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1. The Lamanai Ruins
Explore the fascinating Mayan culture through this large former Mayan city that dates back to 1500 BC. The name, Lamanai, translates to “submerged crocodile” in Maya. Located in Northern Belize on the Shore of New River Lagoon, this is one of the largest Mayan ceremonial sites in all of Belize, with many areas still unexcavated. With over 800 structures surrounded by rich jungle, this is one of the largest Mayan ceremonial sites in all of Belizeand a Belize Tourist Destinations that cannot be missed.
2. Marie Sharp’s Hot Sauce Factory
In 1980, using fresh fruits, vegetables and habanero peppers from her farm, Marie Sharp started testing out different recipes for sauces and jams. She launched production for her hot sauce in a small kitchen with assistance from friends and relatives. Today, with her own factory and over 20 employees, Marie Sharp is truly a local success story. Marie Sharp’s hot sauce is not only a staple in Belize culture, but one of the most popular condiments in all of Central America. Tour the factory and don’t forget the tasting session–not for the faint of tongues or stomachs.
All the unique cultures of Belize— Creoles, Mestizos, Mayas, Asians and Mennonites gather near the town center just after sunrise for the San Ignacio Farmers Market. While the market is open everyday, go on Saturday for the best experience–this is when locals sell produce and handmade arts and crafts. While at this Belize Tourist Destinations sample food and learn about the local fruits from locals selling it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, they’re happy to tell you any fruit’s name, when it’s ripe and how to eat it. You’ll also find traditional herbalists specializing in ancient Mayan natural remedies, in case you aren’t feeling well.
4. The Belize Barrier Reef
Off the coast of Belize lies 186 miles of coral making up the second largest barrier reef in the world. Home to various species of fish and sea life, some unique to Belize, this is one of the top snorkeling and scuba diving destinations worldwide. The most famous and recognizable part of Belize’s reef system, The Great Blue Hole, is located next to Lighthouse Reef, 43 miles off Belize’s coast. Over 1,312 feet across and 475 feet deep, this perfectly circular limestone sinkhole was made famous by Jacques Cousteau in the 1970s. Today, it is considered one of the world’s best-known aquatic wonders. The Great Blue Hole’s perfectly clear blue water offers incredible visibility, making it one of the best diving sites in the world, and absolutely one of the most beautiful Belize Tourist Destinations
5. The Crystal Maiden
In a remote jungle cave in the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve lies the skeleton of an 18 year old girl with her back broken on the cave floor. The Crystal Maiden was discovered in 1989 and is over 1,000 years old. To reach this eerie Belize tourist destination, you have to hike 45 minutes to the Actun Tunichil Muknal cave entrance, then wade through pools and pass calcite formations, large caves including “the Cathedral” and skeletons of ritual sacrifices made by Mayan people to their gods ranging in age from one year old to adult. Once you reach The Crystal Maiden, her bones will sparkle in the light of your headlamp due to their intense calcification. While this may sound like a creepy outing, it does offer a true glimpse into the fascinating Mayan history.
6. Garifuna drumming
The Garifuna people are believed to be descendants from a wrecked slave ship of West and Central African, Island Carib and Arawak people. Today, they live throughout the Caribbean in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Tourists can experience and participate in the unique Garifuna culture by taking lessons in traditional drumming and dancing at one of the schools in Belize.
Golf carts and bicycles are the main mode of transportation on this tiny island off Belize’s coast where the only traffic sign simply reads “go slow.” With only about 1,000 permanent residents, the relaxed lifestyle and warm Caribbean water of Caye Caulker attracts countless visitors every year. This little piece of paradise is one of the best places in the world to see endangered manatees in their natural habitat. Boat tours run daily from Caye Caulker to Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary, an ocean bed covered with turtle grass that provides food for the West Indian manatee population. Tourists can take pictures, but must respect the strict rules in place to prevent disturbing these majestic creatures, including no swimming.
Getting There: G Adventures offers numerous tours in Belize, with a wide range of departure dates and activities.
G Adventures is an adventure travel pioneer offering the planet’s most awe-inspiring selection of affordable small-group tours, safaris and expeditions. We have defined (and redefined) small group travel for over 25 years. Traveling with us is the very best way to get up-close and personal with your planet in a way you’d never manage on your own. Our award-winning trips embrace authentic accommodation, exotic cuisine and local transport to put travelers on a first-name basis with the planet’s people, cultures, landscapes and wildlife. And when you travel with us, you support local communities and help make the world a little bit better for everyone.