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Belize in Brief

Where, When & Why Go



Other countries are jealous of Belize … and with good reason. This small, tropical country has it all: lush jungles, Caribbean seashores, the second-largest barrier reef in the world, islands, famous dive sites, wildlife galore, caves, Mayan culture, and so much more. While we could go on and on about the treasures in this gem of a nation, we'll touch on the basics today: when to go, where to go … by the time you're done reading, we think you'll be sold on the "why" to go.


Where Is Belize?


Belize lies just south of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula in Central America. It's a relatively quick flight from United States gateway cities. Guatemala is next door, with its own famous Mayan ruins and outdoor recreation.


When Is the Best Time to Go to Belize?


Visit Belize during the dry season, from late November to mid-April. Keep in mind that this is the peak season. Still, it's much more comfortable at this time of year than during April and May when the temperatures and humidity soar. The rainy, windy season is from June to mid-November. Many establishments close down during this offseason, so if you are considering a visit then, plan accordingly.


What Is the Culture Like in Belize?


The term "melting pot" is bandied about frequently in travel circles, but Belize truly lives up to this description. Complementing its varied landscapes and microclimates is a blend of dialects, from English to Belizean Creole, Garifuna to Maya. The cuisine, too, reflects Latin American culture, a post-colonial UK influence, and a laid-back Caribbean island appeal.


Where Should I Stay in Belize?

Belize offers a variety of accommodation styles, from Caribbean coastline resorts to eco-lodges deep in the jungle - we suggest combining both! Here are some of the top places to base yourself for Belizean adventures.


Ambergris Caye

For some of the best snorkeling in the region (the Great Mayan Reef!) and a quintessential Caribbean vibe, stay on Ambergris Caye. It's the largest of some 200 cayes along Belize's coastline and hums with activity day and night. Be charmed by San Pedro, where the food scene is unlike any other island you'll visit in the Caribbean (don't miss the locally produced chocolate). Slip away to Secret Beach at the island's northern end to lounge in the sun and have a cocktail at an over-the-water bar.


Placencia

At the southern tip of the Placencia Peninsula, this beach resort area is known for its palm-lined beaches, the Placencia Lagoon, home to manatees and saltwater crocs. Dive offshore on the coral Belize Barrier Reef. Go a bit north to visit the Garifuna community of Seine Bight and witness their traditional drumming and dancing. While popular, Placencia has managed to hold onto its old-world charm. Wander along the village's 4,000-foot-long, pedestrian-only sidewalk, lined with colorful public artwork and murals.


Punta Gorda

For Mayan ruins, chocolate, and culture, visit the sleepy coastal town of Punta Gorda (Peini in Garifuna). Locally known as PG, this last major city in Belize's Toledo district offers easy access to the Lubaantun and Nim Li Punit Mayan sites, the stunning Rio Blanco Falls, and hidden snorkeling gems like the Snake Cayes. Visit Tiger Cave, a cavern not many know about, and indulge in chocolate - or take a tour where you can make your own.


What Can I Do in Belize?

Other countries are jealous of Belize … and with good reason. This small, tropical country has it all: lush jungles, Caribbean seashores, the second-largest barrier reef in the world, islands, famous dive sites, wildlife galore, caves, Mayan culture, and so much more. While we could go on and on about the treasures in this gem of a nation, we'll touch on the basics today: when to go, where to go … by the time you're done reading, we think you'll be sold on the "why" to go.


Where Is Belize?

Belize lies just south of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula in Central America. It's a relatively quick flight from United States gateway cities. Guatemala is next door, with its own famous Mayan ruins and outdoor recreation.


When Is the Best Time to Go to Belize?

Visit Belize during the dry season, from late November to mid-April. Keep in mind that this is the peak season. Still, it's much more comfortable at this time of year than during April and May when the temperatures and humidity soar. The rainy, windy season is from June to mid-November. Many establishments close down during this offseason, so if you are considering a visit then, plan accordingly.


What Is the Culture Like in Belize?

The term "melting pot" is bandied about frequently in travel circles, but Belize truly lives up to this description. Complementing its varied landscapes and microclimates is a blend of dialects, from English to Belizean Creole, Garifuna to Maya. The cuisine, too, reflects Latin American culture, a post-colonial UK influence, and a laid-back Caribbean island appeal.


Where Should I Stay in Belize?

Belize offers a variety of accommodation styles, from Caribbean coastline resorts to eco-lodges deep in the jungle - we suggest combining both! Here are some of the top places to base yourself for Belizean adventures.


Ambergris Caye

For some of the best snorkeling in the region (the Great Mayan Reef!) and a quintessential Caribbean vibe, stay on Ambergris Caye. It's the largest of some 200 cayes along Belize's coastline and hums with activity day and night. Be charmed by San Pedro, where the food scene is unlike any other island you'll visit in the Caribbean (don't miss the locally produced chocolate). Slip away to Secret Beach at the island's northern end to lounge in the sun and have a cocktail at an over-the-water bar.


Placencia

At the southern tip of the Placencia Peninsula, this beach resort area is known for its palm-lined beaches, the Placencia Lagoon, home to manatees and saltwater crocs. Dive offshore on the coral Belize Barrier Reef. Go a bit north to visit the Garifuna community of Seine Bight and witness their traditional drumming and dancing. While popular, Placencia has managed to hold onto its old-world charm. Wander along the village's 4,000-foot-long, pedestrian-only sidewalk, lined with colorful public artwork and murals.


Punta Gorda

For Mayan ruins, chocolate, and culture, visit the sleepy coastal town of Punta Gorda (Peini in Garifuna). Locally known as PG, this last major city in Belize's Toledo district offers easy access to the Lubaantun and Nim Li Punit Mayan sites, the stunning Rio Blanco Falls, and hidden snorkeling gems like the Snake Cayes. Visit Tiger Cave, a cavern not many know about, and indulge in chocolate - or take a tour where you can make your own.


What Can I Do in Belize?

The list of land and water activities in Belize is long - here are some of our favorites:

  • Snorkeling along the Belize Barrier Reef, with its 100 types of coral and approximately 500 species of fish.

  • Scuba diving in the world-renowned Great Blue Hole, where stalactites fill a deep chamber in the center of an atoll in the blue sea.

  • Spelunking in the cool Actun Tunichil Muchtal cave.

  • Checking out the jaguars, pumas, and howler monkeys at the Belize Zoo.

  • Staying at an eco-lodge in the jungle, where you'll awaken to bird calls and monkey chatter.

  • Indulging in Belizean fry jacks, a decadent fried bread treat best with papaya jam.

  • Swimming alongside giant sea turtles at Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

  • Exploring the Mayan archaeological sites of Corozal, Altun Ha, and Lamanai.

  • Tubing or canoeing through labyrinthian river systems in the Cayo District.

  • Horseback riding or hiking in Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Shipstern Nature Reserve, and Rio Bravo.

Ready to go? Let's chat about your ideal Belize adventure.



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