|Currency:||Belize dollar ($)|
Stunning Belize, nestled to the south of Mexico, is a real jewel in the crown of Central America. What’s more, it’s starting to become a real part of the backpacking trail, as people realise the amazing the things they can see and do while on a gap year in Belize – things such as fantastic diving, vibrant cities and some of the friendliest people around! So, don’t forget about Belize when you’re planning your gap year!
Belmopan – not Belize City – is the capital of the country, but most backpackers don’t spend too much time there. And why would they? With the huge swathes of crystal clear water lapping against the coast, and the massive expanses of jungle, why would anyone want to waste any time getting to them? Then there’s the ancient Mayan sites, which everyone really has to visit. If you can’t find something to do on a gap year in Belize, you’re clearly not looking hard enough!
Perhaps the main reason people visit Belize is this though: it has some of the best diving and surfing on the planet. Small seaside towns play home to SCUBA schools and surf shacks, and anyone visiting will find unspoilt seas – as well as the world’s second largest barrier reef – without the massive amounts of tourists found elsewhere. It won’t stay like this forever though, so dive in before everyone discovers how amazing a gap year in Belize can be!
Working in Belize
Dive schools, surf shops, teaching English – they’re about the only options travellers will have for work when visiting Belize, and they don’t come around too often. Volunteering opportunities are much more widespread though, and far more rewarding. You could work with wildlife – either in the jungle or the ocean – or with disadvantaged kids, or take part in all manner of other activities. Belize is a fantastic country, but it isn’t particularly rich, so it will welcome as much help as you can give it.
Most people on a gap year in Belize won’t simply visit one country – they’ll take the chance to explore the rest of Central America as well! Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua – all are within easy reach and are well worth visiting. Cuba is only a short flight away too, plus the USA is really easy to get to. You probably won’t want to leave your gap year in Belize too quickly though…