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Though it’s growing fast, Belize is still a prime spot for back-to-nature travel. This intimate Caribbean oasis offers scuba destinations, natural rain forests and amazing attractions like the mystical Mayan temples. Some of Belize’s ancient ruins offer a way to experience both the beauty of the rain forest and the protected history of the ancient Mayans. However, if you crave a beach vacation, then you’re also in for a treat. A visit to the Cays offers an untamed beach in a get-away-from-it-all oasis. On Ambergris and the other Cays, you’ll find plenty of peace, quiet and exceptional beauty. And running across the entire coastline of the country is the Western Hemisphere’s largest barrier reef (with the Famous “Great Blue Hole”). It’s second in size only to the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia and is a scuba haven for divers. Whatever the reason you decide to visit Belize, do it soon before the crowds catch on! It’s a true Caribbean gem.
Other Destinations in Belize
Start Planning Your Belize Vacation
Mapping Out Belize
Northern Belize is inhabited mostly by Yucatec Mayas who settled in the area after fleeing Mexico. Belize City is in this region and was once the primary capital of the country. This area is mostly marshland, but its populated parts are perfect for ecotourism, shopping, restaurants and hotels. On the other hand, Southern Belize contains St. Vincent, which is considered the most important city in the country thanks to its natural beauty tucked away in the mountains. Overall this is the most popular region for tourists looking for swimming and hiking. Similarly, Western Belize attracts eco-tourists for its pristine rain forests. But it also has the most well-preserved Mayan ruins in the country. Wherever you go in Belize, you’ll be able to appreciate its untouched beauty
Splash at Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Snorkel through this amazing natural preserve and discover an underwater world filled with fish, coral, manta-rays and reef sharks! Known to the Mayans as, “the little channel,” Hol Chan Marine Reserve is located off the southern tip of Ambergris Caye and spans approximately three miles.
Hol Chan Marine is a popular destination because it’s so close to San Pedro and is home to stunning sorts of marine life. The reserve is easily accessible to both snorkelers and beginning divers. So you don't need experience to start, and there's lots for experienced divers to see. Accessible diving and snorkleing with amazing views - what are you waiting for? Dive in!
For a Good Time, Get to the Reef
The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest reef system in the world. From air, the Belize reefs appear to be unbroken chains of white surf running along the Caribbean-side of the Yucatan Peninsula. One of the highlights of the reef is the Great Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef.
Thousands of years in the making, this spot once stood above the water. Now it’s one of the top ten scuba diving sites in the. This 480 ft. deep underwater sinkhole is an amazing combination of limestone walls full of hammerhead sharks, neon gobies and many other colorful fish. There’s plenty to see in rest of the reef. We recommend visiting one of the many cays and atolls that surround the area.
Go Barefoot at the Barefoot Bar
If you’re looking for a good time, check out the best bar in Belize! At Barefoot Bar, you can get down with live music, great drinks and the best fish nachos around. With a large selection of specialty drinks and food, the atmosphere of the bar is welcoming, fun and all about living the island life.
Don’t worry about bringing a lot of cash with you, the specials are plentiful in portion, but lean on price. Many of the locals stop by for lunch, but dinner is a perfect time to enjoy a sunset before dancing the night away during one of the bar’s famous “Full Moon Beach Parties.”
Mayan Roots Grow Deep in Belize
The Mayan civilization established itself in Belize around 1500 BC and thrived until 800 AD. During that time, the Mayans build impressive temples and created a rich heritage from stone and jade artwork, while making astonishing discoveries in mathematics and astronomy.
Today, you can explore the rich history contained in what was once the heartland of the Mayan civilization by touring sites like the ceremonial Xunantunich pyramid and the Great City. Other sites to see include Caracol and El Pilar. They’re a hike but they‘ll give you a first-hand account of how astonishing these ancient peoples once were.
Belize Quick Facts
The major languages spoken in Belize include English, Kriol and Spanish.
The official currency is the Belize Dollar, but USD is widely accepted.
Belize shares the same 110 volt, 60 cycle electricity as the US.
All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport when traveling to and from Belize.
Drink only bottled or boiled water. For your health, please avoid drinking tap water, fountain drinks and ice cubes.
Central Standard Time (UTC/GMT -5 hours)
The peak travel season in Belize extends from mid-December through mid-April.