Neither fully Caribbean nor entirely Latin American, laid-back Belize justifiably considers itself a bit of both, and the country punches well above its relatively small weight. It’s not a huge country, yet boasts a seamless blend of cultures, fr om Belizean and Creole to Mestizo and Maya, with a strong expat community, too. The network of wildlife sanctuaries and wildlife parks are home to hundreds of species of exotic bird life, as well as cutter ants, jaguar, iguanas and howler monkeys.

Belize also has the world’s second biggest barrier reef after Australia, complete with dozens of coral varieties and hundreds of types of tropical fish. It’s perfect for all kinds of water-based activities, from windsurfing and kayaking to swimming, deep-sea fishing, snorkelling and diving. For the latter, you could find yourself exploring spectacular underwater caves. On dry land, horse riding is a popular activity, while ziplining is practically an art form.

At the same time, the Cayo District and the south in particular are littered with archaeological sites dating back to Mayan times (around AD 250 – 1000). Think high stone temples giving panoramic views over the jungle and tombs with intricate hieroglyphs, as well as caves.

There’s more history in landmark attraction Old Belize, with the Old Belize Exhibit offering a glimpse back in time to defining moments in the country’s past.

The tropical climate brings a hot, humid rainy season between May and November, a dry season between February and May and the greatest chances of hurricane between June and November.