Tropic like it’s hot: 5 reasons you need to visit Belize

Belize Dock

Belize offers vacation-seekers a place that’s unapologetically casual, warm and welcoming.

Located in Central America, Belize has a loose mix of Caribbean charm with a North American feel. You’ll find most conversations and signs are in English, as it’s the official language, and the U.S. dollar is widely accepted.

Here are just some of the adventures you can have while visiting Belize:

EXPLORE THE MYSTERY OF MAYA

Whether you’re looking to explore for an afternoon, a day or week, Belize’s ancient Maya sites are well worth it and most are just a few miles away from any major town or city.

From Xunantunich to Caracol and Cerros and Lamanai, really anywhere you go in Belize, you’re bound to come across ancient Maya temples — you might even find ancient pieces of pottery or spot a hill in the distance that’s actually a temple.

Xunantunich – Mayan Ruins

DIVE INTO THE WORLD’S SECOND-LARGEST BARRIER REEF

Home to hundreds of species of coral and fish, Belize has the world’s second-longest reef, spanning more than 185 miles — second to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Divers, snorkelers and biologists from all over the world love coming to Belize for its incredible oceanic life.

The Great Blue Hole, in particular, is the largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere (approx. 406-foot deep) and easily one of the greatest geological wonders of the world. And, it’s only 43 miles off the coast of Belize City so you can easily see it in a day. The Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Ambergris Caye and dozens of other sites off the coast of Belize are also amazing whether you’re an experienced or amateur diver (though, it’s recommended you know how to swim before testing the waters)!

The Great Blue Hole, Belize

FLOW SOLO OR WITH FRIENDS

Whether you’re a first-time paddler or kayak enthusiast, you can enjoy going with the flow on Belize’s clear waters, where you can spot reefs, rays, sea turtles and more. Most coastal and island resorts offer kayaks for short excursions up/down beaches and around the islands, while professional kayak outfitters offer multi-day packages.

You can also explore thousands of ancient caves and underground waterfalls (i.e., Blue Creek, Caves Branch). Either way, when the water calls, Belize has the answer.

CATCH A BITE

Since many of the rivers in Belize empty into the Caribbean Sea, you’re bound to score some fresh fish. Turneffe Atoll, 20 miles from Belize City, offers some of the most desired areas in the world for fly-fishing—there, you’re bound to catch tarpon, bonefish, and permit, or maybe even all three.

Fishing guides are helpful and have no problem sharing their “secret” spots to find the perfect catch. Just remember, to fish in Belize, whether catch and release or not, you’ll need to purchase a sport fishing license. Learn more at coastalzonebelize.org.

TAKE A HIKE

Beaches not your jam? Whatever level of hiker you consider yourself, Belize has hundreds of hiking trails and forests filled with adventure, wildlife and amazing views that will keep you on your toes.

Howler monkey in the forest.

You might even encounter exotic tropical plants, birds and howler monkeys (which are known to be some of the loudest animals in the world). Also, be on the lookout for crocodiles, or the tracks of the elusive jaguar and tapir (just hope they’re only the tracks).

Many of Belize’s hiking trails are designed in loops so trailblazers can easily return to the starting point with no issues. Some trails are self-guided, and others require the expertise of a licensed tour guide who can point out wildlife and local plants.

See all of the many things you can do in Belize based on where you are.

Fly Alaska to Belize this fall

Alaska will begin seasonal service to Belize from Los Angeles and Seattle starting Nov. 19 – just in time for the holiday season! Fares between L.A. and Belize City start at $199, and $249 between Seattle and Belize City. Tickets are available for purchase now on alaskaair.com.

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