Things to Do in Belize
Belize is known for its flourishing tourist trade. The tropical climate is relaxing during the summertime. The Belize Barrier Reef and the numerous islands that lie offshore offer spots for fishing, diving, boating, and almost any other water recreational activity. Miles and miles of rivers that range in intensity from quiet and deep flows, to class VI whitewater rapids that can challenge the most experienced of rafters and canoeists. These are just a few things to do in the country of Belize.
Belize has 20 active airports and airstrips. Most tourists who arrive by plane end up in Belize City, at either the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport, or the Belize City Municipal Airport. In Belize City alone, one expects to find a rich history intertwined with the country’s colonial roots. One of the city’s most iconic structures is St. John’s Cathedral; the only Anglican cathedral outside of England where a king has been crowned. The coastline of the city is watched over by the Baron Bliss Lighthouse, named after Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss, 4th Baron Bliss, who left two-million Belize dollars to the people of Belize through a trust fund. The same area contains Baron Bliss’s tomb, and the Museum of Belize. While Belize City isn’t the capital of Belize itself, it is the largest in the country, and contributes greatly to the tourist trade.
The mainland of Belize has ten popular beaches, all of which give the onlooker a beautiful view of the Caribbean. Out of all the hundreds of islands, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and Half Moon Caye receive much attention from visitors. Ambergris is the largest of the Belizean islands, and hosts a number of hotels, resorts, and villages. Caye Caulker is a limestone-coral island with a single town called Caye Caulker Village which has gained popularity in recent years. Half Moon Caye is so named for its shape, and is a safe and at the same time exotic place to go diving or boating, though there are regulations. Together, the islands off the coast of Belize give tourists an experience of the Belize Barrier Reef; the second largest coral reef chain in the world, and home to species of flora and fauna unique to Central America.
Further inland, Belize boasts riverside resorts and tourist destinations for whitewater rafting, kayaking, and canoeing. Luckier visitors can even go cave rafting in the Rio Frio Cave, located in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. Others may choose to explore Barton Creek Cave, comprised of nearly seven kilometers of passages. For a full experience, one can take a guided trek through the preserves and forests all the way to the many Mayan archeological sites hidden in the jungle, the most extensive of which, are the Caracol Ruins; an ancient Mayan city far larger than even Belize City itself.
Finally, Belize hosts a plethora of annual celebrations and festivals that sport all the color and vibrance of the Central American nation. December and January have the usual celebrations of Christmas and New Year respectively, but Belizeans also celebrate the Fiesta de Carnaval in February, Baron Bliss Day in March, and even lobster festivals in June. There is a celebration somewhere in Belize every month.
It is quite likely that no single tour can give the full experience of Belize the way it really is; and that is perhaps the greatest reason why people come back for more. Beyond the nearly constant revenue of $1.3 billion that the industry makes every year, there is real heart to the life a traveler finds in the country of Belize.