Two of Belize’s most pristine nature reserves are located in Northern Belize. The Shipstern Conservation Management Area near Sarteneja in Orange Walk District measures more than 43 square miles (112 square km) and features wetlands, lagoons, a belt of mangrove forest, and a large region of hardwood forests. The Shipstern nature reserve is home to all five of Belize’s big cat species as well as more than 250 different species of birds, including 300 pairs of wood storks that use the area as a breeding site.
The second large nature reserve located in Northern Belize is the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary (CTWS). Managed by the Audubon Society, the CTWS measures more than 16,000 acres (6,500 ha) in size and includes several wetland areas that are home to hundreds of different species of birds.
One of Belize’s most impressive ancient Maya sites is also located in Northern Belize. Located in Orange Walk District, Lamanai is one of the few Maya sites where the original name has been preserved. Continuously inhabited even during the post-Classic Period, Lamanai was conquered by the Spanish, who built several churches on top of destroyed temples. These churches were later razed to the ground by the Maya, giving visitors the chance to glimpse several historical ages in one location.
Other top attractions in Northern Belize include Corozal Town, the eponymous capital of Corozal District. Corozal Town is a charming mid-size town with three churches and a lovely central square lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. In Corozal Town, visitors can visit the Old Customs House which was built in 1886, one of the oldest surviving colonial-era buildings in the country. Today, the Old Customs House is a combination cultural center and museum.
And be sure to visit the city’s town hall, which has a large mural painted by renowned local artist Manuel Villamor Reyes. The colorful mural depicts several key episodes of Corozal District’s history.
Just outside Corozal Town is the ancient Maya site of Santa Rita. Although much of the site is still being excavated, visitors can explore a pyramid that commands an impressive view of the coastline.
It’s already March, so if you’ve been thinking about where to go this summer, the time to start planning is now! Summertime is the perfect season to visit Belize as the weather is perfect, airlines are offering great prices on tickets, and many hotels and resorts are offering discounts.
If you’ve ever considered visiting Belize, here are five amazing reasons you should definitely come visit this summer:
Lobster is the world’s most popular crustacean, and there’s no better place to enjoy lobster than in Belize. Beginning in June when the lobster fishing season opens, coastal towns and islands in Belize celebrate by holding multi-day Lobsterfests. Along with plenty of delicious and creative lobster dishes, visitors can also enjoy live music, dancing, and fun lobster-themed games.
In a nutshell, the weather in Belize during the summer is just about perfect. Because Belize experiences year-round sunshine and warm temperatures, the “high season” for tourism is during the winter. This makes visiting Belize in the summer a choice for budget travelers.
Throughout the summer, the weather in Belize is warm and sunny without being too hot. It’s also the perfect time to enjoy swimming in the Caribbean or enjoying a quick dip in the pool at the base of a waterfall.
The People of Belize
Many people come to Belize for the incredible nature, but the people of Belize have plenty to offer as well. Home to half a dozen ethnic and cultural groups, Belize is world-famous for its hospitality, warmth, and genuine friendliness.
Scuba Diving or Snorkeling
The Belize Barrier Reef is the second-largest in the world and the perfect place to enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling. Gorgeous tropical islands, sandy atolls, an incredible abundance of marine life, and the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean are why Belize is a mecca for scuba divers and snorkelers.
Exploring the great outdoors is one of Belize’s greatest attractions. Fun adventure tour options include exploring an ancient Maya city, bird watching (more than 500 species in the country!), hiking through a national park, and sailing through the rainforest canopy along a series of zip lines.
If you’re coming to Belize this summer, be sure to rent your vehicle from Tour Belize Auto Rental. When you’re behind the wheel of your own vehicle, you can explore Belize at your own pace and enjoy the sights in this fantastically beautiful country.
Belize is a small country about the same size as the American state of Vermont. With four paved highways and a network of water taxi operators, it’s pretty easy to get just about anywhere in the country in three hours or less.
Belize is a former British colony, so all the signs will be in English. And if you do get turned around, a friendly local is sure to help you out.
Once you’ve arrived, you have a number of options for getting around.
If you’re flying into Belize from another country, you will land at the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (code: BZE). It’s often called the Belize City airport or the international airport (in Belize City), but it’s actually located in the village of Ladyville, approximately 10 miles northwest of Belize City proper.
There are no public transportation options at the airport, so you’ll have to rent a car, take a taxi, or arrange for shuttle services to get to your final destination.
Some visitors prefer to arrive at neighboring airports such as Cancun in Mexico. The private bus company ADO operates a daily service between Cancun and Belize City with a travel time of around nine hours.
Belize has two domestic airlines: Tropic Air and Maya Island Air. Both airlines offer flights to over a dozen locations on the mainland as well as two of the offshore islands (Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker).
Flight times are quite short (around 15 minutes), but be aware that the planes are very small, and seating is somewhat cramped. Flying domestically is your fastest option for getting around, but it’s also the most expensive.
Taxi drivers in Belize will be more than happy to take you to any destination on the mainland. Best practices are to negotiate the price before you begin your trip.
Please note that all officially licensed taxis have a green number (license) plate on the vehicle. Riding with unlicensed taxi operators is not recommended.
The easiest and most affordable way to get around in Belize is with a rental vehicle from Tour Belize Auto Rental. We have two offices in the country, including one located right at the international airport.
Anyone with a valid driver’s license in their home country can operate a motor vehicle in Belize. Tour Belize Auto Rental has a fleet of modern, rugged vehicles perfectly adapted to the country’s roads.
One of the best times to visit Belize is during Easter. The longest holiday period on the Belizean calendar, Easter is a time of religious celebration, high-energy sporting events, and festive family gatherings.
Unlike in many neighboring countries, the Easter period only officially starts on Good Friday, although schools are closed for the entire week. Government offices and banks shut down at noon on Holy Thursday, leading to a slowdown in commerce.
The vast majority of Belizeans are members of the Christian faith and commemorate Good Friday with a series of religious processions and services. Alcohol sales are prohibited. Catholic churches often lead processions that re-enact the Passion of the Christ. Most of the programming on radio and television stations is religious in nature, including live coverage of the Pope’s annual Easter message. This makes Good Friday one of the most peaceful and tranquil days of the year in Belize.
Holy Saturday, in contrast, is the day when one of the most popular sporting events is held. Known as the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycle Race, this grueling competition pits bicyclists against one another to be the first to complete the 140-mile (225-km) loop from San Ignacio to Belize City and back.
The Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycle race begins at 6 AM in Belize City and usually wraps up around 2 PM with the winners crossing the finish line starting at approximately 11:45 AM. Throughout the length of the race, the sides of the highways are crowded with supporters who eagerly cheer on their favorite racers. If you’re planning on traveling during this period, plan accordingly.
Easter Sunday is when churches celebrate the rebirth of their savior, often followed in the afternoon by intimate family gatherings and, of course, lots of delicious, home-cooked food. Quite often, the good weather makes Easter Sunday the perfect time to enjoy exciting outdoor activities such as swimming, snorkeling, fishing, or visiting ancient Maya sites.
The four-day holiday officially wraps on Easter Monday. While most parts of the country see people preparing to go back to work, the small village of Burrell Boom hosts one of the biggest horse races of the year.
If you’re going to be celebrating Easter in Belize, book your rental vehicle with Tour Belize Auto Rental. With two convenient locations in the country – one in downtown Belize City and one at the international terminal of the Philip Goldson Airport – Tour Belize Auto Rental makes it easy to explore Belize at your own pace.
Belize is a beautiful country that feels tailor-made for romantic getaways. Just a short flight from the United States and Canada, Belize really is a world away. In Belize, nature is king, and you’ll find more monkeys and parrots than you will skyscrapers, malls, or fast-food joints.
Indeed, the nature in Belize is so beautiful that the country is nicknamed “The Jewel.” As a former British colony, everyone speaks English in Belize, so it’s really easy to get around. Although Belize is a small country, it has a lot to offer, including lush rainforests teeming with wildlife, beautiful beaches, majestic waterfalls, and ancient pyramids to explore.
The ancient Maya once dominated all of Central America, including Belize, building large pyramids and highly accurate astronomical observatories. For unknown reasons, they then abandoned these colossal cities some 1,000 years ago. Today, you can now visit these ruined cities, and few experiences can compare to gazing out at the surrounding jungle from high atop an ancient Maya pyramid.
One of the best places to visit in Belize in February is the village of Placencia. Located at the tip of the Placencia Peninsula in southeastern Belize, Placencia is a small place (only 1,500 residents) with a big heart. In fact, this tiny village is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for having the smallest “main street” in the world, a four-foot wide sidewalk that is off limits to vehicular traffic.
Every February, Placencia is home to a unique celebration called the Sidewalk Art Festival. The central “main street” is transformed into a gauntlet of booths selling artwork, handicrafts, delicious food and drinks, games, and a wide variety of other things. There’s also plenty of live music to enjoy. Enjoying a stroll down this vibrant “main street” is a uniquely romantic activity that you and your special someone are sure to enjoy.
If you’re interested in enjoying a romantic Valentine’s getaway in Belize this year, contact Tour Belize Auto Rental. With two convenient locations in downtown Belize City and the international terminal of the Philip Goldson Airport, Tour Belize Auto Rental has a number of late-model vehicles for rent that are perfect for exploring the country at your own pace.
Whether you want to go visit the romantic waterfalls of Big Rock in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve or simply enjoy the drive along the Hummingbird Highway en route to Placencia, rent your vehicle from Tour Belize Auto Rental.
Although many travelers come to Belize in order to visit top tourist destinations such as Ambergris Caye, San Ignacio, and Placencia, some of the most interesting places to see in the country are found in Belize City.
Once the capital of the country and still its largest urban area, Belize City is a thriving, bustling metropolis located on the Caribbean coastline. If you’re visiting Belize City, here are four destinations you must visit:
Just a short drive from Belize City lie the ruins of Altun Ha. Once an important trade center for the ancient Maya, Altun Ha is perhaps best known today for its iconic Temple of the Masonry Altars. Measuring 16 meters (52 feet) high, this temple is used on the logo of Belize’s domestic brewery, Belikin.
The name Altun Ha is Maya for “Rockstone Water.” First built more than 2,500 years ago, Altun Ha grew in power until the year AD 900 when the city suffered alongside many others in the region when the ancient Maya civilization began to break down.
St. John’s Cathedral
Still a functioning Anglican church, St. John’s Cathedral holds a unique place in history. As the only Anglican church outside of England to have ever crowned a head of state, St. John’s Cathedral is an excellent example of colonial-era architecture. Built in 1820 with bricks that were brought over from England, the cathedral’s interior is furnished from locally harvested sapodilla and mahogany woods.
The Belize Museum
Located on the grounds of one of Belize’s most notorious prisons, the Museum of Belize has transformed this symbol of colonial rule into an educational and artistic facility that showcases the long history of the country.
Used as a prison from 1857 to 2002, the Belize Museum is now home to a treasure trove of cultural and historical artifacts, including Maya artifacts, an 1837 stamp commemorating Queen Victoria, information about all of the many cultures in Belize, and a preserved jail cell where visitors can get a taste of what inmate life had been like.
The Belize Sign Monument
A must-see attraction for all visitors, the Belize Sign Monument lies right on the beach on Sea Shore Drive in the Buttonwood Bay area of Belize City. Formed of giant letters in all of the colors of the rainbow in order to spell out “Belize,” the sign is a mandatory destination for selfies and social media photos.
Tour Belize Auto Rental has a large fleet of comfortable, modern vehicles for rent that are perfectly suited for exploring Belize, including all of the top attractions in Belize City. Tour Belize Auto Rental has two convenient locations in the country, including one in downtown Belize City and one at the Philip Goldson Airport in Ladyville.