In Belize, you swim through coral-decked seas one day and go hiking in a tropical jungle the next. Belize boasts the second largest barrier reef on the planet and we heartily recommend snorkelling and diving in its palm-fringed caves. At Hol Chan Marine Reserve (off Ambergris Caye) you can even snorkel with dolphins, sharks and manta rays – not to mention some 40 types of coral.
Whether you’re scuba-diving down the Blue Hole – one of the world’s best dive sites – or cave tubing at Nohuch Che’en Reserve, Belize is sure to set your pulse racing. Don’t worry though, you don’t need to put on a wetsuit to go on an adventure. Hike along one of Mountain Pine Ridge’s many trails and you’ll come face-to-face with the full-force of nature that is the Hidden Valley Falls: a cascading waterfall plummeting down over 300 metres into the valley.
Belize is also home to the mysterious and ancient Mayan civilisation and you’ll find ruins and archaeological sites dotted all across its landscape, particularly in the Cayo District and Toledo’s Deep South. Caracol, in the foothills of the Mayan Mountains, is well worth a visit. It’s the largest Mayan archaeological site in Belize and there are many exquisitely preserved buildings.
Then there are the secrets of the San Ignacio ruins. These really are a must-see. If you choose to climb the towering stone steps and take in the panoramic jungle views it’s sure to be one of the most unforgettable moments of your trip – closely followed by seeing the structures glow red in the late afternoon sun.
When to go
Belize’s dry season falls between the end of November and May and is typically the best time to visit. The wetter seasons runs from June to early November so some would choose to avoid travelling during these times. You can chance a visit from June through to August, but expect to see some rain, at least during the afternoons.