Belize Bucket List

by McNab Editorial Team
Belize Bucket List

Belize Bucket List

Belize’s lush jungle, pristine barrier reef, ancient Maya cities, rich culture, and natural beauty make it the perfect playground. Its diverse terrain results in a guaranteed destination for some fun, suitable for all levels for endeavors.

Discover nature trails that lead you to beautiful hidden waterfalls, get your heart racing as you rappel down gushing cascades, or simply spend the day river tubing in crystal clear waters. There are countless “off the beaten paths” waiting to be explored.

For more adventures, the Belize Barrier Reef has plenty to offer.

Enjoy swimming in clear turquoise waters or go snorkeling and be mesmerized by the healthy aquatic life of the Belize Barrier Reef. Of course, for avid divers don’t miss out on the opportunity to dive the Great Blue Hole.

As you wander Belize’s great outdoors, go at your own pace and you will be sure to have a fantastic time.

Therefore, we have complied a Bucket List for your time in Belize.

Cayo District

Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave (ATM Cave)

The ATM Cave, situated in Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve in the Cayo District, is in fact, one of the top 10 sacred caves in the world by National Geographic. A trip to the cave requires almost a full day, starting off with a hike which entails crossing two flowing streams. Entering the cave requires a short swim at the doorway of the cave making for a refreshing dip. With the cave over 5km long, spend roughly 3 hours inside hiking through water streams and boulders. Lay your sights on a Crystallized skeleton, the “Crystal Maiden”, proof that Maya Sacrifice once took place in this sacred cave.

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Thousand-Foot Falls

Of the 8,867 square miles that make up Belize, 28% of the country is environmentally protected. The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, located in the Cayo district, is the oldest and largest protected reserve in the country. Lush green pine and broadleaf forest, beautiful rivers, and hidden waterfalls that speckle the area make for a nature lovers paradise.

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Butterfly Falls

This unique waterfall is located in the private property of Hidden Valley Inn. An 80ft single drop waterfall that ends in a beautiful pool surrounded by a rock face and flora. Indeed, the best way to experience this waterfall is to book a stay with the Hidden Valley Inn. Start the journey by going on a 30-minute hike to get to the falls. The perfect time to be at the falls is around 9-11:30 a.m. where you can see the beautiful blue morpho butterflies that flutter in this paradise.

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Horseback Riding

One of the best ways to also explore the natural beauty of Belize is on horseback. Trek through the lush rainforest of western Belize on horseback. Maybe you’ll stumble upon an undiscovered Maya Ruin on your journey.

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St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park

Is a national park located just off the Hummingbird Highway in Cayo District of Belize. The unique beauty and wildlife of this majestic park offer visitors plenty of reasons to tour this area. Travel through dense forest to the entrance where a picnic area, visitor’s center, and gift shop await. Visit the cave, the Blue Hole, and surrounding environment using easy-to-follow trails.

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Canoe inside the Barton Creek Cave

Located in the Cayo District, Barton Creek is, of course, one the easiest caves to explore as it is only accessible by canoe. Forming part of a riverine system, a tranquil river leads the passage for your exploration. The underground river extends for roughly five miles, with only the first mile open for public exploration. Nevertheless, within that first mile is where many treasures lie. On the ledges, you can spot remains of pottery, ceramics, artifacts, ceremonial weapons, used for ritual, and spiritual activities. Thus, exploring this mysterious cave is a remarkable voyage in itself.

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Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm

Home to roughly 700 butterfly species, you can spot these beautiful insects in the wild or enjoy a magical experience at a Butterfly Farm as they flutter around you. The most stunning and most striking of them all is the Blue Morpho that can be seen at the Blue Morpho Farm at Chaa Creek, San Ignacio.

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Green Iguana Conservation Project

A fun and memorable experience for both children and adults. An interactive exhibit located at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel gives visitors a closer look at the life of Green Iguanas. The venture aims to conserve and look after the endangered species by educating the public about the role Green Iguanas play in the ecosystem.

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Poustinia Land Art Park

Find over 30 sited sculptures and earthworks scattered through 100 acres of forest. Go prepared to walk through many trails between the lush forest. The pieces present viewers with challenging messages regarding consumption, waste, deforestation, slavery, and loss of culture. You wouldn’t want to miss out on Belize’s very own sculptor park.

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Xunantunich

Travel across the Mopan River via hand-cranked ferry to reach this stunning archaeological site hosting 25 temples. It is one of the most beautiful and mysterious ancient Maya Sites. The site’s modern name, pronounced zoo-nan-tun-ich, means ‘stone woman’, and references a local legend of a ghostly belle adorned in white, scaling the steps of El Castillo, before disappearing into the stone face at the top. El Castillo temple rises 130 feet above the plaza and features intricate hand-carved friezes and stelae.

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Belize City

Belize Zoo

The best little zoo in the world. Offering an immersive wildlife experience, the Belize Zoo is one of the country’s most iconic sights. Located just 29 miles west of Belize City, and stretching across 29 acres of tropical savanna, is the Belize Zoo. It’s a place visitors have described as “extraordinarily exciting,” and “simply unbelievable”. When you visit, prepare for a thrilling day of up-close animal encounters.

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Zip line & Cave Tubing at Jaguar Paw

Add a little adventure to your family holiday by booking as a zip-line tour. Feel your heart race as you zip across Belize’s lush rainforest canopies. As you move from tree to tree this exhilarating experience allows you to explore Belize’s jungle from above. Craving more adventure? Add cave tubing onto the trip; float and meander through Belize’s cave branch river system and explore the underworld of the Maya.

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Yoga Experience

Belize now boasts year-round yoga and wellness activities  in the most beautiful natural settings. Activities from Empowering Women’s Health Yoga Retreats that are all about embracing the feminine and connecting women to their bodies, to Detox Yoga Escapes. All which takes place in some of Belize’s remote locations, such as private islands or rainforest  getaways.

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Taste Local Rum at The Travellers Heritage Rum Museum

If you are 18 or older this is the tour for you! At Traveller’s, you come to learn about the history of Rum making in Belize and of course taste the spirits! Home of the famous One Barrel Rum, you are taken on a tour where you learn about the bottling process of local liquors which not only includes rum, but cashew wine, brandy, and even craboo liqueur.

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Enjoy Bird Watching

A perfect place to bird watch is in the Crooked Tree Village. This majestic forest is excellent for birding. From parrots to eagles, and everything in between, Belize is flush with exotic species of birds. Embark on your birding adventure with a Belize Audubon trained guide to maximize the quality of your experience. Grab your binoculars and head south to scan the treetops in search of Belize’s brightest feathered friends!

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Visit Old Belize Historical Tour

Located a short distance from the city, this recreational center offers a historical exhibition, a restaurant, and a manmade beach. Old Belize offers an unforgettable experience that will surely provide an excellent orientation and appreciation for the country and people of Belize.

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Altun Ha

Like many ancient ruin sites, the Maya City of Altun Ha is filled with mystery and wonder. Known as Rockstone Pond in Mayan, it is located close to the coast, approximately 31 miles north of Belize City. It was once an ideal place for commerce in the ancient Maya world. Nowadays, the proximity to Belize City makes Altun Ha a popular destination for both locals and international travelers visiting Belize. Based on the size and grandeur of the buildings and monuments at Altun Ha, in its prime, this was a place of wealth and affluence.

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Visit The Museum of Belize

For tourists and locals who have only one day to look around Belize City, it may seem that the best bet is to explore what gastronomy the city has to offer. However, there is a charming national museum waiting for you to visit! Situated just a stone’s throw from the Belize Tourism Village, the Museum of Belize is safely tucked away on the compound of the Central Bank of Belize. Day tourists and locals alike, are surprised to know that there is so much to see and learn behind the tall walls which guard both the museum and the city’s most high-security location.

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Bacab Eco-Park

Bacab eco-park is a lush jungle playground for resident, overnight, and cruise tourism guests. Located just 20 minutes from Belize City and 10 minutes from the country’s international airport, this splendid tourist destination is in the center of everything offering a variety of on-site activities and unique tours to choose from. This includes horseback safari, kayak expedition, jungle biking, and much more.

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Orange Walk

Lamanai

Hidden in the forest near Belize’s largest freshwater lagoon lies Lamanai, a monumental city of the distant past. Crafted by and credited to the great Maya civilization that once thrived here, this awe-inspiring architectural wonder is an attractive destination for any thrill-seeking modern explorer.

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Try the "famous" Street Tacos

Most street corners in Belize towns have their own taco stands and local favorites but Orange Walk arguably has the best. It is a must-have when you’re in Orange Walk.

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Punta Gorda, Toledo District

Book a Chocolate Making Tour

Chocolate has long been part of our ancient history, starting with the Maya who used cocoa beans as a form of currency. Belize is one of many countries with warm humid weather, suitable for growing cocoa trees. If ever in Punta Gorda, head over to Copal Tree Lodge for an immersive experience on their Bean-to-Bar Tour. Taking the tour, you acquire a pronounced appreciation for all the work it takes to create these mouthwatering chocolates the world so desires and craves.

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Swim at Rio Blanco National Park

This breath-taking park is located in the Toledo District, south of Belize. This park is known for the cascading falls which flows into wide shallow pools and over slabs of mudstone and sand then flows over a 15-foot ledge into a deep pool. Experience hiking the nature trails, swimming gin the Rio Blanco pools, and savoring the Maya culture.

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Stann Creek District

Hike Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak is the second-highest mountain in Belize and is the country’s smallest protected conservation area. The hike to the summit of Victoria Peak offers a lot of physical challenges while allowing visitors to explore the Eco-diversity of the area, which includes bird species, broad-leafed trees, and all five of Belize’s big cat species.

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Bioluminescence Tour (January- May)

Bioluminescence tour is best seen around the Sittee River, Hopkins, in southern Belize. This spectacular view is in the Anderson Lagoon. It is truly a natural marvel in Belize. Unfortunately, it can only be seen during the months of January to May. You definitely don’t want to miss out on this tour that is simply beautiful.

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Take an ATV Tour of Davis Falls

Davis Falls is the second-highest waterfall in Belize. The best way to experience this beautiful waterfall is to take an ATV tour. The ATV tour takes participants into inaccessible areas of the surrounding jungle in order to experience the natural beauty and to learn more about the astounding plants and animals of Belize. After the ATV tour, cool off in the crystal clear pool at the base of the waterfall.

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Night Snorkeling at Ray Caye

Go night snorkeling with spotted eagle rays at Ray Caye Island Resort. The lights at the end of the pier attract these graceful creatures allowing you to have a unique and invigorating experience like no other.

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Whale Shark Diving

Swimming, diving, or simply just the spotting of a Whale Shark or two is a remarkable experience. They are easily distinguishable because of their size and beautiful white spots among light horizontal and vertical stripes. Sightings in Belize is possible between the months of March – June, usually in conjunction with a full moon. Despite no guarantee of a sighting, it is recommended you plan your snorkel or dive trip in the middle or last few days of the full moon when spawning is at its peak.

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Sail to Moho Caye

Moho Caye is an idyllic 12-acre, palm-fringed private island, located 12 miles east of Placencia. This haven is located on the fringe of the Laughing Bird Caye National Park, it iss surrounded by crystal blue waters, and incredible natural coral reefs. It’s the ideal spot for day trips or for the adventurous overnight camping is available. Enjoy snorkeling, diving, and swimming in some of the most beautiful waters Belize has to offer.

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The Barrier Reef

Explore The Great Blue Hole

Belize, home to the magnificent Great Blue Hole, accompanied by the second largest Barrier Reef in the world, makes it a sought-after diver’s paradise. Not a diver? That’s okay. You have the option of exploring the Blue Hole from above with Maya’s Blue Hole Tour.

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Snorkeling The Belize Barrier Reef

This area stretches some 185 miles along the country’s coastline. It includes seven marine reserves, over 100 Caye sand three coral atolls. In fact, the reef’s clear waters and beautiful creatures are a haven for scuba divers and snorkelers. This site includes an amazing view made of brightly colored creatures and corals of many shapes and sizes.

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Swim with Nurse Sharks in San Pedro

For those brave enough to jump into the water at Shark Ray Alley, you can experience the thrill of swimming with Rays and Sharks. Encounter an up close and personal view of these majestic and friendly creatures. With luck on your side, you can also spot loggerhead turtles, horse-eyed jacks, groupers, and schools of many other tropical fish, which together create a colorful and vibrant underwater scene that you won’t forget in a hurry.

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Experience Fly Fishing

It’s no secret Belize is certainly a top-notch fishing destination. The variety of fishing that we have to offer and the number of chances you can get per day, at some of the most difficult catches, can only be matched in a few other places in the world.

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The Split in Caye Caulker

Located on the beautiful island of Caye Caulker, the split is one of the island’s best swimming areas. The small island was split in two by the infamous Hurricane Hattie in 1961. Enjoy the popular Lizard Juice at the Lazy Lizard Bar and Grill. Soak up some sun, enjoy the cool sea breeze, and sip away on a tropical cocktail.

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Kitesurfing

Adrenaline fueled, yet surprisingly relaxing. You’d be among the masses if you immediately jump to the conclusion that kitesurfing is for the younger generation. However, you’d be entirely wrong as an increasing number of more mature kite-surfers are appearing on the scene and realizing that it is a completely exhilarating sport.

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Sailing

The best part of sailing is the ability to stop for a swim or snorkel whenever you please. Sailing in Belize’s waters can be done aboard your own vessel or on a rented vessel from many local boat charters available. If you would like to sit back and relax, book yourself on a guided tour or hire a skipper to join your crew. The local skippers and guides know the coastline like the back of their hand, and will be able to guide you to some of the most spectacular shores and hidden gems to catch lunch or dinner. Let’s set sail in Belize.

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Sky Diving

Amp up your Belize vacation with Skydive San Pedro! Experience the thrill of jumping from 13,000 feet above memorizing views of Ambergris Caye and surrounding the Caribbean Sea. This seasonal adventure is offered between the months of November and March. Safely jump with highly experienced USPA certified instructors and enjoy “the best views money can buy.”

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Parasailing

Lastly, fly above the crystal blue waters of Belize on a parachute as a speed boat pulls you across the sea. Fly solo or with a friend. You may even spot dolphins, sea turtles, or other colorful tropical birds. Book your tour with any parasailing company found on the islands. Sit back and enjoy a fun ride with an awe-inspiring view.

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Read more: Barrier Reef, Activities and Must Do’s.

So, there you have it! Belize’s most amazing things to do when visiting. Join the adventure and discover a destination like no other!

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