Top Sites to Visit in Belize
The former British colony was known as “British Honduras,” Belize is the only country in Central America to have English as its official language. The capital of Belize is Belmopan, and its largest city and most popular city for tourists is Belize City. The most popular activities in Belize include deep sea fishing, hiking the exotic jungles, water sports, and exploring the Mayan ruins.
The Mayan Ruins
These 960 acres of the New River Lagoon served as the longest occupied Mayan site in the world. The site features much crocodile art after its name. There are three pyramids, the remains of a 16th-century Spanish church, a ball court, plazas, and temples. Many people like to climb the High Temple.
The archaeological reserve two hours outside of San Ignacio in the Cayo district is six square miles of Mayan structures, including 5 central plazas, dating back to the Classic Period. It was an urban agricultural center. It is the largest known Mayan site.
Outside of Belize City, these Classic Period ruins served as a trading hub. There is a large man-made lagoon where you can spot plenty of wildlife. Priest-kings buried with their treasures can be seen at the Temple of the Green Tomb. There are two central plazas and a few pyramids.
One of the most popular and well excavated of the ruins, Tikal features pyramids, stelae, temples, a central plaza, and the main acropolis as well as wildlife.
On the border of Guatemala, this 100-acre Mayan ruin features more than 25 plazas.
Just west of San Ignacio, you can access these ruins by taking a hand-cranked car-ferry across the Mopan River.
Nature and Wildlife
Hol Chan Marine Reserve:
The oldest reserve in Belize is near the large Belize Barrier Reef. It is a great spot for snorkeling and scuba diving to spot eels, stingrays, and sharks.
29 acres of jungle-like atmosphere filled with over 150 species of animals. See pumas, jaguars, howler monkeys, Jabiru storks, and more.
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary:
Home to many rare species of birds, this 16,400-acre reserve is 300 years old. Take a guided walking tour, or explore the sanctuary on horseback or via canoe.
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary:
20 miles large with 12 nature trails to hike through, the sanctuary is home to jaguars, tapirs, armadillos, ocelots, and many more creatures.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site has created 10,000 years ago when a cave roof crumbled. Deep beneath the surface of this blue channel, you can see ancient stalactites, underwater tunnels, and caverns.