A tiny, English-speaking country on the Caribbean Coast of Central America, Belize is known primarily as a scuba diver’s playground where crystalline turquoise waters conceal the world’s second largest barrier reef system, countless shallows and a truly spectacular kaleidoscope of marine life.
However, this diverse and culturally rich tropical oasis holds much more than just ocean-based adventure for the intrepid traveler.
From the colonial wonders of the western Cayo District to the remote eco-tourism hub of Toledo in the south, Belize affords travelers the opportunity to discover the best kept secrets of ancient man and Mother Nature in one distinct country where the people are friendly, the weather is unmatched and adventure is just around every corner. Of course, there also are plenty of hammocks to kick back and relax between activities.
Although it wasn’t all that long ago Ambergris Caye was a virtually undiscovered destination where only divers and researchers ventured, today the largest of the Belize islands is a bustling tourist hub and the most frequented destination in Belize. Easy day trips to some of the country’s other popular destinations are available from here, but it is the proximity to the Belize Barrier Reef, which can be seen from the shore, that draws the crowds. Just a short boat ride from Ambergris Caye, you’ll find laid back Caye Caulke, which also is close to the reef and a bit more barefoot than its larger neighbor. Head a bit farther to the Outer Atolls, where you’ll find a remote, unspoiled and jaw dropping array of 450 islands. The Great Blue Hole is near here, as are near virgin coral reefs, the first national park in Belize and a popular birding destination.
Back on the mainland, Orange Walk is a rugged inland terrain of Mayan history, lush rainforest and the most ecologically diverse flora and fauna in country. Here, you’ll find eco and cultural tourism, including Lamanai and Cuello ruins, The New River, Rio Bravo Conservation Center and The Banquitas House of Culture. The South Coast is home to some of the most spectacular beaches in Belize, particularly around Placencia, and a destination that provides perhaps the best access to the widest array of activities. From the ruins of Lubaantun and Nim Li Punit and the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, to the culturally-rich Hopkins and foodie-indulgent Dangriga, this district seems to have it all. Also part of the South Coast, Toledo is the southernmost and least developed district in Belize. Agri-tourism is prevalent here, and there are at least five major Mayan ruins in the area. Looking to experience the Belizean frontier? Head northwest to the Cayo District, where you’ll find a vast highland stretch, including the ruins of Caracol, ATM and Barton Creek caves and the largest topical forest north of the Amazon at Chiquibul National Park. Even somewhat weathered Belize City exudes a certain coastal allure— though we don’t recommend staying here for more than one night.
Belize may be tiny, but it packs a big punch.
Call our trip designers at 800.772.9188 to explore our suggested Belize tours today, and begin personalizing your extraordinary journey to Belize with our private guides in private cars.
Good to Know
Visa is not required for U.S. citizens staying 30 days or less
Length of stay
Belize Dollar (BZD) and USD
None, but check with your doctor for recommendations
- Ambergris Caye
- Belize City
- Caye Caulker
- Cayo District
- Orange Walk
- Outer Atolls
- South Coast