Over a million people visit Belize each and every year. Some may just be passing through on a cruise ship while others can spend weeks in a country which has so much to see and do. Even the long-term visitors will find it difficult to tick every item off the list but here are nine of the best destinations to visit in Belize.
Ranguana Private Island
What better way to enjoy the stunning natural scenery of the country than on your very own private island? Ranguana is a two-acre private island just a quick boat trip from the beaches of Placencia. From just $125 USD, guests can spend a day snorkelling, paddle boarding and BBQing until the sun goes down. Or, for those who want to stay even longer on the island, guests can stay overnight in the one hotel on the private paradise for a few hundred US Dollars.
The Mayan Ruins of Altun Ha
Altun Ha is rare for sites of historical significance. Located just 30 miles from the country’s largest city, Belize City, the Mayan ruins are certainly accessible. The site covers around 3 square miles and is open to tourists wanting to know about the country’s history. Altun Ha is almost three thousand years old but is still worth visiting today.
Big Rock Falls
Of course, Belize is a country blessed with a beautiful natural landscape. That much is obvious when looking at Big Rock Falls. Located in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, south-west of Belmopan, Big Rock Falls is a 150-foot wide waterfall and rock pool. Visitors can take a short hike to the falls where they can swim, dive, or just enjoy the stunning scenery.
We’ve all seen some disappointing and unenthusiastic zoos in our lives but Belize’s offering is a little more special. Belize Zoo & Tropical Education Centre only houses animals which are native to the country but are unable to live in the wild. The zoo is the home to over 175 animals from 45 different species but all of them were orphaned, born in-house, or rescued and rehabilitated at the centre. You won’t get many other opportunities in life to see a fer-de-lance, kinkajou or harpy eagle.
San Pedro Nightlife
Not everyone enjoys sitting back and enjoying nature, some people prefer the lights and noise of a vibrant nightlife and Belize has that in abundance. San Pedro is one of the best destinations with its range of vibrant beach bars like Crazy Canucks and the popular Wayos. If you want the night to keep going, head down to Captain Morgan’s Retreat where the only casino on Ambergris Caye is open until 4:00 am. Just remember to brush up on your slot machine or roulette skills at an online casino like Betway beforehand to impress your travel companions.
The only road sign on the island of Caye Caulker reads “go slow” and that is more of a life mantra than a rule for traffic. Things move at a different pace on the island with its noticeable lack of cars. Bicycles and the odd golf cart are the preferred mode of transport on this stunning destination where you can sit back and relax in stunning scenery. Just remember not to go too fast.
Caye Caulker’s waters are some of the most beautiful on the planet so why not enjoy them with a guided snorkelling trip? Many local companies including Anda De Wata offer guided snorkelling tours where you can see local wildlife and their habitats up close. You can swim with sharks and rays in the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve or see the coral reef at the famous Mexico Rocks.
Actun Tunichil Muknal
Actun Tunichil Muknal is no ordinary cave structure. Located near San Ignacio, this is more of an archaeological site than anything else. There are thousand-year-old human remains including the famous Crystal Maiden, the skeleton of a young girl who was believed to be a victim of sacrifice. Tours start at $125 USD but cameras are not permitted after a 2012 incident when a tourist dropped theirs and damaged a 1000-year-old skull.
The Great Blue Hole
The final and best-known destination on this list is Blue Hole. Belize’s world-famous attraction is located near Ambergris Caye and spans a distance of over 1000 feet on the surface. The Great Blue Hole is a sinkhole which delves 400 feet into the earth and is a real bucket list item for divers across the globe. Divers of all skill levels can take trips into the sinkhole but local companies like Astrum offer helicopter packages to get a bird’s-eye view on this natural wonder.