If you’re looking for a holiday centred around eco-tourism, look no further than Belize. This Central American country has some of the most incredible natural attractions in the world. With a whole lot of excellent accommodation options that will keep your carbon footprint low! Whether you want to scuba dive and snorkel, explore the rainforest, or just chill out on the beach, there’s nowhere better than Belize!
In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most compelling reasons for a vacation in Belize. Hopefully, it will make it easier to plan your trip and make the most of your time here!
Snorkel with Sharks in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve
The Hol Chan Marine Reserve is just a stone’s throw from Ambergris Caye. Meaning ‘Little Channel’ in the native Mayan language, it’s one of the best spots for snorkelling in the whole of Central America. There’s even a part called Shark Alley, which anyone interested in marine life should have right at the top of their Belize itinerary. Under the azure waters, you’ll not only find sharks but also rays, turtles, and tropical fish. The marine reserve is around 18km from Ambergris Caye and it’s easy to find a tour from the town.
Fly over the Great Blue Hole
The Great Blue Hole is on Lighthouse Reef and this mysterious sinkhole is one of the most intriguing attractions in Belize. While you might think that diving in the 300 by 125 metre hole is a great idea, it’s not the best site in Belize for scuba. And if you’re new to diving, this might prove just that little bit too scary. While diving is good between April and June and you’ll be able to see sharks, the best way to truly appreciate the Great Blue Hole is from above. Take a helicopter tour from Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker – it’s sure to take your breath away!
Scuba Dive in the world’s second largest barrier reef
Everyone has heard of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, but fewer people know of the gem that lies off Belize’s coast. The second largest barrier reef in the world stretches along the whole of Belize’s coastline and you can use any of the coastal cities or islands as a base for scuba diving. While even snorkellers and the most inexperienced divers will be overwhelmed by the tropical fish, turtles, and sharks that call these waters home, some will be lucky enough to see the world’s largest fish – the whale shark! A true gentle giant.
Try a new water sport
Not all water sports happen below the surface… in fact, most of them don’t! There are several on offer from Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Placencia and other coastal destinations. One which is growing in popularity is stand up paddle boarding. If you’re not familiar with it, you’re probably wondering about how to paddle board? Well, the good thing is it’s really not that heard. Once you’ve learned to stand up on your board, you’ll be able to give your core an excellent work out. Once you get more confident, you might even want to give SUP yoga or SUP fishing a go! The calm waters off Ambergris Caye are a great way to learn the basics. While many shops provide rentals, check out some inflatable paddle boards for sale for an easy way to transport your equipment!
Chill out on the beach
All of these water sports will probably leave you needing some time to get your breath back. It’s good to know then, that beach life in Belize is something that attracts several travellers to the country. The main town on Ambergris Caye, San Pedro, is the perfect location to soak up the sun and occasionally get off your sunbed or towel to grab a beer or a snack. Fancy something more secluded? Just rent a golf cart in town and find your dream beach on the small island. Placencia is another idyllic seaside spot, with 26km of golden sands on a peninsula in Central South Belize.
Search for the elusive jaguar deep in the jungle
Away from the beach, Belize still has a lot to offer. The most adventurous tourists will want to head to the country’s jungles. One of the most accessible is Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary. It’s a haven for big cats, with jaguars, ocelots, and pumas roaming the area (though you will still be lucky to spot one). Easier to see are the thousands of bird species, monkeys, and insects. There are several trails traversing the parks too, where you can stop off at waterfalls and take a refreshing dip. A guided tour is best for wildlife watching, but if you’re content just to trek and swim, then you can enter the park yourself.
See Mayan Ruins
So far, we’ve really focused on Belize’s natural beauty. However, you can’t come to this small country without learning about its history too. Centuries ago, Belize was under Mayan rule and there are reminders of this in several places. If you’ve ever visited having a ruin virtually to yourself, head to Caracol. Although it can be difficult to get to (you’ll need to rent a 4×4), it’s worth that to sit atop the highest pyramid and survey the land around you. As well as Caracol, Altun Ha, San Ignacio and Lamanai Archaeological Reserves provide an insight into Belize’s rich history.
Final Thoughts on Vacations in Belize
Now that you know some of the epic activities you can enjoy in Belize, it’s time to book your trip. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay that is a crossover between luxury, adventure, and eco-tourism then check out Eci Development. They have properties not only in Belize, but across Central America too. The perfect base for your Latin American adventures!