Cosa vedere in Belize

What to see in Belize: jungle, Mayan ruins and coral reef

Nestled between Mexico, Guatemala and the sparkling Caribbean Sea, the Belize occupies a slice of heaven made even tastier by the strong presence of traditional culturewildlife and a wonderful offer of archaeological sites. And to make this heritage even more interesting, it should be remembered that many of these ancient vestiges are found in the jungle. And it’s easy to understand the thrill of discovering these ancient cities immersed in the iridescent greenery of the rainforest. A famous example, one of the first on the list of what to see in Belize is caracol.

Its time-worn temples and stone pyramids stand as a powerful reminder of the grandeur of the Mayan civilization who inhabited these lands. Which then, over the centuries, with the colonial invasions, became known as British Honduras.

History and lots of nature. Above and below the water

The story is fascinating, we said it. But most travelers to Belize are in search of its natural wonders protected by, among other things, careful conservation work. The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary it was the first natural park dedicated, for example, to the protection of the jaguar.

The island of Half Moon Caye was entirely devoted to bird conservation. And the barrier Reef of Belize is home to an amazing catalog of colorful sea ​​life. Visitors can thus swim with sharks or admire the expanses of multicolored corals without forgetting what is one of the first items in the long list of things to see in Belize: the Great Blue Hole, one of the most famous dive sites in the world. So much to be World Heritage Site.

What to see in Belize

What to see in Belize: mix of peoples and cultures

The inhabitants of Belize they are few: just 335,000. But the interesting thing is that they have very different origins and this has created a unique mix of ethnicities and languages. Garifuna, sad, Spanish, MayaienglishMenonite, Lebanese, Chinese and Indian have merged. The result is Belize, a place where. still fortunately, racial harmony, the religious tolerance and a relatively peaceful political culture resist. And the country remains a friendly and relaxed destination.

What to see in Belize

The small cities. But pleasant

The city ​​of Belize they are generally small and, on the whole, pleasantly underdeveloped. San Ignacio it is quite a fascinating stage for those who then want to go into the jungle Punta Gorda offers unforgettable stays for those who want to get closer to indigenous communities.

The capital, Belmopanis actually quite dull while lively Belize City, though more energetic, it is mostly used as a gateway and wide open door to the wonder of the islands and natural environment. What it offers diving, snorkelling and deep sea fishing, kayaking and daredevil tours descents into canals underground. But also, more simply, the possibility of lazily collapsing into a hammock and relaxing in it tropical paradise. Often all that is missing is the crowd. But go figure who is complaining about this.

What to see in Belize

Belize: Perils and Pleasures

Once a quiet fishing village Maya, Belize City was the capital of the country until 1970, when following the devastation of thehurricane Hattie, it was decided to build a new city. However it is still the largest city and commercial center in the country, as well as a busy port which welcomes cruise ships.

But don’t think of a metropolis: the inhabitants are at most sixty thousand. They are few but lively: the city is reputed to be quite dangerous and even if the situation has improved somewhat, we need to be very careful. At night it is certainly better not to go around – and stay in hotels – and during the day to look around in crowded places and avoid flaunting wealth.

However, a visit to the city can, and must, certainly be done. For your visit, remember that the river Haaulover divides the city into two distinct areas: on the right bank is the commercial area that slips through in Alber Parka green area by the sea.

Fort George: waterfront and hotel

On the other side is the area of Fort George more touristy where even the big hotels are lined up and where, on the seafront, joggers meet. In this part of the city you can also find the Belize Museumwhich is housed in a 19th century prison and which also exhibits objects Maya and the Fort Street Villagea structure that mostly welcomes the many tourists who get off the cruise ships.

Between the two banks there is a drawbridge built in 1923 which allows the transit of ships. 30 miles from Belize City, following the la Old Northern Highway you arrive at the Mayan ruins of Altun Hawhich certainly must be part of a guide that tells what to see in Belize.

What to see in Belize

Naturally Mayan pyramids and tombs

Altun Ha it is one of the most famous ruins in Belize also because it is easily accessible and is close to the village of Rockstone Pond. It was formerly an important commercial center and a ceremonial site and today visitors can explore 13 temples and two squares principal of the site.

The temple of the walled altars, dating from the early 7th century, it is the largest of the pyramids on the site and certainly the most significant structure. Visitors can climb to its top and enjoy beautiful 360-degree views from there. The exploration of Temple of the Tomb green made it possible to discover the tomb of a man in a crypt Mayan priest-king. And recover many of the items buried with him including pottery, pearls, jade pendants.

A famous discovery that was made at the site of Altun Ha is that of Jade Maska sculpted object that depicts the face of Sun God and that it is the largest carved jade object found at a Mayan site.

What to see in Belize

Few roads and a lot of sea. A dip in nature

We said it: when one wonders what to see in Belize, the idea immediately flies to nature. In this sense Ambergris Cayea short distance from the peninsula of Yucatánis the largest of the 200 Belize Cayes and one of the top tourist destinations in the country.

A short distance from the coast is the marine reserve of Hol Chan which remains one of the places of diving and snorkelling most visited of Belize. It is a “cut” in the barrier reef of Belize, one of the largest in the world after that of theAustralia. It is a perfect place for divers to swim amongst the sharks and other large pelagic fish and barrier. But also for those who just decide to relax with a mask and fins.

The island, which was made famous by the song of Madonna, the Isla Bonita – or so says the local tourist board – lives at a very relaxed pace: I’m not there paved roads and until recently it was only turned to on foot, by bike or with electric golf cars. Now the cars are coming. And it’s a pity. There is also a small museum dedicated to Mayan finds but above all a series of endless opportunities for fishermen who come here to challenge barracudas and other big fish.

Sand, palm trees and a diver’s paradise

Caye Caulker is located south of Ambergris Caye and is another destination with white sand, palm trees, colorful houses and lots of relaxation. But the other major attraction of the village is located near the Reef Atoll. Six cayes surround one turquoise lagoon with white sand beaches, coconut palms and fascinating coral formations.

The most famous point is the Great Blue Holeone round depression of 300 meters in diameter and over 120 meters deep. This “hole” has always attracted divers who can immerse themselves in the sapphire-colored water while different species swim around including hammerhead sharksgiant grouper and angelfish.

Among the things to see in Belize there is also a bird sanctuary

But there’s plenty to see off the water as well. To Half Moon Cayethe most visited caye on the atoll was created a bird sanctuary which hosts colonies of thousands of specimens of different species. The paths lead to observation platforms where you can admire the takeoffs and nests of large birds such as huge frigatebirds.

Visitors can then also explore the island lighthouse and relax on the beautiful beaches. It is one of the must-see places since the 70s when it was made known to the world by Jacques Costeau. A word of advice: these islands can obviously be reached by boat but if you could, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to use them the helicopter to enjoy the spectacle of the big hole from above.

Caracol, the largest archaeological site

Finally our short journey between what to see in Belize takes us to 150 meters high at the Caracol Natural Monument Reservation, the largest archaeological site in the country. The ruins of this Mayan city lie deeply engulfed in the jungles of the Chiquibul National Parknear the border Guatemalan.

Interestingly, Caracol was once larger than Belize City and formerly housed a population twice as large. Many and aggressive: the warriors of caracol they were known for their military victories and defeated the mighty cities of Tikal And Naranjo. And even today, visitors can see the carved altar stone that celebrated these victories.

Another interesting feature is the Caana pyramid43 meters high, the structure higher than Caracol. It is also the tallest man-made structure in the whole of Belize and offers stunning views of the site and surrounding jungle. Even if Caracol was abandoned by its inhabitants centuries ago it has never been disabled because large colonies of wild animals and birds have settled here. Last witnesses of the great Mayan culture disappearance.

Belize: when to go

In Belize the climate is hot and humid all year round and wellies goes by January to May; it is the high season and there is no heavy rain. The months of December, January and February are less hot while the rainy season goes from May to November 30/32°C.

In the months of October and November hurricanes they can be dangerous, especially in the southern part of the state.

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