From Mayan ruins to jungle lodges, Belize offers terrific experiences that should be on every traveler’s list. Here are our top picks for a memorable trip.
1. CAVE TUBING
Overland journeys and undersea adventures are just part of the Belize experience. Underground, you’ll find subterranean rivers that provide thrilling passage through spooky caves.
2. BIRD WATCHING
Belize’s jungles teem with wild birds—nearly 600 species. Endangered beauties such as the scarlet macaw and keel-billed toucan roam freely in the country’s interior.
The Belize Barrier Reef blocks big swells, so the country has some of the region’s best open-water kayaking. Inland, there are rivers for all levels of paddlers.
4. JAGUAR TREKKING
Jaguars are shy and nocturnal, so sightings are rare. But Belize has the highest concentration of them in the world. With patience and luck, you might spot one in the wild.
5. Skydive in the Great Blue Hole
The Great Blue Hole is a large submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize. The hole is 300 m (984 ft) across and 124 m (407 ft) deep. Skydiving facilities are available and you can land by the side of the hole near waiting boats.
6. BELIZE BARRIER REEF
Widely considered one of the world’s best sites for diving and snorkeling, the Belize Barrier Reef is home to more than 300 species of fish and sixty-five kinds of coral. It’s the longest barrier reef in the Western or Northern hemispheres.
One of the most thrilling ways to explore Belize is from its treetops. Canopy tours zip you through a network of suspended platforms high in the trees.
8. REMOTE ESCAPES
Private islands are the stuff of dream vacations, and Belize’s cayes and atolls have a number of these fantasy getaways—some with surprisingly down-to-earth prices.
9. MAYAN RUINS
For 5,000 years the Mayans inhabited this region. Caracol and more than a dozen sites are open to visitors for climbing, exploring, and general ogling of astounding architectural ingenuity.
10. STAYING AT A JUNGLE LODGE
In Belize there’s a jungle lodge for every budget, from simple cabins to the deluxe Caves Branch Adventure Company & Jungle Lodge. Included free with each night is the jungle music of birds, monkeys, and tree frogs.
11. ACTUN TUNICHIL MUKNAL
More than a cave system, ATM is a visit to a Mayan underworld filled with eerie chambers where ancient artifacts and human skeletons remain undisturbed.