Over 50% of Belize falls within nature preserves and wildlife sanctuaries. The country is known for its abundance of nature reserves which houses a host of wildlife. Birders, nature lovers, and adventurers can enjoy the spectacular view of about 570 species of wildlife ranging from cutter ants to tapirs to noisy monkeys, shy jaguars, and the national bird of Belize, the keel-billed toucan. Belize is also known to have the second largest Barrier Reef in the world, after Australia’s. Scuba divers and snorkelers have the luxury of spending time with over 500 species of tropical fish. On the islands in the country, tourists can enjoy their time kayaking, windsurfing, stand-up paddle boating, swimming, fishing or just lazing around. Belize is also a perfect destination for adventurers, as tourists can enjoy hiking in national parks, zip lining through the jungle canopy, and exploring caves.
The tourism industry is now the second largest industry in Belize and the Belizean government aims to use the strength of the tourism industry to alleviate poverty in the country. The country receives an average of 1 million tourists each year. With the focus of the Belizean Government on tourism, this number is set to increase in the years to come.
Foreigners are required to declare sums of $5,000 on entry and exit from the country. Drug-related crimes attract severe punishment which may include huge fines or lengthy prison sentences.