Belize is diverse in more ways than one, from an eclectic mix of vibrant cultures to stunning attractions that span the gamut of reef and rainforest. Luckily, there are no maximum age requirements to enjoy the unspoiled beauty of Belize. For senior travelers, Belize has become an easily accessible hub of adventure. There’s a reason so many older cruise-goers vow to come back once they’ve seen the smattering of Belize experiences at their disposal. It’s close to the U.S., English is the official language, and the country is so small that the longest drive from north to south takes about five hours. Besides, there’s no better way to feel young at heart than traveling throughout a new country that makes it easy to stay comfortable while having fun.
If you find yourself planning a last-minute summer vacation, we’ve outlined the best tours in Belize senior travelers swear by.
What to do: A Belize City ‘Train’ Tour
A rite of passage for many visiting the city center, a Belize City Calypso Train tour is the way to go. Hop aboard the easily identifiable red and yellow open-air trolley that takes you through Downtown Belize City and the Fort Street Tourism Village. Admire the historical sights such as the Baron Bliss Lighthouse, St. John’s Cathedral, and residential neighborhoods.
The Belize City train tour is available on cruise ship days but if you’re in the city outside of that schedule, head to Old Belize’s Train Tour instead. Just outside the city, this alternative takes a 15-minute train ride tour through duplicated scenes of Belize’s history and culture, including a replica of North Front Street in 1901. Plus, it’s open every day with the exception of Mondays, and even earlier on cruise ship days.
Where to stay: Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina
The Radisson Fort George Hotel sits conveniently near the center of all the action. It is also within walking distance to the Fort Street Tourism Village (about one-minute walking) so senior travelers needn’t worry about walking too much. Chat with the artists and vendors showcasing unique souvenirs down the street. Take a stroll along the promenade to enjoy that fresh, ocean breeze.
What to do: Cahal Pech Maya Site.
Dying to see a Maya ruin but don’t want to spend a lot of time getting there? Cahal Pech is the perfect Maya site to visit if you’re already staying in San Ignacio Town. Cahal Pech is located a 10-minute walk from Downtown San Ignacio. The site may be small, but it still packs a punch for history buffs looking to get their archaeology on. There are a couple of large Maya temples and the grounds are often quiet, free of crowds. There is also plenty of shade since the ruins are cocooned within jungle foliage.
Where to Stay: San Ignacio Resort Hotel
San Ignacio Resort Hotel is a mere 4-minute drive from the Maya site. But even so, the resort has its own amenities worth exploring. In fact, you can have an entire afternoon full of wildlife adventure without leaving the grounds. Explore the hidden medicinal trails in the backyard, befriend a green iguana (or 10) at the Green Iguana Conservation Project, or simply relax by the pool as toucans swoop by now and then.
What to do: Snorkeling Mexico Rocks.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley may be fan favorites, but Mexico Rocks is a hidden gem for snorkeling. Just north of the vibrant town of Ambergris Caye lies a patch of shallow reef offering a smorgasbord of marine life. Folks make the short trip via boat to dive in and swim alongside coral head formations, moray eels, docile nurse sharks, and friendly stingrays. Since it often has fewer people than Shark Ray Alley, you’ll have the added benefit of taking your time and moving around comfortably at your own pace.
Where to stay: Matachica Resort
Once back on Ambergris Caye, we suggest staying at Matachica Resort, one of the select adults-only properties on the island. Their Seafront and Seaview rooms have their own private hammocks right outside the rooms, ready to welcome you for an afternoon siesta. Plus, the resort also has its famous herringbone-wooden dock with seven pods for lounging – perfect for sunset-gazing with a sundowner in hand.
What to do: Monkey River Eco Tours.
For senior travelers who refuse to leave without getting their wildlife fix in, Monkey River is the way to go. The biodiverse haven is about a half-hour away from Belize’s coast. You will come across the tiny village of Monkey River that sits below Placencia. A guide will pick you up at the dock in the village and take you through canopies of mangroves and rainforest. Keep your eye out for crocodiles, iguanas, howler monkeys, and more. The trusty guide will point out any exotic bird species they spot and tell you about the history of the region, too. If you’re lucky, you just might spot a manatee grazing nearby.
Where to stay: Sirenian Bay Resort & Villas
The all-inclusive Placencia Resort is your best bet when staying on the peninsula. Not only will Sirenian Bay arrange any and all wildlife tours you wish, but their on-site attractions cannot be missed. If you ever feel tired or want to take a break, sip a cocktail at their rooftop bar or practice your mini golf skills at their onsite mini-golf course.