The tiny nation of Belize is the second-smallest country in Central America. What it lacks in size, though, it more than makes up for in scenery and adventure. Indeed, this country clocks in at just 9,000 square miles in size; several small, outlying islands – called cayes – converge with an extensive network of coral reefs to create one of the finest diving meccas on the planet. The actual dry land area of Belize is equally stunning, with dense expanses of forest covering the landscape. If your cruise ship docks at Belize City – a popular port of call – make it a point to get off and have a look around.
Sightseeing & Things To Do
As welcoming a place as it is, it would be a real shame to miss out on the charms of Belize by remaining on the ship when it docks here. From the moment you arrive in the city, you will be swept away by its easy pace and pleasant atmosphere. Ancient Mayan ruins beckon for you, or you can simply hop on a quick ferry over to a secluded caye and make a day out of relaxing in the sun. Whatever you do, be sure to explore Belize.
Belize offers a compelling mix of educational and mind expanding attractions along with several purely touristy and relaxing places to hang out. Depending on where your interests lie, you should consider one of the following attractions:
The cayes of Belize are considered to be very important to its overall character, and those in the know high tail it over to this scenic and isolated caye when visiting Belize City. Indeed, at five miles long and just one mile wide, Caye Caulker offers some of the most exquisite beach environs in the entire region. Since no cars are allowed on this caye, it is also supremely quiet and is an all-around wonderful spot to get some much-needed rest and relaxation when in Belize.
As with so many other parts of Central America, the Mayans made an indelible mark here many centuries ago. You can learn more about the Mayans and their inimitable culture by heading over to Altun Ha. Temples and tombs are open to the public at Altun Ha, allowing you to get a feel for how these long ago people used to live. As a ceremonial and trading center, Altun Ha was an important part of Mayan life.
Community Baboon Sanctuary
Since the chances of seeing a real live monkey in the wild in the relatively developed city of Belize is rare, why not head over to the Community Baboon Sanctuary? A large array of black howler monkeys live here, and you can see these little guys up close and personally in this well run and well maintained facility.
Thanks to the major expanse of coral reef that rings Belize, it is an exceptionally fine place to do a little snorkeling. Strap on your fins and snorkel and dip below the surface of the shimmering waters to see colorful fish and other sea life. Hit Ambergris Caye for some of the best snorkeling in Belize.
Whether you only have a limited amount of time while in Belize – or if you simply want to get all of your shopping done in one fell swoop – make sure to visit the Tourism Village. This is where all of the best shops are concentrated, and since they are close together it is not a major hassle to spend time here. You’ll be able to find something for everyone on your list when you stop by the Tourism Village in Belize.
Best Souvenir To Bring Back To the Cruise Ship
Carvings made out of wood and slate are among the very best options when it comes to souvenirs from Belize. Wooden bowls, especially, are wonderful souvenirs to bring home since they are attractive as well as useful.
Eating – Sample the Local Cuisine
If you truly want to eat like many of the locals do in Belize, be sure to order a plate of rice and beans. This dish is cooked in coconut milk and is simple yet savory. Conch fritters are another popular mainstay in Belize, and are available at large restaurants as well as small food stands. Finally, curry chicken is a very well known part of the local cuisine of Belize and is sure to please the palate of even the most finicky eater.
When, Where, and How
When To Go
The dry season – December to April – is the best time to come to Belize if you want to see the sights. Most cruises stop in Belize during that time of year, so it should not be an issue at all.
Where You’re Docked
All of the cruise ships that arrive in Belize City dock in the Belize City Harbor. Luckily, tendering onto the mainland is quick and easy; you will be thrilled with how rapidly you find yourself in the heart of the charming city of Belize.
Which Cruise Ships Go Here?
A huge number of major cruise lines have itineraries that include stops at Belize. A few of the largest cruise lines that stop in Belize are Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line. However, there are many other options available in terms of ships, dates, days at sea and in port when it comes to Belize.