|Road network length||3.007 km|
|Length of highway network||0 km|
|Traffic drives||To the right|
|License plate code||BH|
Belize is a small country in North America. The lant has 387,000 inhabitants and is the size of half of the Netherlands. The capital is Belmopan, the largest city is Belize City.
According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Belize is located on the Caribbean Sea and is the northernmost country in Central America. It borders Mexico to the north and Guatemalain the west and south. The country measures 290 kilometers from north to south and 95 kilometers from west to east. This makes it the smallest country in Central America. Belize also includes several uninhabited offshore islands. The north of Belize consists of lowlands, the south is somewhat hillier to even slightly mountainous with some peaks above 1,000 meters. The 1,124 meter high Doyle’s Delight is the highest point in Belize. Large parts of Belize consist of inaccessible jungles and swamps. Small parts of the land are cultivated. The country has a tropical climate with high temperatures throughout the year, which, due to its lower location, is less tempered than elsewhere in Central America. The average maximum temperature in the capital Belmopan is 28-34°C.
Belize is the least populated and most sparsely populated country in Central America with only 387,000 inhabitants in 2017. See Belize population density. The population growth rate is one of the highest in the region. There are no large cities in Belize, the coastal city of Belize City is the largest city in the country with 62,000 inhabitants. There are also 5 towns that have between 10,000 and 20,000 inhabitants, with the capital Belmopan having only 14,000 inhabitants, it is the smallest capital in the continental part of the Americas.
About half of Belize’s residents are Mestizo, mixed European and Indo-American. Nearly 22% are Creole, but their share is declining due to emigration. Maya make up 10% of the population and whites about 5%. The largest group of whites are Mennonites. In Belize, English is spoken as the official language, however, as a small country in a dominant Spanish-speaking region, about as many people speak Spanish as English. Creole languages are also spoken. German is still spoken by the Mennonites.
Belize’s economy is underdeveloped, with most of its exports being agricultural products with relatively low added value to the economy. The country also exports small amounts of oil, an important source of government revenue. A significant part of the economy is informal. Tourism is on the rise, partly because Belize is an English-speaking country and is politically stable.
Spanish conquistadors explored the area and declared it a Spanish colony, but did not settle there due to lack of resources. Elsewhere in Central America, the Spaniards mainly established colonies in the highlands and not on the coast, making low-lying Belize less interesting. In the 17th century the English and Scots settled there, who built plantations with the help of slaves from Africa. In 1862, the area was officially declared a British Crown Colony, governed from Jamaicaand the area was called British Honduras. At the time, the other countries in the region had been independent for some time, so that British Honduras remained the only European colony on the North American mainland. Guatemala claimed the area as part of that country. In 1964, the country gained self-government and was renamed Belize in 1973. Belize became independent from the United Kingdom in 1981, but British troops remained in Belize to prevent a possible Guatemalan invasion. Guatemala’s claim to Belize is still unresolved to this day.
Belize’s road network is very limited due to its low population density and lack of cities. Belize City is the largest city with 62,000 inhabitants. The other places have less than 20,000 inhabitants. Belize has 4 major tarmac roads, but no highways. Only about 600 kilometers of road is paved. Most paved roads are of good quality. Major roads have a lane layout and road markings. The roads are not numbered but have a name.
- Northern Highway
- Western Highway
- Hummingbird Highway
- Southern Highway
Despite the fact that Belize has long been a British colony, traffic drives on the right. The abbreviation “BH” as a country code is a relic from colonial times, when the country was still called British Honduras. There are plenty of gas stations in the larger towns, but much less in the countryside. Traffic is very limited, the roads are quiet. In villages there are sometimes significant thresholds, also known as “sleeping police officers”. There are sometimes police checkpoints along main roads, checking the paperwork. The maximum speed is 90 km/h outside built-up areas and 40 to 60 km/h within built-up areas. The distances and speed limits are shown in miles.
There is no road numbering in Belize.
Signage seems to be virtually non-existent.