Spectacular natural attractions define Belize, which has been called one of the few remaining unspoiled places on earth. Nestled between Mexico and Guatemala on the Caribbean coast of Central America, Belize draws visitors who come to explore some of its hundreds of ancient Mayan sites, its tropical rainforest teeming with exotic flora and fauna, and the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere—which is home to some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving sites in the world. In Belize City, visitors will enjoy a pulsating mix of old world charm and modern comforts, with numerous historical sights, and diverse shopping and dining. Ambergris Caye and its main city of San Pedro are renowned for their barefoot lifestyle, where visitors can explore an eclectic blend of restaurants, shops, and funky bars. The Cayo District is known for its archaeological sites and great adventures. Belize's compact size makes it easy to sample a wide range of experiences in a short time. Wherever you go and whatever you do in Belize, the warm and friendly welcome you'll receive together with the one-of-a-kind adventures you'll experience —will make your stay truly unforgettable.Package Includes:
- Choice of accommodations
- Ambergris Caye hotels include flight between Belize City and San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, and roundtrip transfers between the airport and selected hotel
- Hotel taxes
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should go?
Divers & Snorkelers
Even the most avid diver will be endlessly thrilled by all Belize offers. It's no surprise that its famous barrier reef, which stretches all along its coastline, attracts so many to its stunning array of underwater wonders. Whether you spend the day scuba diving into the abyss of the famed Blue Hole—a 412-foot deep, 1,000-foot wide collapsed cave that's visible from outer space—or choose a more laid-back experience at Caye Caulker, or join the crowds at the popular dive sites of Shark-Ray Alley and Hol Chan Marine Reserve, you're sure to be in awe.
You can experience breathtaking adventures in Belize, from cave-tubing in the eerie Caves Branch River Cave System to bird-watching treks, river kayaking, snorkeling in coral gardens, night diving, horseback riding in the Cayo District, and some truly spectacular stargazing.
On Belize, you'll discover a vast number of fascinating Mayan ruins. Caracol, located deep in the Chiquibil Forest Reserve in the Cayo District on the west side of the country, is the largest known ruin in Belize. Nearby ruins of Xunantunich and Lamanai are also must-sees. Plus, cross the border into Guatemala to view Tikal, the most impressive of ancient Mayan cities; with its temples and surrounding jungle and wildlife, as well as its stunning architecture, it's a place you won't want to leave Belize without seeing.
Caye Chapel Golf Course, one of the most exquisite courses in the Caribbean, entices golfers with its championship caliber of play.
If you prefer to relax, there are plenty of spots to rest undisturbed in a hammock under a palm tree, watching the waves break in the distance.
What's the climate like?
Water temperature averages a sublime 82° F year round.
How do I get around town?
Transfers from airport to your hotel are included with your hotel package.
Taxis in Belize have no meters, so make sure to agree on a price before you get in. Authorized taxis are the ones with the green license plates.
What kinds of dining and nightlife are available?
Belize offers a range of eating establishments, from thatch-roofed eateries right on the sand to oceanfront patios and breezy, open-windowed restaurants. Plus, there's always the restaurant at your hotel if you're looking for something close and convenient. As for nightlife, there are a number of beachfront bars with live music or DJs; most are concentrated in Ambergris Caye in San Pedro.
Check out a few of these exciting restaurants:
Blue Water Grill
San Pedro. Choose from a range of deliciously prepared seafood, wood-fire-baked pizza, plus pasta dishes and even sushi on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Upbeat, bustling atmosphere and top-of-the-line service. This is a great place to bring the whole family.
San Pedro. One of the most popular places to eat in the area, this restaurant is set under a giant palapa and features live music at night. It is a central pick-up and drop-off point for the boat ferries.
Belize City. This upscale restaurant is romantically set overlooking the Belize City harbor and serves a delightful selection of seafood. Expect live music, reasonable prices, and excellent desserts.
Belize City. Try the burgers; they're some of the best in Belize. Also enjoy prime rib, steak, and other popular dishes. Riverside is one of Belize City's more well-known places to eat, and one of only a couple with a nighttime dress code: no shorts.
Belize City. Enjoy the fountain in the middle of the courtyard, eat some fresh fish just off the grill, and if you're lucky, you can even listen to the music of a live reggae band.
Placencia. With its cheap prices and incredible flavors, you'll keep coming back again and again to try something new at this delicious, authentic Italian gelato shop.
Placencia. Local restaurant owned and operated by Wendy herself. Its specialties include burritos, grilled fish, rice and beans, Creole shrimp, and fresh, homemade flour tortillas.
Ambergris Caye/San Pedro. Enjoy an eclectic mix of Latin and Mexican foods, from the hearty fish taco big enough to feed 2 people, to the hard-to-beat pulled pork taquitos, bacon-wrapped shrimp with rum glaze, and other delectable dishes. Plus, you'll want to save room for smoothies and flourless chocolate cake or key lime cheesecake for dessert.
There are a couple places, like Barefoot Iguana in Ambergris Caye, with mud wrestling, giant TVs, and DJs; or Sugar Reef Lounge in Placencia, a karaoke hotspot on Wednesday nights. Plus, you'll find a selection of fantastic beach bars in San Pedro. Otherwise, you'll want to opt for the mellower, but no less exciting, nighttime activities of stargazing or night diving.
Where should I go shopping?
Shopping in Belize ranges from tourist shopping malls catering to cruise ship passengers in Belize City to intriguing markets and small shops located a bit further from the pier. In Ambergris Caye, San Pedro, and Caye Caulker, you'll find smaller, quainter shops filled with local knickknacks, clothing, woodcarvings, jewelry, art, and more.
When are the local events?
San Pedro Carnival
February. A unique Belizean event where street dancers and people crowd the roads of San Pedro in Ambergris Caye. There is a cultural celebration on the opening day, and on the last day of the carnival, the goal is to "paint" as many others as possible…you'll either want to join or get out of the way quickly as hundreds of Belizeans attempt to mark each other with paints, lipstick, and anything colorful.
Baron Bliss Day
March. Enjoy horse, canoe, and bike races on this public holiday to celebrate Belize's patron Baron Bliss.
June. San Pedro hosts this annual week-long festival in celebration of the start of the lobster season. It is one of the most well-known and largest events in Belize and is also held in the towns of Placencia and Caye Caulker. Festivities include a fishing tournament, bike race, and music. Expect a lobster feeding frenzy with plenty of different dishes to choose from, including lobster fritters, lobster salad, barbecued lobster, ceviche, lobster pizza, stew, kabobs, and more.
International Costa Maya Festival
August. This annual festival is held in San Pedro every year to celebrate the reuniting of the ancient Mayan Empire. It promotes goodwill between the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Belize. Each country participates, and the celebration features an array of dancing, music, pageants, nightly entertainment, crafts and food stalls. The crowning of the Reina de la Costa Maya is a highlight of the event.
St. George's Caye Day
September 10. This day marks the start of the Belizeans' celebration of independence. The whole country enjoys festivals, dancing, listening to local bands and concerts, parades, and more until September 21, the official day of independence.
Belize Independence Day
September 21. Watch flags being raised and carnivals and music celebrating Belize's independence. Enjoy great dancing, enticing food, and of course, the crowning of Miss San Pedro.
What are my sports and recreation options?
Snorkeling & Diving
It is a well-known fact that Belize has long been a diving and snorkeling hotspot, with the 2nd largest barrier reef in the word and abounding with lovely lagoons and dive sites teeming with sea life. You'll want to visit Glover's Reef, where you'll discover masses of coral and stunning drop offs. Make a point to experience the dramatic Blue Hole sinkhole, 1,000 feet wide and 410 feet deep, which leads you through a coral tunnel that drops steeply through a reef, and chances are you'll get to see some hammerhead sharks up close, too.
Hiking is quite popular in the 126,000-acre Mountain Pine Ridge nature preserve area, where there are many hills, gorges, pools, waterfalls, and caves to explore. Plus, enjoy multiple hiking and biking paths, as well as yoga platforms with picturesque lookouts, great for picnics or relaxing. Head to Guanacaste National Park in the Cayo District to view the towering Guanacaste tree, some reaching as high as 130 feet tall, or check out the hiking trails in the Blue Hole National Park. In the north, enjoy hiking through the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, and in the south, hike up Victoria Peak, Belize's tallest mountain.
Avid bird watchers will love the Half Moon Caye National Monument. Here you'll spot the red-footed booby en masse. Check out the Cockscomb Basin Forest Reserve for scarlet macaws, and head to the Shipstern Nature Reserve, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, Río Bravo Conservation Area, Bacalar Chico National Park & Marine Reserve, and many more places for a range of sea, shore, wading, and migratory birds.
Fishermen come here to Belize for some spectacular fishing of all kinds. Fly-fishing is incredibly popular…you'll most likely snag a tarpon, bonefish, or permit. Head out into deeper waters and fish for snapper, grouper, barracuda, and even sailfish or marlin.
Explore Belize's underground maze of caves, in which some of the ancient Mayan people lived. Go caving in the popular Caves Branch region, and marvel at the gorgeous Crystal Cave. The more adventurous should gear up to explore Actun Tunichil Muknal, and there are a couple other fascinating places to cave in Belize's Cayo District.
Black Howler Monkeys
If you want to see these endangered monkeys, take a trip out to the Community Baboon Sanctuary and let a local guide take you on a tour along the Belize River to view the monkeys' nests, then head on into the forest to try and catch sight of them moving through the trees.
While the zoo is great in the daytime when you'll be able to see its fascinating wildlife—jaguars and pumas, spider monkeys and harpy eagles, and more—it's thrilling at night. You can take a personally guided night tour throughout the zoo's trails, led via flashlight and torch by your personal zoo guide. See the glowing eyes of a crocodile as he gazes at you—it's a whole other world at the zoo after dark.
If you want to see scenic Belize, take a drive on the Hummingbird Highway. Enjoy gorgeous green rolling panoramas as you pass through the majestic Maya Mountains. If you're looking for picturesque views of some of Belize's best vegetation and terrain, this is the way to go.
A must-see for any visitor, this is one of the largest known Mayan cities and one of Belize's biggest attractions. Touch the ancient stones, hear the howler monkeys calling from the trees, and feel the distant past come to life as you scale the awesome, towering Sky Palace for an incredible view of the surrounding jungle. In total, Belize offers 9 public Maya sites where you can marvel at larger-than-life stelae, jade artifacts, and carvings of gods and rulers in museums and visitor centers.
Actually located in Guatemala, this great city of one of the most excavated of all Mayan ruins and is a fabulous example of ancient Mayan architecture. For history buffs and architecture enthusiasts, this is a must. It is a very short trip from the Cayo District in Belize (it's closer to get there from the Cayo District, Belize, than from Guatemala City, Guatemala) and well worth it.
Mountain Pine Ridge
Explore untouched ecological paradise at Mountain Pine Ridge, a 126,000 acre nature preserve. This is a great place for hiking and bird watching. Some of its attractions include its Rio Frio Cave, with huge 65-foot arches on both sides and massive boulders, a stream, bridge, and small beach area inside. Plus, here you can view Hidden Valley Falls, said to be the tallest waterfall in Central America.
Good to Know:
|Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport
|November - April
|June - October
|Belize dollar (BZ$). U.S. Dollar (USD$) is also widely accepted.
|Central Standard Time. Belize does not follow Daylight Savings.
|Government legislation requires all people traveling via air to and from the United States and Canada to have a valid passport. For details on passports, visas, and health requirements, see Entry Requirements.
|Many restaurants add a 10% service charge. Tipping is appropriate if the service charge isn't included or if the service is exceptional.
|Light and casual, except for business, where a suit or dressy women's clothing is appropriate.