Belize’s Top 12 Experiences and How You Can Do Them
We know what you’re thinking: Each time you consult a travel website or print magazine, somebody claims to be the expert on what to do and see in Belize. As a result of too many suggestions, your list may be so long, you’d have to stick around for months to see it all. We’ve got your solution: a list of the top 12 experiences to see first. You’ll fall in love with Belize, so you may as well save the rest for your next visit.
Go Bird Watching in Belize
1. Watch birds. You don’t have to be an ornithological snob to appreciate the hundreds of bird species attributed to Belize—some say 300; others suggest 600. Numbers won’t matter once you experience the beauty of these colorful and often rare birds as they fly overhead, nest in trees and pose for photos.
Search for Belize Jaguars
2. Search for jaguars. Belize is home to the only protected jaguar reserve on Earth, but if you want to stand a chance of seeing them, you’ll have to visit their habitat, the Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve, by night because these nocturnal cats hide by day and prowl the jungle after sundown.
3. Go Kayaking. You’ll have your choice of wild and exciting waves or tranquil lagoons and waterways in Belize, so you can have it your way if you love to kayak. Resort hosts often provide guests with free use of kayaks plus life vests and necessities that will take you safely through any type of water you feel most comfortable paddling.
Go Cave Tubing
4. Go cave tubing. Expert guides get travelers down rocky roads, through shallow waters and past obstacles to reach the mouths of caves welcoming curious tourists inside. Sail slowly into the interior where spooky rock formations fascinate visitors. You might even spot artifacts left behind by Mayans who once inhabited that particular cave.
See the Belize Barrier Reef
5. See the Reef. The Great Belize Reef never disappoints, which is how it earned the title, “world’s best diving and snorkeling site.” It’s often the first place tourists ask to see. The longest barrier reef in this hemisphere boasts 65 types of coral and 300 species of marine wildlife. Spend enough time here and you could spot most of them.
Plan an Escape
6. Plan an escape. Take your desire for privacy, pampering or partying to the max by picking the place that suits your sensibilities. Tiny private islands abound, as do large cayes with unique reputations for fun and sun, so whether napping in a thatch-roof hut on stilts or living like European royalty suits your fancy, your escape awaits.
Go Where the Action Is
7. Go where the action is. Vacationing is a matter of taste and habit, and if you can’t exist without a bountiful nightlife and lots of companionship, head for Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker where your social life could rival that of the Kardashians’ if you play your cards right.
Make it An Authentic Escape
8. Or, make it an authentic escape! Wildlife will be informed of your arrival if you elect to stay at one of the jungle lodges that makes real Belize’s wild and untamed majesty. These locations are scattered about and come in many price ranges, so if you want to bring the kids for a unique thrill, you can afford to do so.
Stroll a Maya Site
9. Stroll Mayan ruins. No matter where you elect to say in Belize, there’s likely a Mayan ruin a short distance away. Some are working archaeological sites. Others are completely excavated temples, ballparks and palaces. If you must pick only one, Caracol is often recommended, but they are all worth your time and effort.
Visit the ATM Cave
10. Visit the ATM. If you can’t get to Caracol and haven’t time to go cave tubing, an excursion to Actun Tunichil Muknal could kill two destination birds with one stone. Enter this creepy underworld with respect: ATM was once the site of Mayan sacrificial rituals and artifacts left behind tell that story—including human skeletons.
Ride A Bike
11. Ride a bike along the Hummingbird Highway through hill country where verdant mountains and acre upon acre of citrus groves heighten the senses if you enjoy cycling and have the stamina. Otherwise, a car or motorbike can serve as your chariot, and since you’re the pilot, stop whenever you like along the road for a picnic.
Go Zip Lining
12. Zip it up. You’re on vacation. Time to do something you’ve longed to do but never made the time: go zip lining. Skimming along jungle canopies in Belize offers all of the thrills of an Indiana Jones-like adventure, and if you ask a friend to take photos, nonbelievers back home can see proof of your bravery.