From Mayan Ruins to Barrier Reefs and Birds, There’s Lots to See and Do in Belize
Belize is a relatively small country, but it is packed full of exciting things to see and do. Once the heartland of the ancient Maya civilization, Belize is also a natural paradise, attracting visitors from around the world who enjoy fishing, snorkeling, sailing, and scuba diving. And Belize's pristine landscape is home to hundreds of bird species and exotic wildlife.
The people of Belize, widely renowned for their friendliness and hospitality, are another great reason to visit the country. As English is the official language, it is easy to meet and talk with everyone you meet. Throughout the year, Belize hosts colorful celebrations, including two national holidays in September, traditional Christmas events, and Garifuna Settlement Day in November that honors the arrival of that unique Afro-Caribbean population recognized in 2001 by UNESCO for their priceless contributions of dance, language, and music to the heritage of humanity.
Belize has hundreds of offshore islands along the vast reaches of the Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second-largest barrier reef in the world. The epitome of what tropical islands should be, the coral atolls and cayes (pronounced "keys") of the Belize Barrier Reef feature sandy white beaches, palm trees swaying in the breeze, and crystal clear waters where snorkelers can see hundreds of species of fish, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, and rays.
The ancient Maya once ruled all of Central America from Mexico in the north down to El Salvador in the south, and Belize sat in the middle of their all-important trade networks. Today, Belize has more ancient Maya sites than anywhere else in the world, including the colossal stone pyramids and palaces of sites like Caracol and Xunantunich and the sacred labyrinths of sites like Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave, once used by the high priests to conduct bloody rituals of human sacrifice.
On the mainland, visitors can choose between bustling towns like Dangriga, the music and cultural capital of the country, and huge national parks like the Mountain Pine Forest Reserve, home to hundreds of bird species, noisy troops of black howler monkeys, fragile orchids, and the tallest waterfall in all of Central America. Other impressive sites include the Cockscomb Basin Nature Reserve, home to the world's first jaguar conservation program, and the Monkey River, a sparkling watercourse that cuts through the heart of the jungle.
To enjoy the best that the country has to offer, book your Belize vacation with Adventures in Belize (AIB).