Belize instantly brings up adventurous ideals of thick, impenetrable jungle that only the most fervent of Bear Grylls enthusiasts can visit, but there is so much more to this almost hidden tropical paradise than that. Here are just 10 of the most popular things to see and do.
Tropical rainforests, pristine white sand beaches, vast national parks, ancient temples and ruins, there is so much to do in this relatively tiny central American country for any type of traveller, from the tourists with their Belize beachfront rentals to the budget backpacker and even the intrepid, adventure loving enthusiast. There is something for everyone in Belize. Here is just a small selection of some of the best things to see and do in Belize.
Altun Ha Ruins.
With the world famous Inca trail just a short hop away, it can be easy to forget that central and south America is littered with lesser known but no less impressive temples and ruins from not just one but a myriad of Aztec, Mayan and many other cultures. These fascinating and impressive Mayan temples are no exception, and being just a short distance from Belize city, they can be explored with relative ease.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
The diving and snorkelling here is pricey but it is world class too, and the stunning reserve has an absolute abundant array of marine life to share the water with.
Don Elijio National Park.
You don’t need to be and intrepid explorer to see some of Belize’s tropical jungle. There are countless guided and self guided nature and hiking trails across the country that cater to all abilities and tastes. Some of the best can be found in this vast national park, and many have special nature or conservation interest focuses.
Caye Caulker Beach.
One of the best beaches in Belize with a great backpacker vibe, this long stretch of sand faces the warm Caribbean sea and is protected by a large barrier reef that makes swimming relatively safe and the beach perfect for snorkeling.
Cocksomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Apart from the extensive jungle hiking trails and and opportunities to camp or sleep in the jungle, this is a genuine sanctuary that is home to Belize’s largest cat, the Jaguar. Most visits are tightly restricted to a small pocket of the sanctuary, leaving the absolute majority of it a protected area where the jaguars and other wildlife are free to roam.
Belize is famous for its stunning and otherwordly underground cave systems, and cave tubing through some of them is one hell of an exhilarating way to explore this stunning alien envioronment.
This large zoo holds a range of animals native to Belize and central America that are housed in large, natural enclosures. It is not the best zoo in the world but it does work hard to provide a responsible experience and is constantly evolving to keep up with best practices as much as possible.
These Mayan ruins are impressive not just for their history and architecture but also for their sheer size and scale. An absolute must see for anyone visiting Belize.
Laughing Bird Caye National Park.
A small but stunning island that is a popular stop on diving and snorkeling trips for it’s sheer beauty, some consider the island to have some of the best beaches in Belize, if not the region, and is well worth a day to itself just to explore. There are also plenty of tour operators offering day trips here and can organise dinner too, everything from a simple picnic on the beach to a barbecue on the sands.
Lamanai Archaeological Park.
No trip to Belize is complete without a trip to this stunning historical site that will pull you straight into the heart of the lost Mayan empire and immerse you into a time and an environment long gone. Holding some of Belize’s best restored ruins and temples, including Altun Ha, this huge open archaeological dig is part open air museum, part tourist attraction and is essential viewing if you are in the area.
Belize is a truly underrated and borderline hidden tropical paradise in a region that is still only just starting to open itself up, and one that every traveller should start getting on their radar.
What do you think? Did you enjoy this article? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or please join in the discussion on my Facebook or Twitter pages on this important topic, and please feel free to share it with any or all of the social media buttons and spread the word.
If you want to get more great backpacking tips, advice and inspiration, please subscribe to updates via email in the box to your right.
This article was written in partnership with luxuryretreats.com. The views and opinions expressed are entirely the authors own based on personal experiences when travelling and are honest and factual without any bias.