▷10 Things to do in Belize: Diving and Exploring the Mayan World
Belize, the tiny country located between Mexico and Guatemala is the perfect spot for adventurous and nature-loving visitors. The beautiful Caribbean bathes the coast, a dense jungle cover the inland while scattered across the country you’ll find a large number of Mayan remains. Don’t let the tiny size of the country push you off, Belize punches well above its weight. If all its numerous attractions are not enough, please note that English is the official language.
With a large number of paradisiacal islands easily accessible, mild temperatures and delicious culinary options you’ll understand why the country is one of the most visited areas of Central America. Do you want to explore Belize? Check out these 10 things to do in Belize and explore this impressive destination.
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10 Things to do in Belize
1. Relax on the beach
With more than 230 miles of coastline and numerous islands, the possibilities for unrolling the towel and soak up the sun are vast. When we think of the Caribbean, we picture beautiful powdery white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, beaches dotted with palm trees and delicious cocktails… am I right? So, If you want to enjoy the real Caribbean, we suggest you go straight ahead to the Placencia Peninsula. Tranquil beaches topped with palm trees backed by idyllic beachfront villas and tranquil waters. Furthermore, in Placencia, you’ll find a large number of restaurants and pubs perfect for enjoying the lively nightlife of Belize.
Are you travelling with your significant other? If so, you may want to stay in a romantic quite place. Half Moon Caye is perfect for couples! This bay, famous for its shape as it looks like a crescent moon, is famous among couples thanks to its romantic and peaceful atmosphere. Also, in the area, you’ll find numerous spas and luxury resorts perfect for spending a couple of nights.
2. Dive in the Great Blue Hole
Did you know that the Great Blue Hole is the world’s most distinguished scuba sites? This 120 meters deep hole is the heaven for experienced scuba divers. Dive and discover the limestone formations, stalactites and spot marine life lining the coral wall. If you are a good diver we strongly recommend you get into the wild and explore the underwater tunnels and rock formations. Down there you may swim next to hammerhead sharks, barracudas, rays and much more. Nevertheless, if you can’t dive, don’t worry you can still snorkel at the surface, around the wall and discover the colourful fishes. Certainly, this is one of the most important things to do in Belize, so don’t miss the chance to discover it. Great Blue Hole is one of the most amazing natural wonders.
3. Helicopter ride
In addition to diving, you can contemplate the Great Blue Hole from another perspective. Certainly, admire the hole from above it’s a unique experience that will leave you speechless. Is it your first time aboard a helicopter? If so, flying over the Great Blue Hole and admire the perfect circle of indigo colour surrounded by coral reef will be an unforgettable experience. We guarantee you that from the sky you’ll have the opportunity to take impressive pictures. Furthermore, if you pay attention you can even look at the dolphins swimming.
4. Visit the ruins of Lamanai
No list of things to do in Belize is complete if a visit to the ruins of Lamanai is not included. Lamanai is one of the most amazing Mayan sites in Belize. The ruins stand out for their wonderful architecture and imposing landscapes. Lush jungle surrounds the pyramids, so there you’ll also be able to spot endemic species. Furthermore, the New River lagoon is there so you can reach the ruins by boat. While you stroll along the picturesque trails you’ll see howler monkeys on the way. If you want to learn more about the Mayan civilization, you cannot fail to visit Lamanai.
5. Practice tubing inside the caves
There’s nothing more exciting than floating 11 kilometres down the underground rivers with just a flashlight guiding you. For enjoying this experience, firstly you will need to hire a guide, it’s always better to do it like that so you won’t waste time going around and focus on the real deal. The adventure begins with a walk of around 20 and 30 minutes through the jungle. The guide will tell you with all the curious facts about the local wildlife as you go towards the river. Once there, you will climb into an air chamber and immediately begin your adventure.
The caves are unique natural structures and in their interior waterfalls, rock formations and crystals await. The tour of the caves lasts around 30 minutes and ends with a walk along the river, where you will have the possibility of encountering toucans and howler monkeys. Once you hire the tour, the guide will provide all the equipment you will need.
6. Stay in the jungle
Can you imagine waking up with chirping birds, look out the window and admire the jungle… sighs, you can do so in Belize. This country features a large array of ecological accommodation, perfect for a romantic retreat or family vacation. These ecological options are not regular cabins in the woods, ecological accommodation in Belize means a fabulous and respectful spa with pools surrounded by trees, delicious cuisine and world-class rooms. Depending on the budget, you can spend a night by a river in a fabulous cabin or in a beachfront hostel, the options are varied.
7. Visit the zoo
Among the things to do in Belize, you can’t fail to spend a day at the Zoo. Belize’s Zoo has a very interesting story. The project began in the early ’80s after a documentary about the endemic fauna of Belize and the inability to be reintroduced into their natural environment after being domesticated. Sharon Matola, who was in charge of these creatures, decided to create a rescue centre.
This zoo is famous for gathering endemic species from the region and for harbouring orphaned, injured or captive-bred chicks. Please note that as many of the animals are nocturnal, the best time to visit the zoo is at night. If you are travelling with kids, visiting the zoo is the perfect opportunity to teach your kids about how to preserve wildlife and being friendly with our planet.
8. Escape to nearby islands
Escape to the islands and islets of Belize is a must for any traveller looking for soak up the sun. Visitors can choose among hundreds of islands… more than 400! For backpackers, Caye Caulker is the best option. Vehicles are not allowed, so people must walk or rent a golf cart. If on the other hand, you are looking for luxurious accommodation, you must book your hotel in Ambergris Caye. Ambergris Caye is full of restaurants, pubs and world-class hotels. Finally, if you want to get to know the local culture and take part in the routine of Belizeans we suggest you book your accommodation in Tobacco Caye.
9. Explore Mayan Sites: Caracol
Caracol is an impressive Mayan site in Belize where more than 30,000 constructions and unexcavated areas await you. Most visitors come attracted to the impressive Ca’ana pyramid. Ca’ana is 44 meters high and is the highest structure made by man in the country. The staircases to the highest point are giant and climb them are a real challenge. Once you reach the summit, you will have impressive views of the jungle that surrounds it. Be careful when hiking across the paths, as you may meet local inhabitants like jaguars, monkeys, toucans, tapirs and macaws.
10. Snorkel in the Hol Chan marine reserve
When we think of things to do in Belize, we can’t fail to mention the numerous opportunities for diving and snorkelling. Belize is well known to divers, mainly thanks to the Great Blue Hole, however, you’ll find interesting spots across the country. The oldest marine reserve in Belize offers diving and snorkelling opportunities without affecting the marine fauna of the northern region of the Barrier Reef. To access Hol Chan Marine Reserva is necessary to rent a boat and be accompanied by a guide.
Hol Chan marine reserve is divided into four zones and the most important is Hol Cut Chan. This area is perfect for discovering the great diversity of colourful fish. Stripes, lobsters and eels are also part of this underwater scenario. The second and third zones are home to algae and mangroves. The fourth area, Shark Ray Alley, is perfect for avid divers. In this alley, you will see the nurse sharks. Furthermore, manta rays are other inhabitants of this ecosystem so varied and although they are not dangerous, they must be treated with respect.