What You Need to Know About Vacationing in Belize
Belize is beautiful, relatively undeveloped and more popular than ever, despite some safety issues. It has resorts, jungles, beautiful beaches, delectable cuisine, and sparkling water perfect for SCUBA diving.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning a trip to this Central American hotspot:
There are a lot of Mayan ruins
If cultural exploration is your thing, there’s plenty for you to explore in Belize. The west-central and southern parts of the country are dotted with archaeological sites from the heyday of the Maya.
Caracol is the largest site, located in a jungle setting that will transport you to your favorite light-hearted adventure movie.
Xunantunich is a day trip from Belize City hotels, with many guided tours available. Lamanai is best reached by a 24-mile trek up the New River, with amazing jungle views from the top of The Jaguar Temple.
For something spookier, the cave of Actun Tunichil Muknal is the final resting place of Mayan sacrifice victims and consists of tunnels and passageways that will again take you right back to the scariest part of that aforementioned adventure movie.
Also read: Mexico Vacations Off the Beaten Path
The diving is great!
The Great Blue Hole has been one of the world’s great dive spots ever since the legendary Jacques-Yves Cousteau declared it such almost a half-century ago. A UNESCO World Heritage Site 45 miles off the mainland of Belize, the circular-shaped Blue Hole is as its name implies a 410-foot-deep hole in the ocean floor lined with coral and teeming with tropical fish, sharks and more.
While the Great Blue Hole is the most noteworthy dive spot in Belize, it’s just one of many great spots along the coast. For instance, the waters off Half Moon Caye and Ambergris Caye offer excellent dive opportunities and a fun atmosphere back on land.
Note: If you’re thinking about SCUBA diving and wondering if you should get travel insurance, Generali plans can cover medical emergencies and evacuations, as well as scuba gear. Coverage exclusions include scuba diving below 40 meters or without a dive master.
Welcome to the jungle
Lovers of semi-tropical jungle will find lots to love in Belize.
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary has some of the best birding in the Western Hemisphere, while Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary offers opportunities to spot the elusive jaguar in the wild.
Guided canoe tours down the Macal River let you see wildlife and native life close-up in a way you can’t experience anywhere else north of Brazil. Cave-tubing through the jungle is one of the most popular excursions in the country, an adventurous ride down the Caves Branch River and the cave systems it runs through.
And finally, the territory around the aforementioned Mayan ruins of Lamanai is everything you’d expect from a lush tropical rainforest.
The resorts are spectacular
Tourists are required to stay in one of almost 700 Gold Standard accommodations, which is not an imposition at all, since many of these resorts are stunning, with a definite eco-tourist vibe.
Umaya Resort & Adventures is not only a five-star dive resort wedged between the Belize Barrier Reef and the mountains but also a foodie destination, with a farm-to-table restaurant and incredible Taste of Belize nights.
Chaa Creek is situated on the shores of the Macal River at the edge of a beautiful 400-acre private rainforest reserve. The resort is great at just about everything, from cuisine to service, and guests can enjoy tours of the nature preserve and butterfly farm, in addition to access to hiking trails and canoeing.
Extra-fare activities include helicopter rides, horseback riding, and much more.
The beach is calling
Cayes are another word for islands, and Belize has plenty of them. Coffee Caye is renowned for its government – it was recently purchased by a group of investors and relaunched as the Principality of Islandia – but its beaches are pretty spectacular, too.
The Secret Beach on Ambergris Caye isn’t much of a secret, but it is where everyone goes for an all-day good time.
Belize has more than 200 miles of Caribbean coastline in addition to the cayes, meaning you’re never far away from the sand and the water. (Just note that most beaches in Belize do not have lifeguards, and rip currents and other ocean hazards are not uncommon. Swim with care.)
A vacation in Belize can be almost anything you want it to be – relaxing, fun-filled, active, and romantic. Vacations like these deserve travel protection. Get a quote today.