If your family enjoys snorkeling, island life, Mayan Ruins, rainforests, and adventure, consider Belize! Both our co-founder, Monica Irauzqui, and our General Sales Manager, Karolina Guilcapi, have traveled with their families here, and share some of their family friendly favorites. They suggest spending three or four days inland, before flying out to one of the islands. While inland, try cave tubing, a trip to the Mayan Ruins, and some rainforest exploration. On Ambergris Caye, spend a few days of snorkeling the crystal clear waters while viewing the stunning barrier reefs. An ideal tour would also add a few days over the border in Guatemala to see the stunning Tikal.
San Ignacio Area – A central location for accessible adventure and to experience the Maya culture. San Ignacio is located in western Belize and serves as the capital of the Cayo District. The number of activities to do here are endless. Spend your days swimming in jungle-clad rivers, canoeing or crawling through mysterious caves, observing the birds, butterflies and other wildlife, or learn about the secrets of the ancient Maya. Some of our favorite family excursions:
IGUANA PROJECT: Visit the highly interpretive and educational exhibit at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel to get close with the threatened Green Iguana.
Experience the rainforest and get close to endangered Black Howler Monkeys (locally called ‘baboons’) in the wild. A well trained guide will take you through the trails in the forest to come up close and personal with these animals. Hear their loud howls and also be allowed to feed them.
BELIZE ZOO: One of the most natural zoos to witness the native jungle animals. Spotting animals is easy and you may even get to see the elusive Puma. The Zoo also has a nighttime tour to see the nocturnal animals when they are most active.
This impressive Maya Site is a major ceremonial center, and one of the countries larger excavated sights. The view from the largest pyramid El Castillo is remarkable.
ATM CAVES AND TUBING: One of the most popular Mayan burial sites (Actun Tunichil Muknal) is an adventurous journey into the underworld of ancient passages of the Mayans. Explore the cave which contains four skeletons, ceramics and stoneware left undisturbed for hundreds of years by the Maya. Try cave tubing through the 7 mile “River of Caves”.
MAYA COOKING CLASSES: Make tortillas with local Maya women in a traditional Mayan kitchen. Learn how to make your own chocolate bar in the traditional Mayan way!
Mountain Pine Ridge Area:
A remote location, 4-5 hours from Belize City by land or a short flight. The oldest and largest protected forested area in Belize, home to various large mammals, including Cougars, Jaguars, Ocelots, White-nosed Coatis, and Baird’s Tapirs.
BUTTERFLY FARM: See Blue Morpho butterflies up close and observe them in the varying stages of their life cycles at Chaa Creek’s private nature reserve.
Walk along the “Mystic River” with a Yampu guide. Or take a longer journey by canoe or kayak and paddle down the river to San Ignacio.
Orange Walk District: affectionately called “Sugar City“
Known for the scenic New River as well as its sugar mill, cattle, rum production and fields of papayas.
Belize’s most popular remote ruins. Explore these mysterious jungle-shrouded ruins of Lamanai, with over 700 structures. Climbing the ruins is an experience in itself.
Belize’s largest island and a diver’s paradise.
HOL CHAN MARINE RESERVE: Snorkel through spectacular coral formations and view an amazing variety of fish life, including moray eels. Go through Shark Ray Alley, where nurse sharks and southern stingrays are found in the sea-grass beds and mangroves.
Photos © Karolina Guilcapi