Free Things To Do in Belize
- #1View all PhotosfreeAmbergris Caye#1 in BelizeBeaches, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEMore than Full DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEMore than Full DayTIME TO SPEND
With its plentiful outdoor activities, this 25-mile-long island off the coast of northern Belize caters to the snorkeling and diving set. The island was originally inhabited by the Mayans to serve as a far-extending trade route, spanning from present-day Mexico to as far south as Honduras. Today, Ambergris Caye welcomes thousands of visitors seeking easy access to the barrier reef that surrounds the island. Snorkelers and intrepid divers alike will want to explore Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Most of the diving and snorkeling shops and instructors are found in San Pedro, including the Belize Pro Dive Center, Tuff E Nuff Tours and Scuba School Belize, which all offer a variety of daily excursions. Prices vary depending on the type and length of tours, plus any certification fees for diving.
When you're not underwater, explore San Pedro, Ambergris' main town. Here you'll find beachside restaurants, lounges, shops and luxury hotels. You'll notice the difference between this tourist hub and the more urban Belize City as soon as you step onto its cobblestone streets, which are filled with golf carts and bicycles, rather than cars.
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Just about 20 miles north of Belize City sits Caye Caulker, a 4-mile-long, sun-soaked island that boasts superb diving and snorkeling spots and a relaxed tropical ambience. Though the island is mostly uninhabited by locals, visitors flock to the restaurants, shops and hotels perched at the northern tip near the Split (the area where Hurricane Hattie parted Caye Caulker into two halves in 1960).
Like Ambergris Caye, this remote island offers a broad range of snorkeling, scuba, sailing, kayaking and fishing services to nearby sites located along the surrounding barrier reef. There are also some unique attractions like the manatee preservation site, Swallow Caye.
- #5View all PhotosfreeCayo District#5 in BelizeFree, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEMore than Full DayTIME TO SPENDFree, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEMore than Full DayTIME TO SPEND
Travel west of Belize City and you'll discover a cluster of ancient Mayan sites, rolling hills, gorgeous sunsets, tranquil butterfly gardens and verdant jungles. In the heart of the Cayo District sits San Ignacio, a small town that boasts traditional culinary dishes and affordable hotels.
Start your tour just 6 miles south of the town at the ancient Mayan ruin Xunantunich. Set along the Mopan River and less than a mile from the Guatemalan border, the temple at Xunantunich was once a civic ceremonial center for the Mayan people.
- #6View all Photos#6 in BelizeFree, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEMore than Full DayTIME TO SPENDFree, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEMore than Full DayTIME TO SPEND
Imagine tranquil beaches topped with rustling palm trees and backed by pastel-colored beachfront villas and calm Caribbean waters. This is Placencia, Belize's rapidly booming beach town. Stretching across a 16-mile-long peninsula, Placencia boasts a myriad of nature reserves and underwater sanctuaries along with postcard-perfect vistas. The area offers the only golden sands on mainland Belize.
While you're visiting Placencia, consider a trip to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and the nearby Mayan sites. The Monkey River — which contains crocodiles, howler monkeys, boas and iguanas — is also worth checking out. Plus, don't forget to sample some of the peninsula's cuisine — the area is known for its Kriol (Creole) seafood dishes.
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