The beautiful national of Belize lies just south of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, nestled between Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea. Belize has a forested mainland and dozens of islands, cays and coral reefs. When your ship docks in Belize City, you can head for a variety of historic, cultural and natural attractions.
Some cruisers select a Caribbean itinerary that includes Belize specifically because they want to snorkel or dive along the impressive barrier reef. Some of the best sites are near Ambergris Caye; you’ll see lots of colorful coral and marine life. If you would rather just soak up the sun on a Caribbean beach, there are plenty to choose from on Ambergris Caye and other islands, including Goff’s Caye, Southwest Caye, and Half Moon Caye.
There are Mayan cultural sites throughout Belize, and two of the most popular are Altun Ha and Xunantunich. Altun Ha was an important trading post and ceremonial site, with imposing temples and tombs. At the Temple of the Sun, with a carved jade head represents the Mayan sun god. Xunantunich includes six major plazas surrounded by more than two dozen temples and palaces; you can even climb up the Il Castillo temple to marvel at its construction and admire the view. Xunantunich is accessible only by a hand-cranked ferry that takes you across the Mopan River – an adventure in itself.
To explore the history of Belize, tour the Museum of Belize. Today, this former prison houses Belizean treasures instead of criminals (although you can spend some time in a preserved jail cell). Then, get some fresh air at the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center, 29 acres full of animals that are all native to Belize.
Bird lovers will enjoy Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, where there are dozens of species living among the lagoons and trees (there are monkeys and crocodiles, too). At the Community Baboon Sanctuary, you’ll meet black howler monkeys (called “baboons” locally).
Families love “tube and trek” excursions in the Crystal Caves, with their growing stalactites, stalagmites, and sparkling crystal formations. The Mayan people, who believed that deities and spirits live in the caves, performed sacred rituals here. A trip through the caves ends in a peaceful lagoon with a beautiful waterfall.
There’s more to do and see in Belize, and many Caribbean itineraries can take you there. Contact Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert, for more information.
Follow & like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AtthetaTravel