With the arrival of 2018, people are starting to look where they want to take their summer vacation. Perhaps you’ve been to the Caribbean and travelled around Europe and want a destination that combines beauty, culture and beaches. If this sounds like you, Belize is the place to visit. The Central American nation has long stretches of beach, endless opportunities for snorkeling and luxurious Belize rentals overlooking the sea. If you haven’t already considered this as aplace to visit, here are a few reasons why you should put Belize on your travel bucket list.
World Class Diving and Snorkeling
If you’re a fan of diving and want to experience some of the best and most untouched marine landscapes, Belize is the place for you. Not only is the country home to the second largest coral reef in the world,it has endless opportunities forsnorkeling in the clear waters too. And if that’s not all, experienced divers can visit the Great Blue Hole. The gigantic sinkhole reaches a depth 0f 109 meters (354 feet) with a diameter of 300 meters (984 feet). If you look from above, you’ll notice the deep color of the sinkhole contrasting against the light blue of the surrounding waters. Other favorite spots can be found in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Expect to encounter turtles, stingrays and sharks. Combine everything,and Belize is one of the world’s best spots for diving.
The weather is always balmy in Belize, which makes it an excellent spot for a beach vacation at any time of the year. Warm sea waters are a certainty,and you can expect clear skies on most days. If you do want to spend your time on the beach, try to avoid the rainy season between April and October. While the prices drop, the weather might not be the best for lounging in that hammock.
Belize has Incredible Beaches
Hundreds of cayes (sandy islands) and incredible white-sand beaches litter the long stretch of coastline. Head to either Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker for the best spots. You can find almost anything you’re looking for in Belize from bars blasting reggae to quiet and secluded spots. And many of the vacation rentals that line the sand have incredible views of the sea. Belize has beaches that rank with those in the Caribbean at a fraction of the price.
The Caves are World-Class
If you’re looking for adventure, Belize has some of the most extensive cave systems in Central America. Once used in Mayan rituals, they’re now open to the public. Chiquibul Cave is Central America’s longest and worth visiting to explore the vast cavernous passageways. Other must-visit spots include the Barton Creek and ActunTunichilMuknal. Join a tour and learn why the caves you’re walking through once played an integral part in Mayan culture and traditions.
Belize’s Mayan Heritage
The population of Belize today is nothing compared to what it once was. A vast community of Mayans lived in the modern day nation and left their legacy with ruins dotted around the country. In fact, by some estimates, Belize has the largest concentration of Mayan ruins in the world. Visiting some of the archaeological relics will give you an insight into the fascinating world of the ancients. Top spots include Xunantunich, Altun Ha and Caracol. It’s also possible to join cultural tours to visit some of the smaller Mayan villages in rural parts of Belize and interact with the Maya descendants.
The Abundance and Diversity of Wildlife
Because of the lack of development over the last few decades, vast areas of the country’s landmass remains as untouched jungle and rainforest. Combine this with the low population density,and the result is massive areas of untouched rainforest. Today’s wildlife includes an array of mammals, birds and marine life along with four species of wildcat as well as the jaguar. The Cockscomb Wildlife Preserve towards the south doubles up as a jaguar sanctuary. However, it’s unlikely you’ll see one in the wild.
It’s Easy to Visit and Explore
The ease of travel makes Belize an alluring destination. Most people don’t need to apply for a visa, can fly into Belize City on a direct flight and find it easy to get around the country. Regular buses connect to other destinations in the relatively small nation,and ferries take passengers to the cayes. And English is the official language making communication fast and easy. Tourism makes up a large part of Belize’s economy,and you can find several tours to take you diving, snorkeling and to visit the Mayan ruins.
One of the biggest travel clichés says how pretty much every country has the best food in the world. Belize might not rank at the top with the likes of France for fine-dining or Tokyo for Michelin restaurants, but it does have a range of cuisines from various cultures. Fresh seafood is available in abundance including shrimp, swordfish and lobsters. Ethnic dishes from the Creole, East Indian, Garifuna and Maya are readily available too. A range of fresh and exotic fruit gets sold along the streets every day at affordable prices. When you’re in Belize, be sure to taste stew chicken, Hudut and the traditional rice and bean dish.
Put Belize on Your Bucket List
If you haven’t already put Belize on this year’s bucket list, do it now. Don’t miss out on the beaches, ancient ruins, delicious food and endless opportunities for diving and snorkeling. With more people visiting each year, the time to travel is now before tourism overruns the country.