If you want a completely different setting and experience than the usual tourist hotspots on offer, then you might like to consider taking a vacation in Belize. This Central American country is a stunningly beautiful place to visit and there are plenty of things to see and do during your stay. If this is the destination of your choice, then here are just ten of the things you should include in your itinerary for your first-time visit to Belize.
1. Stay in a Hotel with Sea Views
Where you choose to stay during your trip to Belize can have a big impact on your experience. There are many fantastic hotels and villas to choose between with options for all tastes and budgets. To fully appreciate the beauty of this country, you should try to stay in a coastal hotel or one close to the national parks. Some of the top hotels in Belize include Turtle Inn, Blancaneaux Lodge, and Matachica Resort and Spa.
2. Eat Belizean Cuisine
Eating out is all part of the vacation experience and you should definitely try to sample some of the local cuisine during your stay to get the real taste of Belize. Many of the dishes are based on their world-famous rice and beans combination and this is served alongside either beef, chicken, or seafood. Tamales and ceviche are two other popular dishes in this country that you will find on many menus.
3. Visit the Islands
Off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean Sea, there are hundreds of small islands and reefs that you can visit by boat. These reefs and islands have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996 and each has its own points of beauty. You can take day trips to many of these islands via boat.
4. Go Scuba Diving
Belize is as well-known for what is going on beneath the ocean as it is for its attractions on the land. The marine life in the Caribbean is stunning and Belize has many reefs of outstanding beauty. There are also plenty of underwater ruins off the coastline. The best way to see these is to go scuba diving. There are various points that are suitable for people of different diving abilities, from experienced scuba divers to novices.
5. See the Ancient Ruins and Temples
There are many ancient ruins and temples around Belize that are significant to the history and culture of this country. Some that you should try to visit include Xunantunich, Lamanai, Caracol, Altun Ha, Maya ruins of Belize, and Actun Tunichil Muknal.
6. Learn About the History at a Museum
Belize is a country with a rich and diverse history. The best way to get a quick snapshot of this is to visit some of the country’s museums. Two of the best options are the Museum of Belize and the Maritime Museum.
7. Go to the National Parks
Belize is home to many national parks and these are areas of outstanding natural beauty. They are also a great setting for enjoying outdoor pursuits or admiring the local wildlife. Some to include in your first visit to Belize are Shipstern Conservation & Management Area, St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, and Chiquibul National Park. The latter is the largest national park in Belize.
8. Have a Day at Belize Zoo
A fun day out for all the family is a trip to Belize Zoo. This is home to hundreds of species of animals, many of which are endangered. If you are traveling with children, it is the ideal way to combine a fun activity with an interactive and educational experience.
9. Relax on the Beach
Belize boasts 386 kilometers of picturesque coastline with beautiful white sand beaches next to the glistening blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. If the main purpose of your vacation is to get away from the stresses and strains of daily life, then spending time on the beaches is a perfect way to while away your time soaking up the rays. One of the best beaches to visit is Maya Beach.
10. Visit the Jaguar Preserve
One of the most popular attractions in Belize is the Jaguar Preserve which is part of Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. In addition to the animals, which are the main attraction, this reserve is home to the country’s largest jungle hiking trail.