For many, it’s a great place for a layover before jetting off to the cayes or making the drive up to Cayo, but mainland Belize District also offers tons of surprises to those who take the time to explore her. Bordered by the Caribbean Sea, this centrally located district is a treasure trove of hidden adventures and cultural experiences. For history buffs, foodies, nature lovers, and culture enthusiasts alike, here are four fun Belize District Adventures to embark on.
1. Tour the Home of the Famous Jade Head (Altun Ha)
From Belize City, an hour’s drive up the Philip Goldson and Old Northern Highways will lead you to the small but stunning Altun Ha archaeological site. Take a step back in time as you explore what was once an important part of the ancient Maya’s trade routes. Though not as grand as Caracol and not as tall as Xunantunich, Altun Ha is impressive in its own right. After all, it is the iconic site featured on the label of Belize’s Belikin Beer.
Learn about Belize’s history, including the discovery of the famous Jade Head – the largest Jade carving ever found in Mesoamerica.
2. Explore the Belize River Valley
There’s plenty to be learned about the Old Belize River, and the same can be said about the villages that line its banks. The Belize River Valley is the home of Creole culture in Belize, and its small communities are as unique and they are intriguing. Master the art of Creole cooking in Crooked Tree – where you can enjoy some of the country’s best birding as well as the annual Cashew Fest. Watch Howler Monkeys swing from the trees at the Community Baboon Sanctuary in Bermudian Landing. Or, watch Burrell Boom come alive in March when everyone gathers to watch the La Ruta Maya River Challenge.
3. Embark on a Foodie Adventure
From delectable city eats to humble roadside stands, the Belize District is definitely a hidden gem in the world of foodie travels. Take a trip to some beloved cafes like Le Petit, Bleu by Einar Marin, and Hano Coffee. Or, spend your days sampling a wide array of foods from restaurants like the Biltmore Bistro for international cuisine, Taka Kitchen for Japanese food, or Sumathi Restaurant for Indian delicacies.
4. Dive Into Belizean History
Take a tour of Belize City, which was once the capital of the country before it was struck by Hurricane Hattie in 1961. Discover the many pieces of history that still dot the bustling urban center, like the St. John’s Cathedral, the Old Swing Bridge, and the Museum of Belize. Or, put a unique spin on the usual historical tour with a trip to the Travellers Liquors Museum and Heritage Center.
Your Home Base When Exploring the Belize District
No matter your tastes when it comes to touring the Belize District, the Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza is known for being travelers’ “home away from home”. At the end of each day, retreat to this cozy bolthole situated just outside of the city. Plus, take advantage of their diverse range of tours. They’re perfect for the intrepid traveler looking to uncover the hidden adventures of the Belize District, from the Belize River Valley to the Belize Zoo.