BELIZE, or Balize, the capital and principal seaport of British Honduras, on the Caribbean Sea, in 17° 29' N.
Belize occupies both banks of the river Belize, at its mouth.
Belize is connected by telegraph and telephone with the other chief towns of British Honduras, but there is no railway, and communication even by road is defective.
Belize probably derives its name from the French balise, " a beacon," as no doubt some signal or light was raised here for the guidance of the buccaneers who once infested this region.
In the 18th century the names Wallis and Belize were used interchangeably for the town, the river and the whole country.
The history of Belize is inextricably bound up with that of the rest of British Honduras (q.
Guanaja was discovered in 1502 by Columbus, but the islands were not colonized until the 17th century, when they were occupied by British logwood cutters from Belize, and pearlers from the Mosquito Coast.