nurse shark snorkel

While summer vacation is usually imagined as spending days at the beach and having glowing tans, the phrase has transformed to mean a myriad of things. In the exotic oasis that is Belize, there is more to summer vacation than just sandy beaches. This tiny but mighty country presents a customizable vacation for every kind of traveler. Whether you’re going solo or have two or three tag-a-longs, you’ll never be bored. From pristine beaches to vast jungles, Belize has it all. As the summer sun graces this tropical paradise, prepare to be enchanted by the vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and thrilling adventures that await you. Let’s explore how you can have an unrivaled summer vacation in Belize.

Ambergris Caye: A Slice of Island Heaven

Photo courtesy: Roeming Belize

As you step onto the white-sand shores of Ambergris Caye, the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea beckon you to dive in. Snorkeling enthusiasts will be spellbound by the magnificent Belize Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef system on the planet. Underwater, the vast ocean is teeming with colorful marine life. Glide alongside gentle sea turtles, majestic rays, and curious schools of fish. For those craving adrenaline, embark on a heart-pounding scuba diving expedition to the legendary Great Blue Hole, a geological marvel that leaves divers awestruck. 

When you’ve had your fill of underwater wonders, indulge in mouthwatering seafood at beachfront restaurants. Then, your next step is to immerse yourself in the laid-back island life. Find a seafront lounge chair, kick up your feet, and sip on refreshing piña coladas. Ambergris Caye is the definition of summer vacation.

Mountain Pine Ridge: Rainforest Adventures and Ancient Maya Cities

Big Rock Falls. Image via Roeming Belize

Do you prefer venturing deep into the jungle on terra firma? Or how does zooming on a zip-line meters overhead jungle canopies sound? Both are very popular experiences in the Mountain Pine Ridge and the greater Cayo District. With over a hundred thousand acres of pure forests, active wildlife, and hidden pools, this reserve makes an entire vacation on its own. It’s home to countless waterfalls, hiking trails, and exotic creatures. Make a day trip out of going to Rio on Pools and take a refreshing dip after a day of hiking and exploring the reserve. You can pair this with a visit to Rio Frio, and enter the Maya underworld of Xibalba. Where Maya nobles once held ceremonies and funerals, excited travelers can now explore for themselves. 

couple xunantunich san ignacio resort hotel cayo

The Xunantunich Maya Site is a quick 20-minute drive away from San Ignacio. Photo courtesy San Ignacio Resort Hotel

You can’t vacation in Central America without delving into its bountiful Maya history! Belize has a plethora of ancient cities to explore, and Cayo may have some of the most astounding temples yet. From Xunantunich’s 130-foot-tall ‘El Castillo’ temple to Caracol’s looming ‘Sky Palace,’ they are breathtaking sights to see. Dive deep into this gem of a district and come out with memories to last a lifetime.

Placencia Village: A Taste of Belize’s Culture

Photo by ROEming Belize

A fact that can’t be expressed enough: Belize’s heart is its culture. With an interesting combination of Central American traditions and Caribbean customs, Belize is an amazing blend of everyone who’s ever visited and lived there. Placencia is a great place to embrace this culture in action. Once a tiny Creole fishing village, it is now home to an eclectic blend of ethnicities.  This southern village on the peninsula of Stann Creek holds a vibrant culture. The Garinagu sing and dance to upbeat songs with bright and colorful garments. They cook mouthwatering dishes such as hudut, while the Mestizo hand-craft savory tamales. You’ll find people from every walk of life, all interacting as if they’re old friends, even if they just met each other! The hospitality Belizeans offer rivals no other; it’s one of our best traits. Explore the quaint little community that is Placencia for a day, and you’ll see what we mean. 

Photo by Joshua Nunez (@cheese_and_rice_its_josh)

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