Some tourists come to Belize to dive. Others to hang out at hot spots like Ambergris Caye and Placencia. Everyone comes to behold the wonder of nature within the borders of this small nation. Visitors arrive fresh and curious thanks to short plane rides that get them to Belize in hours, and the fact that everyone speaks English can come as a welcome surprise. But it’s Belize’s natural wonders that capture hearts and minds. From trails to rainforests and from waterfalls to caves and reefs, there is no equal on the Caribbean rim.
Belize is Mother Nature’s Favorite Playground
You read about rainforests in conservation reports, but until you stand in one, you’ve no idea how it feels to spend time under that tree canopy. It can be warm, but that’s the point: when rain tumbles down, vestiges remain, creating a habitat for exotic creatures like crocodiles, armadillos, tapirs and three gorgeous cats: jaguars, ocelots, and puma. Where to find the most intriguing rainforest in Belize? Head for Toledo in Southern Belize. It never disappoints.
It’s no secret that the Belize Barrier Reef is a superstar. As the world’s second-largest, the reef offers tourists what no land tour can: unique scuba and diving opportunities. Search for 70 types of hard coral and see how many of the reef’s 400 fish species you can identify. Photograph colorful sponges and make a deep dive into the Blue Hole, written about in every diving magazine published and a challenge you can’t miss if you seek the ultimate thrill.
Belize isn’t exactly the cave capital of Central America, but you wouldn’t know it when you discover the vast network of caves and caverns that line the nature’s shore and travel inland. The Maya knew area cave systems so intimately, they chose these “entryways to the underworld” to stage sacred rituals and sacrificial ceremonies. Some caves are accessed by foot; others may require canoes or inner tubes. Bring your rugged gear and your imagination. Cave visits can be intoxicating!
The earliest inhabitants of Belize could count on rivers to sustain their lives even if they had no direct access to the Caribbean Sea. These meandering waterways follow circuitous routes, which makes a rafting, canoeing, tubing or kayaking a more fascinating, laid-back experience. It matters not where you wind up in Belize; you’ll always be near a river since they run east to west and north to south, crisscrossing the land gracefully and providing infinite sporting opportunities for Belizeans and tourists—especially hikers!
Belize Hiking Trails
Belize’s hiking trails are designed for everyone. Some are difficult and challenging. Others are well-groomed trails that invite hikers to proceed at leisurely paces while exploring plants, flowers and medicinal varieties of plants indigenous to Belize. Some private landowners and archaeological sites invite hikers to explore trails, as do national parks and select resorts. No matter your age, the pace at which you move or your hunger for a challenge, select the hiking trails that suit your desires and you’ll be rewarded.