Tucked between Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean Sea lies the small country of Belize. Lush jungles, mountains, beaches, and tropical islands are what you will find when you visit Belize. Adventures lurk around every corner in this country. One day you could be diving with nurse sharks, and the next day, trekking through the remote jungle.
Belize is appealing for many US tourists as they speak English and have a currency that is pegged to the USD (2 Belize = 1 USD). It is an extremely easy country to get around and very safe for tourists.
Every year, the number of tourists that enter Belize is increasing. Cities are starting to become more developed for tourism. The time for Belize is now before tourism changes the small town feel of many of the communities.
Top 4 Things to Do
Scuba/Snorkel – Belize is home to the second largest reef system in the world, right behind the Great Barrier Reef. Some of the worlds best scuba diving can be found here. With dives such as the Blue Hole or Shark Ray Alley, you are sure to find something original to the country. The prices tend to be higher here than in the surrounding countries, but the operations are very tightly run and focused on high-quality service.
Jungle Trek – Belize is home to a vast jungle system. Take a hike through the jungle and spot many of the bird and butterfly species that are known in Belize. Belize is home to many Jaguars, but they are hard to spot. The saying is, they will find you before you find them… Check out the Cockscomb Wildlife Basin or St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park.
Cave Tubing – Carved into the limestone are vast cave systems that have rivers flowing through them. Get a guide, a tube, and a headlamp to explore these caves. Insect and fruit bats can be seen flying around the ancient caves. There are many companies that will take you, but Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort is my trusted partner for these excursions.
Explore Ancient Mayan Ruins – Belize was near the heart of the Mayan world. It is one of the best places to explore these ancient ruins. From San Ignacio, you can check out Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, and Caracol. The first two are easy to reach, where Caracol is not extremely accessible, but can be with a 4×4 vehicle.
The variety of food you can get in Belize is the same as most cities in the USA. There are also very cheap eating establishments and places where you can spend $50 USD easily.
I always love eating where the locals eat. Follow them to many street stalls and little hole in the wall restaurants. Here you will find locals making burritos, tacos, chicken, rice, and beans. For breakfast make sure you try Belize style fry-jacks.
Belize is also a seafood mecca. Make sure you have at least one dinner that includes a big fish and a lobster!
Overall Country Cost – $$$ (3/4)
Hostels – $8 – $15 USD per person
3 Star Hotel – $150-220 USD
Breakfast – $3 – $8
Lunch – $3 – $10
Dinner – $3 – $30
(Note: Lower prices are for street food meals)
Beers also can cost 3.50 Belize Dollars at the store and up to 7 Belize Dollars at restaurants.
Belize is a small country and easily accessible with bus, car, or plan. Below are the spots I would not miss. I would plan on spending 2-3 nights in each place.
San Pedro – This is the largest cities in the islands and is starting to be a resort mecca. If you want the chilled island life and nice resort lifestyle, this is the island for you.
Caye Caulker – Next to San Pedro, this backpacker island has affordable places to stay and eat. The bars are a little livelier on this island. Be ready to relax and never want to leave.
Hopkins – The friendliest place in the country. The people of Hopkins Village is what makes the experience. There is not a lot to do in the village, but amazing dive spots and location of the jungle make this a great spot. I recommend staying at Hamanasi Adventure and Diving while here.
Placencia – A more lively beach town with a still laid back feel. Seclude yourself at a resort outside the city, like Belize Ocean Club, or find a place in the city. There are numbers bars with great happy hours and a great place to watch the sun rise!
San Ignacio – This is your spot to go on the ATM Cave Tour ($95 USD) or explore a few Mayan Ruins. Many people spend a couple days here to check off the Mayan ruins and caves off the list.
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