Belize is quite a unique country. Not quite Central American, not quite Caribbean but a mix of the best of both. Boasting ancient Mayan cities, untouched forests, pristine beaches and a coral reef system second only in size to the Great Barrier Reef, Belize has a tremendous amount to offer the any and every tourist. It is often visited by overland travelers who are journeying throughout the Central American region, as well as by those flying out there specifically for a vacation. It shares borders with both Mexico and Guatemala, and has an international airport in Belize City. Below, are listed five of the best things to see and do during a holiday in Belize.
The Mayan Ruins
There are half a dozen major Mayan sites within Belize, with many more minor ones, and still more that no doubt await discovery. Altun Ha is the closest one to Belize city, and can easily be visited on a day trip from there. Caracol is the largest of the Mayan ruins in Belize though, and actually covers an area greater than the more famous Tikal ruins in neighboring Guatemala. Most people visit Caracol whilst staying in the San Ignacio area.
Actun Tunichil Muknal
Commonly known as the ATM cave, this is another place to visit whilst in the San Ignacio area. A trip through this cave system is like a mini adventure in itself, and quite unlike anything most people have experienced. Walking, climbing and even swimming through the cave system leads to an area where the calcified remains of human sacrifices can be found.
The Blue Hole
By far the most famous scuba diving spot in Belize, and one of the greatest in the world, this underwater cenote is spectacular. People who haven’t been there before should ignore the naysayers, and instead, prepare themselves to see reef sharks, turtles and other marine life in a place like no other in the world.
The small islands off the coast of mainland Belize are often called the Cayes, and Caye Caulker is one of the most popular. It can be reached by water taxi or plane, and has a very laid back pace of life, with an almost Caribbean feel. It is quite common that people who intended to visit for only a few days end up staying a week or even longer. There are restaurants and bars in abundance, and the best way to get around the island is by foot or bicycle.
Although Belize has a number of protected areas that act as reserves for the many species of wild animals found within the country, perhaps the best way for many tourists to see the animals close up, is at the zoo. The Belize Zoo is some 30 miles way from Belize City itself, and is classed as being one of the better zoos on the continent. The spacious enclosures act as home to many species, including the jaguar, which can be somewhat difficult to photograph in the wild!