For a tiny country, Belize packs quite a punch! With a fascinating diversity in culture, cuisine and languages, and an abundance of insane natural wonders and biodiversity, this country should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
The oldest reserve in Belize, it’s divided into four parts – the mangroves, the reef, the sea-grass beds and the Shark Ray Alley.
Known to support a rich aquatic life, it attracts nurse sharks, stingrays in heavy numbers, making it a hot spot for scuba diving and snorkeling.
Shark Ray Alley
A part of Hol Chan Marine Reserve, you’re guaranteed to find nurse sharks and stingrays here.
Swim amidst harmless nurse sharks and stingrays in crystal clear waters, it’s a surreal experience indeed. There are plenty of speedboats that can get you here, but for a complete experience, take a sailboat ride.
Spot a Jaguar in Cockscomb Basin
Belize houses the only Jaguar preserve in the world. Covering around 150 miles, this preserve is home to 200 jaguars and you can consider yourself incredibly lucky if you spot one.
Along with jaguars, other wild cats like ocelots and jaguarundi also call this preserve home.
Great Blue Hole
Undoubtedly Belize’s main and the most photographed attraction is this 400 ft deep sinkhole. Formed when a cave collapsed, you can dive in or take a boat ride through it.
But if you want to truly experience its splendor, nothing beats a helicopter ride over the Blue Hole. It sure as hell is expensive but so worth it! Make sure that you opt for a reputable tour company and that you’re sitting down the whole time.
Explore the Mayan Ruins
With so many Mayan sites, it can be a bit confusing as from where to start. The Xunantunich ruins, the most impressive Mayan ruins site, are suitable for people of all ages as they are easily accessible.
Other spectacular archaeological sites are Caracol and Lubaantun, both of which are larger than Xunantunich and offer much better views of the surroundings.
Explore the Culture
One of the most treasured highlights is the culture of its Garifuna people, an afro-Caribbean community. The culture is fragrant, vibrant and so full of life. The Garifuna’s language, music and dance was declared an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” in 2001 by UNESCO.
Get to know the people, savor the distinctive spices in their food, and dance to the beat of the drums and Punta music. Hopkins, 30-minutes from Dangriga, is the best place to interact with these lovely people.
Eat some jerk chicken
Though a little less spicy than the Jamaican jerk chicken, it has become a vital part of the Belizean cuisine.
Robin’s Kitchen, a local gem in San Pedro, serves some of the best jerk chicken with a side of beans, rice and coleslaw; it’s so good, you cannot get enough of it.
A checklist for Caye Caulker is an absolute no no! Spend your time just lazing around and day drinking at the Sip N Dip, swimming with the manatees, snorkeling in the Barrier Reef or just chill at the Split.
Visit the Belize Zoo
Yes, I know what I said. Settle down! This one’s a bit different. More of a sanctuary than a zoo, they only house animal species that are native to the country and rescues that have been orphaned or too weak to be released into the wild.
They help with the rehabilitation of these animals before they can release them back into the wild. 45 native animal species call this zoo home.