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Welcome to Belize, a paradise brimming with natural beauty, cultural diversity, and adventure. This Central American gem’s rich history and stunning landscapes captivate your heart. This travel guide will take you through the best things to do in Belize.
- Best Things to Do in Belize
- 1. Xunantunich Mayan Ruins
- 2. Lamanai Archaeological Reserve
- 3. Museum of Belize
- 4. Hol Chan Marine Reserve
- 5. St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park
- 6. Caracol Natural Monument Reservation
- 7. Cahal Pech Archaeological Reserve
- 8. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
- Where to Stay in Belize
- How to Get Around in Belize
- Travel Tips for Visiting Belize
- Deciding When to Visit
- Respect the Environment
- Get a Taste of Local Cuisine
- Learn Some Basic Kriol Phrases
- Embrace Adventure
Best Things to Do in Belize
1. Xunantunich Mayan Ruins
Located in Santa Ignacio, the Xunantunich Mayan Ruins are a can’t-miss destination in western Belize. These ancient ruins are positioned atop a scenic hill and offer a fascinating glimpse into the region’s rich history.
As you wander through the complex, you’ll marvel at the intricate stonework and awe-inspiring views from the site’s highest point, El Castillo. While visiting, absorb the mystical atmosphere deeply as it transports you to another era.
2. Lamanai Archaeological Reserve
Another vital piece of Belize’s Mayan history is the Lamanai Archaeological Reserve. Situated on the New River’s banks, this mesmerizing destination is accessible via a scenic riverboat ride through lush mangroves teeming with wildlife. Once on-site, you’ll explore the imposing temples, plazas, and other structures that provide insights into the lives of the ancient Mayan people.
3. Museum of Belize
To taste Belize’s more recent history, visit the Museum of Belize in Belize City. This captivating museum, housed within a former prison, brings the country’s past to life through various dynamic exhibits, including historical artifacts, impressive art collections, and fascinating displays about the Belizean people.
4. Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Belize is home to the second-largest barrier reef in the world, and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve offers the perfect opportunity to explore its underwater wonders. This protected area features a few distinct zones, each teeming with colorful marine life. Join a snorkeling or scuba diving tour to immerse yourself in this lively underwater world, where you’ll encounter thriving coral reefs, swarming fish schools, and enchanting sea turtles.
5. St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park
Visit St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park near Belmopan for a unique combination of lush jungle and mesmerizing turquoise waters.
This extraordinary park centers around an underground river that surfaces through a sinkhole, creating the park’s namesake: the Blue Hole. Spend the day exploring serene hiking trails, exquisite caves, and refreshing swimming spots in great blue hole, all wrapped up in one spectacular destination.
6. Caracol Natural Monument Reservation
Caracol Natural Monument Reservation, located within the vast Chiquibil Forest Reserve, is home to Belize’s largest Mayan archaeological site. This once-mighty city boasts towering temples, intricate stonework, and a lush jungle surrounded by wildlife. Visiting Caracol offers a unique chance to delve into ancient history while immersing yourself in Belize’s stunning natural beauty.
7. Cahal Pech Archaeological Reserve
Another Mayan gem worth exploring is the Cahal Pech Archaeological Reserve in San Ignacio. With its cluster of impressive structures and a museum displaying artifacts unearthed at the site, this reserve provides a fascinating look into this ancient civilization. As you wander through the remains of this once-thriving city, you’ll be stepping into a world deeply rooted in the past and intriguing mysteries.
8. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Nature enthusiasts won’t miss the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary on Belize’s southern coast in the Maya Center. This protected area is renowned across the globe for its efforts to conserve the elusive jaguar roaming the sanctuary’s dense forest. Embark on an extraordinary trip through the park’s trails, where you may spot exotic flora, birdlife, and other wildlife that call tourist areas of this sanctuary home.
Where to Stay in Belize
Belize offers many accommodations for every traveler’s taste, style, and budget. Whether you’re in search of a luxurious beachfront resort or a cozy jungle retreat, you’ll find the perfect place to rest after exploring the wonders of this beautiful Central American gem. Here are the ten best accommodations in Belize, each with its distinct charm and personality:
- Victoria House Resort & Spa
- Ka’ana Resort & Spa
- Coco Beach Resort
- Turtle Inn
- Pelican Reef Villas Resort
- Blancaneaux Lodge
- Table Rock Jungle Lodge
How to Get Around in Belize
Getting around Belize can be an adventure in itself. The country’s diverse landscape provides various transportation options, from buses and taxis to rental cars and boats.
A rental car is an excellent choice for journeyers who wish to explore Belize at their own pace, allowing them to discover hidden gems and dazzling sites at their leisure. If you’re interested in renting a vehicle for your Belizean adventure, check out the options available on RentalCars.com.
Travel Tips for Visiting Belize
When visiting Belize, you’ll encounter a land of enchanting landscapes, captivating history, and abundant opportunities for adventure. To make the most of your trip, consider taking out travel insurance from VisitorsCoverage.com to protect yourself from unexpected events. Here are five travel tips to help you get the best out of your Belize travel experience:
Deciding When to Visit
Belize has a tropical climate, with temperatures remaining warm year-round. Yet, the weather varies between the dry and wet seasons. The dry season runs from December to April, offering sunny days and fewer showers, which makes it an ideal time to visit for beach lovers, snorkelers, and scuba divers.
From May to November, the wet season brings more rainfall and lush, verdant landscapes for those who love nature scapes and hiking.
Respect the Environment
Belize prides itself on its natural beauty and dedicated conservation efforts. To preserve this pristine environment, practice responsible tourism. When visiting natural reserves, marine parks, or archaeological sites, adhere to the guidelines: don’t litter or disturb flora and fauna. Always choose eco-friendly accommodations and tour operators that prioritize sustainable practices.
Get a Taste of Local Cuisine
Belize serves a delicious array of food that will delight your taste buds. The authentic flavors reflect the country’s diverse cultural heritage, featuring influences from Mayan, Garifuna, Creole, and Mestizo traditions.
Try classic dishes like rice and beans, fry jacks, tamales, and stewed chicken. Complete your food journey through Belize with refreshing local beverages, including Belikin beer and the famous cashew wine.
Learn Some Basic Kriol Phrases
While English is the official language of Belize, many locals also speak Kriol, an English-based Creole language with African and indigenous influences. Learning a few vital Kriol phrases to ease your interactions, help you navigate your way around, and enhance your cultural experience.
Belize boasts an array of adventure possibilities for every thrill-seeking traveler. From exploring the ancient Mayan ruins to snorkeling and diving on the world’s second-largest barrier reef or zip-lining across the dense Belizean jungle, there’s no shortage of exhilarating activities. Don’t hesitate to step out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself in all the adventures Belize presents.
- About the Author
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.