Seeing is Belize-ing when it comes to all the diverse activities travelers can enjoy when visiting this Latin American country set on the Caribbean Sea. Whether you're traveling for adventure, romance, family time, or just to get away from it all, Belize has something to offer all types of vacationers.
Beyond its picturesque setting, Belize is home to the second-largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, Mayan Ruins, rainforests, and so much more. There are many sites to see, experiences to savor, and natural wonders to explore. To help you plan your next escape, we’ve compiled a list of the top 20 things to see and do in Belize in 2020.
1. Great Blue Hole
The Great Blue Hole is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and known as one of the world's best diving areas. Created approximately 10,000 years ago after a cave roof crumbled in, this deep blue abyss has underwater tunnels, caverns, and rock formations. Divers and snorkelers can enjoy a variety of marine life and natural formations, including sharks, turtles, stalactites, and more.
2. Altun Ha
Belize is home to several Mayan Ruins that are fascinating to explore. 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 precious items such as jade, pottery, and pearls.
3. Ambergris Caye
This 25-mile long island off the coast of Northern Belize caters to water sports enthusiasts. The island offers easy access to the barrier reef. When you're not underwater, you can eat, go shopping, and drink beachside cocktails in San Pedro, Ambergris' main town.
4. Hol Chan Marine Reserve
In Ambergris Caye, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve attracts divers and snorkelers as it’s the oldest reserve in Belize. This 3 square miles long aquatic zone is home to exotic sea creatures, and you can make your way to Shark Ray Alley to swim with harmless nurse sharks and stingrays.
5. Chocolate Farms
Mayans and Belizeans have been creating decadent chocolate for centuries, and there are many chocolate farms and factories that are open to visitors. See for yourself how chocolate is made, and how many of these farms use ancient Mayan practices. You can get your craving met at Lamanai Chocolate Company, Ixcacao Maya Belizean Chocolate, and Che'il Mayan Chocolate.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.7. Lamanai
Lamanai is a 960-acre Mayan site located on the New River Lagoon in Northern Belize. Its name means "submerged crocodile," and that’s what you’ll encounter, including artifacts depicting reptiles. You may also catch a glimpse of crocodiles and iguanas crawling along its banks.8. 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. Belize also attracts many fly fishers, as its shallow waters have the only tarpon flats located outside of Florida.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 the stunning 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 an ice-cold Belizean craft beer.11. Belize Zoo
The Belize Zoo was initially a rescue facility for animals that were injured or donated. This 29-acre facility with over 175 animals feels more like a wildlife preserve than a commercial zoo and offers large cats, primates, reptiles, and birds on display, all of which are native to Belize.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 that have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The botanical gardens are also an excellent place for birdwatching.13. Fly Across Belize
See Belize from above by booking a small 12-seater plane with a local airline. Not only is it a fast way to get between different parts of the country, like Belize City, Placencia, Corozal, and San Pedro, but you can take in Belize’s spectacular aerial views.
14. Caracol Mayan Ruins
Caracol is Belize’s largest Mayan ruin with 15 square miles. This site offers 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
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is a must-see attraction that is home to jaguars, a gorgeous array of tropical birds, exotic plants, and even a Mayan ceremonial site. Bring your swimsuit and take a dip at the Tiger Fern Waterfall, which is not only stunning to view but also has an area for swimming.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 and there are no cars, so it provides a relaxed, tropical, village-like ambiance with charming shops, restaurants, and nightlife scene.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-sized 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 down 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. Other tour operators even offer zip- lining through the jungle at night.20. Do Nothing at All
After you’ve spent your days experiencing all of these astonishing excursions, you deserve some downtime. That's when it's ideal for relaxing on the beach or at a resort pool, and relishing Belize's stunning scenery and tranquility.
Where to Stay in Belize?
While taking advantage of all the stunning sites and exhilarating activities that Belize has to offer in 2020, you’ll need accommodations where you can rest your mind and body and get ready for the excitement and beauty that each day ahead brings.
Orchid Bay is a luxurious community where homeowners and visitors can enjoy first-class amenities and modern conveniences. When booking your stay at Orchid Bay, you can choose between a Beachfront Condominium, Beach Villa, or Bungalow.
Orchid Bay offers plenty of complimentary activities you can take advantage of on-site, including paddle boarding, kayaking, bird watching, and more. For those looking to go snorkeling, explore Mayan ruins, enjoy rum crawls, or even take a day trip to Chetumal, Mexico, those activities are easily accessible and can be arranged through Orchid Bay.
Contact Orchid Bay today to book to your 2020 stay and start planning your next Belize adventure!