5 Things to Do in Belize Besides Diving

Home to the Great Blue Hole, Belize is known primarily as a scuba diving mecca. But there are plenty of other things to do inland in this tropical paradise.Home to the Great Blue Hole, Belize is known primarily as a scuba diving mecca. But there are plenty of other things to do inland in this tropical paradise.

Go Caving

While neighbouring Mexico and Guatemala get all the press for Mayan sites, Belize was once the centre of the Mundo Maya. At its peak, the Mayan civilization in Belize is said to have reached over a million people. This means plenty of archaeological sites, some still buried under thick bush and, most fascinating of all, sacrificial caves now open to the public for supervised spelunking. You can hop on the popular Actun Tunichil Muknal tour to view the skeletal remains of a young Maya girl, but there are also others worth exploring. Arrange a visit to Actun Halal and Actun Chapat, in the western village of San Jose Succotz, through Belizean Sun Tours—there, your group will likely have the xibalba or Mayan underworld all to yourselves.

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Credit: Lebawit Lily Girma

Go Birdwatching

There are more than 300 species of birds in Belize, putting it on expert birders’ dream destination list. There’s no shortage of spots to explore country-wide, and it’s fine to be a beginner. The most stunning areas are Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, just outside Belize City, while in the north, the hundreds of thousands of acres surrounding Chan Chich Lodge are a veritable birders’ paradise. You might not think you’re cut out for it, but grab a pair of binoculars and you’ll be stunned at what you spot and how addictive it gets.

Take a Drumming Lesson

Belize’s endangered Garífuna culture is one of the most fascinating in Central America. The Garinagu are descendants of a unique mixed population of West African and Carib Indians who settled along Belize’s southern shores in 1802. Declared an endangered culture by the United Nations in 2001, there have been steady efforts to preserve elements of this Afro-Caribbean culture, particularly the music. Just a couple of hours away from Belize City is the eastern beach village of Hopkins, where the Lebeha Drumming Centerkeeps a steady staff of energetic, award-winning drummers. They might even teach you how to dance punta. When you’re done, head to nearby Bocawina National Park for some waterfall rappelling or swimming.

Read the full post here: http://www.travelandescape.ca/2013/06/5-things-to-do-in-belize-besides-diving/

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