Belize Information

Top Tours in Belize for 2020

By Angela Wu 4/7/2018 3 minutes

There are many ways to go Belizing. We have activities for every type of traveler, whether it be an adventure, food, leisure or educational. Here's a short list of the few that the Belizing Team recommends for or every international and local tourist.

Maya Archaeological Sites

  1. Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave. The ATM Cave is one of its kind that still displays skeletal remains, ceramics, stoneware and other artifacts that were left by the Mayas. A popular remain is “The Crystal Maiden,” a skeleton of an adolescent whose bones have been calcified, displaying a crystallized appearance. This Mayan underworld is strictly preserved and protected by the Belize Tourism Board and the Belize National Institute of Culture and History that it can only be toured along with members of a small group of licensed agents.
  2. Xunantunich. Take a tour of one of Belize’s highest Maya Archaeological Site. Its tallest structure, El Castillo, is the second tallest Mayan temple in Belize, after the temple, Caana or “Sky Palace,” at Caracol Archaeological Site. This site can also be accommodated with a cave tubing and zip lining triple combo – a full day of learning and adventures.
  3. Lamanai. Once a major city of the Maya civilization in Belize, Lamanai Archaeological Site is one of the oldest continuously occupied Maya sites in the country. Along with the tour of the site, visitors can also tour the Lamanai River where crocodiles, a unique blend of bird species and mangroves occupy the area.
  4. Marco Gonzalez. Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Site is one of the lesser-known Maya sites located in Ambergris Caye. Although there aren’t any tall structures, the location is littered with ceramics, shells and other artifacts that you can't take one step without stepping on over a hundred years of history. Here's an article I recently wrote about a day at the Marco Gonzalez Spring Equinox.


Natural Monuments, Destinations and Inland Reserve

  1. Belize Zoo. The Belize Zoo is the first and only nature destination in Belize that is accessible to visitors with physical disabilities. This tropical savanna houses over a hundred of twenty-five animals that are native to the country. Some of these creatures, such as pumas and panthers, can only be seen at the zoo. Whether for educational purposes or to spend quality time with people, the Belize Zoo accommodates for everyone. In our trip to the Belize Zoo, we highlighted all of our experiences while we were there.
  2. Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. “Pine Ridge,” as locals would call it, is a massive nature reserve established in 1944 with the goal of protecting and managing Belize’s pine forests. It is one of Belize’s oldest and largest protected forested area. Filled with pine trees, birds, caves, pools, waterfalls, and trails that guarantee a fun adventure for anyone who visits the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. You can also choose from combos like "Big Rock and Barton Creek Combo" or "Caracol, Cave & Waterfall Adventure" on Belizing.com.
  3. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Internationally recognized as the world’s first jaguar preserve, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, like the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, is also known for spectacular waterfalls, pools, scenic views, trails, and a unique blend of bird species. While hiking, visitors often get the chance to see wildcats, deer, and other wildlife on the trails or along the riverbank.


Marine Activities and Reserves

  1. Snorkeling. With the Caribbean Sea as Belize’s neighbor on the right, Belize is blessed with the second largest living barrier reef system in the world. As impressive as this is, the country’s marine ecosystems are truly breathtaking. Visitors are also often encouraged to “see but don’t touch” for the safekeeping of our water jewels.
  2. Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley. South of Ambergris Caye, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, and Shark Ray Alley are the most popular snorkeling sites in Belize. Due to the close proximity of the reserve to San Pedro Town, it displays the larger fishes along with colorful coral formations. At Shark and Ray Alley, you will be able to swim with nurse sharks, moray eels, stingrays, and other fishes.
  3. Mexico Rocks. Mexico Rocks are located north of Ambergris Caye and are similarly breathtaking as Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley. Mexico Rocks is a superb Star Coral Patch Reef that houses much smaller fishes and larger clusters of rainbow coral formations. Visitors often compare the site to an aquarium because of the beautiful and vibrant marine life.
  4. Sailing. Take time out to go on a boat and sail the Belizean waters. On a bright and blue sunny day, boat rides are often the go-to “chill mode” activities while you’re visiting one of Belize’s islands. There are many options to choose from when it comes to sailing. You can choose between speedboats, catamarans, sailboats and other boats along with options of doing a beach barbeque, sailing to other islands, snorkeling, booze cruises and even sunsets.
  5. Diving. Having exquisite marine life and ecosystems, along with notable attractions such as the second largest barrier reef, The Great Blue Hole, and stunning offshore atolls, Belize is one of the top dive locations in the world. Alike snorkelers, divers will be able to see healthy and excellent marine life and ecosystems under the mosaic of blue and green waters of the Caribbean Sea.



Have you decided on what you want to do yet? There's a lot more that you can do to go Belizing that weren't mentioned in this list. But don't let that stop you! Browse through the widest selection of tours and activities on Belizing.com and find an adventure that suits you. You can also read about 10 things you should know about Belize, and learn about other Belizing Adventures. Start Belizing today!
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Destinations
Mexico Rocks is a part of Belize's Marine Protected Area. Located in the northern coast of Ambergris Caye, Mexico Rocks is home to a variety of fishes, corals and other marine life. ... moreThe crisp blue waters of the Caribbean Sea is twelve feet deep and allows you to clearly see the wonders in Mexico Rocks.
Category:
Attraction
Type of Attraction:
Aquatic Wonder, Barrier Reef, Marine Reserve
District/Region:
Near Ambergris Caye
Shark Ray Alley is located at Zone D of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Shark Ray Alley got its name after fishermen and tour operators realized that a large number of nurse sharks and ... morerays would gather at the location to scavange the scraps from the fish local fishermen had caught. Fishermen would clean the fish they caught at Shark Ray Alley.

Today, Shark Ray Alley has evovled into one of the most popular snorkeling destinations in Belize. It is a must visit destination. You will get to swim with sharks, rays, turtles, and fish.
Category:
Attraction
Type of Attraction:
Barrier Reef, Marine Reserve
District/Region:
Near Ambergris Caye
The Marco Gonzales Maya Site is located at the southern tip of Ambergris Caye. It is the first national reserve on an island in Belize. On April 1, 2011, the National Institute of ... moreCulture and History and the Belize Institute of Archaeology have also signed the final paperwork with the Belizean Government in order to make Marco Gonzalez the first Maya Site National Park on Ambergris Caye. While the site is still under reconstruction and development, visitors are able to tour the site, view artifacts and go on eco-tours offered within the site.
Category:
Attraction
Type of Attraction:
Archaeological Site
District/Region:
Ambergris Caye
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
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
As the oldest and largest protected forested area in Belize, Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve covers 300 square miles of area, but visitors are surprised to find a sharp contrast to the ... moretropical landscape; here, pine needles rather than palm fronds, fill the landscape. This pine tree-dominated forest is more than just a vast wooded area: visitors find deep ravines, traverse dramatic granite expanses atop the Maya Mountains and observe meandering rivers, streams, waterfalls and pools amid the sweet fragrance of the evergreens.

Orchids and ferns of many varieties grow abundantly throughout the pine forest while rare and endangered bird species such as the orange-breasted falcon and the king vulture may be sighted.
Category:
Attraction
Type of Attraction:
Nature Reserve
Features:
Camping
District/Region:
Cayo
The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is the world's first jaguar preserve. Located in Southern Belize, it was first declared as a forest reserve in 1984 and two years after a small ... moreportion of the area was declared as a sanctuary. In 1990 the entire area of the forest reserve was announced to be a sanctuary, covering over a hundred thousand acres of land.
Category:
Attraction
Type of Attraction:
Nature Reserve, Wildlife Sanctuary
Features:
Camping, Parking
District/Region:
Stann Creek
The Belize Zoo is home to over one hundred and seventy-five species of animals. Located in the Belize District, The Belize Zoo is is a non-profit organization that focuses on the conservation ... moreof wildlife through environmental education and rehabilitation. It is the first nature destination in Belize that is fully accessfible to handicap visitors.
Category:
Attraction
Type of Attraction:
Nature Reserve
Features:
Phone Service, Restaurants, Parking
District/Region:
Belize
The name "Lamanai" means submerged crocodile. Located in in the Orange Walk District, Lamanai is known to be the longest continuously-occupied Mayan site in Mesoamerica. Lamanai is ... moreone of the largest ceremonial sites in Belize that even includes over a hundred of other minor structures in the sorrounding area. It is also one of the few archaeological sites that had structures successfully built on top of other pre-existing structures. Quite fascinating!
Category:
Attraction
Type of Attraction:
Archaeological Site, Landmark
District/Region:
Orange Walk
Caracol is one of the largest site in the Maya world and is the largest known Mayan Ruins in Belize. Climb the magnificent temples that the ancient Maya built around 1200 BCE. Caracol ... moreis located in the Cayo District and is nested within lush Belizean forests.
Category:
Attraction
Type of Attraction:
Archaeological Site, Landmark
District/Region:
Cayo
Tours/Activities
$
35
/ Person
Departs From:
Orange Walk Town
 (2)
Crocodile Night Safari  This night safari is one to get your heart pumping as you learn more about Crocodiles and the need to protect them! Once the crocs are measured, checked and ... moretagged and given a name, they are gently returned to their habitat. (only 3-foot and under crocs are tagged)

This is a night time expedition! During your expedition on the New River, you will be accompanied by an American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) trained guide who you will be spotting crocodiles and tagging them!
$
75
/ Person
Departs From:
Orange Walk Town
 (2)
Lamanai Ruins & River Expeditions Depart from our Marina after breakfast, Board Riverboat and head down the scenic New River. Your guide will make periodic stops to introduce you ... moreto the areas abundant Flora and Fauna and maybe a Crocodile or two. The waterway opens up to The New River Lagoon. One-half mile on the right reigns the ancient city of Lamanai. A walking tour of the main plazas with towering pyramids and ancient history will transport you back into that mystical era. Enjoy some refreshments and board your riverboat en route back to the hotel where a scrumptious local lunch awaits.

Lamanai (Maya for Submerged Crocodile) is one of the largest sites in Belize and is the Maya City with the longest period of occupancy lasting over 3,000 years. The central area contains eight main groups of buildings, including a much-photographed temple featuring a pair of unique masks rising 15 feet tall. Each has been sculpted from a block of limestone instead of being molded from plaster over a stone which was the usual practice in the Maya world.
$
100
/ Person
$
700
/ Group
Departs From:
San Pedro (Ambergris Caye)
Provider:
Depart Blue Tang Inn on the Sirena Azul Sailboat at 8:30am. Sail, relax and enjoy the aqua blue Caribbean for about 45 minutes to Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Here, a guide will lead you ... morealong the reef, pointing out the many interesting fish and coral formations. This beautiful, small channel contains many different schools of fish. Turtles, stingrays, groupers, horse-eyed jacks, snappers, and sergeant majors will escort you through this very scenic tour around the channel. Next stop is Shark Ray Alley, where you can snorkel with friendly Nurse sharks & southern stingrays next to the boat. Once back on board you can rinse off with fresh water and settle in for the sail to Caye Caulker. When you reach Caye Caulker you will have time to have lunch on your own & explore our quaint sister island. After lunch, enjoy a leisurely sail back to San Pedro to return by 5pm. Includes Beer, soda, rum punch, bottled water and fresh fruit. Bring a towell, sunscreen, hat and a light sweater along. Snorkel gear is available at the Blue Tang Inn office.
$
55
/ Person
$
500
/ Group
Departs From:
San Pedro (Ambergris Caye)
Provider:
Depart Blue Tang Inn at 4:30pm for a relaxing and enjoyable sail along the Southern tip of Ambergris Caye. Admire the sunset with the warm Caribbean breeze blowing through your hair ... moreand a cool cocktail in hand. A perfect activity for a group of friends or family. All ages will enjoy this trip. Return to Blue Tang Inn at 7:00pm, just in time to head to your favorite restaurant in San Pedro Town.
$
75
/ Person
Departs From:
Belize City
 (1)
Your Smart Travel Belize Tour Guide will meet Guest/s at Fort Street Tourism Village in Belize City. Your city tour begins by taking an Educational tour on the North side of Belize ... moreCity with our first stop being the Light House/ Baron Bliss monument. We then proceed along the Marine Parade and provide historical information on key locations such as Chateau Caribbean Hotel, Memorial Park, Central Bank of Belize, MCC Grounds, BTL Park (formerly known as Lindbergh Landing), Marion Jones Sporting Complex, Central Bank, Old Belize City Prison among many other buildings.

After seeing Northside Belize City, we will travel up the George Price Highway approximately 40 minutes out of the City whilst learning a little 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 a pet, and others were rescued from the wild.

Notes:

This tour is available to cruise passengers and overnight guests.

Kid friendly.

Gift shops in route.

This tour departs from and returns to Belize City unless there is a special request from our guests.
$
95
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
This is an amazing tour that combines single track, double track and the Maya site of Xunantunich. The challenge starts at the outskirts of San Jose Succotz Village; this portion being ... moreon single track and is the most rugged part of the ride. We pedal on this hilly terrain dodging tree branches and jumping tree roots. This part of the ride is a bit more technical and rugged; especially when going downhill-staying on the bike is a challenge. After this, we move to a feeder road; a double track ride in a more open area where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the mountains around the area. The ride continues through the open pasture and through a semi-deciduous forest.to the beautiful river bank where a picturesque single track leads us to the village of San Jose Succotz. Here we cross the Mopan River on a ferry and ride up hill for a mile on paved road to the Maya Site of Xunantunich, which has the second tallest structure in Belize “El Castillo”. The view from atop is magnificent and worth the effort!
$
95
/ Person
$
180
-
$
255
/ Group
Departs From:
San Pedro (Ambergris Caye)
 (2)
Soar above the Caribbean Sea and gain a new perspective of Ambergris Caye. No other experience compares to the thrill of sailing 250 feet above the water and looking for marine life. ... moreOur past guests have seen dolphins, sharks, rays, & turtles–what will you see? We offer solo, double, or triple flights. 

Your adventure begins with a safety briefing from the first mate. Next, you will be secured in a life jacket and safety harness as you are instructed how and when to move to the flight deck. After the chute is launched the first mate will attach the passenger bar to the chute and call you to the deck. You will stand as your harness is attached to the bar and then move forward and sit with your legs in front of you. And finally, …you’re flying! You will ascend slowly and smoothly as the captain guides you over the beautiful turquoise waters inside the barrier reef. Our certified crew has been trained by the US experts to meet all US safety standards. 

Sit back and relax, you will have approximately 12-15 minutes to enjoy the sights of San Pedro, the reef, and the surrounding beauty of Ambergris Caye. Take a selfie, make a video–you decide, it’s your adventure.

As you return to the boat you will receive instructions from the first mate. He will ask you to reach up and grab the bar above your head and to extend your legs into a standing position. Following his directions will ensure you nail your landing.
$
90
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Xunantunich was a classic period Maya ceremonial and residential center. This site is located along the western border of Belize with Guatemala on the Mopan River in the village of ... moreSuccotz. The core occupies a hilltop with six plazas that include temples and palaces. The most prominent rises 130 ft above the plaza called “El Castillo”. Vehicles use a hand crank ferry to access the site.
$
40
-
$
75
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
 (13)
Top Hopkins Area Tour *seasonal tour* (Mid December to May) Head out on the 5-minute boat ride to Anderson Lagoon on the Sittee River. The night sky is UNBELIEVABLE. ... more

Thick with stars all the way down to the tree line. Using high powered flashlights to spot the eyeshine of crocodiles, kinkajou, coatimundi, raccoons, birds, resting iguanas, and much more!

Go through the tiny cut to the lagoon and you are surrounded by the giant mangroves and then shoot out into the lagoon which boasts bioluminescent plankton that lights up with any disturbance in the water.

It’s pitch black, the guide’s flashlight beam cutting across the lagoon is the only light and then he turns it off, the boat picks up speed and the wake glows to blue light. As the boat picks up more speed, the tiny algae, which settle in the lagoon during the dry season, get agitated and glow. It’s absolutely unbelievable.

Our guide will stop the boat and you just stare into the water. Schools of fish or any marine life swimming through the lagoon create a phosphorescent trail which can look like a glowing cloud in the water. Hundreds of jellyfish pulsating in the water. They feed on the algae – it’s all along their edges and inside them.

Just moving your hand around in the water is miraculous. You leave aqua blue glowing blue bubbles.

A swim in these waters is almost irresistible so we recommend you wear your swimwear and bring along a towel.

Angela Wu

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