In almost every corner you visit in Belize, you will encounter something beautiful – a Maya site, a diverse culture, a pristine nature reserve. The charming beauty of Belize is one of a kind and will certainly entice you to become one with Belize as the Belize Tourism Board alludes.
Below, we share with you 8 hidden gems that in our opinion are top attractions in the country that you must explore on a Belize vacation.
Xunantunich is the most visited Maya sites in the Cayo District and is located atop a ridge above the Mopan River in the quaint village of San Jose Succotz in western Belize. The site served as a Maya civic ceremonial center in the late terminal Classic periods to the Belize Valley region and Xunantunich’s name means “stone woman” in the Maya language.
“El Castillo”, the largest pyramid offers an impressive and panoramic view of the area.
The Village of Monkey River is habitat to a plethora of flora and fauna and as a result it has been rated as one of the top destinations to visit in Southern Belize. Tropical birds, butterflies, crocodiles, iguanas, and of course howler monkeys are just a few of the wildlife that you will find encounter in this hidden gem.
Laughing Bird Caye
Laughing Bird Caye is an elegant and stunning Belizean Isle that is located 11 miles from Placencia Village and serves as an ideal destination for snorkeling and scuba diving. In fact, many travelers who vacation in Placencia visit this gorgeous piece of paradise for a full day of diving, snorkeling, sea kayaking and even picnicking.
Laughing Bird Caye got its name from the Laughing Gulls – the birds that once used to breed on the Caye, however due to a growing human presence, the colonies moved to a nearby undisturbed Caye for breeding. Presently, the Island is home to a number of exotic birds like the brown pelican, green heron, and melodious blackbird.
Over the years, Placencia has been recognized as one of the best beach destinations not only in Belize but in the Caribbean, and this exquisite hidden gem can serve as a base to a potpourri of adventures like snorkeling, diving, deep sea fishing, hiking, and even exploring ancient Maya cities.
See also: Belize Family Vacation Package
ChabilMar, a guest exclusive resort is located right on the beach and their professional staff can assist you in arranging tours to the natural attractions in Placencia and surrounding areas.
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Cockscomb Basin is recognized globally as the world’s first jaguar preserve and this hidden gem has been voted by travelers as a must see nature reserve in Belize.
Cascading waterfalls, panoramic mountain views, nature trails, furry mammals, colorful insects, scaly reptiles and a variety of tropical birds are just a few of the things you will see at this sanctuary. Cockscomb Basin is also home to one of Belize’s highest points — Victoria Peak.
Half Moon Caye in Belize
Another hidden gem in Belize that a lot of travelers do not know about is Half Moon Caye. This incredible caye offers divers the chance to go on a wall dive – a dive in which the vertical facades of the earth’s landmasses are explored. The depths at Half Moon Caye (and really at any wall dive) are tremendous, giving divers the very correct feeling that you are staring into an abyss.
The waters of this beautiful gem are particularly clear, despite the depth, so you will be able to see all manner of wildlife, including loggerhead turtles, rays, barracuda, and eels.
Great Blue Hole
The world famous Blue Hole is an incomparable natural wonder in Belize. It is located at the center of Lighthouse Reef and measures 1000 feet across and 412 feet deep. Giant stalactites, dripstone sheets and columns, and colorful marine life are the enchanting geological wonders that will fascinate you if you decide to dive this gem in Belize.
See also: Dive Blue Hole Belize Vacation Packages
It is interesting to note that Jacques-Yves Coustea, the popular ocean explorer revealed the secrets of the Blue Hole to millions of viewers in 1971 through the television serious The Undersea World of Jacques-Yves Coustea.
Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
Actun Tunichil Muknal or the ATM Cave as it is locally known is one of the most breathtaking caving experiences you will have in Belize. The cave is located in the karstic limestone terrain of Roaring Creek Valley in the Cayo District and is approximately 5 km long and contains a perennial stream that runs through it including a ledge with two stelae and a large chamber full of intact human remains and Maya pots.
See also: Belize Beach and Jungle Vacations
Jaime Awe, Director of Archeology asserts that Actun Tunichil Muknal was a sacred place to the Maya who utilized the cave during the classic period AD 250-909.
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