The beautiful thing about Belize is that it’s still a bit cheaper than many of the other tourist destinations in terms of cost of living. It’s even becoming a popular destination for overseas investment. If you’re headed that way, no matter the reason, you’ve got to make sure and really get to know the country by hitting all the top attractions.
Belize has access to a few of the famous Mayan ruin sites: Altun Ha (just outside of Belize City), Lamanai (known for having lots of monkeys), and Caracol (known for its large pyramid). Belize was the center of the Mayan world, and if you can swing it, the Xunantunich site is a local favorite.
The Great Blue Hole
One of the world’s most distinguished scuba diving sites, the Blue Hole cannot be missed! Even if you aren’t prepared to scuba dive, snorkeling around the reef is an adventure in itself. The Blue Hole is made up of underwater tunnels, caverns, and rock formations. Marine life lives along the coral walls of the surrounding reef, and there’s so much to see!
Ambergris Caye is the largest island off the coast of Belize, and it’s a top choice for travelers who want to relax on the beach. It’s a great location for those who wish to scuba, snorkel, or take a boat over to the mainland for Mayan ruin tours as well. Head down to the island and find yourself a charming little bungalow to pass your time on the beach.
While you’re out exploring islands and beaches, Caye Caulker is just a short trip from Ambergris Caye. It’s a smaller island with a village that maintains the cultures and traditions of the original settlers of Belize. Everything is small and cozy, and businesses are locally owned. This is a good spot for shopping, restaurants, fishing, swimming, and learning about and appreciating a different culture.
Cockscomb Basin is a Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve, home to the largest concentrated population of jaguars in the entire world. There are about 200 of them there. Actual sightings of the jaguars are rare, since they are such a stealthy animal, but you can still hike the trails and even camp here. You’ll see other species of animals, ranging from other types of jungle cats to monkeys, to over 300 species of birds. You’ll also come across swimming holes, waterfalls, and mountain peaks.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
There are four zones to this marine reserve, which lies just off the coast of Ambergris Caye. It’s broken up into the seagrass beds, the mangroves, the reef, and Shark Ray Alley. The reserves are a place where the marine life and its habitats are protected from overfishing, and you can go there to see giant stingrays, nurse sharks, and much of the other marine life that lives in the area. It’s a great place for snorkeling and for getting to touch a stingray.
Mayflower Bocawina National Park
Although the park is only 11 miles, it still has enough to see and do that it’s worth a visit. Hiking trails lead through the jungle to take you to swimming holes, waterfalls, and Mayan ruins and pyramids. Birdwatchers can enjoy their favorite hobby there as well. Activities such as zip lining, cave tubing, and rappelling are also available for the adventurous souls out there.
Paddle down the river in a kayak while you watch for wildlife in the jungle. You can also explore the trails on foot, by bicycle or on horseback! This park provides a safe environment for sightseeing in the jungle and learning more about the wildlife native to Belize. There’s an on-site restaurant, a pool, and even hammocks so that you can finish of your hike with full relaxation!
Belize Botanic Gardens
Most cities in the United States have botanic gardens, so what makes the ones in Belize so special? Well, these gardens contain over 2,000 species of plants on 45 acres. You can take a self-guided tour to see and learn all about the country’s native plant and bird species. There are plenty of orchids in the Native Orchid House to be appreciated! The Mayan House consists of those plants that were used for medical purposes for centuries.
When planning your trip to Belize, check out the different resorts and tourism agencies to book all the best excursions. There’s so much to see and do!
Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AGreat_Blue_Hole.jpg