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 With far less of a language barrier to overcome than elsewhere in Central America, Belize, perched on the isthmus’s northeast corner, is the ideal first stop on a tour of the region. And, although it is the most expensive country in Central America, its reliable public transport and numerous hotels and restaurants make it an ideal place to travel independently.

Belize offers some of the most breathtaking scenery anywhere in the region: thick tropical forests envelop much of the country’s southern and western regions, stretching up towards the misty heights of the sparsely populated Maya Mountains, while just offshore, dazzling turquoise shallows and cobalt depths surround the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the longest such reef in the Americas, as well as the jewels in Belize’s natural crown: three of the four coral atolls in the Caribbean. Tourists who visit here are interested in ecotourism and nature activities. Diving, snorkeling, kayaking, rafting, mountain biking, hiking, and cave exploring (called spelunking) are some of the many ways to enjoy this magical country.



Official Language: English


Explore Belize:

Scattered along the barrier reef, a chain of islands – known as cayes – protect the mainland from the ocean swell, and make wonderful bases for snorkelling and diving; the cayes are most travellers’ top destination in the country Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker are the best known, though many of the less developed islands, including picture-perfect Tobacco Caye, are gaining in popularity. The interior has remained relatively untouched, thanks to a national emphasis on conservation: in the west, the dramatic landscape – especially the tropical forests and cave systems – of the Cayo District provides numerous opportunities for adventure-seekers. Inexpensive San Ignacio, the region’s transport hub, gives access to the heights of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and the rapids of the Macal and Mopan rivers. For those with an adventurous spirit of a different sort, hectic Belize City offers a fascinating – if nerve-wracking – opportunity to explore the country’s energetic multicultural spirit Dangriga, the main town of the south-central region, serves as a jumping-off point for the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, while the Placencia peninsula has some of the country’s best beaches. In the far south, Belize’s most isolated region, the Maya Mountains rise to over 1100m and border some of the country’s only rainforest. Throughout the country, the archeological treasures of the ancient Maya dot the landscape, most spectacularly at Caracol.


CAYE CAULKER:  Snorkel the Barrier Reef just offshore from this relaxed little island.

SAN IGNACIO:  The best place from which to explore inland Belize, including the wonderful Maya site of Xunantunich.

THE BLUE HOLE:  Dive deep into the inky waters of this coral-encrusted cavern.

COCKSCOMB BASIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY:  Hike the winding jungle paths of the world’s first jaguar reserve.


PLACENCIARelax on Belize’s most beautiful, white-sand beaches or head out to sea for snorkelling and diving.


CARACOL: Climb to the top of a 1200-year-old temple complex and admire Belize's greatest Maya city.

TAKE A BOAT TO MONKEY RIVER TOUR: Is one of the best inland day trips from Placencia, Monkey River Village is a popar destination for eco-tourism trips.



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