Benque Viejo del Carmen
|• Total||13,000 approximately|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central)|
Benque Viejo del Carmen (usually shortened to "Benque") is a town in the country of Belize. It is in the Cayo District. The northern edge of the town is along the Mopan River. The river also forms the border with Guatemala. Benque Viejo is a growing town rich with culture and activities. It is a short 5 minute walk to the famous Xunantunich ruins. It also is home to Actun Chapat, a large underground cave system, popular with tourists. An addition of a new Municipal market in Sept 6 2014 . A new hotel the Benque Resort. The addition of Tropic Air extending flights to Maya Flats, has increased the interest and visitors to Benque. Benque is experiencing a growing expat population of retirees, as it was voted cleanest and safest town in Belize. Once a bustling center of trade for logwood and chicle, Benque is now experiencing growth in tourism, and the addition of a Free trade zone has contributed to the growth and prosperity of the town. Residents enjoy a variety of activities in the town, one of the most popular is river tubing. Leaving from the dock at the Benque Resort on Riverside, visitors and residents, can enjoy the beautiful greenish/blue waters of the Mopan River and float downstream to the Mayan ruins of Xunantunich, a popular tourist destination, which features one of the largest pyramids in Belize. A popular House of Culture features a Marimba academy,art classes,dance and music classes to residents and visitors alike. A 100-acre Art park Poustinia on the outskirts of Benque features fabulous works, created by groups and students from all over the world. A publishing house, Cubola books, and a recording studio, Stonetree records, have made this town popular amongst artists from all over the world. The addition of Cave Garden coffee house and resident artist and world renowned master flutist Pablo Collado has entertained countless groups and dignitaries.