Aqua shores, ancient ruins, & beautiful animals
Belize is blessed with an outstanding archaeological heritage of Maya temples and palaces. It is known that the Maya occupation began as early as 1500 BC, and although it began its decline in 900 AD, some Maya cultural centers continued to be occupied until contact with the Spanish in the 1500's. During the Classic Period (250 AD to 900 AD), the population of Belize exceeded over one million people, and it is believed that Belize was the heart of the Maya civilization at that time. Although large Maya cultural centers no longer exist, there is still a significant Maya population residing within many small villages. For those who are interested in archaeological sites, the Belize Institute of Archaeology has committed to developing locations which are easily accessible for the casual tourist. This does not indicate the Institute's total commitment to the vast archaeological potential of Belize, but it does allow visitors the opportunity to appreciate Maya history, as well as to appreciate the tremendous undertaking that is required to restore the Maya Sites.