán and Kekchí are also spoken by the Maya in Belize.


Belize may be small in population size but it’s still an incredibly diverse country, with the vast majority being Mestizo, which is a mixture of Spanish and Maya. This is followed by Maya, Creole, Garifuna, Chinese and Mennonites, with smaller percentages consisting of Jamaicans, Lebanese, American and European expats.


Most Belizeans are Roman Catholic but due to the heavy British influence the country has found a growing number of Protestants, more than any other country in Central America. The Maya and Garifuna practice their own mixture of traditional shamanism and Christianity. A smaller percentage of the population identify as Mormon, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Bahá'í, Rastafarian and others.

National Holiday

September 21: Independence Day

Holiday calendar

January 1: New Year’s Day

January 15: George Price Day

March 7: National Heroes and Benefactors Day

In late March to early April: Easter (from Good Friday to Easter Monday).

May 2: Labour Day

August 1: Emancipation Day

September 10: St. George’s Caye Day

September 21: Independence Day

October 10: Indigenous Peoples’ Resistance Day

November 19: Garifuna Settlement Day

December 25: Christmas Day

December 26: Boxing Day


Belize follows the structure of a parliamentary representative democratic monarchy, where the current reigning British monarch serves as head of state and the prime minister is the head of government and of a multi-party system. However, the executive power is exercised by the government and legislative power is vested in both the government and the Parliament of Belize. The people of Belize also have elections to choose their government.


The Caribbean and Central American country of Belize can be found on the north-eastern coast of Central America. It’s bordered by Mexico towards the north, the vast Caribbean Sea to the east and Guatemala to the south and west. It also shares a water boundary with Honduras to the southeast. The capital of Belize is Belmopan, while the namesake city of Belize City is the largest. Belize is often considered a Caribbean country in Central America. This is thanks to its history, which is likened to the English-speaking Caribbean nations and their institutions. Even its official language is reflective of its long history as a British colony.

Throughout 1500 BC and AD 300, the Maya civilisation spread across Belize and flourished until around 1200. The European contact and ties began back in 1492, when the famous Christopher Columbus navigated the Gulf of Honduras. The European exploration began with the English settlers in 1638 but both Spain and Britain laid claims to the land, with Britain eventually defeating the Spanish in the battle of St. George's Caye in 1798. It wasn’t until 1840 that it became a British colony known as British Honduras, and a Crown colony in 1862. Belize eventually achieved its independence from the United Kingdom on 21 September 1981. It now remains the only mainland Central American country which is a Commonwealth realm, with the current reigning British monarch as its head of state and represented by a governor-general.

Nowadays many flock to this hub for all things marine life and diverse ecosystems, which have made it a key place in the globally significant Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. It is considered a Central American and Caribbean nation with strong ties to both the American and Caribbean regions. It is also a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and the Central American Integration System (SICA), the only country to hold full membership in all three regional organisations.


Belizeans are generally friendly people, with a laidback and relaxed attitude, but it’s important to note that they are not particularly accepting of homosexuality and many are rarely open about sexual orientation. Though it is unlikely that locals will express disapproval, it can be a good idea to avoid any form of public displays of affection. There are also no gay venues in the country. When entering churches it’s important to note that pictures should not be taken, nor should you take photographs of indigenous people without first asking their permission. When it comes to tipping, while Belizeans rarely do, foreigners are usually expected to offer around ten percent in taxis and restaurants. Haggling is also an uncommon practice with many considering it rude, apart from in street markets.


It can be hard to know what to expect when it comes to Belizean cuisine but its diverse population and differing cultural influences have created a haven for all things seafood, fresh fruit, Caribbean classics and countless savoury treats that are perfect for on the go. A staple is of course the Caribbean classic of rice and beans, enjoyed with countless meaty additions. From stewed chicken (perfectly spiced tender chunks of chicken in a savoury broth) to Chimole (known as the black dinner) that also combines local spices, chicken and a paste made from annatto seeds. Whatever your palate there’s sure to be something delicious to try and enjoy. You could have the famous snack food of Belize; Salbutes that combines tiny fried corn tortillas with a range of fresh toppings, be it chicken, avocado or a locally made hot sauce. Mexico lovers will be pleased to find a similar dish here too, with Tamales (the steamed cornmeal and meat wrapped in Belizean style plantain leaves) a firm favourite. Seafood fans needn’t worry either, as there’s plenty of ceviche to be sampled, with the fresh caught seafood acting as the main ingredient. Enjoy conch, fish or lobster and know that ceviche pairs perfectly with a cold beer on a hot day in Belize.


Tap water in Belize is not necessarily safe to drink and we recommend that you opt for bottled water instead, which can be found in most supermarkets and restaurants. But those looking to try the national cocktail of Belize will need to order a Rum Punch, which takes pride of place on every drinks menu in the country. It’s sweet, simple and perfect for those warm days. Of course, beer advocates will no doubt enjoy the crowd pleasing Belikin beer, where the manufactures note that it’s “brewed by Belizeans, for Belizeans and only in Belize”. Sadly, Belize doesn’t grow grapes, meaning wine is often imported and more expensive. This has meant more and more Belizeans have taken to making their own fruit wines. There’s even been a rise in cashew wine, which is now one of the most popular wines consumed and can be found throughout the country.

Contact one of our Belize specialists