Belize, a small country about the size of New Hampshire, overflows with cultural and natural treasures. From the ancient Maya cities to the pristine Belize Barrier Reef, the destination is a must-visit for lovers of history, nature and adventure. It’s warm weather makes it a paradise all year, and English is the official first language. If palm trees and white sandy beaches aren’t enough, here are six other amazing reasons to keep Belize on your travel radar.
The Ancient Maya Ruins
Belize has more Maya sites than any other country in Central America. At Caracol Maya Site in western Belize (the most powerful Maya city of its day), an ancient 140-foot pyramid remains and is the highest man-made structure in the country. Altun Ha, Lamanai, Xunantunich, and Cahal Pech are other famous Maya sites that should be explored on a Belize adventure vacation.
Diving and Snorkeling
From iconic sites like the Great Blue Hole to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley, scuba divers and snorkelers will enjoy seeing parrotfish, fan coral, bull sharks, stingrays, and other exotic species. Tobacco Caye, Laughing Bird Caye and the Silk Cayes are other popular diving and snorkeling destinations that attract divers too!
A Diverse Culture
Belize’s history dates back thousands of years to its sophisticated Maya roots. The United Kingdom controlled the country, then British Honduras, from the 1800s to 1981 when the country attained its independence. Today, there is a happy mixture of people from many backgrounds. Locals enjoy a variety of different languages, styles of music and cuisine. Not to mention, the Christian influence is strong, and street festivals mark holy days and patriotic anniversaries.
Belize is more accessible than ever, thanks to flights from U.S. and Canadian cities to the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport. From there, inexpensive local flights connect to destinations around the country. Belize City is a major port for Caribbean cruise lines, and car rentals are easily available. Besides, resorts also offer excursions and guided tours to most destinations in Belize or nearby countries like Guatemala.
Imagine white sandy beaches, palm trees wafting in the breeze and crystal clear waters. Whether you drive a golf cart from Ambergris Caye to Secret Beach or climb a pyramid for a bird’s-eye view of the Belizean jungles, much of Belize holds on to its unblemished charm. From sunbathing and sailing to snorkeling and fishing, the country is ready to be explored and savored.
If you want adventure, head for one of Belize’s ziplines. Or, catch a tour of Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM Cave), a sacred and majestic cave where human skeletons from sacrifices made thousands of years ago can be seen. However, a limited number of groups are allowed daily into the ATM Cave.
With pleasant weather 365 days a year, there is no bad time to go to Belize. Whether you like digging your feet into the sand or kicking up your heels, opportunities await in this little slice of paradise.