Experience the wonders of Belize at these 10 attractions

Belize is a small country in Central America that offers a variety of attractions for travellers who want to explore beyond the typical tourist spots. Whether you are interested in ancient Maya culture, wildlife, adventure or relaxation, you can find something to suit your taste in Belize. Here are 10 offbeat experiences that you can have in this beautiful and diverse country.

Take a pontoon boat tour on Vaca Lake

This off-the-beaten-path experience takes place right on the border of Belize and Guatemala, deep in the jungle. Board a relaxing pontoon boat for a full day’s exploration of Western Belize’s rich jungle ecosystem, where you’re more likely to spot a parrot than a person. You’ll see waterfalls, caves, wildlife, and even ancient Maya ruins along the way. You can also swim, fish, or kayak on the lake, or just enjoy the scenery and the tranquility.

Visit the Community Baboon Sanctuary

Don’t let the name fool you: this sanctuary is not for baboons, but for black howler monkeys, locally known as baboons. The sanctuary is a grassroots conservation project that involves over 200 local landowners who voluntarily protect the habitat of these endangered primates. You can take a guided walk through the forest and observe the monkeys up close, as well as other animals and plants. You can also learn about the culture and history of the nearby Creole villages, and support their sustainable development.

Rent an entire island

If you’ve ever dreamed of having your own private island, you can make it a reality in Belize. There are several islands that you can rent for a day or longer, with different levels of amenities and prices. Some are rustic and secluded, while others are luxurious and fully staffed. You can enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, or just relaxing on your own slice of paradise.

Explore Barton Creek Cave by canoe

Barton Creek Cave is one of the many caves in Belize that were used by the ancient Maya for ceremonial purposes. You can access this cave by canoeing along a river that flows through it, with a guide who will point out the stalactites, stalagmites, pottery shards, and human remains that are evidence of the Maya’s presence. The cave is dark and mysterious, but also peaceful and beautiful.

Hike to Antelope Falls in Mayflower Bocawina National Park

Mayflower Bocawina National Park is a hidden gem in southern Belize that offers hiking trails, waterfalls, swimming holes, and zip-lining. One of the most rewarding hikes is to Antelope Falls, a stunning 300-foot waterfall that cascades into a turquoise pool. The hike is steep and challenging, but the views are worth it. You can cool off in the pool at the base of the falls, or climb higher up for more panoramic vistas.

Learn about chocolate making at Ixcacao Maya Belizean Chocolate

Belize is one of the countries where cacao, the main ingredient of chocolate, is grown. You can learn about the history and culture of chocolate making at Ixcacao Maya Belizean Chocolate, a family-run business that produces organic chocolate using traditional methods. You can tour their farm and factory, see how they roast, grind, and mold the cacao beans, and taste their delicious products.

Camp at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is the world’s first jaguar preserve, and home to many other animals and plants. You can hike, bike, or birdwatch in this vast protected area, or take a guided night tour to spot nocturnal creatures. For a more immersive experience, you can camp at the sanctuary’s basic facilities, and fall asleep to the sounds of the jungle.

Go tubing at St Herman’s Blue Hole National Park

St Herman’s Blue Hole National Park is a fun and relaxing place to spend a hot day in Belize. You can rent a tube and float down the Sibun River, surrounded by lush greenery and limestone cliffs. You can also visit the park’s two caves, St Herman’s Cave and Crystal Cave, where you can see stalactites, stalagmites, and Maya artifacts.

Visit the Garifuna village of Hopkins

Hopkins is a coastal village where you can experience the culture and cuisine of the Garifuna people, who are descendants of African and indigenous Caribbean people. You can listen to their drumming and dancing, learn their language and history, and taste their dishes such as hudut (fish soup with coconut milk and plantain). You can also enjoy the beach, go fishing, or take a boat trip to the nearby cayes.

Climb Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak is the second highest mountain in Belize, and one of the most challenging and rewarding hikes in the country. The peak is located within the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, and the hike takes about three to four days round trip. You’ll need a guide, a permit, and a lot of stamina to complete this hike, but you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the Maya Mountains and the Caribbean Sea.

Hotels on Caye Caulker

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