Things to Do
This tiny Central American country is known for world-class scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, and fishing, but even beyond that there is almost no end to the list of things to do in Belize. Windsurfing and parasailing are gaining in popularity and sea kayaking is becoming a well-known way to combine so many of Belize’s activities in one peaceful package.
In the jungle areas on the country’s interior there are many different categories for adventure. There are eco-tours and Mayan ruins to visit, but also excellent river canoeing, hiking, and fishing as well.
Belize is a hugely popular destination for anglers due to the amazing reef system just off the coast and the jungle rivers inland. You can book into a serious fishing lodge or just rent some equipment for the day in most of the main tourism centers.
Those same reefs and the translucent Caribbean waters make this the top sailing area in Central America. You can book a boat and sail it yourself if you know what you are doing, or book yourself on one of the many charters that regularly leave from Ambergris Caye in the north or Placencia in the south.
The second largest barrier reef system in the world runs almost 200 miles along the Belize coast. The Blue Hole is one of the best and most famous dive spots in the world.
There are a lot of ways to do it, but probably the most popular are the 5-day tours where everything including a support boat is provided so the expert guides can take the group all over the incredibly scenic coast. You and your group can camp overnight on small deserted islands in between snorkeling and pelican-watching sessions.
From Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker down to Placencia, the country is filled with small companies that provide everything including a knowledgeable guide to give visitors an unforgettable look at the amazing coral reefs and neon colored fish just off the coast.
The white sand beaches of the offshore islands and the golden sand beaches on the mainland offer excellent options for food, relaxing and swimming. You can practice water sports, too.
But hey, Belize isn’t all about the water!
The country sits near the center of the Maya culture that thrived for over 1,000 years before mysteriously disappearing. Archeologists have begun unearthing Maya civilizations all over the country and beyond. Take a break from all the water stuff and check out some incredible and exotic history for a day or so.
The Ancient Maya City of Caracol is the largest Mayan site in Belize. During its best time, it was larger than today’s Belize City with over twice the population. Today, the site comprises over 78 sq km and features three main plaza groups.
Cahal Pech is a much smaller site but offers an intimate view in the life and architecture of the Mayan population. Easy to reach from San Ignacio.
The Ancient Maya City of Tikal is the highlight of your trip to Belize. At its peak it was home to over 90,000 people. Today a UNESCO World Heritage site, it features incredible architecture.
This is really more about not doing anything so it’s hard to call relaxing one of the things to do, but it might be the most popular non-activity for visitors to Belize. The Caribbean island atmosphere and warm breezes get the better of many who come, and suddenly the most enjoyable thing is just to soak it all in and unwind. The pace of almost everything is slow in Belize, and no one will criticize you for just hanging around at an outdoor bar with a Beliken beer in your hand and as little as possible on your mind. Ahhhh…
All national parks have hiking trails which are excellent places to see the native birds, animals and plants. Most trails are designed in loops and most of them don’t require more than a map. Some, however, are best explored with a guide. Mountain Pine Ridge boasts an incredibly scenery with superb waterfalls.