As most of my family is in Thailand, I always wind up homeless every year when Thanksgiving rolls around. Last November, my two international friends and I decided to embrace our freedom and go on an adventure!
I took a few days off to maximize vacation time, and picked Belize due to these reasons:
We squeezed it all in, even with a quick jaunt over to Guatemala where we hiked through a rain forest and explored Mayan ruins! Totally doable in a week.
Though we stayed in hostels and made sure to save where we could, Belize still remains one of Central America’s most expensive countries, so prepare to budget accordingly.
Read on for the top things to do in Belize!
Visit Ambergris Caye
Pronounced Ambergris Key, this is the largest island of Belize. Renowned as a hotspot for diving, fishing, and general beach vibes, this is your gateway to marine activities and the Blue Hole.
Dive the Blue Hole
A one of a kind experience that was on my bucket list for so long! Formed millennia ago, this is a giant submarine sinkhole that lies near the center of the Lighthouse Reef. With stalactites at 40 meters deep and eerie overhangs, the dive is well suited for advanced divers. It’s no wonder that Jacques Cousteau declared the site as one of the top ten diving spots in the world!
Explore Half Moon Caye
If swimming isn’t quite your thing, make sure to visit Half Moon Caye which has an abundance of offshore and land activities! This little island is located at the southeast corner of the Lighthouse Reef atoll, and is a nature reserve and marine protected area. With no crowds and completely doable on the same trip as a visit to the Blue Hole, Half Moon is a great dive spot and also famous for being a bird sanctuary, particularly for red-footed booby birds. From May to November, loggerhead/hawksbill/green turtles also use the island as nesting grounds. I recommend picnicking on the island for lunch, walking the trail for bird watching, and checking out the conch shells here.
Climb Mayan ruins
Take a journey back into the past and visit Mayan ruins! On our first day in Belize, we visited Altun Ha, located just 30 miles north of Belize City. As a major ceremonial site and trading center with routes extending to other cities, Altun Ha is where they discovered the “Jade Head,” the largest object of jade carving ever found from Mayan civilization!
Visit a chocolate factory
Both Belize and neighboring Guatemala are known for their chocolate production – visit a factory or a shop to see how authentic cocoa beans are harvested and processed. This is a wonderful opportunity for souvenirs!
Sample the local cuisine
As a country surrounded by the ocean, Belize has no limit to fantastic seafood. Be sure to try their ceviche, and also spectacular plantains – the best ones I’ve had in my life were at a small restaurant in Belize, fried crispy but tender inside. Mmmm!
Some places I’d recommend for munching:
- Caroline’s Cooking – this place is absolutely fantastic! With affordable prices for super fresh seafood, I would 100% come back
- Elvi’s Kitchen – a really good popular eatery for Caribbean seafood located in the heart of San Pedro. They also have a buffet style option
- Casa Picasso – for a fancy night out, great food but on the pricier side with fusion elements
- DandE’s Frozen Custard & Sorbet – many unique flavors, and a popular ice cream store. Perfect for a hot day!
Been to Belize? Let me know your favorite experiences!