One of the world’s tiniest countries, Belize, may just be the jeweled crown of adventures for nature, wildlife and ancient human civilizations in Central America and the Caribbean. Tucked neatly into a pocket of mainland Central America and stretched along the Caribbean Coast, friendly Belize (formerly British Honduras until 1981) truly has it all. Here are our top 5 picks for why we think this is one of the best soft adventure and nature safari destinations in the Americas.
Monkeys & Jaguars and parrots, oh my!
Belize is incredibly rich when it comes to the natural treasures of its rain forests. In fact, in one of its reserves you can chance your luck at spotting signs of the elusive jaguar in a rarely visited private conservation area that boasts the highest sighting rate in Central America.
Not only is Belize relatively close to the US, it is also the only Country in all of Latin America with English as it’s official language (but in a cool, Caribbean accent sort of a way). Whew, that makes life a whole lot easier for those of us with, hmm how shall we put this, less than multi-lingual skills.
Belize is blessed to have its entire coastline parallel the Great Mayan Reef system – the 2nd largest in the world only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel, dive, swim and kayak your way through this under – and on – water paradise along one of the hundreds of cayes (small islets), that lie off the coast. Relax and stay at pristine, boutique island resorts on some of the larger cayes (which are still tiny!).
Indiana Jones, eat your heart out.
There are few if any subterranean places on Earth like in Belize. Here you can explore ancient subterranean caves by canoe, filled with Mayan ruins, including relatively untouched pottery and skeletons!
The world’s most famous Mayan Ruins are right next door.
Keep ticking those boxes, as right next door in Guatemala are the Ruins of Tikal, set amidst the dense jungle canopy and which are in a word, AWESOME. Step up out of the rainforest higher, higher and higher to the top of the ancient structures as they tower above, and seem to be floating in, the jungle.
For the ultimate, small group Belizean escape that you’re sure to remember, check out Natural Habitat Adventures’ Ultimate Belize Nature Safari!