Best Things To Do In Belize
If you’re planning your first trip to Belize it can be hard to decide what to do. For a tiny country, Belize punches well above its weight. The Caribbean coastline is home to the second-largest coral reef in the world (after the Great Barrier Reef, naturally), while its lush inland is filled with dense jungle. If you’re adventurous and nature-loving, there are countless exciting things to do in Belize.
1. Drink Coconuts On Caye Caulker, Belize
Just about 20 miles north of Belize City sits Caye Caulker, a 4-mile-long, sun-soaked island that boasts superb diving and snorkeling spots and a relaxed tropical ambiance. Though the island is mostly uninhabited by locals, visitors flock to the restaurants, shops, and hotels perched at the northern tip near the Split (the area where Hurricane Hattie parted Caye Caulker into two halves in 1960).
Like Ambergris Caye, this remote island offers a broad range of snorkeling, scuba, sailing, kayaking, and fishing services to nearby sites located along the surrounding barrier reef. There are also some unique attractions like the manatee preservation site, Swallow Caye.
2. Go Bird Watching, Belize
Over 500 species of feathered friends call Belize home from time to time. Some of the best places to see migrant and resident water birds are Crooked Tree and the seashores of Belize.Like everything else here, you can easily watch birds while doing something else. Going on a zip lining trip? You may see a toucan. Cruising the Hummingbird Highway to San Ignacio? Pull over and check out a few birds. In Cockscomb Basin Forest Reserve? So are birds.If you want someone to show you birds, our resorts and tour operators offer birding trips that will show you all the birding hot spots. So, no matter if you just want to check out a few exotic birds or you’re a full-blown “twitcher,” here, all you really have to do is look up.
3. Explore The Maya Ruins, Belize
The largest Maya city ever excavated in Belize, Caracol is a huge site that features majestic temples that modern visitors can climb to enjoy a spectacular view of the surrounding Chiquibul forest reserve. Still an active archaeological site, Caracol has revealed many of its treasures but much work is needed to uncover all of its secrets.After exploring the impressive ruins of Caracol, enjoy a refreshing dip in the receiving pools of the Big Rock Falls waterfall or Rio on Pools in the nearby Mountain Pine Ridge Park. Thanks to an investment from the Belizean government, the roads leading to Caracol are in good condition and the drive to the site gives visitors a chance to marvel at the spectacular beauty of the flora and fauna in the Chiquibul Rainforest.
4. Go Horseback Riding, Belize
Horseback rides on open farmlands or lush jungle trails and enjoys picturesque views of the surrounding countryside. You will also see marvelous Belizean wildlife in its natural habitat. If you love horseback riding then this is a must-do tour for you!
This horseback riding tour can be combined with River Canoeing, Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins or Xunantunich Mayan Ruins and departs from Cahal Pech Village
5. Visit The Wildlife, Stann Creek District
Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary is a haven for nature buffs. The mountainous tropical forest here protects an impressive array of wildlife including jaguars, ocelots, pumas, anteaters, tapirs, monkeys, and snakes, although sightings of the cats are rare. Birders will also love it here. Toucans and scarlet macaws are among the 290 species recorded in the preserve. The best way to explore the sanctuary is on the extensive web of trails. The Waterfall Trail is one of the most popular with a cascade and swimming hole, while Ben's Bluff Hiking Trail is more challenging but offers rewarding views of the basin. Guided tours are also available. Be sure to wear protective clothing and take plenty of water.
6. Swim With Sharks, Ambergris Caye
At the popular Shark Ray Alleyin the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, visitors get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with nurse sharks and stingrays. The four- to five-foot-long nurse sharks are bottom feeders and are generally harmless to humans, as long as they aren't encroached upon.
Shark Ray Alley came to be when local fishermen used the area to clean off their daily catches, attracting nurse sharks and rays to the morsels left behind. Now, whenever they hear the boats, they come in droves for a meal.
When you visit Shark Ray Alley, your guide will attract the sharks with small fish as you swim near them from a safe distance. Rest assured, you can still get a good view from the boat if you choose not to jump in. Snorkeling and diving activities in the reserve are heavily monitored, so make sure to go with a company that has permission to bring visitors.
7. Snorkel At Reef, Caye Caulker
Belize is home to one of the biggest and most beautiful barrier reefs on the planet. As one of the best things to do on Caye Caulker, taking a snorkel tour right off the coast of this tiny, relaxed island is a must-do. You can opt for a full or half-day tour stopping at several sites along the way.
The full-day tour stops at three spots along the reef including the deeper trenches, a healthy coral garden, and shark alley (don’t worry, the sharks are harmless). Two additional stops include a chance to spot manatees as well as snorkel around a shipwreck. There are a wide variety of fish and corals to see. You may even see a giant moray eel! Daring snorkelers can swim through an underwater cave, while less-experienced swimmers can utilize life jackets to stay afloat.
8. Chill At The Split, Belize
Arguably the most charming of all the cayes in Belize, the five-mile-long Caye Caulker, located 20 miles north of Belize City, is a laid-back spot that sees a lot of backpackers, budget travelers, and sun worshippers. Choose to stay a few days, enjoying fresh ceviche, shopping at local stores, and taking day trips to nearby islands. Don't be surprised to see stray dogs running alongside golf carts and bikes.
The most happening place to visit on the island is the Split, created as a result of Hurricane Hattie in 1961, which divided the island in two. Today, the Split is a small public beach and the best place to mingle with other travelers, eat delicious food, and savor the warm waters as you snorkel or swim. It's a common sight to see visitors on their beach chairs and benches by the water enjoying refreshments.
9. Go Fishing, Belize
From spin, to fly, to trolling, our abundance of game fish guarantees excellent sport fishing all year round. And since many rivers empty into the Caribbean Sea, you’re practically guaranteed a daily catch. Not to mention the fact that our guides have no problem sharing their own “secret” spots with guests.
Explore Turneffe Atoll, which provides you with some of the most desired areas in the world for fly fishing. Bonefish, permit and tarpon are everywhere here. In fact, Belize is one of few places where you can fish a Grand Slam—bonefish, permit and tarpon all in the same day. How many times do you get to win a Grand Slam on a vacation?
10. Relax On The Beach, Belize
No tour of Belize would be complete without a chance to stroll along the more than 180 miles of beaches found in the country. The perfect setting for a hammock strung between two trees, working on your tan, swimming in the sparking azure water, or simply sitting back and admiring the view, beaches in Belize range from golden to sugar white sand. Some of the most popular beaches can be found on the Placencia Peninsula, the islands of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye, and the village of Hopkins.
Almost all of the beaches in the country are safe for swimming, with a minimum of rip tides and undertows. World-class fishing and sailing abounds once you cross over the reef, heading for deeper water some 50 miles off shore.
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