Belize Tourist Attractions

Belize attractions are one of the main reasons for the scores of visitors to the country annually. Attractions in Belize spill culture and history, particularly, an enthralling historical past of one of the most interesting civilizations to have existed on earth – the Mayans. Belize attractions comprise not only cayes, forests and historical buildings, but cave, pyramid and staircase ruins which tell of an intriguing people which once roamed the soils of Belize.

Some Belize attractions are often observed as similar to those found in other parts of the English speaking Caribbean due to a common past of British occupation and settlement. Belize attractions such as churches, plantation and colonial houses are examples of the common sites that Belize shares with these other Caribbean islands despite being located in Central America. For this and other reasons, Belize is considered to be part of the Caribbean.

Belize is accessible by both air and sea and each year scores of visitors go to Belize in search of adventure or just a peaceful vacation. The official language of Belize is English but a wide range of dialects and other languages are spoken in the country. Belize has many natural features and historical sites which makes it very attractive to visitors. Other Belize attractions include beaches, Mayan sites, reserves and national parks.

The Mayans were the first people to settle in Belize. A very advanced people for their time they developed many cities in different parts of Belize. To date archeologists have discovered many sites, structures, pottery and other objects. People come to Belize each year to visit these Mayan sites.

Altuna Ha is a Belize attraction which means Water of the Rock is located in the Belize District. The site consists of two main plazas with thirteen temples and residential areas. Archeologists discovered the Jade Head which weighed in at nine and three quarter pounds making it the biggest Mayan jade object to be found in Belize.

Cerros is another attraction in Belize which translates as Maya Hills and is situated in Corozal Bay in Northern Belize. This Mayan site is accessible by boat. Believed to be a main trading center many pyramid structures are still present today. The tallest structure at this site is at seventy two (72) feet. On the site a major Belize attraction is two ball courts as the Mayan were skilled sportsmen.

Caracol, an interesting attraction in Belize meaning snail, is found at Vaca Plateau in the Caye District. Caracol is one of the most prevalent Mayan cities found in Belize. The biggest Mayan pyramid found today is located in this site is at 143 feet tall. The site has five plazas and two ball courts.

Lamanai which means submerged crocodile is found on the banks of the River Lagoon in the Orange Walk District in North central Belize. This Belize attraction was occupied the Mayans for over three thousand (3000) years. The site has a few large temples and the remains of a Catholic church built during early colonization by the Spanish. On site there is a museum built to house unearthed Mayan artifacts.

Labaautun in Belize signifies Place of the fallen stones is in the Toledo District above the Columbia River. This Belize attraction is said to be the largest ceremonial center of the Mayans discovered to this date. The structures in this site are made entirely out of stone. There are eleven (11) structures on the site which include plazas, temples and ball courts.

Xunantunich or Stone Woman is near the Mopan River in the vicinity of the town of San Ignacio. This attraction in Belize is close to Belize City. The site was a ceremonial center and consists of six main plazas and more than 25 temples. The largest structure on the site is El Castillo which measures at 130 feet.

Belize has large tropical forests and an abundance of wildlife which have been preserved in sanctuaries and have become popular attractions in Belize. The Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary was developed to protect native and migrating birds. The sanctuary is located north of Belize City. The sanctuary is a large area made up of lagoons and swamps. Birds sheltered by the sanctuary includes Black bellied whistling ducks, snail Kites, Ospreys, Great Egret, and Kingfishers just to mention a few. Animals such as turtles, iguanas and Morelet’s Crocodile also make the sanctuary their homes.

Community Baboon Sanctuary is main Belize attraction along the Belize River Valley and is approximately 18 square miles in size. The sanctuary houses about 1500 Black Howler Monkeys which are endemic to Belize. Other than the monkeys there are many different species of birds and flora which can be seen in the area.

Another Belize attraction is the Five Blue Lakes National Park near St. Margaret’s Village which was established in 1992. The lake is surrounded by limestone mountains set deep in tropical rain forest. The lake itself is blue hence its name. There are many caves in the area which add to the adventure that can be had in the park. In the area a number of bird species as much as 200 can be found along with other wildlife.

Belize is a tropical island with many white sand beaches. These beaches are great places to dive, snorkel, windsurf, kayak and fish. The areas surrounding most beaches provide great local meals. On some of the beaches there are hotels, restaurants and water sport centers catering to the public. Popular beaches in Belize are located in Ambergris Caye, Hopkins Village, Caye Caulker and Placencia