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Things to do in Belize

Activities in Belize tend to focus around the country's natural wonders. Divers, snorkelers, and canoeists in particular are drawn to the Belize Barrier Reef, which is the world's second largest barrier reef. Along the southern coast of Belize is Glover's Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that's widely regarded as the most fascinating place in the world to scuba dive.

There are also plenty of things to do in Belize that don't require getting wet. The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Centre is spread over 29 acres of tropical savannah; there, you'll be able to marvel at more than 125 animals, all native to Belize, including rescued animals, as well as animals born at the Zoo.

Travel to Belize's countryside to see what remains of the Mayan civilization. At the lost city of Lamanai, formerly a large Mayan city with three temples, there's an onsite that explains the 3,000 years of history on display - see if you can find some copper relics while you're navigating the grounds. After you've explored the pre-classic Mayan ruins and Spanish colonial buildings, take a dip in one of the several refreshing swimming holes. All of that history works up a sweat!

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  • Baymen's Tavern

    With its wicker armchairs, hanging vines, and vintage botanical prints, the Radisson Fort George Hotel's cocktail bar has a colonial-chic vibe. The... More
  • Belize Zoo

    Founded in 1983 by an American biologist who had 17 semi-tame animals on her hands after filming a documentary about rain forests, the Belize Zoo i... More
  • Brodies

    The 120-year-old dry-goods store is still the go-to emporium downtown. Its atmospheric interior has cast-iron Doric columns, and aisles are stocked... More
  • Community Baboon Sanctuary

    The sanctuary is home to 1,000 black howler monkeys (known here as baboons), a large tree-dwelling species that is endangered in Belize. This is a ... More
  • Cucumber Beach

    Belize City has no naturally sandy stretches, but the man-made Cucumber Beach, five miles outside of town, is a sugary expanse that's worth a visit... More
  • Fort George

    Wander the streets of Fort George, a residential neighborhood of clapboard houses on stilts and yards lush with banana trees and bougainvillea. Loo... More
  • Habano Cigar Store

    This small, trim shop has a no-nonsense atmosphere: two desks, four humidors, and one smoking chair, which keeps the focus squarely on cigars. Many... More
  • Hol Chan Marine Reserve

    The three-square-mile Hol Chan Marine Reserve was created in 1987 to protect marine habitats in Belize’s coral reef, seagrass beds, Mangrove beds, ... More
  • House of Culture Museum

    The stately oceanside mansion was the British governor's residence from 1812 to 1961; it now offers a look at an elegant, bygone era. Cases filled ... More
  • Image Factory Art Foundation

    Run by a nonprofit group promoting contemporary Central American and Caribbean artists, this shop features an impressive range of work, from quirky... More
  • Katie Nelson

    Years as agent: 14. Other specialties: Costa Rica, Guatemala. Consulting fee: Varies. katien@travelpoints.com More
  • Kensington Tours

    A vast range of personalized itineraries, including working on archaeological digs in Israel and trekking to see gorillas in Rwanda, while staying ... More
  • Museum of Belize

    Small but jam-packed, the excellent museum has a native butterfly collection, historic photographs, and rare Mayan artifacts, such as geometric-pat... More
  • National Handicraft Center

    Skip the predictable coconut-shell earrings and head straight for this souvenir store's real draw: locally made condiments and spirits. Pick up jug... More
  • Record Shack

    Reggae music blares from the speakers outside this tiny store; inside there's an assortment of Caribbean-music CDs. Look for Belize-based label Sto... More

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