Home Travel Ideas Belize: The Caribbean’s Hidden Jewel

Belize: The Caribbean’s Hidden Jewel

by Aswini Vadapalli

Most guides will point you to the British Virgin Islands as the destination of choice for the perfect Caribbean cruise. While that may be true, the problem with popular tourist destinations is that they’re almost always overcrowded during peak seasons, to the point that you may have to anchor by mid-day just to secure a comfortable spot. Too many people, too much time wasted on waiting instead of relaxing. This is far from the picture most tourists have in mind when visiting the caribbean. Belize is a wonderful alternative to the British Virgin Islands for many reasons.

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef 

If the crystal-clear Caribbean waters aren’t enough to charm you, the aquamarine sea found around the cayes and the offshore barrier reef definitely will. A rich diversity of sea creatures can be found here, and visitors don’t even need to get in the water to admire the beauty of the reef. However, it should be noted that it’s important to be careful with your yacht and you should dock only at secure moorings like these ones from Emerald Landing.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve 

The Hol Chan Marine Reserve is perfect for people who enjoy snorkeling and diving. The marine reserve holds a wide variety of fish, and other sea creatures, and visitors can partake in other recreational activities such as kayaking, sailing, paddleboarding, and kite surfing.

Placencia Lagoon 

The Placencia Lagoon features a long stretch of golden-sand beaches that are perfect for lazy strolls, tanning, and swimming. Take note that these are public beaches. Those who want more privacy can opt to travel to the remote island on Hunting Caye in the Sapodillas, where you can find the half-moon beach, which is also home to nesting turtles.

Mayan Ruins 

Not many people are aware of the fact that Belize also houses Mayan ruins. In fact, Belize was once the center of the Mundo Maya, which is a region known to hold many historic remnants, natural wonders, and archaeological wonders of the ancient Mayans. Some points of interest that you might want to visit are Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, and Caracol. Visitors can also take a boat tour of Lamanai.

Barton’s Cave 

Barton’s Cave can be found along the canoe route of the Cayo district. The route takes you through an inner chamber of the cave on your canoe to give visitors a glimpse of the Mayan underworld, which makes it a perfect destination for those who want to go on a spelunking adventure. Just be sure that you’re properly equipped for the trek. 

Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve 

The Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve is an expansive pine first that’s abundant in waterfalls, Mayan ruins, caves, and natural pools. Even when the reserve suffered a pine beetle infestation two decades ago, the nature reserve still retains its splendor and is still one of the best spots to visit in western Belize.

Most people assume that a trip to the Caribbean is expensive. That’s usually true, but you don’t have to spend top-dollar to experience the best that the Caribbean has to offer. You need only to take time to look for the hidden gems in your destination. Belize is one of the few places in the Caribbean that remains affordable.

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