Sun & Fun

This is the Caribbean, so you'll more than likely spend at least a few days soaking up some rays and dipping your toes in the turquoise blue. Best time: January to April.

Caye Caulker The ultimate chill-out destination, with a laid-back village vibe and easy access to the sea.

Ambergris Caye If busy San Pedro is too much, head to one of the North Island resorts.

Placencia Beach-lined peninsula offering ample opportunities for swimming, sunning, snorkeling, scuba diving and offshore island experiences.

Hopkins Narrow but inviting beaches, village vibe and approximately 20% of the tourist traffic of nearby Placencia.

Diving & Snorkeling

Life under the sea is dramatic and diverse, from the fantastical coral formations and the kaleidoscopic fish that feed there to the massive and sometimes menacing creatures that lurk in deeper waters.

Glover’s Reef On the reef, offering some of the most pristine diving and snorkeling opportunities in Belize.

Blue Hole Natural Monument Seen from the sky, this national landmark is a perfectly round, perfectly blue bull’s eye.

Turneffe Elbow Attracts huge congregations of cubera snappers, horse eye jacks, spadefish, reef sharks and king mackerel.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve Shallow waters offer excellent conditions for snorkeling, especially at Shark Ray Alley, but divers will be thrilled by the shipwreck at Amigos Wreck.

Caves

The erosive action of water on the relatively soft limestone of the Maya Mountains has produced numerous underground rivers and caves. Many of the caves were ritual sites for the ancient Maya, as they were considered to be close to the underworld.

Actun Tunichil Muknal Unforgettable caving experience, where you will see first-hand the evidence of the Maya rituals.

Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch Archaelogical Reserve Combines the mystery of spelunking with river-rafting through an underground network of caves.

Barton Creek Cave Remote Barton Creek is one of the few caves you can canoe though.

Wildlife

Wildlife is the star of the show in Belize, thanks to conservation of the forests and reefs, where 25% or the land area is protected. From monkeys to manatees, you can see these creatures in their natural habitat.

Green Hills Butterfly Ranch An unforgettable experience for animal lovers is meditating among fluttering butterflies and hummingbirds.

Community Baboon Sanctuary Get up close and personal with black howlers at this community-based, grassroots monkey refuge.

Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary As many as 30 West Indian manatees inhabit the shallow waters around Swallow Caye.

Belize Zoo This amazing, privately funded, zoo houses wildlife that have been injured or rescued throughout the country.

Birds

Birders know Belize. For everyone else with a spare pair of binoculars there are 570 resident and migratory species, inhabiting the shores of the rivers and lagoons or deep in the forest. Outstanding.

Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary The lagoon is home to hundreds of bird species, including jabiru storks.

Red Bank Home to the spectacular scarlet macaw, which feasts on the forest fruits from January to March.

Río Bravo Conservation & Management Area Spot birds as varied as the collared aricari, oscillated turkey, ruffous hummingbird and turkey vultures.

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary Jaguars might be hard to spot, but birds are everywhere in this celebrated sanctuary.

Outdoor Adventure

Come to Belize for action and adventure, to mount seemingly insurmountable temples, to dive to the ocean’s darkest depths, and to feel the sticky heat of the jungle and the salty air of the sea.

Deep South Toledo’s Deep South features lush jungles, crystal-clear swimming holes, waterfalls and Maya ruins.

Glover’s Reef Islands ideal for hopping. Kayak the limpid waters, admiring the prolific marine life from above.

Cayo District Around San Ignacio there are opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, caving and Maya ruins.

Shipstern Conservation Management Area Hiking trails, wildlife spotting and a boat trip on the lagoon make Shipstern an excellent adventure.

Ecochic Resorts

Ecotourism was practically invented here. Thanks to a progressive populace, Belize offers myriad ways for travelers to tread lightly, from beach resorts powered by solar energy to jungle lodges built from reclaimed hardwoods.

Black Rock Lodge Sweet base for a jungle adventure, surrounded by towering cliffs and protected national park.

Chan Chich Lodge Chan Chich sits on 200 sq miles of private wildlife preserve on the Guatemalan border.

Turneffe Atoll Resorts on Blackbird Caye are taking steps to preserve the spectacular environment of the atoll.

Thatch Caye Resort Ecofriendly, rustic-chic and luxurious without being ostentatious, with great beaches, snorkeling and fishing.

Maya Ruins

For almost 3000 years, the ancient Maya civilization flourished in Belize, building towering temples as tribute to their god-like rulers. The remains of these once-mighty city-states are scattered throughout the country and are prime for exploration.

Xunantunich One of Cayo's prettiest Maya ruins, and definitely among the easiest to get to.

Caracol Once the most powerful kingdom of the Maya world, Caracol covers a vast, jungle-clad area.

Lamanai Ruins at Lamanai are among the oldest and the largest Maya sites in the country.

Lubaantun Among the most complete of Toledo's Maya ruins, Lubaantun is easy to reach.

Music

A rich diversity is evident in the music of Belize, where you’ll hear rhythms and instruments representing Creole and calypso, Maya and Garifuna.

Maroon Creole Drum School Learn traditional drum crafting and playing at Emmeth Young’s drum school in Punta Gorda.

Fido's Among the best places to see live music in San Pedro, Fido's has bands nightly.

Placencia On weekends the village rocks to the sounds of punta rock, reggae and Garifuna drumming.

Hopkins Garifuna drumming most nights and weekly live music at the excellent Driftwood Beach Bar.