Here are the most important tourist attractions in this country that you will discover in the cities and regions that we recommend you to visit during your next trip to Belize. For each of the places presented in this list you will discover a more detailed presentation with practical information to know everything about how to get there, to find accommodation and especially not to miss the most beautiful things to see.
Where To Go And What To Do In Belize?
Founded in 1638 by buccaneers and pirates on the ancient Mayan city of Holzuz, Belize City is the largest city in the country with more than 80,000 inhabitants. For a long time the city lived on the exploitation of mahogany and logwood, trees cut by the thousands of African slaves bought by the English from the French and Portuguese slavers.
Ravaged by Cyclone Cyclone Hattie on October 31, 1961, Belize City has very few really interesting buildings. Sites to see include St. John’s Cathedral dating from 1812, Holy Redeemer Cathedral from 1858, the Bridge over the Belize River that connects the north to the south of the city, the Maritime Museum next door. From the bridge and pier to some islands such as Ambergris Caye, the Cruise Ship Port, the Yarborough Cemetery, established in 1787, the Baron Bliss Lighthouse built in 1885, the Built Government House.
While many of the Caribbean-style wooden houses near the tourist port have been replaced by permanent structures, Belize City has retained its West Indian character with a larger black population than in other parts of the country.
6 kilometers from the city center is the Old Belize Adventures Park which has a marina, a beach (Cucumber Beach), a museum, a restaurant and many attractions.
From the tourist harbor you can make an excursion to the Grand Trou Bleu located 80 kilometers from the coast, an atoll 330 meters in diameter whose deep blue center contrasts with the turquoise color of the sea.
In the vicinity of Belize City we discover beautiful beaches, we can make beautiful hikes along the Sibun river and around the Fabers and Jones lagoon.
Where to go and what to do in Belize? Separated by a narrow channel from the Xcalak Peninsula in southern Mexico, Ambergris Caye is the largest island in Belize. With an average length of 40 kilometers and an average width of 4 km, most of the island is covered by mangroves and has retained its natural appearance. Formerly occupied by the Mayas, Ambergris Caye is today one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Belize with dream beaches, lagoons and exceptional seabed. It would be the most beautiful island in the world according to the voters of Travelers‘ Choice Island 2014, an island accessible from Belize City by air or boat through Caye Caulker.
San Pedro is the only city of Caye Ambergris, which will ensure you to be quiet on the rest of the island occupied only by a few small villages, luxury hotels or small bungalows.
The main attraction of Ambergris Caye is the Barrier Reef which includes this island and many other cays along the coast of Belize, the second largest in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. This is the paradise for scuba diving enthusiasts who will discover near the coral reef a fantastic world by swimming between fish, sea turtles, sharks or manta rays.
At more than thirty kilometers from Belize City, Caye Caulker is an island of 8 kilometers in length and barely 2 meters wide, a short distance from Ambergris Caye is accessible by plane or boat. Divided in two by a narrow canal called “The Split”, it is the south of the island that has been populated because the north is mostly invaded by the mangrove.
Colonized from 1847 by the Métis population fleeing the massacres during the Caste War in Yucatan, Caye Caulker is the favorite island of many tourists looking for a quiet and pleasant place during their travel in Belize. Backpackers were the first in the 1970s to stay on the beaches of Caye Caulker, then they were joined by fishing enthusiasts, an activity that has long been the island’s main resort, and diving enthusiasts Marine.
With its colorful houses, the village of Caye Caulker has everything you need for a pleasant stay on the island. Shops, hotels, restaurants and bars, it is the most lively place on the island with its rasta atmosphere, and from there you will discover the beautiful beaches, practice various water activities such as kayaking windsurfing, snorkeling or scuba diving. The interior of the island is also to discover with its mangrove which shelters many species of birds and iguanas.
Where to go and what to do in Belize? Belmopan is a small town in central Belize, near the Belize River and its tributary Mopan River. Created from scratch, Belmopan offers little to see for tourists who will be satisfied to visit the Archaeological Museum of Belize which exposes a beautiful collection of objects coming from the Mayan civilization, to walk in the Municipal Market to smell odors tropical fruits, and stroll through the streets in the midst of a diverse population of mixed race, Garifuna and Maya.
The tourist interest of Belmopan is especially in the surroundings of the city since the capital of Belize is ideally located to go to some of the most beautiful attractions of the country.
Discover the 20-hectare Guanacaste National Park, with its mango trees, ferns, orchids and an immense guanacaste, a vegetation that includes white-tailed deer, jaguar-dong, kinkajous, armadillos, many birds and some tarantulas.
Near the park, you can also visit some caves like St. Herman’s in the Blue Hole National Park located 26 kilometers from Belmopan. On the way to Belize City, there will also be treks to the Wildlife Sanctuary of Monkey Bay, a park that is home to about 250 species of birds, and we will venture into the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve. Actun Tunichil Muknal cave and other Mayan sites like Cahal Pech, just next to San Ignacio, 50 kilometers from the site of Xunantunich located just before Melchor de Mencos on the border with Guatemala, and a hundred kilometers from beautiful El Caracol site, crossing the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve.
Former private farm transformed into a village in 1840, Corozal saw its population increase with the arrival of those fleeing the Caste War in Mexico in 1848. Between 1848 and 1856, more than 10,000 refugees crossed the Rio Hondo to Belize and many of them settled in Corozal to work on sugar cane farms.
Today Corozal is a pleasant little town of 10,000 inhabitants located less than 25 kilometers from the Mexican city of Chetumal. Like many cities in Belize, Corozal will serve as a base camp to explore the region’s main attractions such as the ruins of Santa Rita, the Shipstern Nature Reserve completely covered with forests around the Xo-Pol Lagoon where Abundant wildlife can be seen, or the Maya de Cerros archeological site at the edge of Corozal Bay, a city that developed shortly before the beginning of our era.
The fourth largest city in Belize with 14,000 inhabitants, Orange Walk was founded in 1849 by the half-breeds who fled the massacres during the Caste War in Mexico. The half-breeds were not the only ones to come to settle on the lands of the ancient Mayan city of Holpatin. They were later joined by Mennonites, descendants of black African slaves, Chinese and Indians. Located in a fertile plain on the banks of the New River, Orange Walk has developed through agriculture, including sugar cane and citrus fruits.
Near Orange Walk you will discover beautiful sights such as the Mayan archeological site of Lamanai 50 kilometers to the south, or that of La Milpa dating from the same period.
Closest to Orange Walk, 15 kilometers to the east, is Honey Camp Lagoon, a lago lagoon with a beach lined with coconut trees, Playa Coral. About 30 kilometers south of Orange Walk, you will arrive at the entrance of Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary with its 66 km² of lagoons, forests and savannas, the ideal place to observe many animals such as turtles. Morelet’s crocodiles, black howler monkeys, yellow-headed parrots and huge colonies of jabiruses.
Where to go and what to do in Belize? 50 kilometers north of Belize City, visit one of Belize’s most important Mayan sites, Altun Ha. This is the very large collection of jade sculptures that made the reputation of this Mayan site dating back to the 3rd century AD and which would have been dependent on Tikal in Guatemala.
Among the discoveries made during the excavations of this archaeological site was found the largest jade sculpture of the Mayan world, the mask of the God of the Sun, Kinich Ahau, a head of 14.9 centimeters in height, 45.9 centimeters of circumference and weighing 4.42 kilos. This priceless work of art is housed in the Belize Museum in the former Belize City Prison.
At 170 kilometers from Belize City or 90 kilometers from Belmopan, Dangriga (also known as Stann Creek Town) is a city on the Caribbean coast founded in 1832 by the Garifunas. Dangriga has the charm of Antillean communes with a population that speaks Creole and dances on African rhythms such as Punta Rock, a musical style they invented and whose best known interpreter is Pen Cayetano.
Dangriga is bordered by a long beach, it is from its port that we will head to Tobacco Caye, a tiny island where there is a good atmosphere between backpackers who prefer to sleep in a hammock, snorkel or scuba diving. On this island barely 120 meters long live about twenty inhabitants and children have to spend the week on the neighboring island to go to school.
Near Dangriga we can make beautiful hikes in the rainforest where rivers flow which offer beautiful waterfalls and natural pools to cool off. This forest is Sanctuary of Cockscomb Basin, a natural reserve where we can see jaguars, ocelots and pumas.
A small village of 1000 inhabitants located south of the Stann Creek District whose capital is Dangriga, Placencia was created in the early 17th century by English settlers who named it “Placentia”, which means “Pleasant Place”. It must be said that the area is well deserving of its name with its long white sand beach of almost 30 kilometers along the peninsula, its lagoon, the Mayan ruins of Nim Li Punit and Lubantuum nearby, nature reserves nearby like the Wildlife Sanctuary of Cockscomb, Mayflower, Bladen River or the majestic Mayan Mountains.
But between all these attractions, it is the beautiful beach of Placencia and its many water activities that have made this small village one of the most beautiful destinations in Belize.
What to do and where to go in Belize? It was originally a small fishing village founded in 1823 by Garifuna emigrants from Honduras. Located in the south of Belize, Punta Gorda is only thirty kilometers from Guatemala but it is by water taxi that we will go to Linvingston or Puerto Barrios.
Punta Gorda is a small town with a very Caribbean atmosphere with a very important black population. Its Clock Tower in the Central Park, its fish market, its street market, the seafront and a small beach north of Punta Gorda.
In Punta Gorda water activities are offered such as snorkeling, scuba diving around Cayes Sapodilla, sea kayaking or glass bottom boat trips to discover the seabed. Bike rides are also available to Boom Creek Village near the Moho River where you can cool off.
Punta Gorda is also the starting point for beautiful hikes in the Rio Blanco Park where the Mayan villages of Santa Cruz, Santa Elena, Golden Stream Village and Pueblo Viejo are located.
Punta Gorda is also about twenty kilometers from the Wildlife Sanctuary of Agua Caliente Luha and the Machaca Wet Forest, other places that will delight ecotourism enthusiasts because of their great biodiversity.
Finally, lovers of old stones will discover the archaeological remains of the Mayan civilization by visiting the sites of Lubaantun, Nim Li Punit, Uxbenka and Pusilha.