If you’ve never visited Belize – get ready to start searching for flights immediately!What sets Belize apart from other Caribbean destinations is that its vacation offerings go way beyond its picturesque setting of beautiful beaches and sparkling turquoise waters. Belize is home to the second largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, Mayan Ruins, and dense jungle. If you are a nature lover, adventurer seeker, diving fanatic, or history buff, you’ll never get bored in Belize. There are many sites to see, natural wonders to explore, and experiences to enjoy.
Listed below are the Top 20 Things to Do in Belize, which you’ll want to add to your vacation bucket list.
1. Great Blue Hole
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Great Blue Hole is considered one of the world’s most distinguished diving sites. Created approximately 10,000 years ago after a cave roof crumbled in, this deep blue abyss contains underwater tunnels, caverns, and rock formations. You can experience the Great Blue Hole through a diving day trip, flying over it in a helicopter, or snorkeling.
2. Altun Ha
Belize is home to several Mayan Ruins to check out. One of them is Altun Ha, meaning “Rockstone Pond,” where you can view two plazas with pyramids, tombs, temples, and ceremonial mounds. This is where elite priest-kings were buried with luxurious items, such as jade, pottery, and pearls.
3. 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. When you’re not underwater, you can eat, go shopping, and enjoy beachside cocktails in San Pedro, Ambergris’ main town.
4. Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Facing the southern edge of Ambergris Caye, Hol Chan Marine Reserve attracts divers and snorkelers as it’s the oldest reserve in Belize. Its name means “Little Channel,” which refers to the coral-filled gap in Belize’s immense barrier reef. This 3 square miles long aquatic zone is home to stingrays, eels, harmless sharks, and other exotic sea creatures.
5. Bird Watching
Belize has over 500 species of featured friends, making it a bird watchers paradise. No matter what you are doing in Belize, you can just look up, and you’ll likely spot exotic birds including scarlet macaws, herons, and Belize’s national bird – the keel-billed toucan.
6. Actun Tunichil Muknal
Actun Tunichil Muknal (also known as the ATM Tour) is one of the most well-known Mayan burial sites in Western Belize. In fact, National Geographic had named it one of the Top 10 Sacred Caves. It offers an “Indiana Jones” type of experience, where you can view ancient Mayan relics, and even skeletons, inside the cave.
Lamanai is a 960-acre Mayan site located on the New River Lagoon in Northern Belize. Its name means “submerged crocodile” is what you’ll encounter when you visit, including artifacts depicting reptiles, plus crocodiles and iguanas crawling along its banks.
8. Barracuda Lake Fishing
Barracuda Lake houses a vast number of barracuda and snapper. You can sit back and relax, waiting for your catch, while peering into its gorgeous 10-foot deep blue waters.
9. Monkey River Tour
Take a day tour gliding down the Monkey River while you pass by wildlife on the shore. You can then trek into the jungle to see and hear the howling monkeys, and exotic flora and fauna.
10. Cerros Marine Ruins
The Cerros Marine Ruins are partially underwater with temples, plazas, and canals, revealed above. This secluded 52-acre site was once home to 1,000 Mayans. After touring the ruins, visit a local hut for Belizean craft beer.
11. Belize Zoo
The Belize Zoo was initially a rescue facility for animals which were injured or donated to take part in documentary films. This 29-acre facility feels more like a wildlife preserve than a commercial zoo and offers an impressive array of large cats, primates, reptiles, and birds.
12. Belize Botanic Gardens
The Belize Botanic Gardens used to be a cattle pasture and today offers tours for visitors to view over 2,000 plant species, including plants which have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The botanical gardens are also an excellent place for birdwatching.
13. Belize Sign Monument
This vibrant sign, which was started as a community beautification project, is now a famous landmark that welcomes visitors to the country. Large letters, each a different color, spell out the name of the country, and it provides a fun and colorful photo opp for all travelers.
14. Caracol Mayan Ruins
Caracol is Belize’s largest Mayan ruin with 15 square miles. This site contains over 35,000 structures built by the Mayans, including Caana, which means “sky palace” – a pyramid that is the tallest building in Belize.
15. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
To take in Belize’s spectacular fauna in its natural habitat, visit Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. This must-see attraction is home to jaguars, a gorgeous array of tropical birds, exotic plants, and even a Mayan ceremonial site.
16. Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker is a 4-mile-long, sun-soaked island which offers superb diving and snorkeling spots. The island is mostly uninhabited by locals, so it provides a relaxed, tropical, village-like ambiance with charming shops and restaurants.
17. Barton Creek Cave
Barton Creek is one of the largest river caves in Belize and was once used for ceremonial purposes and human sacrifices by the Maya. It consists of giant passages covered with numerous large speleothems, which are a sight to be seen.
18. Black Hole Drop
This tour for adventure seekers begins with a treacherous hike to the Actun Lock sinkhole. Once you arrive, you’ll then prepare to descend over 200 feet into the rainforest below.
19. Zip-Lining & Cave Tubing Tour
You can combine two must-do activities with one tour. The day starts with zip-lining through the jungle, then you break for lunch. The second part of the tour allows you to float on tubes while exploring Belize’s mysterious caves.
20. Do Nothing At All
After you’ve spent your days experiencing all of these exciting excursions, you deserve some time to relax and do nothing at all. This is the best time to lay back at your resort’s pool or beach, with a tropical cocktail in your hand, and just enjoy the stunning scenery and tranquility which Belize is also known for.
Where to Stay in Belize?
To make the most of your Belize vacation, you’ll need a stay at a top resort which is easily accessible to these sites, offers their own tours, or can plan excursions for you.
Orchid Bay is the resort which allows you to enjoy first-class amenities and modern conveniences while giving you easy access to the best of Belize. When booking your stay at Orchid Bay, you can choose between different types of accommodations, including a Beach Cabana, Beachfront Condo, or Private Home.
Orchid Bay offers plenty of complimentary activities you can take advantage of without having to leave the property, including paddle boarding, kayaking, and beach volleyball. Orchid Bay can also arrange for fishing trips, snorkeling in the Northern Belize Barrier Reef, visiting the Lamanai ruins, rum crawls, bird watching, taking a day trip to Chetamul, Mexico, and other extraordinary outings. Contact Orchid Bay to book to your stay and plan your Belize adventure!