Top five things to do in Belize

I am not one that really needs reasons to visit new places. Pretty much any country on earth catches my attention for one reason or another, and is on my bucket list – whether for an interest in its rich culture or history; in its nature – mountains, beaches, forests; in its food and in its people. Having said this, I have to admit that while other countries such as Nicaragua or Guatemala and even less popular Honduras caught my attention, I have never thought much of Belize and I never really considered visiting so much as that it required planning.

Needless to say, a few days in this country, which I visited on one of my tour leading missions, made me change my mind. Belize attractions are many! I am now not only eager to go back and spend more time exploring it, but I also highly recommend visiting! It may not take too long to explore – Belize is a small country, and roughly 350000 people live in it, the biggest city being Belize City and the capital set in tiny Belmopan, where it was established after that hurricaine Hattie flooded Belize City in 1961.

So, are you in search of what to do in Belize? I can’t speak for everyone, but here are my

Top 5 things to do in Belize

1) Exploring the fabulous nature

From mountains to tropical rainforest, fertile subtropical foothills where cattle is reared, rivers and jungle covered Mayan archeological sites [Caracol, Xunantunich and Altun Ha among them], Belize is a fabulous Caribbean country, yet set in Central America. It has enough to inspire adventure seekers, animal lovers, birdwatchers, trekkers and sport addicts, as well as Mayan history enthusiasts. When researching about what to do in Belize, remember that a trip to Belize isn’t complete without a visit to the archeological sites.

Belize attractions: mayan archeological sites

Xunantunich archeological site is one of the many Belize attractions – courtesy of Chaa Creek

2) Visiting one of Belize beaches and barrier reef

Hundreds of cayes (such as Ambergris and St. George’s Cayes) contribute to the small land surface of Belize. The reefs and cayes spread to over 200 km of barrier reef with crystal clear water that rightly attracts those interested in diving, snorkeling and sport fishing. The reef and its islands became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. Belize is also home to the blue Hole, one of the world’s best dives. Any search on what to do in Belize will come up with some great dives!

Belize attractions

Crystal clear water of Belizean coast, among Belize attractions – courtesy of Chaa Creek

3) Eating

Ok, it may not be Mexico, which was inscribed in 2010 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, but food in Belize is actually delicious. The local staple is rice and beans, just as in most of Central America, and it is usually accompanied with either beef, chicken or pork, in the form of stews. Fruit is so abundant, so fresh and so sweet that I don’t think I will be able to eat pineapple back home! Not to mention, here I could find some of the best burritos in the continent (I had to scout for them in the street!), as well as incredible seafood on the coast.

4) Interacting with the locals

Less than 350000 people live in Belize, and for as little as this may seem, there is a great mixture of ethnicities, languages and cultures. Here I could hear English (did you know that Belize was under British domination, and it used to be called British Honduras?), Spanish, Creole and Mayan. This reflects the population, which consists of Creoles, West Indians, Mayans, Chinese as well as Garifunas. Most importantly, people in Belize are extremely friendly and laid back, always willing to lend a hand to travellers, make jokes and ensuring everyone feels welcome. Belize’s Love FM advert says “be kind to tourists”. I guess people take this quite literally! Not to mention, the fact that everybody here speaks English makes it so easy for travelers…

5) Relaxing at Chaa Creek

Last, but definitely not least, Chaa Creek Ecolodge and the Macal River Camp are also great reasons to love Belize. If I have to pick a postcard for the country, it would have to be it. About 20 minutes drive from San Ignacio (not far from the Guatemala border and from Tikal, this is the second largest city in the country, with as many as 20000 people!), this is where to stay in Belize: a great lodge immersed in the rain forest (and rain you will get!), with lovely rooms (some so huge that they look more like mansions), a great infinity pool, a bar and a restaurant serving delicious drinks (including the good Belikin, best enjoyed on a hammock!)

Belikin Belize

A cold Belikin, a hammock and the sun. What more could you need?

and meals, and about a million free of the best things to do in Belize to keep me busy just in case I am tired to relax on my hammock or by the pool. While the lodge is definitely not suitable for a backpacker’s budget, the Macal River Camp (a 10 minutes jungle walk from the lodge) can be factored in. At $ 65 USD per night, it may seem expensive.

However, for that price I can get breakfast and dinner, and use of all the facilities and excursions at the lodge, such as tubing, canoeing, birdwatching, touring the butterfly farm and the medicinal route. There is no electricity at the camp (well, just in the bathrooms and in the dining area), nor wifi (it’s the jungle, baby! And if I am desperate, I can walk to the lodge). Bungalows, which fit up to 4 persons, are lit by kerosene lamps and surrounded by mosquito nests.

Where to stay in Belize

Where to stay in Belize: Macal River Camp casitas

Where to stay in Belize: Macal River Camp

Where to stay in Belize: Interior of a casita at Macal River Camp

There are 4 spotless toilets and showers. Each night a fire is lit for guests to sit about, tell stories and share their wisdom. It simply is the perfect place to relax, to listen to the sound of nature and to be stranded in tropical rain.

All that is needed now is gathering appropriate hiking and diving gear and start planning a trip to Belize.

Planning to visit Belize? Let us know in the comments below!

Other resources: Backpacking Belize on a Budget by Road Affair.

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  • Cafè Cortado
    20 February 2015 at 10:09

    Hi Claudia! I am so happy to bump into this post as I am traveling to Mexico and Belize in two weeks! after reading it, I am even more excited! how did you travel there, I mean how are the roads in Belize? we are planning to rent a car in Mexico and travel all the way from Cancun to the south?

    • Claudia Tavani
      26 March 2015 at 20:10

      I arrived from Guatemala. The roads seemed ok to me!!

  • Els
    17 June 2015 at 12:29

    The architectural site looks really impressive. I always heard that Belize is a very expensive country to travel in, compared to other countries in Central America. Is that true?

    • Claudia Tavani
      17 June 2015 at 15:04

      Yes – but on the other hand, the services are much better!

  • Dannielle Lily
    17 June 2015 at 12:47

    I’ll be honest, belize has never really been on my radar – but it is now! Great post.

    • Claudia Tavani
      17 June 2015 at 15:04

      It wasn’t on mine, till I actually went. Now I want to go again 🙂

  • Revati
    17 June 2015 at 14:31

    I think I’d pretty much be stuck with the reef. It looks gorgeous!

    • Claudia Tavani
      17 June 2015 at 15:05

      Yup, I think many of us would be 🙂

  • Ben
    18 June 2015 at 17:42

    Oh Belize I miss you so much … 😀 It really is a beautiful country, isn’t it? So much nature and the people are so friendly. Can’t wait to go back.

    • Claudia Tavani
      18 June 2015 at 18:13

      I can understand that!

  • Heather Cole
    20 June 2015 at 13:16

    We were gutted we didn’t have time for Belize (made it as far at Tikal, where we got engaged!) on our Central American trip, but it’s top of the list for when we got back. We loved Guatemala, but it didn’t have the amazing beaches and coral reefs of Belize. Looks like a stunning country to visit, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • Claudia Tavani
      20 June 2015 at 13:22

      I admit that for some reason I had never considered it before. Then I went there for work, on a tour I led, and fell in love with it!

  • Bianca @itsallbee
    21 June 2015 at 11:32

    Great post. I may be bookmarking this as I thought I was going to be visiting Belize this year but I think realistically thinking, probably next year now.

    • Claudia Tavani
      22 June 2015 at 10:04

      Cool! Consider going to the Macal River camp – sooooo cool there!


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Who is Claudia?

Hello, nice to meet you!

Hello, nice to meet you!

Hi, my name is Claudia. One day I packed my life and started traveling... except I packed too much. Follow me as I fill my life with dreams, drop the weight and inspire you to live your dreams. View and download my media kit here (updated June 2018). Learn more about me here...


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