How to Maximize Your Shore Experience if Your Cruise Ship Stops in Belize
Rumor has it that cruise ship passengers have fallen so in love with Belize when they disembark for day trips and shore excursions, some have come close to missing their departures. It happens. Belize’s top attractions, sites and cultural experiences are in close proximity to port, so it’s not unusual to find passengers racing for their cruise liner at the very last minute! If your cruise itinerary includes a Belize stop, these tips can save you time–and last minute sprinting!
Hire a guide to maximize your shore time because he knows where everything is and he won’t waste your valuable time. These independent contractors work hard to get you where you want to go so you see and experience the sites you’ve prioritized. Ask to see your guide’s license if you need assurances and then put yourself into his hands.
Walk around the old capital for a taste of Belize’s governmental origins. There are fascinating tales behind buildings like The House of Culture, Belize Supreme Court, St. John’s Cathedral and Baron Bliss Lighthouse that recall days of British colonization. If time allows, visit the Museum of Belize, formerly a prison, to see artifacts and historical documents. Don’t leave for the ship without taking a selfie.
Specify a wildlife adventure on shore if you are traveling with kids because there’s plenty of time to get to Swallow Caye, the Belize Zoo, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary or the Community Baboon Sanctuary before you must report back to your cruise ship. That’s the beauty of docking in a small country.
History and archaeology buffs eager to see remnants of Belize’s earliest people will want to visit nearby Mayan settlement ruins like Altun Ha. You’ll have plenty of time to tour the largest temple grounds (The Temple of the Masonry Altars) and to see Altun Ha’s world-famous Kinich Ahau jade head before you return to the dock.
Not everyone prefers to wander far from port for numerous reasons. If that describes you and you love exotic wines, learn more about this burgeoning Belize industry by visiting local wine-related businesses. Expand your palate by sampling cashew-, blackberry-, cassava- and sorrel-based wines, or indulge in a few Belikin beers that feature the aforementioned Kinich Ahau jade head on the label.
Can’t get enough time on the water? Spend your shore time on a powerboat ride through Belize’s wetlands. The speed at which your powerboat moves is going to be somewhat faster than the one your ship’s captain sets, but as you zoom in and out of the shoreline, you’ll love the change of pace. Is there a middle ground? You bet. A water taxi or quick charter can get you to nearby islands (Caye Caulker, Goff’s Caye or St. George’s Caye) for half a day and return you to your ship long before cocktails are served as your ship leaves port!
Traveling to Belize? Make sure to get a copy of The Ultimate Belize Bucket List.
The Ultimate Belize Bucket List is more than a compilation of exciting things to see and do in Central America’s fastest growing tourism hotspot. Offering an insider glimpse into the nation’s most coveted and awe-inspiring experiences, it goes beyond the clichés often presented in travel guidebooks and reveals the hidden gems that make this country particularly special. Get the secrets to taking your Belize adventure to the next level with local expert tips that will ensure your trip to this extraordinary destination is an unforgettable one.