Belize Holidays & Accommodation
Approximately forty percent of Belize is protected under some sort of environmental guidelines. Until the formation of the Belize Audobon Society in 1969, there was not as much protection for the wildlife or marine habitats, but this society piqued public awareness and made the population aware of the implications for tourism and the economy of a comprehensive conservation strategy. It certainly has paid off. Formerly British Honduras, Belize is an English speaking country and tourism dollars are a major impetus in their economy. With an abundance of natural features, this country has a lot to offer visitors, including beaches, the second largest coral reef in the world, lush tropical rainforest, and the largest network of caves in Central Central America
Belize Holidays Planner
Belmopan is the purpose-built and bland capital of Belize more or less in the centre of the country an hour drive to the coast. There's little reason to visit with most tourists heading to the flood-prone coastal town of Belize City, a rather edgy down-trodden former capital with 70,000 people and pretty colonial architecture. With its ready access to the coast and the barrier reef, one of the most popular activities here is diving and snorkelling.
Just off the coast of Belize City, a short ride away by water taxi is Caye Caulker. This was once a hippie destination, and offers a laid-back small town atmosphere with only 1100 residents. There are marine caves that divers can explore that make diving a unique and popular activity. People visiting the island also engage fishing charters.
Further out into the Caribbean is the main tourist centre of Ambergris Caye with plenty of excellent diving opportunities, decent snorkelling lagoons, plenty of beachside accommodation and even a casino. There are many dive shops on the island that offer diving certification and apart from the stunning coral reefs and shark colonies, diving the 124 metre deep Blue Hole near Ambergris Caye is an eerie experience. If you're not interested in getting certified, snorkelling also offers spectacular marine viewing opportunities off the reef. At the popular Shark Ray Alley, you can view sea turtles, sharks, and manta rays even while snorkelling, and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve also offers great underwater viewing opportunities.
A popular activity in many areas of Belize is cave tubing. Riding on an inner tube, you explore caves with a guide who narrates your journey. There are cave tubing companies near Belize City and in Ambergris Caye. For those who prefer to paddle, you can canoe or kayak through the remarkable Barton Creek Cave near San Ignacio.
The Mayan occupation of Belize began in approximately 1500 B.C. There are numerous ruins that you can visit including the Caracol ruins near San Ignacio or the eerie relic of Xanantanich near the Guatemala border which incidentally is the closest road access point to one of the greatest Mayan Ruins: Tikal in Guatemala. The Altun Ha ruins near Belize City where one of the largest jade artifacts ever found was discovered: a relic in the shape of the head of the Mayan Sun God, Kinich Ahau. This artefact graces Belize currency today. Belize has a tremendous place to dive and explore the marine habitat; it is home to one of the most incredible dive sites in the world, the Great Blue Hole, a giant sinkhole a quarter mile across.