Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Belize

  • Published 2021/07/17

Are you tired of your daily 9-to-5 and cannot wait to break out of the rut?

Do you require a welcome breather from cubicles, coffee cups, cars, and commutes?

Does your soul yearn to spend a few days in a new environment amidst the remnants of a different culture?

Belize, in Central America, will provide you with such a refreshing change.

Located on the northeastern extremity of Central America, Belize is a small multi-cultural country with one of the world’s lowest population densities.

The region was a thralling center of Mayan civilization, and you can enjoy glimpses of that rich past through the ruins that remain today.

Many exciting species of birds and animals swarm the region to add to the historical charm of the place.

The beaches and landscapes provide plenty of locations for adventure sports and other thrilling outdoor activities.

The multi-ethnic local population fills the area with a warm vibe reflecting the entire diversity of human society.

Such rich offerings make Belize an ideal attraction for those looking to enjoy a few days of respite from the routine to return rejuvenated.

To help you make the best of your time on your holiday, we have curated a list of 15 exciting things to do in Belize, in Central America.

Cahal Pech Maya Ruins

Cahal Pech Maya Ruins

Fotos593 /

The Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins is an important archaeological site replete with ancient structures and ruins that reflect the Mayan way of life from the past.

Cahal Pech means “The Land of Ticks,” an indication of the fact that the green expanses here were once used as pasture lands.

A Mayan royal family had constructed this palace in the Classical Period (~800-1000 A.D.) You can explore the remains that consist of 7 plazas and more than 30 other buildings, including temples, an altar used for human sacrifices, and a sweat-house.

You can gather valuable information about the Mayan civilization in these ruins.

The Mayans had a unique residential architectural style with interconnected rooms laid together in an ingenious mesh.

You can see that style in ruins in Cahal Pech.

You can enjoy stunning views of the Belize River Valley and San Ignacio from its high vantage point.

Altun Ha Ruins

Altun Ha Ruins

Alexandree /

More history awaits us at the Altun Ha ruins site.

These ruins are much older than Calah Pech, dating back to the first Mayan settlement in Altun Ha around 250 B.C.

You would need to travel by cruise ship and take a guide along to reach the ruins, as they can be challenging to locate by yourself.

You can find traces of the richness of Mayan civilization in the temples and tombs.

Some symbols and illustrations reflect the advanced knowledge of mathematics and astronomy possessed by the ancient Mayans.

The Temple of the Masonry Altar is the star attraction of these remains.

Your guide will enlighten you with the motivation and the many legends behind this altar.

Bacab Eco-Park

Bacab Eco-Park

Christopher L Wells /

You can next stroll around to the Bacan Eco-Park and bask in the natural beauty of Belize.

The natural preserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife.

Ride horseback or paddle your way on a bicycle to explore the surrounding jungles.

Alternatively, you can spot rare bird species in the bird zone.

You can enjoy rejuvenating hikes on the trails while breathing the fresh air of the natural environment.

The waters around are enticing, and paddling in them in a kayak is delightful.

End the day’s exertions by relaxing in a comfortable hammock while sipping on your favorite cocktail.

The food at the in-house restaurant is delectable, with a menu full of local and international recipes.

Caye Ambergris

Snorkeling in Caye Ambergris

Ventu Photo /

We next take you from jungles to deep seas by heading to Caye Ambergris, the largest island near Belize.

Enjoy the gorgeous pearl-blue waters and the golden-white sands of heavenly Caribbean coasts at this island.

You can go snorkeling to catch a glimpse of the colorful marine life or scuba dive into the deep seas for more marine fun.

Put your fishing lines and patience to good use by catching some of the best fish from the waters.

Take the thrill to new heights by taking a wind-surfing tour over the seas.

Parasail in the majestic skies to enjoy more adrenaline rushes.

Bike or hike in the thick jungles and lose yourself in exotic tropical pleasures.

San Pedro Town, the island’s central city, then awaits you with its outstanding restaurants and stores.

Pamper your taste buds with sumptuous cuisines and pick up local artifacts to take back as sweet memorabilia.

Belize Zoo

Jagura at Belize Zoo

Christophe SCHULTZ /

You can dote on the animals native to these regions by visiting the Belize Zoo.

From humble beginnings as a backyard zoo back in 1983, it has grown into a full-blown zoo with more than 170 animals representing 45 species.

You can not only watch the animals but also learn about them through the educational trips on offer.

They are particular about conservation, and you can know about their efforts in this direction by talking to the folks here.

Jaguars, ocelots, tapirs, and the incredibly entertaining howler monkeys will delight you with their ways and habits.

Native birds such as the toucan and scarlet macaw will mesmerize you with the beauty of their plume.

You can stay overnight in on-site cabanas to enhance your experience.

The zoo also offers canoe and tubing trips that you can book in advance.

Caracol Mayan Ruins

Caracol Temple Mayan Ruins

Mehdi Kasumov /

More Mayan glory welcomes you at the Caracol Mayan Ruins site, the largest of such sites in Belize.

They are located in the large tropical rain forest reserve, the Chiquibil Forest Reserve, and were one of the most significant Mayan populations that numbered more than 100,000 in its heydays.

The Mayans’ architectural ingenuity and deep knowledge are on full display in the 35,000 and more building remains.

The most famous of these is the Caana, or the “sky tower,” the tallest structure in Belize.

You can learn in-depth information about these ruins at the on-site museum.

Lodge at Chaa Creek

Delicious food served in Lodge at Chaa Creek

Top Photo Corporation /

Rejoice in the thrill of lodging in unique abodes such as treetop whirlpool villas, grand suites jutting out over the gorgeous waters of the Macal River, and exciting campsites at the Lodge at Chaa Creek private resort.

The 400 acres wide eco-friendly resort has featured in respected publications like Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic, and Travel and Leisure.

You can set up a base in one of the 28 exquisite cottages and luxury suites.

Additional facilities to pamper yourself include a refreshing spa and an impressive swimming pool.

Nibble on interesting nuggets of the area’s prehistory at the Chaa Creek Natural History Center.

Explore the indigenous Mayan farming techniques at the Maya Organic Farm, where they are practiced in an authentic way to supply produce to the resort.

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Waterfall at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Matyas Rehak /

Try your luck to spot an elusive jaguar in all its majestic glory by heading over to the Cockscomb Basin, which houses the largest concentrated jaguar population worldwide.

Around 200 jaguars roam in the 15- square-mile expanses of this preserve.

You can hike on the fantastic trails that span difficulty levels from beginner-friendly to advanced.

Other than jaguars, you can spot cats, monkeys, and 300 species of exotic birds.

The region is dotted with grand waterfalls and imposing mountain peaks.

The panoramic views of the landscape are breathtaking and perfect for you to capture in fabulous photos.

Green Iguana Conservation Project

Green Iguana Conservation Project

Kylie Nicholson /

Green Iguana is a beautiful animal, but sadly this species is now endangered.

The Green Iguana Conservation Project strives to educate the public about this fact and take initiatives to prevent this disaster from occurring.

They host interactive exhibits with live iguanas at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel to enable guests to fall in love with these creatures by rubbing and touching them.

Building an empathetic connection with iguanas can go a long way in raising public awareness to take proactive steps to prevent their extinction.

Hopkins Village

Traditional performance at Hopkins Village

Roi Brooks /

It would be fantastic for you to visit the tiny Hopkins Village to experience the multi-cultural diversity of Belize.

The 1500 local solid population is incredibly hospitable to tourists.

Explore the numerous warm restaurants and shops as you wander through the quaint streets of this sleepy town.

You can go cave tubing at the nearby May Flower Reserve or enjoy sailing over the glorious waters.

Snorkeling and scuba diving at the Belize Barrier Reef can provide extra fun.

Rich Mayan ruins are also spread out all over the region, and you can take an exciting guided tour through them.

Lamanai Archaeological Project

Lamanai Archaeological Reserve

Mehdi Kasumov /

The Lamanai site was yet another Mayan settlement in Belize where they first set base around 1500 B.C. and occupied it for the next 3200 years.

No wonder the region is dotted with valuable remains from the civilization of that period.

The Lamanai Project has the mission to unearth these archaeological artifacts and reconstruct an accurate history of the Mayans from this era.

Some of the fantastic buildings that you can cite include the High Temple, the Mask Temple.

And the famous Jaguar Temple, as the Mayans held this animal in exceptionally high regard.

Many statues, plazas, and churches in the region narrate the history from a later era.

The area abounds in curated pieces of Mayan pottery and figures.

You can also see glimpses of Colonial times with the dilapidated remains of a 19th-century sugar mill and plantation.

Laughing Bird Caye National Park

Laughing bird Caye National Park

Danita Delimont /

The Laughing bird Caye National Park features an interesting geological formation known as a “faro” or “shelf atoll.

” This structure is a tall atoll with steep sides that houses a lagoon in the center.

The Laughingbird faro is special in being surrounded by water channels on all sides, which further adds to the beauty of this geological marvel.

Additionally, the faro is an ideal habitat for rich marine life due to these special features.

It has been declared a protected area for its rich wildlife and corral.

Many visitors flock here to enjoy splendid views of the landscape and sea life.

Lil’ Alphonse Snorkeling

Snorkeling with turtles in Hol Chan, Belize

Maui Topical Images /

Ocean waters house a vast, unexplored treasure of life on earth.

With his well-trained crew, Lil’ Alphonse helps you catch a glimpse of this richness by taking you on remarkable snorkeling expeditions in some of the best hand-picked spots in the area.

Shark Ray Alley, Hol Chan, and Mexico Rocks are ideal underwater diving locations, and you can see impressive species of sea animals such as rays, sharks, fish, and sea turtles.

The best part is that most of these tours take you only in shallow waters less than 20 feet deep.

So you need not worry about not being a professional scuba diver.

Even novices can enjoy these snorkeling tours with the help of expert guidance and high-quality equipment provided by Lil’ Alphonso.

Mayflower Bocawina National Park

Cohune nuts in Mayflower Bocawina National Park

Kara Arceneaux /

The 11-square mile small Mayflower Bocawina National Park offers a rich bouquet of exciting activities to tourists.

Hike through its fantastic trails while enjoying scenic views of the lush greenery on both sides.

Most trails lead to further blissful sites such as thunderous waterfalls, refreshing swimming holes, and exciting Mayan pyramids that transport you into the mysteries of another era.

Birdwatching brings added pleasures to travelers to the park.

Thrill yourself with crazy adventurous fun by going on zip line trips or rappelling.

Museum of Belize

Museum of Belize

ironypoisoning, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Boost your knowledge of Belize’s history further by visiting the engaging Museum of Belize.

The site of this museum was a prison till 2002, when it was converted to its present form.

The remarkable exhibits of coins, stamps, jades, postcards, and bottles of Belize will entertain you with the country’s modern history.

Other artifacts retell the ancient history of the Mayas and their many waves of settlements.

You can attend a history class or an art session to enrich yourself further.

Some exhibits also depict tales and incidents from the famous logging industry.

Belize is an incredibly rich storehouse of ruins of the impressive Mayan Civilisation.

You can peep deep into the advanced knowledge, engineering skills, and way of life of this rich civilization which has been sadly buried forever under the sands of time.

Belize also offers you an opportunity to explore rich wildlife, colorful marine life, and exquisite geological formations.

We hope you will return from your trip to this quaint country with a bagful of fond memories to cherish for a lifetime!

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