Belize offers miles of beautiful coral reefs, ancient ruins, tropical rainforests, exotic wildlife and a wonderful mixture of cultures. The government's approach to eco-tourism should ensure the country remains a nature lovers haven well into this century.
Cayes and Caribbean Coast
Belize boasts the world’s second longest barrier reef, which runs the entire length of the country, and divers can explore three atolls, hundreds of offshore cayes, an extensive network of caves and an abundance of marine life. Ambergris Caye is Belize’s largest island and San Pedro Town offers a laid back vibe and beachfront restaurants and bars. The Great Blue Hole in Lighthouse Reef is a real bucket list destination for divers. This circular submarine sinkhole is 120 metres deep and home to reef sharks and enormous stalactites.
Belize’s interior is an untouched landscape of dense jungle, steep ravines, spectacular waterfalls and rushing rivers. The Cayo District borders Guatemala and covers 2000 square miles of forest, rolling hills and farmland. Over half of the district has been designated a national park, wildlife sanctuary or forest reserve that’s home to wildlife including monkeys, anteaters and the elusive jaguar. It’s a popular destination for riding, bird watching, cave tubing and rappelling, and it’s even possible to visit Tikal on a day trip.
Belize is often referred to as the ‘heart of the Maya’ and relics of this ancient civilisation are dotted across the country. The largest known site, Caracol, is surrounded by jungle and boasts the country’s tallest Mayan building. The impressive site of Xunantunich is just half an hour from San Ignacio and features fine stucco facades and views of neighbouring Guatemala. The small, well-preserved site of Altun Ha lies north of Belize City and highlights here include the Temple of the Green Tomb and the Temple of Masonry Altars.
British colonial heritage
Belize is a melting pot of cultures with diverse influences such as Mayan, Mestizo, Creole, Asian and British. English and Scottish settlers first arrived in the 17th- Century in search of a sheltered bay from which to attack Spanish ships. Formerly known as British Honduras, Belize was the UK’s last colony on the American mainland and it’s the only country in Central America with a British colonial heritage and English as its official language. The Museum of Belize and the Government House in Belize City both trace the country’s history.
GMT -6 hours
No visa required