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Top Trip Memories

  • Splashing and exploring the cave Actun Tunichel Muchtal (ATM), one of the coolest caves you'll ever visit
  • Scuba diving the epic Blue Hole - an underwater stalachtite filled deep chamber in the center of an atoll, and appearing from above as a giant sinkhole of velvety deep blue sea
  • Seeing jaguars at the Belize zoo
  • Relaxing on Ambergris Caye
  • Paddling dusky jade rives and floating through caves
  • Participating in adventure activites like leaping from beautiful waterfalls and zip lining through the canopy of lush tropical rainforests
  • Snorkeling or diving the world's 2nd largest barrier reef
  • Swimming close enough to touch giant sea turtles at Hol Chan Marine Reserve
  • Staying at a jungle eco-lodge and awakening to the sounds of monkeys and birds of paradise
  • Exploring the Mayan ruins of Caracol, an impressive site rising from the snarled jungle with five plazas and an enormous pyramid
  • Hopping over the border for a day trip to Guatemala to see the famous Mayan ruin of Tikal
  • Devouring Belizean fry jacks - a decadent yet dainty fried bread, with papaya jam for breakfast
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Tour Tips

  • Flights are the most convenient and scenic way to get around the country and the national airline is Tropic Air. Propeller planes head north or south from central hubs and run like bus routes, making stops to pick up and drop off fellow passengers - even locals out running extended errands.
  • To maximize time in the country, be sure to spend a few nights in the jungle and a few nights on the coast. Try Ambergis Caye for beautiful beaches and world-class diving, Placencia for boho-luxe hotels and island hopping, and the Cayo District as a launch point for jungle lodges and Mayan ruins. Consider the less-traveled southwestern corner near Guatemala for even more remote forests and wildlife spotting.
  • November through May is considered peak season and June through November is off-peak. Those summer months are hot but still a nice time to travel; the rainy season is mainly concentrated in September and October.
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Belize Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.7 out of 5

99%

recommend

406 Reviews

  • Excellent 293
  • Great 112
  • Average 1
  • Disappointing 0
  • Terrible 0

Rating Details

  • Value
    4.7
  • Guide
    4.7
  • Activities
    4.7
  • Lodging
    4.7
  • Transportation
    4.7
  • Meals
    4.7

Tour Reviews

We really enjoyed the kayaking and snorkeling off of Carrie Bow Caye!!

Paradise Islands

5.0
December 2016
Island Expeditions
Recommend: Yes
Our Paradise Islands tour was a superb opportunity to see Belize up close and personal. We were blessed with a small group (3 guests and 1 guide), great weather, easy waters for kayaking and snorkelling. We started in Tobacco Caye Paradise Lodge where Mr Ed and his staff took great care of us with fabulous local food, comfortable cabanas built over the reef so we could sit out on our back deck and watch the rays and fish hover about. Kimike, our guide, had us out kayaking the first afternoon along the barrier reef where we saw large eagle rays and an osprey flying off with a parrot fish in its talons. We paddled over to Tobacco Caye Range, a large mangrove forest, about 2.5 Km away where we encountered cormorants, pelicans by the score, southern rays and ospreys. After Tobacco Caye, we paddle/sailed our kayaks down to South Water Caye and stayed with International Zoological Expeditions where our cabana was situated adjacent to the eastern mangrove forest on the Caye. From our deck we could watch herons carefully hunting for small crabs and lizards. Once again, the staff cooked excellent local meals and are very friendly. We snorkelled off the beach using our kayaks and also paddled over to Carrie Bow Caye where the Smithsonian Institute has a research facility. The managers gave us a tour of the operations and were very informative. Kimike had us paddleboarding that afternoon, teaching us the basics as he demonstrated his skill at yoga on the water! Our last day involved a long paddle down to Billyhawk Caye, weaving in and out of a large mangrove range on the way down, disturbing huge southern rays as we glided over their hollows, listening to ospreys call from their perches and enjoying a great lunch of conch stew, salad and rice at Billyhawk Caye. We gathered our possessions and said goodbye to the kayaks. Our last snorkel was in the reefs near the Bread and Butter Islands, just south of the Caye. The size and variety of the soft coral was astounding along with a profusion of brightly colored fish of all types.
Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
We had a great time last year at Lighthouse Reef on Half Moon Caye and had no qualms about signing up again for a trip to Belize with Island Expeditions. This year we added extra time at Bocawina, Glover's Atoll and Pook's Hill with the IE staff arranging and booking rooms, transfers, local flights.

What was the highlight of your trip?:
We really enjoyed the kayaking and snorkelling off of Carrie Bow Caye where Joan had a chance to swim alongside a huge eagle ray. Night time snorkelling for the first time, where we saw an octopus, rays, channel crabs and conchs. Learning about coconut milk and Belizean rum in combination was delightful!

What would be your advice to potential travellers?:
Be prepared to travel light as all your baggage is going into dry bags and stowed in the kayaks. IE staff will look after your larger baggage in the office while you are out on the water. Bring long sleeved synthetic T shirts and tights for paddling and kayaking to protect against the sun and reduce your need for sunscreen. An infinity scarf can also cover your face and scalp while snorkelling.
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Well organized!!

Paradise Islands

4.0
December 2016
Island Expeditions
Recommend: Yes
We traveled to Belize in Dec to get away from the old north to feel the warm breezes and warm waters of the south. We enjoyed the fresh fruits .Loved the kayaking and snorkeling. It was great fun to watch the stingrays float by in the water from the cabanas. Loved stopping on the reef for lunch before paddling.

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
Well organized

What was the highlight of your trip?:
SUP attempts was fun
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Loved the kayaking and snorkeling!!

Paradise Islands

4.0
December 2016
Island Expeditions
Recommend: Yes
We traveled to Belize in December to get away from the cold north , and to feel the warm breeze and warm water. Loved the kayaking and snorkeling The fresh melons and fruit were delicious as we do not get them fresh back home. We could watch the stingrays float by in the mornings from our cabanas. We stopped for lunch on the reef before paddling on.

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
Well organized

What was the highlight of your trip?:
Lunch on the reef in the water with our kayaks
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This was one of those trips of a lifetime!

Paradise Islands

5.0
December 2016
Island Expeditions
Recommend: Yes
This was one of those trips of a lifetime, filled with challenges as well as relaxation. The group provided lovely bonding and helping experiences in the blue waters. I would do this again and again and again!

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
I was looking for adventure and found it!

What was the highlight of your trip?:
The kayaking was invigorating and the snorkeling was blissfully serene. I loved the food and the exciting challenges of the life of adventure. Somewhere along the way, I lost the stress in my life. A blissful trip! I must return.

What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
Jump in! Get wet! Learn something new! Challenge yourself!
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The trip was all that it was advertised and I thoroughly enjoyed everything.

Paradise Islands

4.0
December 2016
Island Expeditions
Recommend: Yes
I have been on several very nice tropical kayaking themed trips over the past few years. I chose Belize this year because of the wide variety of activities and the ability to add extensions. I was not disappointed. The trip was all that it was advertised and I thoroughly enjoyed everything. The paddling great, the snorkeling even better. I tried kayak sailing, which I will do again and SUP, which I'm glad I did but probably won't do again. I'm 70 years old and I think I handled the physical stuff pretty good and never felt any pressure from the guides (or other guests) to keep up. I particularly enjoyed the rain forest extension.

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
I love to go on kayak based trips in the middle of winter here, but I am past the stage where I want to sleep on the ground. IE gave me that opportunity in a place I had not been before.

What was the highlight of your trip?:
The snorkeling

What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
Bring lots of sunscreen
Read more

Top Tour Operators and Travel Companies


Belize Trips & Tour Advice

Nestled into Central America just south of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, with an idyllic Caribbean coastline, Belize boasts the world's second largest barrier reef -- making it a prime spot for Scuba divers and snorkelers -- as well as thick interior jungles and Mayan ruins to explore. While it's a quick flight from the United States, Belize offers plenty in the way of exotic tropical attractions, outdoor adventure, and Mayan culture both old and new. A Belize tour will get you far beyond the beaches so you can discover the heart and soul of this beautiful and increasingly popular destination.

A Jungle Paradise

Belize boasts an idyllic locale in Central America, perched between Yucatan Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean Sea. Despite it's small size, the country packs a punch when it comes to adventure and cultural offerings. The long stretch of Caribbean coastline provides countless sandy cayes and beaches, many uninhabited for a lazy, island-hopping dream come true. The world's second longest barrier reef just offshore (home to the stunning Blue Hole) draws scuba divers and snorkelers worldwide. The interior of Belize is a tangle of jungle, with all of the adventure activities and wildlife viewing opportunities such a rich tropical forest entails. In fact, 60% of the country is covered in forest and more than 36% of the country is under some form of protected status. Eco-travel is possible and encouraged, from the UNESCO World Heritage reef on the coast to surprisingly luxurious eco-lodges in the rainforest.

Aside from the varied microclimates and topography, Belize is also a melting pot of people and languages. Soak up Latin American culture and history alongside laid-back Caribbean hospitality, with a touch of post-colonial influence from the UK (Belize was a British territory until 1981). The blend is intoxicating. English is the official language, but Belizean Creole, Garifuna, and Maya dialects are also widely spoken. The cuisine is a similar jumble of influence, brought to life with fresh seafood, salsas, rum, cacao, and tropical fruits.

Ancient History

The backbone of any trip to Belize is the extraordinary Mayan history of the area, once the epicenter of the ancient Maya civilization. Mayan influence courses throughout the country and is essential to its core. The captivating, crumbling ruin complexes spread throughout the interior are well worth a day trip - some of these mysterious cities and temples are said to be inspiration for the Indiana Jones films.

Belize is a multifaceted destination that offers something for everyone, from archeological splendors to cacao plantations. That aforementioned small size comes in handy -  this compact country is easy to navigate, meaning a staggering variety experiences can be had in a relatively short amount of time.

 

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