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Temperatures in Belize range from 50°F to 95°F with an annual mean of 79°F. November to January are traditionally the coolest months with a 75°F average and May to September are the warmest at about a 81°F average. Location is a big factor for temperature as Cayo to the west can be several degrees colder then along the coast and during November at night, temperatures can fall to a beautiful 46°F in Cayo. In the mountains, the coldest days and nights might seem relatively very cold and blankets will definitely be needed at night. However, the mean annual temperatures on in the mountains is a perfectly comfortable 72°F.

The Belize District is the largest, with a population of over seventy-four thousand. Belize City itself is no longer the nation's capital, but it is still the largest city in Belize , with a population of just under fifty thousand. It offers the visitor an unusual combination of rustic, old-fashioned Caribbean charm and bustling modernity. Additionally, the steady rise of cruise tourism has changed the face of areas of downtown Belize City in recent years. The country's largest tourist town, San Pedro Ambergris Caye, is located in the Belize District (see separate entry), as well as the famous Mayan ruin of Altun Ha, the Belize Zoo and well-known wildlife sanctuaries. The Phillip Goldson International Airport is located ten miles from downtown, in the neighboring village of Ladyville and several international airlines provide daily flights. The country's largest municipal airport and water taxi connections to all major cayes are located in downtown Belize City . Bus transportation is available hourly and half hourly during peak times to all districts.

The Belize District is the heart of Kriol (Creole) culture and some of its villages are as typically Kriol as one can get: Burrell Boom, Isabella Bank, Rancho Dolores and Lemonal are some of the distinctive Kriol communities that exist in the heart of the Belize River Valley . Gales Point Manatee, the district's southernmost village, still retains some of the typical Kriol cultural practices like Sambai dancing, Anancy story telling under huge mahogany trees, and bramming. Belize City itself originated as a logging camp and export center for mahogany in the 1600's. Naturally, because it is the country's largest urban area, one finds all cultural types and mixtures in the city - Kriol, Garifuna, Mestizo, (a mix of Maya and Spanish) commonly referred to as Spanish, Chinese, Lebanese, Hindu and the original East Indian descendants and Maya.

Ambergris Caye

mbergris Caye is the largest of the 200-plus cayes (islands) located off the Belize coast. Only half a mile from the Belize Barrier reef, Ambergris Caye is the premier Belize destination for scuba divers and snorkelers.

Ambergris Caye offers a wide variety of water-oriented activities - swimming, fishing, sailing, windsurfing, and jet-skiing - as well as nature hiking, bird-watching, bicycling and even a Mayan ruin site. Accommodations and restaurants are available for all budget levels. Ambergris Caye receives cooling tradewinds most of the year, which keeps the temperature down and the mosquitos away.

Ambergris Caye is twenty-five miles long; its width ranges from a few hundred feet to over four miles. Northern Ambergris Caye is separated from the southernmost tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula by a small channel.

Since 1989, archeologists have been studying Marco Gonzalez, a Mayan ruin site located near the southern tip of Ambergris Caye. The site is located in what is now a mangrove swamp; but the archeologists have determined that when the town was founded around 200 BC, the sea level was much lower and the environment quite different than it is today. It is believed that Marco Gonzalez was once a prosperous town and important Mayan trading center. Building and pottery remains indicate that the town reached its peak from 1150-1300 AD and began to decline thereafter, although a few Mayan families remained when the Spanish arrived in the mid-fifteenth century.


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