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On the eastern coast of Central America, this often overlooked gem is home to an array of amazing sights. From white sand beaches and colorful coral reefs, to intricate Mayan temples and lush jungle, Belize is full of options for any type of adventure. This enchanting coastal country is easily accessible with many direct flights from all over the United States, and vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors are welcome as long as you provide proof of a negative covid test. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to see these breathtaking sights for yourself!
Big blue hole
In Belize’s immense Barrier Reef, the Great Blue Hole is a snorkeling and scuba diving paradise. The barrier reef itself is the second largest reef system in the world and is home to a multitude of tropical fish, sharks, turtles, manatees, and more. The crystal-clear waters of the Great Blue Hole make it an ideal place to dive deep into the 124m abyss and admire the vibrant aquatic plants and animals.
Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary
Just outside the charming town of Hopkins, you’ll find the world’s only jaguar reserve, Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary. Although stealthy jaguars are rarely seen along the park’s main trails, bring your binoculars to get a good look at the ocelots, pumas, howler monkeys, and tapirs that inhabit the park. Take a guided tour to learn about the history of the area and discover new jaguar tracks, or hike the trails on your own – for a refreshing dip in the park’s waterfall pool, head to the trailhead Ben’s Bluff. If you are keen to see and hear a jaguar, your best bet is to sign up for the Night Walk to see nocturnal animals such as foxes and kinkajous.
The coastal village of Placencia – located on the southern peninsula of the same name – is a popular eco-destination that hosts plenty of outdoor activities. Hike through the rainforest and kayak along the river at Stann Creek or take a boat trip to Silk Caye and Laughing Bird Island to swim and snorkel in the sun. Placencia is also a great place for Caribbean fishing, a local guide can show you the best reef spots to catch your big barracuda!
If you’re looking for a relaxing day with an interesting pit stop, take a tubing trip down the winding Belize River to the historic ruins of Xunantunich. Xunatunich, once a Mayan ceremonial site, is now home to the ruins of more than 20 temples and palaces. The larger one – El Castillo – towers over the rest and from the top you will find spectacular panoramic views of the Macal, Mopan and Belize River Valley.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Belize’s oldest marine reserve, offers the unique opportunity to swim with sharks and stingrays. The narrow reserve (only 25 meters wide) winds through a channel into the pristine reef, giving divers a glimpse of the underwater world. Tour guides are often seen feeding and ‘playing with nurse sharks, rays and other aquatic animals in the area that have become accustomed to the human presence.
Bocawina National Park
The 7,000 acres of Bocawina National Park stretch across the Belize countryside, from the Mayan mountains to the sparkling coastline. The park is an exceptional location for hiking, camping, and exploring the three Mayan ruins and waterfalls. Bring your own camping gear to sleep under the stars in the heart of the jungle.
Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve
The unspoiled nature of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Preserve is home to majestic waterfalls, colossal caverns, and the country’s largest Mayan temple. Bring your binoculars to view some of Central America’s rare and exotic birds as you walk along mountain trails to the majestic Big Rock Falls. Travel through the jungle to the huge caves of Rio Frio. And take your time by visiting Caracol, the largest man-made structure in the country. Cool off afterwards with a dip in the revitalizing Rio On pools.
Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
Much more than an ordinary cave, Actun Tunichil Muknal was once the site of ritual sacrifice for the Mayan people. Take a peek at ancient Mayan culture on an exhilarating cave experience tour. Swim, climb, and crawl through the cave to find the remains of an ancient Mayan altar, spiritual artifacts, and mysterious human remains.
Belize no longer recognizes vaccinated tourists: tests are now mandatory
Travel insurance that covers Covid-19 for 2021
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