Caribbean sea shorelines, dense jungles, caves, marine life—what more could you possibly need? We’re talking about Belize. The Central American country is full of diverse natural beauty, rich history, and unique culture. While the country doesn’t get nearly as much attention as its Mexican neighbors Cancun, Cozumel, and Tulum, the countries Mayan ruins, snorkeling and scuba diving havens, and laid-back vibe, draw in tons of visitors a year. Here’s everything you need to know about exploring the coastal country.
Best Time to Visit
Late November to mid-April are the best times to visit Belize, which is during the country’s dye season. While this is peak season and there are tons of tourists, the warm temperatures and clear skies are worth visiting during these months. Avoid visiting during April and May because it’s really humid and temperatures rise to the triple digits. From June to mid-November there’s rain and strong winds. September and October are the offseason and besides for being rainy, some places are closed.
How to Get Around
The best ways to get around in Belize are by car, water taxi, or plane. To access Belize’s cays, water taxis are the best mode of transportation. There are also commuter buses, but they’re usually run-down and difficult to navigate.
Where to Stay
Las Terrazas Resort and Residences
This 4.5-star hotel, located in San Pedro, is surrounded by white sand beaches and the Caribbean Sea. Spend the day lounging under palm trees on the tropical beach and relax by the infinity pool. The hotel also has a private beach, restaurant, and spa.
Belizean Cove Estates
Belizean Cove Estates, a 4-star hotel in Southern Belize is all-inclusive. The hotel offers several packages designed for relaxation, romance, and adventure. All of them include three Belizean meals, unlimited drinks, accommodations, and local Belize airfair to and from the Belize City airport. Some of them even include adventure tours.
Grand Colony Island Villas
This 4-star hotel, located in San Pedro is your home away from home, but a bit more luxurious. The hotel has beachfront and poolview villas and it’s away from the crowds and congestion, making for a tranquil stay.
What to Do
This 25-mile-long island off the coast of northern Belize has tons of outdoor activities, especially snorkeling and diving. Originally inhabited by the Mayans, today it has access to the barrier reef that surrounds the island. Snorkels and divers will want to explore Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
Great Blue Hole
This UNESCO World Heritage Site has ancient stalactites. The Great Blue Hole, created about 10,000 years ago after a cave roof crumbles in, is one of the world’s best scuba sites. The blue channel has underwater tunnels, caverns, and rock formations.
West of Belize City, Cayo District has a cluster of ancient Mayan sites, picturesque sunsets, butterfly gardens, jungles, and rolling hills. There’s also San Igancio, a small town that has delicious traditional culinary dishes.
What to Eat
Found all over Mexico, Belizean ceviche is different. Belizean ceviche is made with raw conch and shrimp and it’s less sweet and less fish-based than the Mexican one.
Wrapped in plantain leaves instead of corn husks like the Mexican ones are the Belizean ones are made with seasoned chicken or pork wrapped in corn dough and then steamed in plantain or banana leaves.
The country’s most popular appetizer, combines flour batter, chopped conch meat, and a spicy dipping sauce. Conch fritters are deep-fried and can be found at most restaurants and bars.