The 8 Best Things to Do in Belize – AFAR Magazine

by Khaila Gentle

Looking for some travel inspiration? Belize was recently featured by Travel Magazine AFAR for its diverse adventures and experiences. According to AFAR, the country is very deserving of the title “small but mighty”. The publication listed some of the best things to do in Belize. Here’s a snippet of the feature:

The Best Things to Do in Belize—From Jungle Adventures to Epic Reef Diving

Go ziplining or snorkeling in the land of wild jungles and coral reefs.

Image via Ray Caye/Duarte Dellarole

If ever a country deserved the designation “small but mighty,” it’s Belize. Usually compared in size to U.S. states like Maryland or Massachusetts, the Central American nation just below Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula packs a lot in. Here you’ll find adventure in spades—whether it’s diving the world’s second-largest barrier reef, viewing Mayan ruins, or exploring interior rain forests—along with plenty of delicious food and a characteristically warm welcome. I recently returned from a springtime trip, and it was striking how many other visitors were clearly on return visits. The country holds a special place in the hearts of many. Here’s a primer for your first or next trip: the best things to do in Belize.

Fly over the Great Blue Hole

Photo by the BTB

Belize’s most internationally famous landmark (per guidebook front covers at least) is the striking Great Blue Hole. An enormous marine sinkhole that’s about 1,000 feet across and 400 feet deep, it’s home to a variety of sharks, coral, and the occasional boatload of divers ticking one of the world’s natural wonders off their list.

Fill up on fry jack . . .

Fry Jack at Pop’s Restaurant. Photo by the Belize Tourism Board

The best days in Belize start with some fry jack, little triangles of deep-fried dough that accompany breakfast. I ate them a lot in San Pedro: with Mayan pirishpak (scrambled egg, tomato, onion, and habanero) at the appropriately named Fry Jack House; with sausage, beans, and egg at a table right on the water at Estel’s Dine by the Sea; and accompanied by huevos rancheros and the best coffee of my trip—a creamy latte—at D’Family Café. The latter is an especially good spot that’s not on the tourist map. (Literally, it’s not printed on the tourist map that hotels hand out.)

. . . but don’t miss out on Garifuna cuisine

Hudut – a traditional (and delicious) Garifuna dish. Photo by the Belize Tourism Board

The Garifuna population has its roots in Africa and the Caribbean, and modern communities live in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Belize. Their language, dance, and music have been inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Heritage list. The best place to witness their dance and drumming—while eating some unforgettable food—is at Black and White Garifuna Restaurant.

Here, over a bowl of hudut, a creamy fish stew of snapper, coconut milk, plantain, cassava, and a bright orange pepper, washed down with a couple of Belikin beers, I witnessed a lively performance—frenetic rhythms, barefoot dancers in colorful skirts—and a sobering video on the group’s history. Songs and stories recounted tales of woe—the group has been displaced and exiled several times—but also encouragement, as one drummer told me afterward.

Read the full article by Tim Chester of AFAR Magazine here. Featured Photo by Duarte Dellarole. 

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