Belize offers the chance to combine pristine rainforest, magnificent Mayan ruins, and the world’s second largest barrier reef, all in a one week vacation. And you can stay at some outstanding small hotels and lodges. Belize is a culturally fascinating country, with an incredible diversity of people. With a few days in the inland part of the country and a few days on the southern beaches or in the islands, you can experience many of the things that make Belize a special and unique place.
Ambergris Caye benefits from being extremely close to the barrier reef, which is only about 200 yards offshore. There are several bars and restaurants in the main town of San Pedro, so this is a fun place to stay if you want to have the option to go out a bit. Our hotels are outside of town, where it is very quiet and serene, so you also have the option of non-stop peace and quiet. With the barrier reef so close to shore, snorkeling and diving trips are very popular, and some of the most famous diving and snorkeling spots in Belize are in quick striking distance. See the Diving in Belize page for more information on diving options in Belize. Other activities that are available include sea kayaking, biking, and just relaxing by the pool or beach.
The western part of Belize is a beautiful region, with pristine jungle rivers and rainforest, spectacular Mayan ruins, and a fascinating mix of cultures, from the Mayan, to African, to Spanish, to the Mennonites. With a stay at one of the beautiful jungle lodges in this part of the country, particularly Chaa Creek Jungle Lodge, you can do excursions to see the magnificent Mayan ruins of Tikal either as a day trip or as a 2 day/1 night trip. As tempting as a straight week at the beach may be, we strongly recommend combining a few days in this part of the country with a a few days of beach time. It is a truly outstanding one week vacation to combine a couple different regions.
This is another popular place to visit, along the southern coast of Belize. The region has several communities of Dangriga, a tightly knit community formed from the mix of descendants of African slaves and the local Carib Indians. Their language and music are unique to this region of Central America. The barrier reef is a bit further out off the coast, about 30 minutes by boat, but is still readily accessible, for world class snorkeling and scuba diving. Local excursions include visits to nearby Mayan ruins sites, nature viewing riverboat tours, and visits to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the world’s only preserve dedicated to the preservation of jaguars.
Tikal is just over the border from Belize into Guatemala. This is one of the most significant and spectacular of all the Mayan ruins. It is an amazing experience to sit on top of one of the temples at Tikal, with the jungle canopy below you, listening to howler monkeys and a chorus of other animals. You can visit Tikal either as a day trip from your lodge in western Belize, or you can spend the night. If you spend the night, you have a choice of either staying right next to the ruins, at a very basic hotel, or staying about 30 minutes away at a beautiful hotel on a lake in the town of Flores.