Belize lies on the Caribbean coast of Central America, sharing a land border with Mexico and Guatemala. Formerly known as British Honduras, the nation became independent in 1981, though British troops maintain a presence to this day, protecting Belize from any foreign aggression.
Rectangular in shape, Belize extends around 170 miles north to south and by about 60 miles east to west with the rivers Hondo and Sarstoon defining most of the north and south borders. Over a hundred offshore Cayes and the Belize Barrier Reef – the second longest in the world – lie in the Caribbean Sea to the east, running the length of the coastline.
Water sports dominate the leisure time of both locals and tourists with fishing, rafting, kayaking, scuba diving and snorkelling all very popular activities. Inland, Belize attracts a large number of visitors to jungle and wildlife reserves, while smaller, more intrepid groups come to explore the largest cave system in Central America.