5 of Belize’s Underrated Places To See

by Larry Waight
Sarteneja retire

If you are a traveler seeking something unique, then Belize is for you. Though only the size of Vermont, Belize has everything from majestic Maya pyramids to invigorating underground caves and wondrous aquatic habitats. Though we could list dozens, keep your wanderlust high during COVID-19 with these 5 underrated Belize attractions. You’ll find that sometimes, the road less travelled is worth the trip! 

Vaca Lake  

This man-made water reservoir was first created by the opening of a large-scale Hydro-electric dam on the Macal River. Today, small tour companies offer a day-long pontoon boat ride to some of the district’s most beautiful swimming holes and waterfalls. In addition to enjoying these lovely areas, visitors can enjoy lunch on-board as the pontoon leisurely drifts downstream.  

Victoria Peak Natural Monument

Located adjacent to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in the verdant Maya Mountains, the Victoria Peak Natural Monument is Belize’s second highest elevation. The climb to the top is both challenging and rewarding. As you ascend above the tropical forest, the vegetation changes. Suddenly, you’re surrounded by trees that are less than 3 meters in height. The rich canopy features many blooms, including the rare fiery-colored orchid Epidendrum ibaguense. This botanical wonder can only be found at these higher elevations. Book your 3-day hike during the dry season through the protected area’s co-manager and Belize’s oldest conservation organization, Belize Audubon Society. 

Rio Frio Cave  

Featuring numerous stalactites and a killer view, this 65-foot tall cavern is an attractive destination for spelunkers and the adventurous alike. Spend the morning exploring the cave before taking a refreshing dip in the nearby plunge pools. Relax at the water’s edge and enjoy your picnic lunch.

Che Chem Ha Cave  

Love archeology? For those interested in Maya history, Che Chem Ha in Western Belize is a must-do trip. During ancient times, this national landmark was a grain storehouse and ceremonial center. You can view many authentic artifacts, including intact pottery, before enjoying an ice-cold Belikin beer at the nearby town of San Ignacio. This underrated wonder is conveniently located in central Belize. 

Sarteneja Village  

Located on the Bay of Corozal in the far north of Belize, Sarteneja was first settled by the Maya more than 2,600 years ago. Arguably, Sarteneja is one of the best places in the entire country to watch the sun set over the coast. This cozy village has a relaxed vibe, with incredible seafood thanks to the local fishermen. The village also hosts a lively annual “Dia de los Muertos” celebration, and is renowned for its artisan boat-builders and pineapple farms.

Victoria Peak Trail
Photo by Carolee Chanona
sarteneja beach-mangroves marcus-hjelm

Hopefully this article has spiked your interest in some of the lesser-known, but incredible, attractions that Belize offers. Whether you crave action and adventure, romance and history, or simple relaxation, Belize offers it all.

Feature Photo – Sarteneja, by Jessica Sawers

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