Geography of Belize

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Belize is a small Central American nation, located at 17°15' north of the equator and 88°45' west of the Prime Meridian on the Yucatán Peninsula. It borders the Caribbean Sea to the east, with 386 km of coastline. It has a total of 516 km of land borders—Mexico to the north-northwest (250 km) and Guatemala to the south-southwest (266 km). Belize's total size is 22,960 km², of which 22,800 km² is land and 160 km² is water; this makes the country ten times larger than the Australian Capital Territory, about half the size of Nova Scotia, slightly larger than Wales, and slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Massachusetts. Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America and the only one without a Pacific coastline. Many coral reefs, cays, and islands to the east—such as Ambergris Caye, Lighthouse Reef, Glover Reef, and the Turneffe Islands—are part of Belize's territory, forming the Belize Barrier Reef, the longest in the western hemisphere stemming approximately 322 km (200 miles) and the second longest in the world after the Great Barrier Reef. The country's largest river is the eponymous Belize River.


General information

Belize claims an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles (370.4 km; 230.2 mi) and a territorial sea of 12 nautical miles (22.2 km; 13.8 mi). From the mouth of the Sarstoon River to Ranguana Cay, Belize's territorial sea is 3 nmi (5.6 km; 3.5 mi); according to Belize's Maritime Areas Act, 1992, the purpose of this limitation is to provide a framework for the negotiation of a definitive agreement on territorial differences with Guatemala.

  • Tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to November); dry season (February to May).
  • Flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south

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