Tours/Activities

What a Weekend in Belize Holds

By Neil Kleise 3/25/2020 5 minutes

Belize is an excellent destination that offers lodging and activities in lush jungles and at the beach. Belize is full of history and natural beauty. It is the perfect place to spend an awesome weekend with family and friends.

Five awesome things you can do to have an amazing weekend in Belize:

Snorkeling and Diving in the Caribbean Sea

With a shore facing the beautiful Caribbean Sea, Belize is one of the top destinations to enjoy diving and snorkeling for all skill levels! Most spots are only accessible by boats; so, you might spend a few hours in the open sea to reach. Here are some that you should check out:

The Great Blue Hole

The Great Blue Hole in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll is absolutely a sight to behold! This aptly named feature and the atoll itself is quite popular among tourists for its unique and surreal look. However, considering that the atoll is a substantial distance away from the shore, so expect a long and, possibly, rough ride.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve

The Hol Chan Marine Reserve is Belize’s oldest marine reserve. It is just a few kilometers off the tip of Ambergris Caye, making it a popular day-trip destination. The reserve consists of four zones, each with unique features that are fascinating all on their own.

Turneffe Reef Atoll

The Turneffe Reef Atoll is another favorite site for dive and snorkel enthusiasts. This atoll is the largest among all the Belize Barrier Reef. It is also known for its lionfish population and a 30m-deep dive site known as The Elbow. The atoll is a great distance away from Caye Caulker, which requires about a full day trip to cover.

Explore Ancient Mayan Ruins

Aside from crystal blue waters, Belize also prides itself as the home to fascinating relics of the ancient Maya Empire! Many ancient Maya cities and settlements dot Belize, which was once home of this ancient culture. Most of these have the signature Maya features, such as spacious plazas and tall stone pyramids.

Altun Ha

Altun Ha is one of the youngest discovered archaeological sites in Belize. Although it is significantly smaller than the other sites, Altun Ha houses some of the best-restored structures and artifacts in the country! Altun Ha is also infamously known for the site where the famous jade head of the Maya God, Kinich Ahau, was discovered. The place is quite popular, so keep that in mind when visiting!

Xunantunich 

Xunantunich is another notable Mayan site of interest. This relatively small area near the Guatemalan border holds the second largest structure in Belize, the El Castillo. This 130ft structure towers above a burial chamber where the remains of a man, believed to be in his 20s to 30s, along with some artifacts like obsidian daggers, jade pearls, and some animal bones.

Caracol

Caracol is home to Caana, the largest artificial structure in Belize. This massive ancient city was once a powerful city-state that features many palaces and temples. This ancient Maya city flourished until 1050 A.D. before Europeans came to the continent.

A Weekend in Belize - Snorkel
A Weekend in Belize - Archaeological Sites

Enjoy the Unique Belizean Cuisine

Belizean cuisine is a mix of various influences that resulted in truly unique flavors and personalities! From Caribbean staples, Maya traditions, and hints of Latin American flavors, there is something for everybody to enjoy. 

Garnaches

Garnaches is a popular Belizean snack and appetizer made from crisply deep-fried corn tortillas and topped with a variety of garnishes that include cheese, refried beans, cabbages, and other assorted toppings. These are pretty common in restaurants throughout the country.

Ceviche

Ceviche is a meal that showcases Belize’s abundant seafood! It includes a mixture of fish or shellfish with garlic, onion, chili peppers, and other spices. The dish is marinated and sit in lime juice.

Rice and Beans

Last but not least is the classic Caribbean staple, rice and beans! Ingredients for this meal are red kidney beans, rice goes, coconut milk, and spices. Sometimes locally made hot sauce is used to give it an extra kick. This simple dish is usually served with meat, fish, and sometimes potato salads.

Marvel at the Natural Beauty of Belize

Belize’s azure seas and abundant marine life is only half the picture. The country also has lush forests teeming with wildlife. Because of this, nature tripping is also one of the popular activities among tourists.

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is a great place to visit! These 128,000 acres of protected land was established primarily for the protection of jaguars. The sanctuary is also home to much indigenous flora and fauna, including a few native cats like ocelots and pumas. Hike with friends and family and get a chance to see these magnificent creatures in action.

St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park

Another must-visit is the Blue Hole National Park. The park is named after a sinkhole with crystal blue water not to be confused with the Blue Hole found in Lighthouse Reef Atoll. The sinkhole is surrounded by thick jungle vegetation adding to the magical atmosphere. There are also other sights to see within the park-like St. Herman’s cave, which can be explored without a guide, and Crystal Cave, which is quite challenging and would require a guide.

A Weekend in Belize - Food
A Weekend in Belize - Nature Reserves and Parks

Go Spelunking

Speaking of caves, Belize also has a lot of caves thanks to its limestone-rich soil. Here are a few you should check out:

Caves Branch 

If floating down a river through limestone caves is something that interests you, then Caves Branch River is an excellent option. Think of a water park with a calm river, caves, and ancient artifacts. You can float on a river tube with friends and family and see ancient pottery shards and other artifacts along the way.

Actun Tunichil Muknal (A.T.M.) Cave

Another must-visit cave is the Actun Tunichil Muknal (A.T.M.) Cave. This cave is known for its natural beauty and the treasures inside the cave. Actun Tunichil Muknal is one of Belize’s important Mayan archaeological sites containing some of the most impressive collections of artifacts in the whole of Central America. The cave is also the final resting place of The Crystal Maiden, the skeletal remains of a young woman whose bones have calcified, giving it a crystalline look. The cave is open to the public; but, only the first 3 km are accessible.

Neil Kleise

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