Reasons to Visit Belize

Title
10 Terrific Reasons to Visit Belize in 2020
Added Date
Wednesday, 2 Jan, 2019
Information
Category:
Travel Tips
Summary
Are you looking for excuses to make your first (or 10th) trip to Belize? We understand how you feel. No fewer than 4 prestigious publications have recommended a visit of late ("The Los Angeles Times," "Lonely Planet," "Conde Nast Traveler" and "National Geographic"). If you read all four, you noticed that each one offers different reasons to visit Belize in 2020. Our list covers 10 reasons to visit Belize. Hop a plane and get here to discover more!
 

Content
Are you looking for excuses to make your first (or 10th) trip to Belize? We understand how you feel. No fewer than 4 prestigious publications have recommended a visit of late ("The Los Angeles Times," "Lonely Planet," "Conde Nast Traveler" and "National Geographic"). If you read all four, you noticed that each one offers different reasons to visit Belize in 2019. Our list covers 10 reasons to visit Belize. Hop a plane and get here to discover more!

  1. Your brain gets a rest in addition to your body since everyone speaks English and you don’t have to grow extra brain cells to figure out what people are saying to you.

  2. Learn how to spell "key" properly: it’s Caye. Visit South Water, Ambergris, Silk, Laughing Bird, and Tobacco Cayes. It matters not which you choose; you can fish, dive, snorkel and swim at all of them.

  3. 40-percent of Belize’s animals are protected by a network of habitats and wildlife protection laws. Remember this each time you spot an amphibian, reptile, cat, monkey or other beloved critters making their homes in Belize.

  4. Eat up. Try a different cuisine every day. Garifuna, Maya, Mestizo, East Indian, Creole and other menus reflect a nation drenched in cultural diversity. Sample fry jacks, Johnny cakes, gibnut, escabeche and hudut, but not necessarily at the same meal!


  5. Meet dead people. The skeletal remains of ancient Maya warriors, sacrificial victims, royalty and ordinary people can be found in caves among pottery and artifacts they left behind thousands of years ago. Mayan sites are awe-inspiring, whether they’re above or below ground.

  6. Trek primitive jungles that are as pristine and fascinating as they were ages ago. You may not spot all of the indigenous wildlife lurking in Belize jungles, but you are going to feel their presence amid lush surroundings!



  7. Leave your warm clothing at home. Proximity to the Equator means the average temperature in Belize is about 84-degrees F. Bring a shawl or wrap if you insist or intend to devote lots of time exploring Belize's exciting night life.

  8. Major in Hole-ology. The iconic Blue Hole, introduced to the world by Jacques Cousteau, gives you an unforgettable deep dive at a natural landmark. Gain inspiration from sea creatures you encounter on your way down and up.



  9. Visit the 540,000 square-foot-long Chiquibul Cave System. It's not to be missed. Geological formations are fascinating and if you can’t get enough underworld, add Actun Tunichil Muknal, Barton Creek and Caves Branch caves to your itinerary.

  10. Hang with cats. Residents of Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary include Jaguars living in the world’s only protected preserve. In fact, you could spot all five members of the nation's cat family if you're lucky: Ocelot, Puma, Jaguarundi and Margay, too. 
 
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Author Name:
Belizing.com Staff
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Destinations
South Water Caye Marine Reserve is located approximately 15 miles southeast of Dangriga town. It is the largest Marine Reserve in Belize, covering an area of 117,878 acres. The South ... moreWater Caye Marine Reserve is an important part of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage Site. The reserve includes a mosaic of coastal and marine habitats including rare littoral forests, mangroves, seagrass beds, and a diversity of coral reef types.
Category:
Attraction
Type of Attraction:
Barrier Reef, Marine Reserve
District/Region:
Near Hopkins
Off the southern tip of Ambergris Caye is Belize's oldest marine reserve,the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Hol Chan is Mayan for "little channel." The entire reserve focuses on a cut through ... morethe reef (called a quebrada) which is little more than 25 yards (23 m) wide and 30 feet (9 m) deep about 4 miles southeast of San Pedro.

The reserve was formed primarily as a community-based initiative due to concern over the high level of uncontrolled, often destructive fishing and diving activities in the area. Reserve status was also called for by international organizations such as the New York Zoological Society (NYZS) and Peace Corps, due to the unique formation of the channel, the abundant fishery resources (including conch and lobster) and the feasibility of including an interlinked system of coral reef, seagrass and mangrove habitats in this area.

The entire reserve covers approximately three square miles (7.8 sq km)
Category:
Attraction
Type of Attraction:
Aquatic Wonder, Marine Reserve, Nature Reserve
District/Region:
Near Ambergris Caye
This Marine Reserve is located approximately 22 miles from Placencia on the main barrier reef. This area is one of the more popular spot for day excursions from Placencia and offers ... moregreat snorkeling and with our version of Shark, Ray and Turtle alley. Visitors to this reserve are guaranteed to have the time of their lives snorkeling and swimming with these creatures in their natural environment. The small coral islands offers the perfect place for an island bar-b-que or a picnic lunch.
Category:
Destination
Type of Destination:
Caye (Island)
District/Region:
Near Placencia
Chiquibul National Park is Belize's largest national park. It is 1,073 km² in size. The park is located in Belize's Cayo District. The national park surrounds Caracol, a Mayan city.The ... moreforest has been mostly unbroken since the Maya left it centuries ago. The park has high biodiversity. Species found in the park include keel-billed motmots, kinkajous, jaguars, jaguarundis, king vultures, margays, ocelots, ocellated turkeys, Yucatan spider monkeys, and Baird's tapirs. It has Belize's largest breeding population of scarlet macaws. New insect and crustacean species have been discovered in the park.The biological diversity of the park has not yet been fully explored. In 1993, a botanist from Missouri Botanical Garden collected more than 130 plant species previously unreported in Belize. Three of these species had never before been reported in Central America.
Category:
Destination
District/Region:
Cayo
The Actun Tunichil Muknal, also known as the ATM cave, is an ancient Maya archaeological site that is one of the most popular Mayan burial sites in Western Belize. The ATM cave is ... morenestled in Belize's lush rainforest in the Cayo District. Visit the ATM cave and learn the history of this magnificent cave and the mysteries of the Mayan underworld.

You can't afford to miss this Indiana Jones style adventure. Tours usually leave early in the morning, before 8am. The hike from the starting point to the cave entrance is intense, with three stream crossings and passes through the Tapir Mountain Nature reserve. The hike through the lower part of the caves lasts about 45 minutes. Take note that in the upper chambers of the cave, visitors are required to take off their shoes to prevent damage to the artifacts, plus you’ll need to swim through deep water to enter the cave and wade through more water both in side and outside of the cave. You’ll get to see the crystal maiden skeleton, pottery, and other ancient artifacts. No photography is allowed by order of the Department of Archaeology, but the mental movies will be incredibly worth it.
Category:
Attraction
Type of Attraction:
Archaeological Site, Cave
District/Region:
Cayo
The Great Blue Hole (or Blue Hole Natural Monument) is a popular attraction within the Belize Barrier Reef System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located near the center of the Lighthouse ... moreReef, it is a large, magnificent underwater limestone sinkhole off the coast of Belize. This natural phenomenon is approximately 1000 feet across and over 400 feet deep, and is the largest marine sinkhole hole on earth. 

Divers descend into the Blue Hole’s tranquil abyss to see geological wonders and fascinating marine life. Giant stalactites, dripstone sheets, and columns are located in the Gallery at the southern rim of the Blue Hole. These structures formed in a dry cavern above sea level during glacial periods.

Jacques Cousteau revealed the secrets of the mysterious Blue Hole to millions of viewers in 1971 through the television series The Undersea World of Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Today, dive boats follow the way of the famous Calypso to explore one of the world’s best destinations for scuba diving. Come to Belize to experience the Great Blue Hole via diving trips, snorkeling trips, flyover tours, and skydiving jumps.
Category:
Attraction
Type of Attraction:
Aquatic Wonder
District/Region:
Caribbean Sea
Ambergris Caye, also known as "La Isla Bonita," is located off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean Sea. Its coastline is protected by second largest barrier reef in the world. Being ... morethe largest island in Belize, Ambergris Caye is well known for island adventures, water sports, relaxation and exquisite marine life.
Category:
Destination
Type of Destination:
Caye (Island)
Population:
16,444
Features:
Phone Service, Restaurants, Camping, ATM services, Banks, Sports Bars, Night Clubs, Public Parks, Market, Coffee Shops
District/Region:
Caye (Island)
Tours/Activities
$
150
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary established in 1990 is world renowned for being the first jaguar reserve.Besides being the home to Belize's largest cat, the sanctuary protects ... morethe headwaters of two major river systems and supports an abundance of hardwood vegetation and a diverse faunal assemblage.Over 128,000 acres of lush jungle are ringed by the spectacular Cockscomb Mountains.Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is home to all five (5) of Belize's cats: Jaguar, Puma, Margay, Jaguarundi, and Ocelot. It is estimated that over 80 resident Jaguars are in the area. Belize's national animal, the endangered Baird's Tapir also inhabits the Basin and over 290 different species of birds have been recorded.This tour is ideal for nature lovers and intrepid travelers.

Get a chance to be up close and personal with the majestic jaguar.
$
75
/ Person
Departs From:
Dangriga
In this tour, you'll get to visit two islands, South Water Caye and Bird Island. You will also get the opportunity to snorkel in Belize's Barrier Reef and swim with the manatees.
$
115
/ Adult
Departs From:
Belize City
Your friendly Tour Guide will meet guests at Fort Street Tourism Village in Belize City then will commence tour by welcoming them to beautiful sunny Belize. He will then make his way ... morethrough Belize City while giving them some brief history about Belize. He will then proceed on the George Price Highway which is a 40-minute drive out of the City and inform them about who George Price was and what he has done for our country.

Along the highway, guests will be able to see some small communities and some flora and fauna along the highways as well as some wetlands. You will then arrive at the Belize Zoo where your tour guide will allow you some time to use the restroom before you start the tour for about an hour. 

At the Belize Zoo, you will be able to see some native animals to Belize as well as some troublesome animals such as Jaguars and Crocodiles that were harming the livestock of our farmers. Some were donated to the Belize Zoo because they were illegal to have as pet, and others were rescued from the wild. From there you will continue on your way to Jaguar Paw where you will enjoy both the Rain Forest and the Underworld of the Mayas as you hike for about 30 minutes through the Rain Forest and your guide will point out different medicinal plants and their benefits that were once used by the Mayas and locals today. 

After your 30 minutes hike, you will then sit in an inner tube and enjoy the refreshing cold river water that will carry you through the cave system. Your Guide will do all the work for you while he entertains and guides you through the cave system for about 2 hours. After your tour is finished you will then have lunch and make your way back to Belize City where you will be taken back to the Fort Street Tourism Village. 

Notes:

Children must be 40" or taller to be able to cave tube.
This tour is available to cruise ship passengers and overnight guests.
$
74
-
$
99
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
 (2)
Come visit Kalipuna Island located at the north-end of Hopkins Village Belize where you get to be immersed in our rich Garifuna Culture, parts of which has been proclaimed an oral ... moreand intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO. The historic island is home to Palmento Grove Garifuna Eco Cultural & Fishing Institute where the Martinez Family welcomes you to learn and have fun all in an effort to serve to preserve a rich indigenous cultural heritage. Join us on our authentic Garifuna Cultural & Culinary Adventure Journey offering an enriching vacation experience to all our guests. This tour is ideal for families, honeymooners, couples, solo travelers, students and mixed groups as it is very interactive and hands on. As our Cultural Guests, you get the beautiful opportunity to:

Dress in our Garifuna Traditional handmade & uniquely designed clothing that is best for the subtropical climate for the duration of your Garifuna Experience.

Explore the rich legacy of the Garifuna People via our Cultural Display Centers furnished with historical art pieces some of which are over 100 years old.

Get to uplift your spirit with the enchanting paintings of Isiah Nicholas as you explore our Spiritual Centre. We are blessed to house his largest art collection depicting a varying aspect of the Garifuna Cultural inclusive of the historical journey of our Garifuna People, our spirituality, music, and many of our indigenous art forms, all displayed in their rich & vibrant colors.

Learn about the many magical & beneficial properties of coconut trees & coconuts and the art of traditional coconut harvesting, husking, grating & milk extraction.

Walk with us through our herbal garden and cassava patch harvesting fresh food and herbs for our fresh, organic, healthy and deliciously made meal that is just awesome medicine to uplift your soul.

Master the heat in our traditional kitchen preparing a Garifuna meal over an open fire-heart. Your great reward will be the labor of your culinary love - Delicious HUDUT which is our coconut base chowder/ broth flavored with fresh herbs & sea fish of the day with pounded plantains & well flavorful seasoned fried fish; or any other Garifuna Dish of choice based on dietary preference!

Culminate your Garifuna Cultural & Culinary experience with sensational drum rolls learning the basic techniques of Garifuna drumming & Music & revitalizing your souls ultimately earning your delicious cultural dessert by way of participating in 45 minutes mesmerizing drum session.

Come enjoy a day full of learning, laughter and fun.. One worth sharing with the world!!!
$
95
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
 (1)
Welcome to the gateway of the Mayan Underworld. Actun Tunichil Muknal (cave of the stone sepulchre) is commonly referred to as ATM Cave. Located near San Ignacio, Cayo District, it ... moreis one of the most impressive Maya ceremonial caves containing rare bloodletting altars used in sacrifices by Maya royalty, and where calcified skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware have been found. The best known as “The Crystal Maiden”, the intact skeleton of a teenage girl, whose bones have been calcified over the years to a sparkling crystallized appearance

The hike to the cave entrance through the lush Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve requires visitors to swim to the mouth of the cave and then wade through ankle to chest high water and once inside the magnificent cave, the exploration begins. The tour requires climbing and swimming as well as crawling through small spaces. The cave is extensively decorated with cave formations in the upper passages, a labyrinth of dry chambers which lead to the cathedral-like main hall, a towering chamber 350 meters in length and 50 meters wide and filled with artifacts and sacrificial remains. Visitors remove shoes and explore the cave in socks only, to protect the artifacts on the cave floor. After this, another climb takes you to the stone sepulchre (after which the cave is named) where the Crystal Maiden lies. Photography is now disallowed inside the cave unless special permits are obtained.

This is an extraordinary Belize adventure and a rare opportunity to see ancient Maya ceremonial sites and altars as they were and virtually untouched for centuries. A visit to this site is truly profound and unforgettable. After this memorable adventure, we hike back to our vehicles and sit to enjoy a local lunch before heading back to San Ignacio.
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