Port Guide: Belize City
The tiny Central American country of Belize is a pearl of the Caribbean. It's mostly undiscovered, but the secret is getting out.
We have been to this charming country a few times and have fallen in love with its warm waters, affordability and outstanding access to active adventures.
Belize is home to just fewer than 400,000 residents and annually sees more than 330 cruise ship arrivals, bringing more than 65,000 cruisers to the country.
When arriving by big cruise ship, you will take a tender for about 15 minutes to reach the shore at Belize's Fort Street Tourism Village, a built-up open-air mall with shops, restaurants and entertainment.
These shops and eateries that serve up authentic Belizean and Caribbean specialties are housed in colorful buildings located on a wooden pier, and excursion outfitters are set up to meet you there for your tours.
When you stop at Harvest Caye for the day, you also can choose to go ashore to explore the mainland, and there are plenty of opportunities for active travelers.
Cave Tubing. Belize is a natural wonderland and great destination for outdoors activities. Cave tubing is a top excursion for visitors to Belize. The country is filled with caves that are sacred spots and part of the native Maya history of the region.
You hike through the jungle and across rivers to reach the caves. The cave system is part of the Belize National Park system, and you need to book a tour with licensed guides to access them.
The activity has you hop onto a tube to float along gentle-flowing waterways and explore ancient underground Mayan sites situated within the vast network of underground rivers.
Jungle Trekking to See Ruins. Trek into the jungle to visit ancient ruins that were the site of centuries-old villages. These historic spots show how the Maya people used to live. Check out tours that take you to see Altun Ha, Lamanai and Xunantunich.
Snorkeling. Belize is located along the Mesoamerican Reef, the world's second biggest coral reef system in the world. Australia's Great Barrier Reef is larger. Belize is a fantastic destination for snorkelers.
The Great Blue Hole. This massive underwater sinkhole is a top spot for divers (and snorkelers). In fact, Belize itself is quite popular for scuba diving. But the spectacular Great Blue Hole, which boasts deep rich blue color, is almost 1,000 feet across and more than 400 feet deep, is an iconic attraction for the nation. It's located about 60 miles from the mainland and gets quite busy with crowds of people.
Hiking, Watersports and More. Visitors are drawn to Belize for the beautiful water and ideal weather. It has numerous opportunities for hiking, ziplining, tubing, river rafting, snorkeling, diving, fishing and boating.
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve. Book a tour to this national park to enjoy river rafting, incredible hiking trails and the chance to see the world's only jaguar conservation project (jaguar sightings not guaranteed).
UnCruise Adventures sails weeklong voyages to Belize and offers an excellent small-ship program, with expert guides leading daily activities like hiking, snorkeling, kayaking and visits to parks and communities. This is a much more active and immersive way to get to experience Belize and learn about its history and culture. Instead of a one-day stop at the Belize City port area, you will spend multiple days all along the coast and among the cays and islets within the barrier reef.
The UnCruise itinerary on the 70-passenger ship Safari Voyager also includes days visiting neighboring Guatemala.
Do you think you'll be going to Belize? How do you plan to enjoy this special place? Let us know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading,
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