Where Mayan art blends with breathtaking scenery and tropical forests, a majestic country is born. Belize, a land of grand tales and ancient stories, a land where Garifuna beats seep their way through stretching turquoise shallows and offshore beautifies…Maya mountains envelop one of the smallest countries in Central America and colorful reefs give it that extra oomph.
Despite its small size, there are still plenty of things you can do in Belize – from snorkeling to hiking to making chocolate!
Best Belize Cultural Highlights
Gulisi Garifuna Museum
The Gulisi Garifuna Museum is the perfect place to shed a light on the culture and history of the Garifuna people. It will show you their vibrant history, their colorful culture, their intoxicating music and much more. You’ll find a lot of displays, exhibits, museums and paintings. Make sure to check out the rotating displays by the Grifuna artists.
Ascend To The Summit Of Caracol
How does climbing to the top of a Mayan pyramid’s summit sound like? Without a doubt, pretty cool. The sensational Caana pyramid boasts spectacular views and vistas of the surroundings and still proudly prides itself on being the tallest manmade structure in Belize for 12 centuries. Carcol is an archaeological site in the heart of Belize that remains important up until this day sine the 7th century. It’s not only considered one of the most important in Belize but in the Mayan world in general as it holds very high significance.
You’ll be at first overwhelmed with the 35,000 buildings that you can explore, the exactions and restorations, the ball courts, the temples and much more. If you want to learn more about the history of the site visit the Visitor’s Center that includes:
- Photographs explaining the site.
- Maps and diagrams o give you a bit of a guide in the site.
- Artifacts that date back thousands of years ago.
- The ceremonial altar.
- Four palaces, three temples. And the infamous ball court market the Altar 21.
This is where you’ll find the second largest pyramid in Belize. The whole place acts like a gallery that takes you through a journey of Maya and their ancient culture. You’ll be able to check out the hieroglyphics that decorate the walls and sculptures, or wander around the lush forests or even climb a pyramid!
Explore A Mystical Cave
There is nothing more eerily majestic than hiking into an underground cave that was once occupied by the ancient Mayans. By diving deep into that world, you’ll get to experience one of the most unforgettable journeys of your life. From the start of the hike through the lush green jungles, to the thrill of wearing your headlamp and helmet, you’re in for a ride!
- You will be required to swim to actually reach the cave in the end. The swim is in a deep pool so it’s advisable to be a good swimmer.
- After you get to the cave, follow your guide very carefully. From twists, to turns to climbs to walking tours, you’ll be engulfed in the eeriness of the cave for at least an hour.
What to see inside:
- Shimmering rocks.
- The pottery vessels and shards.
- Remains of humans from a very long time ago.
- The remains of the woman that the cave (Actun Tunichil Muknal) is named after.
The cave is a surefire way to not just delve into the past, but to immerse yourself completely in it. The ollas, the skulls, the resting place of Actun are all an ode to human sacrifice, to the past and to the mystical.
Explore Unusual Ruins That Date Back Thousands Of Years Ago
The city of Lubaantun is a must visit on your trip to Belize. Despite the fact that the city was used for at least a hundred years, the city of Lubaantun was eerily completely abandoned right after.
You’ll also realize the incredibly diverse architecture styles (sometimes even unusual styles) where they used black slate stones instead of limestone and large blocks of stone. Sadly, the structures have been completely damaged.
However, you can see 11 large structure towers, plazas, courts and of course – the infamous Crystal Skull that remains a mystery up until this day.
Visit The Museum Of Belize
If you want to get a little bit more cultured (which you’ll find that Belize is the perfect place to do so in) then definitely visit the Museum of Belize. You’ll be taken to a journey through the history of Belize (after all, the museum is actually the setting of the previous jal of the country.). From historical photos to Mayan treasures and sculptures – it can’t get any better than this! The museum is divided into a few sections including:
- Models that explain the Mayan sites around Belize.
- Postage Stamps.
- Insect Life.
- The Maya Treasures
- And of course – much
Explore A Temple – Altun Ha
Directly translated as “Rockstone Pond”, this Mayan city is considered more of a dramatic site than anything in Belize. Make sure you check out the Temple of the Masonry, climb up a pyramid, watch the jungle vistas, and explore the Mayan artifacts.