Wondering why you should visit Belize during your next trip?
Tucked into a pristine pocket of the Caribbean between México and Guatemala, Belize is one of the last undiscovered gems of the world. One of my favorite destinations to date, the vivid colors, the laid-back, carefree Caribbean vibe, the lush jungles, the lively barrier reef, and the warm people of Belize stole my heart.
If you’re wondering if and why you should travel to Belize for your next vacation, I truly can’t think of a reason why not. But on the other hand, I can tell you a million reasons why you should go to Belize.
If you’re up for an adventure, if you want to explore a country that’s rich in natural beauty, culture, history, wildlife, and fun – and yet somehow so undiscovered – then look no further. Belize is more than worthy of your attention, your hard-earned cash, and your vacation days.
If it were up to me to decide your next travel destination, I’d choose Belize. Without hesitation. And I think you should too.
What’s so special about Belize? Allow me to fill you in. Here are the top 10 reasons why you should travel to Belize as soon as possible!
Why Visit Belize? 10 Reasons to Travel to Belize ASAP!
1. Endless adventure awaits.
Why visit Belize? No doubt, this tiny country is the adventure capital of Central America!
In the depths of the jungles, hiking, waterfall rappelling, cave spelunking, exploring Maya ruins, swimming in rainforest pools, zip-lining, and wildlife spotting are a few of the ways to fill your time… and spike your adrenaline!
Meanwhile, out in the deep blue Caribbean, you can go snorkeling or scuba diving, fishing, kayaking, or boating from one white-sand caye to the next. Just to name a few!
Read my post on the 26 Amazing Things to Do in Belize for more ideas!
Top adventures & ATTRACTIONS to experience in Belize:
- Great Blue Hole & Barrier Reef Helicopter Tour
- Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave Spelunking Tour
- Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley Snorkel Tour
2. The snorkeling/diving is the best in the world.
The beauty of Belize’s Barrier Reef Reserve System blew my mind – and it will yours too!
At 370 square miles in area, this reef is the second-largest barrier reef in the world (after the Great Barrier Reef), but it’s, by far, the most impressive. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was once classified as endangered, overflows with exotic marine life and brilliant coral.
Not to mention, the Blue Hole is one of the most amazing places to experience – from the air in a helicopter or by snorkeling/scuba diving. The Blue Hole is a giant sinkhole that opens up into an underwater cavern – the perfect place to see sharks and other fascinating deep-sea marine life.
Personally, I’ve explored underwater at some of the world’s greatest snorkeling and diving spots (including in Indonesia, Australia, and Thailand), but nowhere compares to Belize. We saw so many sea creatures – including manatees, rainbow parrotfish, seahorses, stingrays, sea turtles, and lobsters – and had one of the best days ever out at sea!
Check out my post on 26 Bucket List-Worthy Things to Do in Belize for more Belize travel inspiration
TOP SNORKELING & DIVING TOURS:
- Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley Snorkel Tour
- Snorkel and Island Experience at Laughing Bird Caye National Park
- Hol Chan Full-Day Bucket List Snorkeling and Marine Life Tour
3. Wildlife and nature abound.
From jaguars, pumas, and ocelots to toucans, howler monkeys, and vipers, the rainforests teem with exotic and rare wildlife.
More than half of Belize is covered in jungle, and there are countless national parks, nature preserves, and wildlife sanctuaries to discover and hike through. My favorites are the Mayflower Bocawina National Park and the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Trust me, don’t miss them!
As you explore, keep your eyes peeled and your ears open to the sights and sounds of the rainforest, and you may be lucky enough to see the ever-elusive jaguar in its natural habitat. Especially if you go at dawn!
4. The natural beauty is unparalleled.
Belize is one of the most abundantly beautiful and unspoiled natural treasures on the planet – on land and under the sea!
I can’t think of many places (if any) that rival Belize’s natural beauty. The vibrant colors and stunning vistas are unparalleled, boundless. I’m talking about the lush green rainforests, the brilliant sunrises over glistening waters, the white sandy cayes, and thousands of palm trees blowing in the wind. The deep, freshwater jungle pools and gushing waterfalls. The rainbows of fish swirling around living coral. The clearest, most turquoise sea you’ve ever laid eyes on. All of it.
So, you ask, why should you go to Belize? That is why.
5. It may be small, but it’s culturally rich.
You may be surprised to learn that Belize is home to many different ethnic groups, including Creole, East Indian, Garifuna, Maya, Mestizo, Mennonite, and even Chinese and Lebanese. Each group brought with them their own cultures, traditions, dances, cuisines, and languages. Belize may be small, but it is culture-packed!
So while the official language in Belize is English, you’ll probably hear Maya or Spanish or Chinese as you travel through the country, and you’ll have the opportunity to learn about many different cultures and try lots of new food!
6. There’s a destination for every kind of traveler.
Whether you are looking for a luxurious beach vacation, an immersive cultural experience, an adventurous expedition, or all of the above, Belize has you covered.
The best way to experience the beauty of Belize is at an ecolodge! If you want to immerse yourself in nature – hike by day, wake to the howler monkeys’ screech, and sleep to the sounds of cicadas – book yourself into an ecolodge. The three most renowned ecolodges in Belize are the Belize Rainforest Retreat at Chaa Creek, the Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge, and the Table Rock Jungle Lodge.
Go to Ambergris Caye (a 25-mile-long island) for water sports, scuba diving, beach bars, stunning coastal views, and bright blue waters. It’s touristy, but for good reason. Book your stay in Ambergris Caye here.
Back on the mainland, Hopkins is known as the friendliest seaside village in Belize. Go to experience the amazing Garifuna people, authentic local culture, and rustic village vibes. My favorite place! The local food is fantastic and it’s a great spring-off location to explore the mainland and jungle. Find the best deals on Hopkins accommodation here!
Visit Caye Caulker to relax and drink a few cold Belikins; their motto is “go slow” after all. This is Ambergris Caye’s smaller, less-visited island sister. A must on your itinerary. Click here for the best prices on Caye Caulker hotels.
An hour’s drive south of Hopkins is Placencia, a charming, sleepy fishing village with emerald waters and sandy beaches. The food (and specifically, the seafood) here is local and delicious. Click here to find the best deals on hotels in Placencia.
7. There are many Maya ruins to discover.
Belize is home to a handful of wondrous ancient Maya archaeological sites that you shouldn’t miss. Xunantunich, Caracol, and Cahal Pech are my top three picks, in that order.
Belize’s richest history lies with the ancient Maya, so make sure you carve out time to visit at least one of these sites during your trip to Belize.
Plus, if you have extra time, you can easily drive across the border into beautiful Guatemala to discover more Maya sites – including Tikal, home of the tallest and most impressive pre-Columbian structure in the Americas.
P.S. I highly recommend hiring a car to get around – that way, you can see all the ruins and explore all of the nature parks and rainforest as you wish.
8. Belizean food is absolutely delicious.
The cuisine of Belize is a melting pot, just like its population. Each ethnic group brought their unique cooking styles, traditions, and techniques, making Belize’s cuisine super flavorful and totally unique. Rich in color, spice, and cultural-backgrounds, most foods in Belize have melded together and are now just considered pan-Belizean food.
But since Belize borders México, you may be familiar with some of Belize’s Maya- and Mestizo-influenced dishes – like tamales, cochinita pibil, and salbutes (which are like Mexican tostadas).
Other dishes you’ll come across in Belize are the Caribbean classic rice and beans, which is often paired with stew chicken, potato salad, or fish; tender stew chicken, cooked low and slow in broth with plenty of local spices; chimole, AKA “black dinna”, a soup made with a host of roasted-until-black spices and ancho chilis; and ceviche, made with fresh-caught seafood.
9. Belize travel is not very touristy.
I can count on one hand how many people I know who have been to Belize. Chances are, you can do the same. Even though the official language is English, they take US dollars, and it’s quick and easy to travel to Belize from the United States, Belize flies under most travelers’ radars.
To be frank, I think it’s because Belize isn’t as affordable as neighboring countries, and it’s not exactly easy to get around either, due to lack of infrastructure and abundant potholes. Not to mention, Belize has a reputation for being dangerous (more on that below).
However, for me, the absence of mass tourism a huge part of Belize’s allure!
Unspoiled beaches, lush jungles, rich and authentic culture, endless adventure, pristine reefs, friendly locals, delicious food, and uncrowded Maya ruins all await you in Belize. Without thousands of other travelers! You just have to be adventurous enough to book the ticket and go.
10. It’s a lot safer than you might think.
You may have heard that Belize is not safe. And while it’s true that Belize has a high crime rate, you need to understand that most of the crime is gang-related and happens within certain parts of Belize City and Belmopan city– not in the heavily touristed areas of Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Hopkins, Placencia, etc.
Don’t let the media and hearsay deter you. Like anywhere else in Central America (or the world, for that matter), Belize is safe, as long as you stay smart and vigilant! Don’t be flashy, stay in the tourist areas, do some research before you go, and don’t let your guard down too much. If you do those things, you will be fine! More than fine, really, because if you go to Belize, you are in for the trip of a lifetime!
Why Visit Belize? 10 Reasons You Should Go to Belize
I could go on forever, but those are my top 10 reasons why you should travel to Belize!
I mean, I barely discussed the incredible hikes (the hikes are seriously spectacular) and didn’t even mention the music, dancing, or Garifuna Settlement Day! But something tells me, I don’t need to go on. I hope that you’re convinced by my top 10 reasons to visit Belize.
Belize is one of the most beautiful, adventurous, and culturally rich places on the planet. But don’t take my word for it. Book the vacation. Go on an unforgettable adventure. Then you will understand how amazing this country, and the Belizean people, truly are.
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Tucked into a pristine pocket of the Caribbean between México and Guatemala, Belize is one of the last undiscovered gems of Central America – and the world. To the east, are warm Caribbean waters and the Belize Barrier Reef. Guatemala is west of Belize, and México is north, but Belize feels a world away, with a totally unique cultural background, food, and lifestyle.
No, Belize is not in Mexico. Belize is a small Central American country bordering Mexico to the south.