Orange Walk and Northern Belize

Lamanai High Temple

Lamanai, one of the oldest and most impressive Mayan sites in Belize can be found here. Orange Walk is a beautiful part of the country, plentiful rainforest is home to over 200 species of birdlife as well as howler monkeys, crocodiles and iguanas. The Rio Bravo Conservation Management Area can also be found in this district and Chan Chich Lodge, whose grounds have one of the highest sightings of jaguars and other cats in the whole of Belize (although still rare).

Belize City has a population of approx 64,000, outside of the city are rural villages and several reserves including the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary an interesting protected reserve where wildlife is plentiful, but is also a must do for bird lovers, particularly between November and March, huge Jabiru storks can be seen and flocks of Roseate spoonbills on the lagoon, plus the beautiful Vermillion flycatcher can be seen around the village. Visiting Crooked Tree Village is an interesting cultural experience as this scenic village grows cashew nuts and hosts a Cashew Festival annually where you can try various foods made with cashews and locally brewed Cashew wine.

Main Islands

Caye Caulker

Ambergris Caye is the largest and most developed of all the islands. The main town is called San Pedro and has a large selection of hotels, bars and restaurants. The reef is closest to the shore here, only a 5 minute boat ride making it ideal for snorkellers, sites such as Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark-Ray Alley are popular trips.

Caye Caulker lies to the south of Ambergris Caye and is less developed. The reef is only 1.5 km away and Caye Caulker is closer to many of the best known dive sites, such as the infamous Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye on Lighthouse Reef and also the Turneffe Islands.

Smaller Islands have accommodation options, many in remote locations where the main activities are snorkelling, diving, fishing and relaxing. These resorts are off grid, but can range from luxury to simple cabins/permanent tents on the tiny palm dotted islands.


Caves Branch River

Easily accessible from Belize City, the Cayo is home to beautiful and remote jungle, a vast underground cave network and Classic Mayan sites such as Caracol and Xunantunich. It is also the centre of many adventure activities such as caving, cave tubing, horse-riding, mountain biking and kayaking.

The beautiful Macal river winds its way through the region and you can find a number of eco-lodges along its banks, the bird life in the area is exceptional and you will see motmots, tanagers, toucans and many other brightly coloured birds. A visit to the mountain pine ridge forest reserve showcases a subtropical forest with pine trees, cooler temperatures, and scenic landscapes. Birds such as king vultures and orange breasted falcons soar across the ridge.

Stann Creek District - Southern Coast

South Water Caye

Dangriga is a bustling town and is the gateway to several island resorts and to Glovers Reef Atoll. The reef is approx. 30 minutes by boat and there is some spectacular snorkelling and diving in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve. Hopkins is a small, friendly Garifuna town that has lots of character, it offers a good base to combine activities on the reef and inland.

The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve is easily accessible from Hopkins and Placencia, and and is a protected sanctuary where there are hikes to waterfalls and river tubing. Mayflower Bocawina Park is also nearby and offers beautiful forest scenery, hikes to waterfalls, excellent birdwatching, ziplining and waterfall rapelling. Close to the nearby scenic mayan village of Red Bank, Scarlet Macaws fly across the Maya Mountains between the months of December to March to feed on the fruit of annatto trees and can be seen with a local guide.

Lovely beaches are found the whole length of the Placencia peninsula and at the southern tip is the vibrant Placencia town with its restaurants, bars and shops. Plus the barrier reef is a 45 minute boat ride from the shore and there are an array of snorkelling and diving opportunities here. There is excellent snorkelling at Silk Cayes on the outer barrier reef as well as many stunning inner islands that can be visited for a day trip with snorkelling off the beaches. Whale sharks can usually be found off the coast of Placencia between April and June around the full moon.



Toledo is the most southern region of Belize, and less visited than other regions, but it is well worth making the trip to this beautiful area. Toledo has wetlands, rivers, waterfalls and vast areas of protected rainforest and is an excellent place for birdwatching, cave exploring, hiking and river activities. Over half the population here are Kekchi and Mopan Maya living in villages surrounding Punta Gorda, sometimes very remote. Trips can be done to visit these beautiful Mayan villages and learn about their customs and traditional way of life, one or two night homestays are available for a real Mayan immersion.

Toledo may not have the larger ancient Mayan sites that the other regions have, however, Nim Li Punit has a fascinating collection of stelae and Lubaantun is known for the rounded corners of its step pyramids. There are many cacao plantations still in Toledo region and there are several excellent cacao tours available where you can learn about the bean to bar experience. The reef can be accessed from here, diving trips take place to the Sapodilla Cayes and snorkelling can be found at Snake Cayes which is closer to the shore.

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