Belize is a Caribbean destination that’s slightly off the map. That’s because it only partly borders the Caribbean Sea and it’s not even an island. It’s a Central American nation that’s bordered by Mexico and Guatemala. Also, unlike its Caribbean neighbors, its appeal goes way beyond its sparkling blue waters, spectacular beaches, and frozen daiquiris.
Why Belize Should be on Your Vacation Radar
Belize offers a unique family vacation experience, and it’s a destination your friends and your kids’ friends probably have not visited yet, so bragging rights come along with traveling here. From its lush rainforest and exotic flora and fauna to its Mayan Ruins and mystical caves, Belize offers preserved tropical beauty and authenticity, a fascinating history, and welcoming locals who represent many diverse cultures and ethnicities.
There’s a reason why Belize is starting to generate a lot of buzz with all types of travelers and has been named on several recent top travel lists, including Forbes “19 Best Places to Travel in 2019.” Let’s discuss all the reasons why Belize should be on your family vacation radar.
Top 5 Amazing Activities for Families in Belize
Belize offers a boatload of fun for adults and kids of all ages while mixing adventure, relaxation and unbelievable historical sites into one family-friendly trip, without the hassle of touristy crowds. Below are the top five must-do activities during your Belize stay:
1. Ancient Mayan Ruins
Belize is home to several Mayan Ruins, which allow your kids to experience these fascinating sites in person, instead of just learning about it in history class. Lamanai is one of the largest Maya sites dating back 3,000 years. The tour features floating down the New River while spotting howler monkeys and crocodiles before you arrive at the ruins, where your exploration of world-renowned ancient temples begins.
2. Great Blue Hole
As a UNESCO site made famous by Jacques Cousteau, who declared it one of the top five scuba diving sites in the world, no trip to Belize is complete without seeing this deep blue abyss with your own eyes. You can experience the Great Blue Hole with your kids by flying over it in a helicopter or plane, or snorkeling while peering into its enchanting depths.
3. Cave Systems
Belize has an extensive network of caves, which the ancient Maya believed linked the living and the dead. You can float down the Caves Branch River on a floating tube, while you past stalactites and underground waterfalls to the crystal cathedral. After passing through the mystical caves, head to the Belize Zoo to see jaguars, pumas and more elusive animals.
4. Ambergris Cay
This 25-mile long island off the coast of northern Belize caters to snorkelers and divers. The island offers easy access to the barrier reef and exploring the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, which is home to stingrays, eels, harmless sharks, and other exotic sea creatures. When you’re not underwater, you can eat, go shopping, and lounge on the beach in San Pedro, Ambergris’ main town.
5. Relax While Making Memories
After you’ve spent your days experiencing all of these exciting excursions, you and your family deserve some relaxing family time for re-connecting – which is why you booked your family vacation in first place. Enjoy lounging at your resort’s pool or beach, while engaging with your spouse and children, and taking in the stunning scenery and tranquility which Belize is also known for.
How to Plan Your Belize Family Vacation
You can book your trip to Belize year-round, but it’s important to note that its rainy season falls between June and November. However, during this time, it only rains for about 30 minutes to one hour, three days a week, and the rest of the time it’s sunny with an 80-degree average temperature.
The great news is that no matter where you’re flying from, you can be in Belize in just a few short hours. It’s only a 2-hour flight from Dallas, 3-hour flight from Atlanta, and a 4-hour flight from Chicago.
Unlike most other Latin American countries, Belize is an English-speaking nation. Although Spanish is widely spoken too, you can count on all signs, restaurant menus, and more, to be in English, which makes it convenient when dining, shopping, and exploring. Belize has its own currency, but U.S. dollars are widely accepted so you can avoid the hassles and rates of having to exchange money for your trip.
As for safety, the majority of serious crimes happen in Belize City, which unfortunately skews the crime rate for the entire country. Crimes against tourists are extremely rare, and visitors typically feel perfectly safe when outside of the city.
As with any family vacation, packing light is critical. Belize is a laidback country, so all your family needs to bring are flip-flops, bathing suits, and light casual summer clothing.
Best Place for Families to Stay in Belize
Orchid Bay, located in Northern Belize, offers families a variety of rental accommodations. You can stay in a Beach Cabana, Beachfront Condo, or Private Home. Orchid Bay allows you to enjoy first-class amenities and modern conveniences while having easy access to the best of Belize.
Whichever accommodations you chose, you and your family can soak in views of powdery white sand, shimmering blue water, and tropical gardens. Orchid Bay is situated on the most stunning beach with 7 miles of coastline. The resort offers a gorgeous infinity pool where you can sit back and relax while sipping on a drink from the Pool Bar or Swing Bar. Orchid Bay’s Tradewinds restaurant, which is located right on the beach, offers farm-to-table flavorful dishes, while the resort’s surrounding tropical lush gardens have over 200 varieties of wild orchids and diverse species of birds.
There are plenty of activities to enjoy right at the resort, including complimentary use of stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, and beach volleyball. Orchid Bay can also arrange for fishing trips, snorkeling in the Northern Belize Barrier Reef, visiting the Lamanai ruins, bird watching, taking a day trip to Chetamul, Mexico, and many more.
Belize is beautiful, easily accessible, and your family will have lots to explore while making lasting memories together. Contact Orchid Bay today to plan to your Belize family vacation.