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Belize has a way of bringing out the best parts of you. You morph into “the you” you’ve always imagined yourself to be. The most adventurous you. The daredevil version of you. Best outdoor activities in Belize.

Mountainous jungles bring out the hiker in you, and the inner zipliner. There are reefs for your inner snorkeler and diver. Ancient Mayan Ruins and Caves for your inner explorer. Waterfalls for your inner rappeller.  And, at the end of each day’s adventures, Rhum Bars on the beach will definitely bring you out  to kick back in a beach hammock and end the day with a delicious pina colada.

Whatever your taste in recreation – or perhaps just relaxation? Belize is a paradise for all your needs, so, we guarantee there will be something for you to do – or not do…. Active travelers rejoice! Adventure in Belize. 

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The sheer amount of outdoor adventure opportunities is overwhelming. Boasting the second largest Barrier Reef in the world, the diving here is second to none. The snorkeling and marine activities are definitely first class. And, between hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, fishing, exploring ancient ruins, all in a region with such diverse landscapes, you’ll find that it is unlike any other destination in the world. Best things to do outside in Belize.

I’ve put together 5 of the most epic outdoor adventures being offered in Belize. An because you definitely need a decent outpost for exploring, I’ve also recommended some fantastic accommodations at the end.

Caving

Caving in Belize goes beyond your regular caving experience, and cave river trips are an increasingly popular way to explore.  Tubing into a dark cave is truly a surreal experience. You’ll hear the crashing of a waterfall up ahead and be told to hold on tight. Out from the darkness spectacular forests lay ahead. Trek through sub-tropical trails, wade through stunning lagoons, and discover a variety of exotic flora and fauna native to Belize.

Belize has unbelievable cave formations, and with an abundance of limestone and a wet climate, this is one of the premiere destinations to cave in the world. For those who consider themselves explorers, most caves have not yet been thoroughly explored, and their isolation means natural wonders remain largely untouched, and significant archaeological discoveries are just waiting to be found. What are the best caves in Belize?

Don’t miss the ATM. The Actun Tunichil Muknal is the most popular cave in Belize, though an experience best reserved for the fit and adventurous. Once a Mayan burial site, it is now full of skeletons, pottery and other ceremonial objects left by the Maya. “The Crystal Maiden” is the cave’s most famous skeleton, her bones cemented into the floor by natural processes; leaving them sparkling as though they have been crystallized. Caving in Belize. 

The 45-minute hike from the cave entrance will have you swimming, climbing and exploring through tropical rainforest, multiple streams and several different chambers. It is 5 km deep, and the deeper you trek, the more ceramics and pottery of all sizes to be found in the exact spots where sacred Mayan ceremonies were performed. Best caves in Belize. 

Note that the inner chambers will require you to take off your shoes so as to not damage the priceless artifacts, and no cameras are allowed.

Ziplining & Water Rappelling

Heading to the jungle? Why not soar through it? Experience the Belize jungle canopy from treetop to treetop, and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the rainforest below. This is a huge adrenaline rush, and many zipline tours combine the experience with rappelling from the last treetop in order to reach the ground.

For a truly unique experience be sure to choose a zipline tour which includes a waterfall rappel!  Even if you’re not experienced you can enjoy this – rappelling at Mayflower Bocawina National Park for instance is designed especially for families, and considered an introduction to rappelling.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for something truly different, try zip lining at night!

Ruins

Belize is well known for its huge range of Mayan temples and historical sites, so much so, that it is called the heartland of the Mayan World. You could very easily center your whole itinerary around visiting all the Maya sites in Belize. Some of the most popular historical sites include Lamanai, Xunantunich, Caracol (the country’s largest Mayan ruin) and Altun Ha.

If you’re limited for time you should focus on Cayo, Belize’s Westernmost District. It is here where the most impressive Maya cities in Belize lie.  The Ancient Maya City of Xunantunich (pronounced shoo-nan-tu-nitch) with its 39m-high El Castillo pyramid is a must. Best ruins in Belize. 

This fascinating ruin is believed to be around 1400 years old, and is made up of several plazas and a large selection of classic period structures. Those ambitious enough to hike to the top have the chance to take in a 360 degree panorama of the surrounding Maya mountains and valleys with views of both Guatemala and Belize. Does Belize have any good ruins?

Helicopter Tours

Helicopter Tours are definitely up there when it comes to price but the incredible views and photo ops will most certainly make up for it. Imagine soaring over lush, protected and untouched jungle reserves, Maya Mountains with a cascading 1000-Foot waterfall. Picture an up-close aerial tour over the ancient Maya City of Xunantunich. Helicopter tours in Belize. 

Helicopter tours are a truly thrilling way to witness Belize’s diverse landscapes and environments, and you’ll capture a perspective few others have the fortune of seeing. How much is a helicopter tour in Belize?

Pro Tip: Helicopter tours will generally have one set price for up to four persons (confirm this with your carrier first). Find a couple at your hotel to share the experience with and split the cost in half.

Scuba & Snorkelling

Located on one of the largest barrier reefs in the world, there are many places to dive and snorkel all throughout Belize. The country boasts a bucket list of destinations for divers and snorkelers looking to explore this unbelievable underwater world. Water visibility generally reaches 100+ feet and the clear warms waters are exceptional. Best snorkeling in Belize. 

The Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, spans 185 miles of the country’s coastline, and features countless dive sites both inside and outside the reef, including the world renowned Blue Hole. Dryer water-sports are also readily available for those looking to explore life on top of the water.  It’s quite easy to organize a canoeing trip through the country’s many inland rivers, kayak through the cayes, paddle boarding, fishing or relaxing from a sailboat, or even kite and wind surfing. Can I snorkel in the Blue Hole in Belize?

The Blue Hole, Belize’s biggest diving attraction, an almost perfectly circular hole of water 480 feet (145 m) deep with a radius of more than 1,000 feet (305 m). It is one of the most astounding dive sites to be found anywhere on earth, the hole itself being the opening to a system of caves and passageway that penetrate this undersea mountain. Scuba Dive Belize Blue Hole. 

“Today the Blue Hole is famed for its sponges, barracuda, corals, angelfish, and a school of sharks often seen patrolling the hole’s edge.”

Recommended Belize Accommodation:

Ka’ana Resort

An award winning 5-Star boutique resort in Belize’s Mayan jungle, Ka’ana is a small resort which offers luxury accommodation, adventure tours and all-inclusive packages where guests indulge in personalized service and modern amenities. Belize hotel. 

This is an upscale outpost for exploring, perfectly located in the midst of everything a Central American vacation could possibly offer. You’ll find that every adventure is a curated experience that is authentically Belize. Best accommodation in Belize. 

With a recent TripAdvisor certificate of excellence, and recently announced as The World Travel Awards’ Leading Boutique Hotel in Mexico & Central America 2015, every guest review we could find declared that their stay in Belize was truly unlike any other. Visit website. Best luxury resorts in Belize. 

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Hopkins Bay Belize

Hopkins Bay Resort is a luxury Caribbean vacation destination – the ideal outpost to explore the Belize Barrier Reef, climb ancient Maya cities, canoe or kayak on Belize’s Jungle Rivers, go birding on rainforest adventures, or just relax in a hammock on the beach!

The resort offers 19 Beach Houses which can be divided into 1-, 2- or 3-Bedroom Houses. Couples can enjoy a 1-Bedroom Beach Loft with a king-size bed, two balconies and a minibar. Families and friends can make themselves at home in a 2- or 3-Bedroom Beach House with fully equipped  kitchens, living areas and private baths.

Whatever accommodation you choose, you’ll be just a stone’s throw away from the beach and an unforgettable Belize vacation. Hopkins Bay Resort was recently announced as Belize’s Leading Villa Resort at the 2015 World Travel Awards. Visit website. Belize resorts.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Featured photo by Blue Skyz Studios. Horse riding Xunantunich Maya Ruin via Ka’ana Belize. Second Pinterest Photo by Ka’ana Belize with the Great Blue Hole by Eric Pheterson. Cave tubing by satanoid. Footprint Cave by Thomas Shahan. Entrance to Actun Tunichil Muknal by Ka’ana Belize. ATM Entrance with hiker by Antti T. Nissinen. Skull by Antti T. Nissinen. All ruins photos via Ka’ana Belize. Great Blue Hole by Eric Pheterson. Sea Turtle by Gustavo Vier.

    26 Comments

  1. Belize was the first major destination I traveled to with my hubby. It will always be special to us. We have seen many of the ruins you mention as well as snorkeling and diving, including the Blue Hole. I haven’t tried caving, but I am not sure I am adventurous enough after reading your description. I really enjoyed seeing Belize though your eyes, and now, want to go back.
    Rhonda Albom recently posted…Photos: A Virtual Tour of Central Auckland Street ArtMy Profile

    • Psyched to hear that Belize was one of your first major destinations Rhonda…we always remember our first!!

      I hope you have the chance to get back soon, and if you’re feeling up for it, caving is a pretty memorable experience. There are caves for all levels of adventure, so perhaps if you’re not keen on a 45 minute trek you could look into one of the cave tubing experiences instead :)

      Happy travels!

    • Hope you manage to organize a trip to Belize soon – what sparked my interest originally was hearing nothing but amazing things from everyone who had visited the country too!

      And definitely book in for a stay at Ka’Ana while you’re there – I’ve come to really appreciate having a luxury outpost to retreat to at the end of an adventurous day!!

  2. I have friends who live in Belize, who rave about it and obviously with very good reason. We have not had the pleasure of visiting them yet. I would enjoy the cave river tour and seeing the Belize Barrier Reef.
    Paula McInerney recently posted…Explore the City of Cairns ItselfMy Profile

    • Absolutely – I’ve only ever heard people rave about Belize after returning, and that’s what sparked my interest to begin with too!

      I hope you manage a visit soon – what better excuse than having friends to go and see! :)

  3. I’ve heard such great things about ATM cave. I recently tried spelunking this year and I instantly fell in love. But caving underneath or by skeletons sounds just right up my alley. Why are there skeletons there anyway?
    Erica recently posted…10 Ways Travel Is Basically The Same As Falling In LoveMy Profile

    • It was once a Mayan burial site, so everything which is there are the remains and left overs from when the Mayans were there. Some really cool archaeological finds like ceramics etc though that includes skeletons too!

      Hope you manage a trip to Belize soon Erica :)

    • It’s so much fun!! And if you’re not too sure, there are some beginner courses you can start out on, or if you want to try the ziplining but not the rappelling you can do that too – try one without needing to do the other that is :)

      It’s the most fun in the world though, I hope you do give it a go at some point – promise you’ll have a blast!

  4. The ziplining and rapelling into the water would definitely be my first choice! I love some adventure and even though I’m not the biggest fan of water, it probably comes with the fun and adrenaline. Thanks for such a great list, we’ll keep it in mind in case we ever get to go to Belize for sure!
    antonette – we12travel recently posted…5 Redenen waarom je niet naar de Blue Lagoon moet gaanMy Profile

    • Oh absolutely – waterfall rappelling is the best! Even if you’re not the biggest fan of water or getting wet – it’s all part of the fun and adventure as you said :)

      Hope you can organize some time for a trip to Belize soon!

  5. You have a way of making me want to go place Meg! So Belize I knew for the ruins and the diving but now I also know I want to take a heii ride because, well, I am a luxury person after all :)
    Mar recently posted…Chapung Se Bali, Ubud’s sexy hip resortMy Profile

    • Helicopter rides are the most amazing way to take in the scenery of a place. There’s something totally different about taking in a birds eye view!

      Hope you can get to Belize soon!

    • Absolutely Natasha – there is so much natural beauty and this really is the place to combine a love of adventure with a love of the outdoors!

      Hope you can make it here soon :)

  6. Caving is definitely one of the top reasons I want to visit Belize! My mom really wants to go too, gonna show her this article.

    • Some really amazing caves for you in Belize Carly – Belize is the perfect spot for a mother/daughter escape! You guys will have a blast :)

    • Exploring on horseback is an amazing way to take in the ruins in Belize! Something different and a very memorable way to experience these kind of ancient sites :)

      Even if Blue Hole diving isn’t for you there is some fabulous snorkeling throughout inlets across the country and also along the coast. Definitely pack a bathing suit and a snorkel just in case there’s the chance for a swim :)

      Happy travels!

    • Excellent!! That’s what we like to hear :) You’ll love Belize, really has everything for the makings of an amazing and memorable trip :)

      Happy travels Amelie!

    • Belize is probably one of the most diverse countries for adventure in the world – there truly is something for everyone :)

  7. I love posts about outdoor adventures. I’d like to try all of them but caving the most, I’ve never done it before. Getting a little messy by swimming and climbing, discovering Mayan artefacts – my kind of adventure.
    Maya recently posted…Road Trip through Southern Alberta, CanadaMy Profile

    • So glad you enjoyed the post Maya! I hope you have the chance to discover Belize soon then – sounds like it has everything for your perfect adventure!

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