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Imagine a country with tropical beaches, coral shoals, cave formations, and exotic wildlife, a Caribbean atmosphere in Central America. You can happily engage yourself in Scuba diving, snorkeling, boating, and bird watching all day long. If you think such a country doesn’t exist in the map, you’d be mistaken. Belize is your country, one of the top tourist destinations in Central America.
You can always count this country among the top ecotourism destinations. Very few countries can match the natural diversity that it offers within a relatively small area. The people here are very friendly. Tourist visiting Belize can learn the Mayan cultures from numerous archaeological sites. Here we tried to build a list of favorite destinations for you in the tropical paradise.
Top Tourist Attractions in Belize:
10. Belize Zoo
Belize zoo is one of the remarkably vast zoos in the world. It is situated in a natural forest, 31 miles from Belize City and home for 125 animals. The zoo is also working as an intermediate place to move back the injured animals in nature.
The authority wants to educate visitors about Belize’s native wildlife. The animals are housed in spacious enclosures that closely resemble their natural habitats. If you’re an ammeter wildlife photographer, this should the best place to get excellent photographs of the animals.
9. Actun TunichilMuknal
ActunTunichil Muknal, also known as Xibalba or ATM locally is a famous cave in the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve near San Ignacio. Important as Maya archaeological site, the cave was discovered in 1992. It was featured on the National Geographic Explorer film, “Journey through the Underworld” subsequently.
As a sacred site for the Mayans, many evidence of pottery, ceramics, and stoneware, as well as several sets of human sacrificial are found here. The cave is closed for the tourists in the rainy season.
Xunantunich, an ancient Maya ruins are located atop a ridge above the Mopan River near San Ignacio. In Maya Xunantunich means “Stone Woman“, the place served as a Maya civic center. Most of its structures are dated back from 200 to 900 BC.
The site consists of a set of six plazas surrounded by more than 26 palaces and Mayan temples. The tallest structure in Xunantunich is 40 meters high pyramid “El Castillo” and after the temple at Caracol, it is the second tallest structure in Belize.
7. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
To protect the forests, fauna, and watersheds of an about 400 square kilometer area of the eastern slopes of the Maya Mountains, The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1990. It is one of the protected and biggest ecotourism destinations in Belize.
It is the first wild sanctuary for Jaguar and about 700 Jaguars are believed to live in the sanctuary. It’s an excellent environment for bird viewing, plant-spotting or seeking out other wildlife.
6. San Pedro Town
San Pedro is a town on the southern part of the island of Ambergris Caye in the Belize District. The town is very popular among the tourists for its tranquil nature and untold scenic beauty. The island gives a laid back relaxed feel. It was once only a sleepy fishing village.
Most people get around Ambergris Caye by simply on foot. Enough quality hotels in town and many resorts on the island are not more than a mile from the town. Many tourists love renting golf carts, a dominant form of transportation after bicycles.
Lamanai was once an important Maya city situated in northern Belize. Lamanai means “submerged crocodile” in Maya. Enough excavation is not yet done to uncover the ancient Maya ruins completely.
Archaeologists are still investigating and trying to restore the larger structures such as a 33 meter high, the High Temple. Until the Spanish arrived, it was occupied by the Maya.
Placencia, a popular peninsula in southern Belize has the best mainland beaches with an addition of some of the most amazing offshore coral caves. On the eastern side of the Placencia Peninsula, there is a long expanse of white sand beach.
On the western side is a long and narrow bay. The abundant, cheap accommodation, noiseless environment make it a great place to relax.
Caracol is the largest Maya site in Belize sitting high on the Vaca Plateau, 500 meters (1650 ft) above sea level. It is about168 square kilometers (65 mi²). Around 650 AD it had an estimated population of about 150,000.
It is almost more than twice as many people as Belize City has today. Canaa means Sky Place, is the largest step pyramid in Caracol (43 meter high) is still the tallest man-made structure in all of Belize.
2. Caye Caulker
Situated in the Caribbean Sea, Caye Caulker is a small coral island. It is accessible by small plane or high-speed water taxi. The island has become a top-rated tourist spot for backpackers as it is relatively cheap.
Moreover, the abundance of restaurants and bars and the laid-back vibe is definitely going to amaze you. On Caye Caulker, the main mode of transport is simply walking. Bicycles and golf carts can be rented too.
1. Great Blue Hole
The Great Blue Hole is one of the world’s best diving spots. It is a large submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize near the center of Lighthouse Reef. It offers divers interesting observations of limestone formations that mold its walls.
The massive sinkhole under the water creates a perfect circle of deep blue water. The divers discovered the more breathtaking the scenery as they dive deeper. Discovery Channel ranked the Great Blue Hole as number one on the list of “The 10 Most Amazing Places on Earth” In 2012.