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What to see in Belize

Belize Attractions

Belize is an under-the-radar travel destination growing in popularity, with more and more tourists drawn to this exotic locale. Sandwiched between the steaming jungles of the Amazon and the sparkling coastline of the Pacific, there is plenty in Belize to tempt travellers.

The country is home to a number of ancient ruins from the Mayan civilisation. One of the most popular sites is the satisfyingly named Xunantunich, an impressive 7th century construction on a hilltop, reached by hand-cranked cable ferry. Lamanai (which translates as 'submerged crocodile') is known both for its impressive architecture and its dense rainforest setting. Caracol, near the Guatemalan border, was once one of the most powerful cities in the ancient Mayan world.

The coast of Belize sparkles with beaches and the world's second-longest barrier reef. Glover's Reef, named after an 18th century pirate, is a collection of small cays with white sand, palm trees and low-key resorts. Lighthouse Reef houses the unique dive site, Blue Hole. Ambergris Caye is the champion of the tourist industry, a typical paradise of sunbathing, cocktails, snorkeling and scuba diving. Caye Caulker is laid back and cheaper, its easy-going attitude complemented by the reggae beats of the Creole culture.

Belize is also home to some unique wildlife. The Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary hosts flocks of migrating birds from November to April, Mayflower Bocawina National Park has great hiking trails and is home to troops of black howler monkeys, and Belize Zoo hosts a fascinating collection of obscure creatures such as tapirs, gibnuts, coatimundi, white-lipped peccaries and many more.

September is the month for festivals and parties. Two weeks of celebrations take place from National Day to Independence Day, and the Belize Carnival reveals exotic costumes and infectious Caribbean music.

Ambergris Caye

Ambergris Caye is the largest island off the coast of Belize. The 25-mile-wide (40km) island is long and slender, averaging only one mile (1.6km) in width. The most popular attraction in Ambergris…

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Belize Zoo

Belize Zoo has an interesting history. It was the scene of a wildlife documentary that was filmed in the 1980s. On finishing the filming it was discovered that the animals were party tame, so the zoo…

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Caye Caulker

Located within easy distance of Ambergris Caye, the small island of Caye Caulker is only five miles (8km) long and less than one mile (1.6km) wide. Getting around on Caye Caulker couldn't be easier;…

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Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

One of Belize's largest protected areas, Cockscomb is home to the world's first jaguar sanctuary, dating back to 1984. The park also has a large diversity of fauna and flora, and hosts around 50 jaguars.…

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Glover's Reef Atoll

Glover's Reef Atoll is one of only four atolls (ring-shaped reefs made of coral) in the western hemisphere, and a truly mesmerising place to visit. The partially submerged coral island, which is also…

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Lighthouse Reef and the Blue Hole

Situated fifty miles off the coast of Belize, the Lighthouse Reef Atoll is an ideal island getaway, with spectacular beaches and some of the best dive sites in the world. An icon of Belize tourism,…

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Mayan Ruins

Travellers to the central lowlands of Belize can visit the fascinating ruins of ancient Mayan cities, which date back more than 2,000 years. The region's lush, steamy tropical jungle is an other-worldly…

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Mayflower Bocawina National Park

Mayflower Bocawina is a small, beautiful park near the village of Hopkins, a great base from which to explore. The jungle and mountains reveal walking trails, swimming holes and some interesting Mayan…

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