Belize. The main sights of the country

Belize’s 18 Best Sights

Lush rainforests, unspoiled beaches, ancient Mayan cities, flora and fauna, and the long barrier reef (the second largest in the world) are by no means a complete list of attractions that draw travelers to Belize.

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belis

Things to do in Belize

Sandwiched between Mexico and Guatemala, the tiny and eclectic country of Belize has become a popular tourism destination in Central America. For a beach vacation, it has snow-white sand, blue water, and comfortable temperatures year-round. On the coast are hotels of varying levels of comfort, many working on an all-inclusive system.

Fans of scuba diving, diving, surfing and fishing choose one of the many islands. Almost every piece of land has a base with equipment and experienced instructors.

Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America.

Archaeologists estimate that more than a million Mayans lived in modern Belize and flourished in the Classic period from 300 to 900 AD. Temples and ruins of ancient cities await history buffs and archaeologists. In addition to ruins, Belize has one of the most complex cave systems in Central America – a veritable treasure trove of geological and archaeological wonders.

It is a nature lover’s paradise. Belize is home to rare wildlife, and 40% of the land is classified as a protected area. It is home to many species of plants, birds, amphibians, reptiles and sea creatures. And Belize is also the only country in the world with a jaguar sanctuary.

Natural attractions

The Great Blue Hole and Barrier Reef

barierni rif

Belize’s natural attractions attract thousands of tourists and diving enthusiasts. Jacques-Yves Cousteau made the Blue Hole famous in 1972, placing it in the top 10 places to explore the underwater world and diving. It appeared as a result of flooding a system of limestone caves. Here you can watch the life of nurse sharks and reef sharks.

The Belize Barrier Reef itself, where the “blue hole” is located, is protected by UNESCO. Each year more than 130 thousand travelers come here attracted by the unique ecosystem, blue waters, rare species of marine animals and karst cave.

Aktun Tunichil Muknal

aktun tunichil

Translated from the local language, the name of this attraction translates as “Crystal Girl Cave”. It is located near the town of San Ignacio. Inside the cave are several other small caves and grottoes, many of which are half-filled with water.

Aktun Tunichil Muknal is also an archaeological site that preserves traces of Mayan life. Several skeletons were found here, among them children’s skeletons. They are covered with salt crystals and look as if they were crystal. The most famous find is the remains of a girl who was sacrificed by the Maya.

Kay Caulker.

kei kolker

On a small island 33 kilometers from Belize City, tourists come in search of tranquility, and the locals (only 500 people) do not interfere with them in this.

Recreation on Caye Colquaire is so secluded that everyone can feel part of the unique nature. Vacationers come to the island to go snorkeling or to admire pelicans in the sunshine.

Rio Hondo River

reka rio ondo

The largest river in the country, which is 150 kilometers long. It is the natural border between the two states of Belize and Mexico. Since ancient times, the river has been used to float clear-cut timber. Nowadays, such fishing is prohibited in order to preserve the favorable ecological situation in the region.

Archaeologists have uncovered several settlements along the coast of the river that are attributed to the Maya civilization, who lived there long before Columbus discovered the continent.

Ambergris Caye.

ambergis kei

The largest island of Belize stretches 40 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide. The island owes its unusual name to the enthusiast who first discovered that large quantities of ambergris, a valuable product of sperm whales, were adhering to its shores.

Initially, there was no one here except fishermen. However, since the 70s the first tourists began to appear on the island. They realized that the largest reef, located in the western hemisphere, was only 200 meters away.

Reserves

Crooked Tree.

kruked tree

The most famous nature reserve in Belize, which is home to a wide variety of birds. It is very well located – around four lagoons, forty kilometers from the town of Orange Wolf. To get here, you can book a canoe tour and use the services of a guide.

A rare representative of the Crooked Tree is the Brazilian yabiru stork. Not only tourists, but also ornithologists come here to see it.

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Baboon

baboon

To get acquainted with rare species of animals you can visit the Babun Reserve, which is located 30 km from Belize City. It was opened at the initiative of local farmers. It is here you can see the most famous monkey – the black howler monkey. The reserve is also home to iguanas, cougars, 200 species of exotic birds, as well as the endangered river turtle.

Visitors to the park can book a hike or rent a canoe to travel on the rushing Belize River. The reserve can be reached with a guided tour or by bus from Belize City.

Coxcomb

koskomb

The main value of this park is the South American jaguar, a population that the creators of Coxcombe are committed to preserving. The reserve is also home to a large number of Red List plants. Also, scientists regularly organize ornithological studies on the territory of Kokscombe.

It takes half an hour to get to the reserve from the town of Stan Creek. But not all of the park is open to the public – some areas, particularly the densely forested ones, are forbidden to view.

City attractions

Belize City

belis siry

The former capital of Belize was built back under the British colonizers. It is the largest city in the state, divided by the Owlover River into two parts – south and north. A bridge spans the river, with beautiful waterfronts on both sides.

Among the attractions of the ex-capital is St. John’s Cathedral, a temple that was built back in the colonial era. It is considered the oldest church in Central America (its construction began in the XIX century). Tourists are also interested in the ancient cemetery on the territory of the cathedral.

Travelers often visit the Supreme Court Building and Battle Field Park, the Belize Museum, and Fort George.

Belmopan

belmopan

A small tranquil town – the current capital of Belize. The development of Belmopan was engaged in the 70s of last century. For 12 years there appeared absolutely all the attractions, which now attract tourists.

In Belmopan one visits the National Assembly building on Independence Hill, the University, and the market. It does not take more than an hour to see all the sights.

San Ignacio Cayo

san ignasio

The capital of the Cayo district is located on the coast of the Macal River. Next door to San Ignacio is another small polis, Santa Elena. The two towns so harmoniously coexist that the boundaries between them are not noticeable.

The bridge over the Hawksworth River is worth seeing in San Ignacio. Tourists are also eager to see the ancient Mayan ruins – the remains of the city of Cahal Pech, Shunantunich and Caracol.

Image Factory Gallery of Contemporary Art

galery sovr isk

The gallery was founded in 1995 in Belize City. Art connoisseurs are sure to enjoy exhibits by contemporary artists and sculptors in the state. The staff often hosts exhibitions and open receptions with creative groups and painters. Guests are served cocktails and offered the services of a tour guide.

On the territory of the gallery there are small stores that sell memorable souvenirs, books and gifts.

Ancient Monuments

Kahal Pech.

kahal pech

The Cajal Pech complex is located in the Belize Valley, not far from San Ignacio. The ancient settlement was abandoned by people in the IX century for unknown reasons. It was not until the 1950s that archaeologists found it.

On the territory of the oldest city of the Maya civilization, which occupies more than 25 square kilometers, there are 34 buildings: temples, baths, palaces, residential and farm buildings. A ball field has also been discovered. Most of the ruins are available to tourists for free visits.

Karakol

karakol

The archaeological monument was discovered by lumberjacks in the 1930s. One of the oldest Mayan settlements was once home to more than 140,000 people. Many caches, tombs, dams, bathhouses, residential structures and a unique irrigation system were discovered at the site of the ruins.

Caracol is located in the Cayo area in the southern part of Belize. The scale of buildings impresses even our contemporaries by its size and architecture: only the city area in diameter reached 20 kilometers. The ancient city itself exceeds the area of the modern capital of Belize.

There is a museum on the territory of the complex, where travelers can get acquainted with the most important and interesting artifacts: jade ornaments, a collection of ceramics and weapons.

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Altun-Ha

altun ha

On the territory of the archaeological site is the famous “Temple of Stone Altars,” the image of which has become the trademark of local beer. Before archaeologists arrived, locals used the stone blocks of the ancient settlement to build the settlement of Rockstone Pond.

The beginning of excavations in 1965 helped stop the plundering and destruction of the Mayan settlement, which allowed several outstanding discoveries about the life of the civilization and the discovery of unique artifacts. One of them became a national treasure of Belize, a huge jade image of the sun deity.

Quayo

kueio

On the high ground between the Rio Hondo and the New River, west of Orange Walk, are the ruins of one of the oldest settlements of the Maya civilization. The name of the area itself came from the name of the owner of the farm, which was located nearby.

According to archaeologists, the first settlers came here in 2500 BC. On the territory of the ancient city were found unique temples, pyramids, palaces, residential buildings and burials. Cuejo is the first Mayan settlement where clay was used to plaster the walls during the construction of buildings.

The jewelry, pottery, gems and pearls found in the excavations have become worthy exhibits in Belizean museums.

Lamanai

lamanai

The ruins of one of the oldest settlements and ceremonial centers. Its name is translated from the Mayan language as “drowned crocodile”. Lamanai is located 60 km from the capital of Belize. Unlike its other cities, the Maya left it only in the XVI-XVII centuries, when the Spaniards landed on the coast.

It is recommended to start exploring the territory from the Temple of the Jaguar, which resembles a predator’s grin in its outline. The High Temple, which is located a short distance away, is also not to be missed. From the top of this pyramid there is an unforgettable view of the river and the lush jungle that hides it from the eyes of outsiders. Travelers conclude their itinerary with a visit to the Temple of the Mask, where a stone bas-relief of a huge head strikes the imagination.

Shunantunich

shanantunich

The main attraction of the ancient Mayan settlement of the Classic period is the pyramid of El Castillo, 40 meters high. You can find the monument 130 km from Belize City, on the top of a ridge, with an impressive view of the valley of the Mopan River.

According to archaeologists, the temple was built in two phases and was the center of the city. The stepped terraces are decorated with fine stucco and the surviving bas-reliefs depict the birth of God, the royal family and the Tree of Life. Only the elite and the ruling caste could come here and make sacrifices.

Belize sights

Belize is a small state located in South America on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. Tourists will find an azure coast, sandy beaches and unusual attractions. Diving enthusiasts can dive and see the coral reefs, and wishing to be part of ancient history, visit the ancient cities of the Maya tribe. Once the city of the same name was the capital of this country, but then the center of Belize made Belmopan. This corner of paradise is home to 360,000 people. Founded by simple English sailors, the tourist town awaits visitors all year round and offers an unforgettable vacation for the whole family.

It’s interesting! There are hundreds of islands around this state and wealthy people have the opportunity to buy any of them. This country was once called British Ganduras, so the locals speak English. The locals love to party, so plan your trip with the holiday calendar in mind.

Festivals and Holidays Belize

Baron Bliss Day

San Ignacio Easter Market

Commonwealth Day

Costa Maya International Festival

Deer Dance Festival

Tip! Arriving in Belize is worth celebrating with this country’s national drink. Try the local rum home production. It comes in light and dark.

Belize City

The first capital of the state, which was once a colonial English center in the territory. The city is divided into two parts by a drawbridge. In the historic center you can see ancient palaces and monuments, and in the new part there is a waterfront. Infrastructure throughout the state is not as developed as we would like, but tourists will be interesting to visit the local pubs.

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Tourists will be especially impressed by the dense jungle that surrounds the city. There are more than 4,000 species of unique plants in Belize.

Belmopan

This city was declared the new capital of Belize in 1980. The city was built from the ground up. The relocation of the capital was due to the fact that Belize City was often attacked by hurricanes. Once Belmopan was a few small settlements. The hamlets were merged into one center and rebuilt. The capital is home to attractions such as: the bus terminal, the Bank of Belize, the flea market, and the University of Belize.

Particular attention should be paid to the National Assembly building on Independence Hill.

San Ignacio

Belize is divided into several districts. San Ignacio is the center of Cayo, which is located on the banks of the Macal River. The blossoming city connects to another settlement called Santa Elena. A unique attraction of this place is an ancient cave where ritual ceremonies were once held.

Near the city are the ruins of the Mayan cities.

Cathedral

The Cathedral of St. John was built in 1800 and adorns the former capital of Belize. Tourists will be interested to see this unique structure. The original architectural designs and mahogany stained glass windows give away the talent of the local craftsmen. The visitors can sit on the carved wooden benches that are more than two centuries old.

Opening time: from 9 am to 6 pm.

Entrance is free.

The Cathedral was illuminated by the Archbishop of Wales.

The Great Blue Hole.

The Great Blue Hole was first explored by the famous Jacques Cousteau. Funnel with a diameter of 300 meters and a depth of 120 meters has a perfect shape. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The dive will ensure a meeting with not only rare species of fish, but also with reef sharks. The cost of the dive is 10 euros.

You can take a plane flight to see this natural wonder from a bird’s eye view.

KahalPeche

The most mysterious of the ancient Mayan cities. It is located on a high hill overlooking Santa Elena and San Ignacio. Archaeologists have found 34 stone objects. The structures of the ancient kingdom date back to 300 B.C. The sacred book says that the ancient Indians left this city in 900 AD.

Opening hours : 6 am to 6 pm.

Ticket price : 5 euros.

The ancient city is framed by dense jungle.

Belize Barrier Reef

The largest barrier reef in the Atlantic Ocean is located on the territory of Belize. Along the coast stretches a series of coral reefs 280 kilometers long. Tourists are attracted by a large number of diving centers, which are located on the coast. If you rent a boat, you can visit the small islands that are near and visit the marine reserve Hol Chan.

The best place to dive is the island of Ambergris.

Dangriga

The city is located off the coast of the Caribbean Sea and is famous for its beautiful beaches and clear waters. Developed infrastructure allows tourists to diversify their vacation with a mass of entertainment. You can rent a bungalow on the beach or a room in a cozy hotel. From the port go sightseeing boats that will take guests to the coral reefs.

The most popular beach is called Pelican Beach.

Baboon Reserve.

Belize is a tropical country, where most of the territory occupied by the jungle and wildlife reserves. Baboon allows tourists to get acquainted with the flora and fauna of the local forests. The reserve houses more than 4,000 rare plants and trees. About 1,000 species of birds and mammals. The protected area is located 30 kilometers from the capital. In addition to the tropical forests tourists can visit the local farms.

Opening hours: 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Ticket price : 5 euros.

The country of Belize has long been concerned with the protection of jaguars.

Crooked Tree Reserve

This reserve is famous for the diversity of rare birds. It is located in a swampy area, and surrounded by lagoons. The trails are difficult to follow, so hiking through the reserve will require strength and comfortable footwear. Only in this protected area you can meet the endangered species of the Brazilian yabiru stork. The reserve is 40 kilometers from the town of Orange Wolf. You can get there by canoe down the river.

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Working hours : 8 am to 4:30 pm.

Ticket price : 5 euros.

If you plan to travel in Belize by car, keep in mind that gasoline is very expensive there.

Karakol

Caracol is one of the most popular Mayan sites which was found by local lumberjacks. There was once an entire city here, but only this pyramid has survived. Locals call it Caana. Its height is 45 meters, and the occupied area exceeds 30 square meters. The heyday of this city dates back to 700 AD. It was once home to over 200,000 people.

Opening hours : 8 am to 5 pm.

Ticket price : 10 euros, children free.

The best time to visit this attraction is from December to April.

Altun-Ha

The Altun-Ha is an ancient temple of the God of the Sun, which was worshipped by the Maya. The pyramid was built in 250 BC. Next to the structure are several temples. They are located on the square of the Stone Altar. The ruins of the ancient city were noticed by a local pilot in 1963, when he flew over in an airplane. The temple of the god of the sun in the height of 16 meters. Archaeologists are still excavating the place.

Opening hours: from 8 am to 6 pm.

Ticket price : 5 euros.

The most valuable artifact found in the temple, the head of the Indian god of the Sun, is kept in the local museum.

The Crystal Girl Cave

The famous cave is located in a park area called Mount Tatira. A tour of this attraction can be a real adventure. The cave has many ramifications, so it is easy to get lost in it. Some are completely flooded by water, while others hold relics and artifacts. During the excavations, archaeologists found several skeletons. They were covered with salt and well preserved.

Working time: from 9 am to 6 pm.

Ticket price: 80 euros.

Remember that the caves allow a limited number of tourists per day, so you need to sign up for a tour in advance.

This is interesting! The local currency is the Belgian dollar, it’s only 10 cents cheaper than the American dollar. The small state lives apart. The coat of arms bears the inscription, “I thrive in the shade.”

Lamanai

The name of the ruins of the ancient city translates as “underwater crocodile”. Lamanai is located near the town of Orange Walk. The ruins are located on the shore of the ocean, making it even more impressive for visitors. Archaeological evidence shows that the city existed as early as 1,500 BC. The ancient ruins are open to tourists around the clock and can be visited for free.

It is in these ruins is the temple of the Mask.

Quayo

Quayo is located near Orange Walk, just like the Lamanai ruins, only to the west of the city. Life was boiling in this area as far back as 2,000 B.C. The ruins are named after the farmers who now live in the surrounding area. Archaeologists have found the first Mayan burials here. The ruins are on private property, so to view them, you will have to get permission from the owners and negotiate a price.

Traces of the ancient Mayan Mesoamerican society have been found in these ruins.

Cajal Pech

The ruins of the city of Cahal Pech are located in San Ignacio. They are located in a valley near the Macal and Mopan rivers. The oldest buildings in the city date back to 1,000 B.C. The ancient arched architecture still arouses the curiosity of historians. There are several ruined temples, playgrounds where children presumably once played and bathing-places within the ancient city.

Opening hours : 6 am to 6 pm.

Ticket price : 5 euros.

Archaeological excavations are still going on.

Shunantunich

This archaeological site is located near Cayo on the top of a ridge. You can get there in an hour from the capital of Belize. It was here that the ancient Maya performed rituals and worshipped their gods. Tourists are taken to the monument on the river, so it is worth asking the boatman when he sails back. Entrance to the top of the ridge is free, and the boatman will take from 1 to 3 euros for the ride.

Operating hours are from 8 am to 3 pm.

There are souvenir shops at the boat park.

Belize Zoo

The capital’s zoo is located in the central part of Belmopan. Its construction was started in 1983. The zoo contains the rarest species of animals and birds of the rainforest. Tourists who have been here advise not to spare money for a guide, he tells fascinating stories about all the inhabitants of the zoo. There are no cages, but only spacious pens, allowing the animals to live in their natural habitat.

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Opening hours : from 9:30 to 5 pm.

Ticket price : 15 euros.

There are some documentaries about the rainforest and its inhabitants that were filmed here.

Maritime Museum

The museum exhibition tells the history of seafaring and shipping in this amazing region. It is located in the center of the capital. The museum is divided into several halls. One displays ancient canoes, the other the main vessels of the Mayan settlement. There is a separate pavilion with decorative seashells and nautical maps.

Opening time: from 9 am to 6 pm.

Ticket price : 3 euros.

At the entrance is a huge anchor that encourages every tourist to take a photo.

A handicraft exhibition

Another museum exhibition in the center of the capital tells about the local craftsmen. This exhibition is called “The Pearl of the Caribbean”. The exhibition complex began its work in 1996. The exposition presents pieces of furniture and household items, handmade dolls, books and original postcards made of wood. You can buy jewelry made of coral. The art gallery displays the work of local artists.

Opening hours: from 9 am to 5 pm.

Entrance is free.

You can buy souvenirs made of black coral.

National Museum

The building was built for three years by the British and was opened in 1857. The room did not become a national museum right away. At first it was used as a prison. The museum is located on the coast of the Caribbean Sea. Most of the exhibits talk about the ancient Mayan people. Of particular value are the ancient jewelry with precious stones.

Working hours: from 9 am to 16:30. Day off: Sunday, Monday.

Ticket price : 9 euros.

The museum is surrounded by a flower greenhouse.

Battlefield Park.

The park area was founded in 1638. Previously, the central square of the park was used for political movements. Visitors can walk through the well-groomed alleys or relax on a bench under the tree crowns. The park area is equipped with a concert stage where celebrations take place. National food and refreshments can be purchased in the park.

The park is especially beautiful at Christmas, when locals decorate it with original garlands.

Fort George

Fort George is the name of the peninsula where the old lighthouse stands. The waterfront is considered a great place to walk, and the old buildings of architectural value tell the story of the place. Nearby is the Memorial Park. It was opened in honor of those who died during World War I. A striking attraction of the fort is the monument to Baron Bliss.

Tourists often use the lighthouse as an observation deck.

KeyColker

A small picturesque island is located 30 kilometers from the capital of Belize. It is a great place for those who want to relax in the lap of nature from the bustle of the city. Sandy beach and crystal clear water attracts more and more tourists. There are only 500 inhabitants of the village and more than twice as many tourists. Of infrastructure: a few stores and hotels.

It is worth taking a snorkeling tour or watching the pelicans that arrive at sunset.

Ambergris Caye.

This is the largest island of all that Belize opens. The island owes its name to the gray ambergris, which is abundant on the coast. The place was once a fishing village, but is now considered a center of tourism. The island offers a lot of entertainment: nightclubs, discos, foam parties and music festivals. The trip from the capital to the island takes about two hours.

[/stextbox] Это интересно! В переводе с древнего языка Майя Белиз означает «мутная вода». Несмотря на это, местный лазурный берег прозрачен и чист. Идеальное место для дайвера. [/stextbox]

Belize Hotels

Double Room Description

Free parking, Internet, air conditioning, swimming pool. Restaurant, bar, free breakfast. Pets allowed.

Free parking, internet, air conditioning, pool. Restaurant.

Free parking, Internet, air conditioning. Restaurant, bar.

Advice! Remember that corals, orchids and stones from ancient cities are prohibited to take out of this country. Also tourists are not allowed to do underwater fishing with rifles.

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