Top 6 places to visit in Belize

Top 6 places to visit in Belize

From exotic animals to mysterious Mayan ruins; don't miss these six stops on a honeymoon to this underestimated Central American country

1. Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary

Crooked Tree is a village rich in Creole culture and a reserve with abundant bird life 

This is possibly one of the richest birding areas in Belize and Central America. It is recognised as a  wetland of international importance and has the highest number of indigenous and migratory birds. The huge Jabiru stork (the world's largest flying bird) is Crooked Tree's most famous resident.

Plan to stay the night and be there at dawn when the birds are most active. Explore the inland waters of Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary and experience the astounding diversity of birds and wildlife for which Belize is renowned... From northern jacanas, white ibis, and wood storks to the infamous Jabiru stork!

Head for the jungle during May - the best time of year for birdwatching - when the lagoon's water level drops and the animals must stray further for their food.

2. Lamanai

Magnificent Mayan ruins surrounded by dense jungle; accessible by romantic river cruise

The ancient Mayan city of Lamanai is on the New River Lagoon. Lamanai, which roughly translates to 'Submerged Crocodile', was one of the most important trading and ceremonial centres in the Caribbean lowlands. Occupied for over 3,000 years, from 1500 BC until 1600 AD, the ruins are unique as they illuminate a period of history that encompasses the early formative years of Mayan civilisation through to initial European contact and colonisation.

With structures ranging from pre-classic temples to the Spanish colonial-era, jungle trails, refreshing swimming holes, and an excellent on-site museum, Lamanai is one of the most charming of all the Mayan sites in Belize. Travel upriver and explore these ancient Maya ruins surrounded by jungle and accessible by boat. As you cruise the waterways, enjoy tremendous birding and wildlife opportunities, including iguana, parrots, toucan, aracari, and Morelet's crocodile.

3. Lighthouse Reef and the Blue Hole

Made famous by Jacques Cousteau

Lighthouse Reef is one of only four coral atolls in the Caribbean and home to the famous and unique Blue Hole. In 1972, Captain Jacques Cousteau and the intrepid crew of the Calypso explored and filmed this incredible atoll, showing its amazing underwater diversity to the world for the first time.

The Blue Hole is a mesmerising cenote - a water-filled limestone sinkhole - around 100m in diameter and at least 33m deep. It makes for a cool place to swim on the hottest days of the year.

4. Glover's Reef

The diving here is about as good as it gets in the whole of the Atlantic

Protected as a Marine Reserve and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Glover's Reef has the greatest diversity of reef types of all the atolls in the Caribbean.

Divers can spot whale sharks, manta rays, black tip and hammerhead sharks, or corals of every colour and a range of fascinating marine fauna and flora.

Plus you can kip on Southwest Caye with Marine Basecamps, ideally located for snorkelling, sea kayaking, kayak sailing, diving and fishing. Sleep in romantic, oceanfront tent cabanas and wake up to the cool sea breeze.

5.  Five Blue Lakes National Park

Centred around an intensely blue lake, still unexplored but thought to be 200 feet deep

Five Blue Lakes is a 10-acre natural wonder of earth and water, surrounded by over 4,000 acres of limestone hills and tropical forests. The varying water depth and ambient light filtering through the trees cause the water to take on remarkably different shades of blue, giving the lake its name. Five Blues is one of the newest parks in Belize so there are fewer visitors and you get a real feeling of unexplored terrain.

A total of 217 species of birds have been identified in the park and all five of Belize's wildcats (jaguar, ocelot, mountain lion, margay and jaguarundi) are known to make their homes within its boundaries. Inside the tangle of broadleaf trees, howler monkeys, tapir, gibnut, peccary and armadillo roam in a kaleidoscope of liana, bromeliads and orchids.

6. The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center

Native Belizean animals, conservation programs and forest cabanas

The Belize Zoo is situated on 29 acres of tropical savanna and exhibits over 150 animals, representing over 45 species, all native to Belize. The zoo keeps animals which were orphaned, rescued, born at the zoo, rehabilitated animals, or sent to The Belize Zoo as donations from other zoological institutions. It is home to one of the world's only Jaguar Rehabilitation Programs.

The Tropical Education Center is adjacent to the zoo and has nature trails with raised boardwalks, wildlife observation platforms, birdwatching tours and caving and kayaking trips on the Sibun River.

Sourced with help from Island Expeditions, which specialises in Belize and Yucatan adventure travel, offering small group trips to special places where few others travellers go... Remote coral reefs, tropical rainforests and rich indigenous cultures. Find out more here.

Want to plan a romantic honeymoon to Belize but don't know where to start? Take a look at our Honeymoon Finder to plan your once-in-a-lifetime trip.

More like this

5 top honeymoon experiences in St Lucia
5 top honeymoon experiences in St Lucia

Think honeymoons to St Lucia are just relaxing beach breaks? With rainforest hiking routes, colourful nightlife and thrilling wildlife encounters, this Caribbean gem may just surprise you…

Read More

14 of the best cycling honeymoons
14 of the best cycling honeymoons

Bike trips make great honeymoons for active couples and offer new perspectives on well-worn destinations too. From challenging routes to leisurely pedals along the flat, these are our favourites

Read More

The 5 most romantic restaurants in London
The 5 most romantic restaurants in London

Want to treat your loved one to a meal to remember? These five London restaurants are perfect for honeymoons, candle lit dinners for two and popping the question

Read More

Honeymoon Finder

Looking for your perfect honeymoon? Try our honeymoon finder and search some of the best tour operators available.

Honeymoon Finder
Honeymoon
offers
10% online discount with Stanfords
10% online discount with Stanfords

Unique Honeymoons readers can save 10% on online purchases with Stanfords

10% off at Powertraveller
10% off at Powertraveller

Save 10% on Powertraveller products

Twitter bird
CONNECT WITH
UNIQUE
HONEYMOONS
Get Honeymoons in your inbox

Unique Honeymoon Ideas sends out regular email newsletters – be the first to know about web exclusives, competitions, hot offers and travel jobs. Register today!