Daily Escape

Great Blue Hole

Photo by Getty Images

Great Blue Hole

Ambergris Caye, Belize

Journey to one of the most amazing dive sites on the planet. Off the coast of Belize, the Great Blue Hole -- the world’s largest blue hole -- has been likened to a prehistoric step back in time. A dive beneath its waters reveals why, with an undisturbed world of stalactites and intricate limestone formations.


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Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Hol Chan Marine Reserve

Hol Chan Marine Reserve

Hol Chan Marine Reserve is Belize’s oldest marine reserve. This tourist attraction is a must for snorkelers and divers who want to experience diverse marine life -- 160 species of fish, 40 species of coral, 4 sponges, 2 species of seagrass, 3 marine mammals and 3 species of sea turtles -- including this green turtle seen here. 960 1280

Snorkelingdives.com, flickr  

Cahal Pech Archaeological Site

Cahal Pech Archaeological Site

Sitting high atop a hill near San Ignacio, Cahal Pech is the oldest-known Mayan site in the Belize River valley. We recommend visitors walk around the interconnected, excavated and resorted plazas and temples abandoned around 850, A.D. Don’t skip over Plaza B; it’s the largest and most impressive complex. 960 1280

Thomas Shahan, flickr  

San Pedro

San Pedro

Tourists flock to San Pedro because it’s known as a <a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/video/top-5-adventures-in-belize-11987">sun-and-fun destination</a>, attracting scuba divers, fishermen, snowbirds, expatriates and retirees.  Downtown, in this slow-paced city, is compact mixture of hotels, souvenir shops, restaurants, dive shops and tour agencies. Because San Pedro isn’t a big city, pedestrians strolling along its streets may be forced to the side of the road by cars and yes, golf carts.  960 1280

Panoramic Images/ Getty Images  

Xunantunich

Xunantunich

Once a ceremonial center, Xunantunich means “stone woman,” referring to the ghost of a woman whom several people claim they’ve seen lurking around the popular tourist destination since 1892. If ghost hunting isn’t your thing, then we suggest climbing to the top of the ridge of this amazing Mayan archeology site for a great view of the border shared with Guatemala. 960 1280

Ian Mackenzie, flickr  

Shark Ray Alley

Shark Ray Alley

Considered part of Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Shark Ray Alley was once the place where fishermen would clean their catch, which naturally attracted stingrays and nurse sharks. Today, tourists -- with supervision from a dive master -- can snorkel and swim beside stingrays, turtles and gentle nurse sharks that average 4 to 6 feet in length. Take your disposable underwater camera for a great photo op. 960 1280

iStock  

Butterfly Farm at Chaa Creek

Butterfly Farm at Chaa Creek

Take a 10-minute tour at the Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm at Chaa Creek, rated “Top Belize Resort” by the Belize Tourism Board. Observe the beautiful “Belizean Blue” during every stage of their life cycle. A hat, water, insect repellant, camera and raingear (if needed), are a few suggested items to take on this fun nature trek. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Belize Zoo

Belize Zoo

The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center, located in Belmopan, is 29 acres of tropical savanna and exhibits with more than 150 animals, representing 45 species native to Belize. The zoo is home to animals rescued, orphaned, born at the zoo, rehabilitated and sent to the zoo as donations from other zoological institutions. More than 54,000 people visit the zoo each year. If you time your visit right, you may get to celebrate special birthdays for April the Tapir, Junior Buddy the Jaguar and Panama the Harpy Eagle. 960 1280

Adalberto Vega, flickr  

Belize City

Belize City

With a population of almost 80,000, <a href="http://www.travelchannel.com/daily-escape/royal-belize">Belize City</a> is the largest city in Belize. It is the country’s principal port and its financial and industrial hub. The city is also a popular port of call for several cruise ships. Belize City was the capital of British Honduras (as Belize was then known) until the government was moved to the new capital of Belmopan in 1970.  960 1280

Sgoodwin4813/ iStock/ Thinkstock  

Belize City Tour

Belize City Tour

Don’t miss out on spending a day or 2 in this historic capital city. Belize City is composed of beautiful colonial houses, seaside parks, bustling shopping centers and great places to eat and stay along Haulover Creek. The Swing Bridge, which crosses Haulover Creek to link Albert Street with Queen Street, is the hub of the city and, some say, the heart of Belize itself. 960 1280

  

Cave Tubbing at Jaguar Paw

Cave Tubbing at Jaguar Paw

Head for adventure in Belize! Go cave tubing at Jaguar Paw in Belmopan. Float down the river on an inner tube with only a headlamp to light your way. This journey through an underground cave system requires visitors to maneuver around stalagmites jutting from the river and stalactites looming from above. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Windsurfing
Windsurfing

Windsurfing

Belize is quickly becoming a popular tourist destination for adventurous travelers because of the vast array of outdoor activities available to do, including windsurfing. For intermediate windsurfers, the best time to travel to Belize is between July and November. The country’s windy season spans from February to July. 960 1280

Chris Willis, Flickr  

Cave Rafting

Cave Rafting

This group of adventure tourists is traversing through 4 caves by raft and kayak on Caves Branch River in Central Belize. It’s another way to explore Belize. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Jungle Hiking

Jungle Hiking

Be adventurous and explore Belize’s diverse wildlife while hiking. A few popular places for jungle hiking include Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve, Caves Branch River, Actun Tunichil Muknal, Che Chem Ha and Clarissa Falls to Bullet Tree Falls. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Paddleboarding

Paddleboarding

Go paddleboarding at Long Caye. The calm lagoon is perfect for learning the easy skills necessary to control the board. Paddleboarding or stand up paddling has become the hottest new sport on the water, and now it is the fastest growing paddle sport in the country. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Kayaking

Kayaking

Enjoy a serene trip along Belize’s waterways to explore the country’s awe-inspiring landscapes. Saddle Caye South, Queen Cayes, Glover’s Reef, Laughing Bird Caye and Ranguana Caye are the best places for kayakers. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving

Belize is considered one of the top scuba diving and snorkeling destinations in the world. The Belize Barrier Reef, second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, runs the length of its coastline. Head to Shark-Ray Alley & Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Cay Caulker, Turneffe Island, Glover’s Reef Atoll and Gladden Spit, for a great diving experience. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Caving

Caving

Caves are tied to the history of Belize and to the Maya religion. Tourists can see where the Maya performed their most sacred rituals and examine ancient artifacts --primarily in the form of old pottery. Explore the caves of Actun Tunichil Muknal, Black Hole Drop, Barton Creek and Flour Camp, Caves Branch, just to name a few. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Snorkeling

Snorkeling

Go snorkeling in Ambergris Caye or the Belize Barrier Reef. Explore the country’s 40 species of coral and its diverse marine life, including lemontip sharks, parrotfish, angelfish, butterfly fish and clown fish. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Sport Fishing

Sport Fishing

Belize is a popular destination for fly fishing and deep-water fishing. In some spots, you do need a permit to fish, but it’s worth it! Bonefish, tarpon, barracuda, grouper and Bluefin tuna are just a short list of what experienced fishermen have been able to catch when fishing on Ambergris Caye. 960 1280

Thickstock  

Cave Tubing

Cave Tubing

Cave tubing is a fun outdoor activity for families. Awaken your senses with a floating excursion past limestone and crystal formations where ancient Maya people once worshipped. And you may spot some of the indigenous wildlife, including crocodiles, iguanas and howler monkeys. 960 1280

Asten, Flickr  

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