Besides the fact that there is a massive blue hole out in the ocean, Belize has not really made it onto our radar before visiting it as a part of our world trip and travelling through Latin America. Our view on this country changed dramatically after a couple of days as Belize is a true underwater paradise.
1. Go snorkeling in Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Hands down, one of the best snorkeling spots worldwide. You will see more underwater life than on any dives you can possible do. And trust us, we have seen a lot.
Holan Chan is Mayan and means little channel. The 18km2 area and its marine life is heavily protected, hence underwater life is more than flourishing. You will see nurse sharks, manta rayes, big turtles, swarms of huge fishes, and in our opinion the intact coral gardens possible.
Snorkeling tours can either be booked from San Pedro or Caye Caulker, and cost you approximately 60 USD for a full-day trip including 5 different snorkeling spots.
2. Go snorkeling or diving at the Silk Cayes near Placencia
The Silk Cayes are three tiny islands that are surrounded by an incredible colorful reef. And by tiny we mean that you can literally walk around the whole main island in like 15 seconds. From Placencia, the hotspot for all kinds of diving located south of Belize City, it is only 60 minutes away by boat. Read our article here to get more details on the epic diving we did there and how to even get an opportunity to spot whale sharks.
3. Take a sailing trip from Caye Caulker or stay at a remote island resort around the reef
The highlight of Belize is definitely the incredible reef which stretches along the whole coastline of the country. If you want to check out the remote islands, avoid other tourists and basically have no idea what to do else with your money – this is the trip for you. If you got the hint, we did not do it, since prices seem unrealistically high. Like 400 USD for a 3D2N trip including staying in dorms.
4. Go see the Blue Hole
To really get the vast beauty of this place, you either have to take a helicopter flight, which will set your travel budget back by 500 USD, or take a boat there and fly a drone. And if you don’t have a drone, we suggest you make a friend quickly that does.
The blue hole is surrounded by two small islands, where you can have your lunch break on if you go diving or snorkeling. Snorkeling trips leave from Caye Caulker and cost around 260 USD. Diving is double. At the diving trips, you have the amazing experience to see the majestic stalactites and also highly likely to get to see some sharks.
5. Visit the Belizian Maya temples
If you are not into watersport, there is only one inland highlight in this country to visit. Belize is known as the epicenter of the ancient Maya world and was the home of more than 2 million Mayas. Today there are many Mayan temples that you can visit; Caracol is the biggest one and Xunantunich is the second tallest temple in all of Belize.
Nevertheless and important to know, you can also find other beautiful Maya temples in Guatemala and México for cheaper entrance fees. So if you are also visiting those countries, we would probably recommend you to skip it.
To conclude, as the whole article is mainly about snorkeling and diving, you probably get the idea what Belize mainly is about. To be honest, if you are not into these two things or willing to spend your money on it, than we would not recommend you to visit this country after all.
Due to long stretching reef none of the islands have real beaches; they are all man-made and filled up by artificial sand. Belize is also dealing with lots of economic issues and missing infrastructure. For example, there is no mail delivery, places have no address and prices for basic things like groceries are insanely high as the Chinese reign all the markets. Due to those issues and the popularity of the reef, the prices in the country exploded, while still having a fairly low or even lower standard compared to all the other Latin American countries.