Top Ten Things to Do in Belize
You won’t believe just how much beauty, fun, and history is packed into the pint-sized country of Belize. A Central American nation bordered by Mexico in the North and Guatemala in the South, it’s the perfect paradise for those looking for a mix of Caribbean beaches, exotic wildlife, and jungle adventures for their next vacation. Read about the top ten things to do in Belize below to find out what makes it so special!
Explore ancient Mayan ruins.
Trek through mysterious ruins in some of the largest, most important Mayan sites in Central America. Grab a tour guide and learn about the ancient people who built these impressive stone pyramids and structures. A great alternative to beach-lounging, historic complexes such as Lamanai, Altun- Ha, Xunantunich, and Santa Ritawill bring out your adventurous side, and you’ll even learn a thing or two!
Gaze at incredible marine life in the Barrier Reef.
The coast of Belize is home to the largest intact reef system in the Northern Hemisphere.This system of seven protected areas was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, and is teeming with exotic marine fish and flora, as well as manatees, turtles, and crocodiles. There are so many ways to enjoy the reef— snorkel below the crystal Caribbean waters, take a water taxi and ride above the waves and through the mangrove forests, or swim with sharks in a guided tour at Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
Hike through a cave filled with amazing artifacts and skeletons.
This is one adventure that you’ll never forget! Take the Actun Tunichil Muknalcave tour into the heart of the Mayan underworld, where 3,500 year old relics await. You’ll be blown away by the beauty of these mystic caverns, filled with stalactites, stalagmites and a river so clear that its waters have been used as a drinking source. Ancient pottery and skeletons line the walls of what was once the site of sacred Mayan ceremonies. Let your spiritual senses be awakened by this little-known treasure in the heart of Belize.
Don’t miss the Belize Blue Hole!
It’s the largest undersea sinkhole in the world, and just one look at it will make you want to book the fastest flight to Belize. Ranked as number one on the Discovery Channel’s list “The 10 Most Amazing Places on Earth”, this wonder is home to giant underwater geological formations, coral, and a huge variety of marine life. Soar above the hole by helicopter to gape at its spectacular spherical shape and breathtaking blue expanse for an unforgettable aerial experience. Or, take a bucket-list worthy dive into the deep to discover vibrant coral and ancient stalactites. You can also explore the hole by snorkel, floating along the rim and swimming with the colorful fish who call it home.
Relax on the golden sands of a public (or private) beach.
Need something a little less strenuous? We get it— hiking and snorkeling isn’t for everyone. Sometimes, you just need a break from all that adventure! Get your suit and sunscreen ready, because some of the best beaches in the Caribbean Sea are found in Belize. Hopkins and Placencia have famously long stretches of public beach that the whole family can enjoy. Want the sand and sun all to yourself? Take a tour to a private beach like Laughing Bird Caye National Park, or book a romantic getaway on your own private island.
Rappel down a waterfall at Bocawina Falls.
Once you’ve gotten some rest and relaxation at the beach, it’s time for Belize to show its audacious side once more, and tempt you with some seriously adrenaline-infused activities. At Mayflower Bocawina National Park, you can zip through a ravishing rainforest on a 2.5 cable, rappel down the face of a sparkling waterfall, and swim in crystalline freshwater pools. You can also take an adventurous ATV tour through local villages, orchards, and the jungle near the falls. It’s an incredible alternative way to explore Belize!
Meet native wildlife at the Belize Zoo.
Although you might also see Belize’s exotic creatures while exploring the Mayan ruins or trekking through the jungle, you’re guaranteed to set eyes on one at this quirky little zoo. Every animal housed here was rescued—many were abandoned pets or were found injured in the wild and are being rehabilitated. Delight your kids (or yourself) with an up-close encounter with toucans, boas, and baboons. Watch the mighty jaguar lounge in his (recreated) natural habitat. Best of all, your admission fee goes to support a great cause!
Grab some lovely local artwork.
All the colors and excitement of Belize are captured in the beautiful paintings and handcrafts housed in the Belizean Arts Gallery in San Pedro. Skip the china-made keychains and support local artists by taking home some handmade jewelry, fans, and other one-of-a-kind pieces. This is hands-down the best way to take a little piece of Belize back home with you to cherish forever.
Discover the Caribbean Sea by boat.
Imagine the vast, wide ocean before you, as far as the eye can see. Behind you, the golden sandy beaches, and before you, the blue-green expanse of liquid paradise. Belize offers sailing tours, catamarans, water taxis, and motorboats for your ocean adventures. Or, rent a canoe or kayak and glide across calm waters while getting a bit of exercise. When the sun gets bright, you’ll be tempted to jump right into the warm, placid waters of the Caribbean— go right ahead!
Skip the hotel and stay in a private thatch-roof cabin.
Forgo the concrete complexes and crowded tourist apartments for something a bit more rustic and yet still luxurious. Ambergris Caye boasts stunning thatch-roof casitas built on a private white-sand beach. Sip your piña-colada from your hammock and gaze out at the vast expanse of the Caribbean. Enjoy unmarred views as you sit among stately palms and listen to the sound of the crashing waves, far from the hustle and bustle of the city. This is truly Belize at its finest.