Belize has many lakes, lagoons, and approximately 35 major rivers, the longest of which is the Belize River. The bodies of water are essential for drinking, agriculture, and hydroelectric power generation. They are also popular for recreation, such as fishing, swimming, and rafting.
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Landforms of Belize
The coastal area of Belize is a natural system consisting of the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, offshore atolls, several hundred sand cays, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons, and estuaries. The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System’s seven sites are a significant habitat for threatened species.
The Maya Mountains are a range of hills in west-central Belize that take their name from the Maya people who built great centers in the region. The Cockscomb Range is a spur of the Maya Mountains and includes Victoria Peak, a national monument of Belize.
The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System is a marine region, underwater ecosystem and geological structure that stretches from the Yucatán Peninsula down to Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. This underwater wilderness of coral provides homes and food to hundreds of species.
The Petén Basin of northern Guatemala and southeastern Mexico is a geographical subregion of Mesoamerica and was a center of Maya civilizations. The Maya Forest, which includes Belize, is the second-largest remaining tropical rainforest in the Americas.
The Yucatán Peninsula is the exposed portion of the more extensive Yucatán Platform and lies between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. It includes the Mexican states of Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán, as well as parts of Belize and Guatemala.