Home to 450 beautiful Cayes, 900 Mayan archeological sites, and the only jaguar reserve in the world, the Central American nation of Belize is nothing short of a cultural hotspot. If your vacation dreams include clear turquoise waters, lush tropical rainforests, and white sand beaches, Belize needs to make it to the top of your bucket list.
From scuba diving and exploring coral reefs to floating downstream in a tube across ancient caves, everything that Belize has to offer is one-of-its-kind. So, if you are exploring Belize as your next vacation destination or are already in the process of planning the itinerary for your trip to this culturally and ethnically diverse gem, we’ve got you covered.
Here are 16 tourist attractions in Belize that you need to add to your list to experience the land gifted with natural beauty and biodiversity in all its glory.
Unmissable tourist attractions to experience the charm of paradisiacal Belize
Places that have something for everyone
The Belize Barrier Reef
The second-largest barrier reef in the world, the Belize Barrier Reef is a series of jaw droppingly-beautiful coral reefs running 300 km long along the coast of Belize. Declared as a World Heritage Site in 1996, the Belize Barrier Reef makes it to the top of the list of reasons to visit the country.
The best way to explore the reef is through adventure sports such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and kayaking to witness marine plants and animals, corals, and fish unlike anywhere on earth. You can even witness the iconic barrier reef from right above it via a helicopter ride to really soak in its magnanimity.
One of the major urban towns in Belize, San Pedro is tourists’ top choice owing to the endless list of attractions and sightseeing options, easy transportation, English-speaking locals, and the very best of scenic views and water sports. San Pedro allows you to immerse yourself in the Belizean island life to the fullest by offering the best of beach resorts, restaurants, and bars.
So, from exploring the sandy streets of the town on a golf cart to deep diving in the picture-perfect Caribbean turquoise sea to enjoying fresh seafood, San Pedro has something for everyone, and will not leave you disappointed.
The largest city in Belize and home to the country’s only international airport, this city is known for multiple tourist attractions that are emblematic of the culture and heritage of the coastal nation. From archeological wonders such as Xunantunich to colonial preservations such as The Government House and Museum of Belize to Mayan sites such as Altun Ha, exploring Belize District is a great way to introduce yourself to the country’s rich history.
The Great Blue Hole
A majestic underwater sinkhole that’s visible from space, The Great Blue Hole is one of the most prestigious diving sites in the world. The deep blue, yet crystal clear waters are ideal for experienced divers to explore what is renowned as the most vibrant marine life to exist on earth. Diving in The Great Blue Hole also allows you to witness fascinating limestone cave formations from hundreds of years ago. If you are not a diver, you can always experience the aerial view of this natural marvel, which some argue is even more mesmerizing.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Another popular diving and snorkeling site among adventure-junkies, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve is known for the unparalleled and diverse variety of marine species it houses, including sea turtles, manta rays, lobsters, stingrays, and nurse sharks. Unlike The Great Blue Hole, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve is better suited for novice or first-time divers, due to its shallow waters. If you are looking for thrilling ways to experience wildlife in its natural habitat, you shouldn’t miss out on a chance to snorkel in this sea-sized aquarium.
Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave
This attraction is for those who take their adventure bucket list very seriously. The ATM Cave is a Mayan archeological site, which is not only magnificent, but also has huge historical significance. To explore this underground network of dark tunnels through a turbulent river, you can either walk (if the water is shallow) or tube down the stream with headlamps fastened to your helmets. As you go cave tubing these dark caves, you will find yourself floating by ceremonial chambers that the Mayans have left behind, along with skeletal remains of human sacrifices conducted, and some endless artifacts from the era.
Treat the thrill-seeker in you with irresistible packages from Reef, Ruins, and River Adventures
If you are having a hard time shortlisting the adventure sports you want to try and making an itinerary, here’s great news – you don’t have to pick and choose or even plan. At Reef, Ruins, and River Adventures, we’ve worked on a pre-curated list of packages that allow you to experience the best of all activities that interest you. If none of the packages catch your eye, you are free to create a custom one of your own based on your unique bucket list. Once done, you can leave the planning to our reliable team of experts as you gear up to have the time of your life.
Our aim is to ensure you get to explore the vibrant, mesmerizing underwater life of Belize and have a life-changing experience that stays with you forever.
For serenity lovers
Accessible by golf carts, bikes, water taxis or simply by foot, this relatively unexplored and less-crowded island in Belize is a great spot to unwind and soak in stunning views. Given the wide range of inexpensive restaurants and bars, relaxing atmosphere, sandy and narrow streets, and little to no traffic, this island is quite popular among backpackers and lodgers.
While you can go kayaking, fishing, and even snorkeling here, the true charm of this rare, quiet Caribbean island lies in exploring its tranquility and serenity by foot, interacting with locals, sunbathing by the beach with your favorite cocktail, and relishing freshly-caught seafood.
Known for its pristine beaches and stunning offshore coral cayes, the charming village of Placencia with travelers looking to peacefully connect with nature’s finest. The laid-back vibe and panoramic views of Placencia are increasingly attracting tourists who come to Belize to detox from their city life. From picturesque hikes to scenic boat rides and fishing, Placencia has got a lot to offer if you are looking for some peace and quiet.
Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve
The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve is a one-of-its-kind, nature’s most wholesome gift to Belize. From hiking in the pine forests to enjoying a picnic beside a river to exploring deep, dark Mayan caves, there is so much to do in this nature’s paradise. Featuring some of Belize’s best-known waterfalls and bird-watching sites, the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve promises you an immersive and refreshing experience of a lifetime, especially if you love the outdoors.
For family travelers
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Apart from being the world’s only jaguar reserve, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is also Belize’s most picturesque hiking destination. Breathtaking waterfalls, majestic mountains, and rare species of native and migratory birds and wildlife, you get to explore all and much more by taking a hike across this unique wildlife sanctuary.
Inviting nature lovers from all over the world, this reserve has several hiking trails that you can choose from, depending on your level of comfort and expertise. While chances of sighting a jaguar are pretty slim, remember to watch out for jaguar paw prints and you might just get lucky. Once done soaking in the park’s natural beauty, you can also visit the Che’il Chocolate factory and cacao farm to grab some Mayan desserts.
Museum of Belize
If you want to learn about the glorious, multi-cultural history and heritage of the country, the Museum of Belize is an unmissable spot. From ceremonial objects and artifacts to carvings, and paintings – the museum houses everything relevant from the Mayan civilization as well as the British colonial era. When planning your trip, try to go on a day when you can also attend one of the workshops, exhibitions, and events the museum regularly conducts to truly understand what went behind building the nation of Belize as we know it today.
The Belize Zoo
Also a tropical education center, the Belize zoo is a must-visit on your Caribbean vacation. Widely recognized as one of the best-preserved zoos in the Americas, the Belize zoo is hugely credited for incredible work towards caring for rescued and orphaned animals. Home to over 175 animals and 48 species, this tourist attraction is also popular among wildlife photography enthusiasts as you are promised some rare sightings and unbelievable pictures. The best part is that you get to witness wild animals up and close in their native habitat, as you make your way through the jungle in a covered vehicle.
For couples on a romantic getaway
Secret Beach is the perfect place to unwind with your partner after a long day of sightseeing. Away from the bustling town and crowded seafronts, this secluded beach will allow you to spend some cherishable moments in the company of your significant other and the clear, shallow waters. Enjoy the unparalleled sunset view from the lounge chairs or relish an authentic meal with the water table service from the beach restaurants – the ideal day at Secret Beach does not involve any planning or lists. Just go with the flow and soak in the mesmerizing scenery.
Aji Tapa Restaurant and Bar
Situated right on the beach amidst enchanting palms, the Aji Tapa Restaurant and Bar is the perfect place for you to savor a delicious Caribbean meal as you enjoy the panoramic views of the sea with your significant other. From the laid-back atmosphere of the restaurant to the authentic flavors it serves, everything is truly Belizean about this culinary paradise. Whether you are new to town or are celebrating a special occasion, just let the staff know and they will go the extra mile to make your experience truly memorable.
Luxurious casita at beachside resort
As much as you’d want to spend all your time exploring the finest of world’s water sports and sightseeing that Belize has to offer, a vacation in this tropical wonderland is incomplete without spending time in a luxurious seaside resort. If you want to be away from the crowds and beach activities, you can book yourself an old-fashioned casita amidst the mangroves or if you want to wake up to the sound of waves and watch the sunrise from your balcony, you can always go for a beach view suite. The resorts in Belize have a host of amenities that you can treat yourself to, while you make cherishable memories with your partner.
Indulge in the Belizean island life to the fullest in San Pedro with the Bella Vista Resort
Situated along the white sand beaches of the world-famous Ambergris Caye, just a couple of miles from the bustling downtown San Pedro, the Bella Vista Resort is synonymous with comfort and luxury. Whether you are traveling with your partner, family, or friends, you are going to have a rejuvenating experience at our beachfront resort where we prioritize guest experience over everything else.
Our range of unique suites and casitas that are designed to meet every traveler’s needs are sure to take great care of your comfort and relaxation as you check off your itinerary. The on-site restaurant with daily live music, pool that you can lounge next to, spa to help you truly reenergize, and tons of other amenities promise you an unforgettable stay that takes away all your worries from back home.
Explore our wide range of packages and suites, and reach out to us to make a booking or to get your questions answered. We cannot wait to welcome you to our humble, but magical Caribbean abode.
Thanks for taking the time to read about the incredible wonders that Belize has to offer. We hope you get a chance to experience them soon. Don’t forget to book your stay with Bella Vista Resort and tour packages with Reef, Ruins, and River Adventures.