Size: 8,867 sq mi (22,965 sq km)
Belize is an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations, Central America, on the Caribbean Sea. Belize is bounded on the North by Mexico, on the South and West by Guatemala, and on the East by the Caribbean Sea. The Capital is Belmopan. Belize City, the capital until 1970, is the largest city and main port.
Land and People
The land is generally low, with mangrove swamps and cayes along the coast, but in the south rises to Victoria Peak (c.3,700 ft/1,128 m high). The climate is subtropical. Although most of the area is heavily forested, yielding mahogany, cedar, and logwood, there are regions of fertile savanhas and barren pine ridges.
Besides the Capital and Belize City, other important urban areas are San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Orange Walk, Corozal, and Dangringa.
Although only a small fraction of the land is cultivated, agriculture provides about 75% of Belize's exports, the chief of which are sugar, citrus fruits, and fish. Clothing and woods are also important products and export items, and tourism and construction are increasingly significant to the economy.
*Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Copyright (c) 2006.