Belize is home to the second largest barrier reef which makes it an ideal spot for scuba divers and snorkelers alike.
Photo By Jasru
Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker are two of the most popular islands in Belize and both offer outstanding dive spots to explore the reef. The water is a brilliant turquoise when you jump in and the show has just begun. Purple coral, electric blue fish, nurse sharks, turtles, orange starfish, and occasional hammerhead are just a sampling of what you may see. The reef is just three quarters of a mile from the shoreline of Ambergris Caye and there are many other locations to explore the reef along the approximately 175 miles it stretches along the coast. Whether it’s a quick trip just out from San Pedro, a trip to Turneffe, or a multi-day trip to the Blue Hole, you won’t be disappointed with the extraordinary world under the sea.
Photo By Amber Karnes
Belize’s fertile climate, coastal access, and expansive marine life made it an attractive home for many Mayan people and therefore restored ruins are sprinkled throughout Belize. Some of the most popular sites include Altun Ha, Lamanai, Cerros, Caracol and Cahal Pech. A day at one of the many sites will provide breathtaking views from the tops of temples and a good dose of Mayan history provided by one of the many experienced Belizean guides.
Deep sea fishing
If you’re looking for a little adventure, deep sea fishing off the coast of Belize can deliver just that. dorado, tuna, marlin, wahoo, sharks and sailfish are all present outside the reef. Deep sea fishing is a thrilling experience whether it’s your first time fishing or you are a seasoned angler.
Photo By Dirk's Photography
From the excitement of heading out to the satisfaction of reeling in a magnificent Dorado, the entire experience will leave you wanting more. To top off a successful day of fishing you can bring your catch to one of the local restaurants in town and enjoy a fresh seafood dinner provided by your hard work on the boat.
Photo By josephchisunka
There are few activities more peaceful than a day of kayaking in Belize. Whether it is a lagoon, the bay, a river or the sea, Belize offers the unique opportunity to feel as if you have found your own sanctuary on the water.
Photo By Dirk's Photography
There are many areas of Belize which have little boat traffic and you can easily find yourself in a lagoon, in your kayak, alone with nature. A few hours kayaking in Belize can easily help calm your mind. Be sure to bring along your waterproof camera – the quietness creates a wonderful stage for nature to come out around you.
Horseback riding through jungle in Belize’s Cayo District
The Cayo District of Belize offers more of a jungle experience including rivers, caves and lush foliage. While many visitors come to Belize to explore the coast, reef and Caribbean water, the Western area of Belize offers a range of adventure. A couple hours on horseback through the jungle and across rivers in the Cayo District provides an exhilarating experience.
Photo By Ariane Colenbrander
A knowledgeable guide will point out many of Belize’s medicinal plants, wildlife, various types of palms and much more. It is common to catch a glimpse of Mennonite communities on your journey as well. Cowboys are abundant in the Cayo District and many of them are happy to share their knowledge with you.
Cave tubing in the Cayo District should be on your list of activities while visiting Belize. Riding a tube on a refreshing river can be a welcome break from the typical Belize humidity. It is a relaxing journey through the lush jungle and various cave systems throughout Belize.
Quartz and crystal, which have formed over thousands of years, cause the caves to sparkle as you float through them. It is an awe-inspiring experience that should not be missed.
While in the Cayo District, the Pine Ridge should be on the top of your list. In this beautiful region of Belize there are a number of pools, caves and waterfalls to explore including the Rio On Pools, Rio Frio Cave, Big Rock Falls and the Five Sisters Falls.
Photo By Dirk's Photography
The Pine Ridge is also home to the Hidden Valley Falls (1000 foot falls) that features a 1,500 foot waterfall believed to be Central America’s longest waterfall. You may be able to find the Belize national flower, a black orchid, growing near the gift shop at Hidden Valley Falls.
Have a drink at the split at Caye Caulker – Lazy Lizard
Caye Caulker is an intimate island that you can get to by plane or ferry. The ferry boats from San Pedro run frequently and deliver you to the shore of Caye Caulker in about 20 minutes.
Photo By soyignatius
A visit to Caye Caulker offers you a true island experience, the time seems to slow down, smiles are abundant, the streets are sand, and golf carts or bicycles are the standard mode of transportation. The “split” is the place to hang out while visiting Caye Caulker. The split was created by a hurricane in 1961 which literally cut the island in two.
Photo By The Cooking Coder
Presently this split in the island serves as a convenient waterway and provides a place to swim, snorkel or just chill out. Sunday afternoons seem to be the best day to grab a drink at the Lazy Lizard bar on the split and relax in the warm sun.
A trip to the Belize Zoo is a fantastic treat during your stay in Belize. The zoo was formed as a result of a documentary that was filmed in the 1980’s. The animals featured in the documentary became somewhat tame and would have had a hard time being released back into the wild so one of the filmmakers, Sharon Matola, created the Belize Zoo.
Photo By Gaz (Yeat!)
This zoo, about 30 acres in size, features over 125 animals native to Belize. The animals include tapirs, jaguars, margays, monkeys and crocodiles and they are all situated in their natural surroundings. As you walk through the zoo you feel as if you are the one put on view. The Belize Zoo is an intimate peek into the incredible wildlife that Belize has to offer and is a must see.
Cotton Tree Chocolate factory in PG
The Cotton Tree Chocolate factory is located in Belize’s Toledo District within the town of Punta Gorda (PG). This little factory fills the surrounding area with the delicious smell of chocolate as dark, dark milk and light milk chocolate bars are created. This small factory is open during the days and provides a great peek at a small-scale chocolate-making operation which ships their products to people throughout Belize. If you are in the Toledo District a trip to this little factory is a treat.
Photo By Sustainable Harvest International
About the blogger:
Kristi Rifenbark lives, works and studies in the Corozal District of Belize. She is the co-owner of Scotty’s Bar and Grill in Corozal Town. In addition to freelance articles Kristi has written about Belize, over the last two years she has maintained a blog about her experiences traveling and living in Central America at http://belizedragonfly.com.