Belize: Country and Foreign Investment
Belize is a country of 23,000 sq km on the east coast of Central America in the heart of the Caribbean Basin. It has borders with Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west and south, and is flanked by the Caribbean Sea to the east. The northern half of the mainland of Belize is a plain with thin soil that supports scrub vegetation and dense hardwood tropical forest. The coastal area is neither land nor sea, but a sodden, swampy transition between the two. The central part of the country consists of sandy soil that supports large savannas, with a mountainous region southwest of Belize City. The southern part of Belize, with an annual rainfall of some 4060mm (160 inches), has a true tropical rain forest that is rich with ferns, palms, lianas, and tropical hardwoods.
The climate is subtropical, with a brisk prevailing wind from the Caribbean Sea. The country has an annual mean temperature of 26°C (79° F), and the humidity is nicely tempered by sea breezes. However there are frequent, sometimes devastating hurricanes from September to December.
The cayes (pronounced ‘keys’), the offshore atolls, and the barrier reef are the country’s main tourist attraction. The barrier reef, which is 185 miles long, is the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. The cayes are islands and/or mangrove swamps, between the mainland and the barrier reef, on the barrier reef, and on or within the barrier reef perimeters of the offshore atolls.
The island cayes, which are distinguished by their palm trees, provide superior opportunity for scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing, boating, sailing, sailboarding, and sea kayaking, as well as habitat for both nesting birds and turtles. The time zone is GMT - 6, which is the same as United States Central Standard Time. As it is tropical, Daylight Saving Time is not observed in Belize.