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Why Is Belize Such a Popular Destination?

For outsiders looking in, Belize offers endless qualities that make it a popular destination. From the stunning natural landscape and unique outdoor experiences to the innovative food scene and exciting access to Mayan history, there’s so much about this country to love. Let’s take a closer look at what draws people to Belize each year. 

Scuba-Diving & Snorkelling

Belize is one of four countries along the second-largest barrier reef in the world, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, making it a hot spot for professional and novice divers. The reef portion found along the Belize coast, called the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, has seven key sites that were named UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1996 because of their significance in showing the evolution of reef systems and because they’re home to threatened wildlife.

The water is warm year-round, so it’s a comfortable place to dive in regardless of when you plan to travel. The top places to dive in Belize include the Great Blue Hole and the Half Moon Caye (both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites). The Great Blue Hole is one of the best-known diving locations in the world. It’s a sinkhole that allows divers to descend into still, deep waters for a unique diving experience you won’t find elsewhere in the country. 

Half Moon Caye is not as deep as Great Blue Hole but delivers stunning vistas of natural marine life along the barrier reef. Regardless of where you dive, you’ll likely encounter awe-inspiring marine life like reef sharks, manta rays, colourful reef fish, and endless reef plants.

Even if you’re not comfortable with the idea of diving, the beauty of the marine life in Belize can be appreciated through snorkelling as well. 

Mayan History & Ruins

As Belize was once home to millions of Mayans, many archaeological sites displaying the Mayan history have been found within the country’s forests and jungles. These sites deliver opportunities for people to learn more about the Maya people and their lifestyle, which has fascinated archaeologists and historians for decades. These sites and places rich in artefacts and history also offer unique, exciting experiences like going into caves or venturing up stone steps that are thousands of years old.

Of these sites and learning opportunities, a few draw more interest than others, including Xunantunich, Caracol, and the Barton Creek Cave Reserve. Xunantunich, which translates to “stone woman,” is one of the tallest ruins in Belize and a ceremonial site that has been made accessible to tourists. The journey to the site is a novel one requiring a hand-cranked ferry ride.

Since Caracol was discovered in the 1900s, countless details about the Mayan city have been unearthed, like artefacts, glyphs, tombs, pyramids, and even homes and entertainment spaces like a ball court.

The Barton Creek Cave Reserve is another historic site with a unique way of reaching it — in this case, using a canoe. As the name suggests, the area is a cave with water running through it. It was a place of ritual for the Mayan civilisation.

Outdoor Activities & Adventure

Beyond its reputation for scuba diving opportunities, Belize is also a popular destination thanks to its many outdoor adventures. The country has many hikes, waterfalls, swimming holes, and caves that tourists can explore independently. Alternatively, there are many guided and structured activities that are just as enticing, like tours into the jungles and caves of Belize.

Wildlife

The appeal of Belize extends to its diverse wildlife that captivates visitors from around the globe. Wildlife like sharks, dolphins, manatees, turtles, and more can be seen throughout the reefs and seaside, while the monkeys and tropical birds provide exciting encounters in the rainforest regions.

Even if chance encounters with wildlife in their natural habitats don’t happen on your trip, the Belize Zoo allows visitors to get up close and personal with the area’s native species.

Food & Entertainment

The appeal of Belize goes beyond outdoor adventures, beautiful reefs, and lush rainforests, delivering delicious food that impresses foodies and nightlife that appeals to people’s wild sides. 

When it comes to food, Belize has become an unexpected foodie destination featuring unexpected delights. One of Belize’s culinary guides has explained that “people are often pleasantly surprised by how good our food is because they haven’t heard much about it.” The food offers traditional plates of rice and beans but also pushes the envelope with innovative dishes.

In addition to delicious food, Belize, particularly Belize City, has also developed a reputation for its exciting nightlife. From exciting nightclubs and thrilling casinos, it’s a place to let loose and enjoy yourself. Even if you don’t visit a region with one of these thriving nightclubs or casinos, you can still enjoy the live casino experience with the legal online gaming options available in the country.

Sustainability

While tourism can be criticised for its negative environmental impacts, particularly in sensitive areas like barrier reefs, Belize has made sustainable tourism a core value for the country and its vast tourist industry. This creates even more appeal for visitors who are wary of the impact their travels might inflict. Belize has many sustainable tourism programsthat tourists can use to make the most of their time there. 

Tropical Paradise

An enormous appeal of Belize is that it is a tropical paradise where tourists can come and unwind and relax. It offers travel-brochure-worthy white sand beaches and beautiful accommodations without the same price tag as other tropical destinations. It’s a combination that’s hard not to love.

Conclusion

Belize delivers a tropical paradise and unmatched experiences to visitors from around the world, and this has garnered it a reputation for being a must-visit destination.

*See our Disclaimer for release information. 

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