Welcome to Belize
If your visiting Belize chances are you’re going to be looking for an enjoyable tour. Well you’re in the right place, Belize that is! were sure you’ll have a great time. There is so much to do in Belize your defiantly spoilt for choice. Whatever your into, Belize has a tour for you Guaranteed! be it cave tubing, zip lines, horse riding, scuba diving and so much more. Whatever your adventure Belize has a tour for you.
Now for the less adventurous you’re not forgotten in Belize, there is something here for you too! So if you like hiking, cycling, swimming sight seeing and much more Belize and its tours have you covered.
There are dozens of different tours which a person could choose too indulge, with a variety of different activities. Or opt in to explore the nation’s culture and historical heritage. Enough general talk though, let’s take a look at some of the most popular tours Belize has to offer.
Cave Tubing and Zip Lines tours
undoubtedly one of hottest and most talked about adventures Belize has to offer. It has got to be a Cave tubing & zip line tour. These tours offer excitement and adrenaline and are usually packed in a single tour. Therefore, those looking to get the most out of a day trip in Belize will defiantly purchase this!
Zip line through the canopies of the rainforest. Suspended high above nature taking in the thrill of speed and height, coupled with angelic views. As you swoosh between the areal platforms situated some 150 ft. away. You are at the eye level of some of the prolific nature Belize is famous for. Don’t be surprised if you catch sight of a howler monkey or even the national bird of Belize as you hurtle through the Sky. Your guides will help and provide all the gear needed which will include a helmet, harness and gloves.
This high flying adventure will take in the region of 1-2 hours and will depend on group size. It is advisable to wear shorts for this part of your tour and some tour operators will insist on this. The only other thing we would recommend bringing would be water shoes, though these are available to rent. Lockers are also available to rent to leave your baggage as you will need to travel light.
Into The Caves
Your cave tubing adventure will start with a hike through the beautiful and idyllic scenery Belize’s mountains have to offer. You will need to be of a reasonable fitness as the hike takes you through uneven ground and elevations. It also takes in the region of 30 mins to complete. Don’t forget you’ll be carrying a large inflatable ring on this journey. Entry points can vary by which tour operator you use. But on arrival your guide will get your group to enter the water with your tube and jump on. They will connect the tubes in a line and the tour will begin. Dependent on the time of year you go, the water levels in the caves can vary drastically. Which you’ll find out quite quickly if is the dry season, when you hear “Butts Up” shouted by your tour guide.
“Butts Up” WTH!
In your river tubing safety brief given by your guide he will explain the “Butts Up” meaning and what to do if you hear it. Basically is used during the dry season when the waters have become shallow. You’ll need to lift your butt slightly so as not to drag it on the river bed in the shallowest spots. During the rainy season you’ll be fine, although at times the water levels raise so high you can’t enter the caves.
The water feels crisp and refreshing with the year round temperature in the region of 70-74 degrees. The caves themselves are a marvel so peaceful and quaint, I’m not ashamed too admit on more than one trip here I have found myself falling asleep. You will get a wonderful history of the caves on your tour. Details of how, when and why the Mayans used the caves that they believed it was the gateway to the underworld. I wont give away any more than that so as not to spoil the first timers experience. On exiting the caves, you float down the river to the finishing point. You can also choose to swim and believe me this is some of the best swimming water you will find. The Park has facilities to dry off and change.
All Dry and Good to Go
By the end of your tour, no doubt you’ll be famished. And what better way than to end with a Belizean favorite. “Rice & Beans” and of course stew chicken! fresh and locally cooked to perfection it will have you wanting more trust me. Most of the tours will come with a meal and drink included. Your Tour Operator will take you to one of the many spots where they will serve this traditional and staple dish of Belize. Vegetarians among us can opt for something else or even just Rice & Beans on its own, its that good.
As a general rule this tour should take somewhere in the region of 1-3 hours maybe a little more or less depending on group size. So it is more than doable if you’re on a cruse ship stopping for only part of a day. Or of course anyone looking for the ultimate day trip! The Cave tube & zip line tours come in different packages some including additional activities such as Kayaking. While others include the Belize zoo or even Altun Ha obviously for those who have a longer time. Likewise, prices can vary for the basic Cave tube & zip line tour with prices ranging from as low as $85us and Up. Be mindful to check what each package includes because what seems expensive at first glance can work out better value for money. Especially if it includes things such as a meal or extra activities.
A final noteworthy thought and brief recap. Shorts required for zip line, wet shoes are a good idea, a towel is a must, repellant may be too! and you might find a bathing suit an advantage. The minimum age to partake in this tour is 6 years old, with a minimum height of 4 ft. tall (Government Regulation) and max weight is 265 lbs. No pregnant Women, a good level of fitness due to the hike and uneven paths. Finally there’s only one thing left to say “Enjoy” and its now time to search for your Tour Operator.
The Maya Ruins
Hundreds of years ago, all of the territories in Belize were controlled by one of the most advanced tribes in the history of humankind – the Mayans. The foot print they left consists of some of the most captivating Buildings ever built. To-date many scientists, archeologists and architectures are at odds to figure out exactly how they did it. With the technology they possessed at the time what they achieved is unbelievable. Not to mention what the purpose was, to begin with. Belize is undoubtedly a treasure trove rich with ancient Mayan temples, towns and cities. Unfortunately, only very few have been uncovered but for those that have they show and play part to tell the rich culture and existence of the Mayan people. Arguably one of the most well known and most loved Mayan structures in Belize is Altun Ha.
Altun Ha Tour
Not only the marvel of Belize but Altan Ha has become the the pride and joy of Belizean Mayan heritage. Such is the popularity of Altan Ha among my fellow Belizeans you will be hard pressed to find a Belizean who has not grown up knowing and visiting this jewel in the jungle. Altuan Ha’s roots are deep in Belize’s culture so much so you will not only find it on the money. But also it appears on Belikin the nations local beer. At a glance you will notice on both the use of the “Temple of the Masonry Altars” Altan Ha’s largest and most popular temple. I am so in love with Belize’s Mayan history and culture I could talk for ever. But alas, lets get to the tour.
Being that Altun Ha is an hours drive at most from the cruise ship port its an idea tour if you want to see a rich and cultural part of Belize. The site sits on approximately 3 square miles of beautiful Belizean countryside. The central area is host to more than 500 historic structures, mostly built during the Maya Classic era. Walking around the site doesn’t require much fitness but if you intend to climb any of the ruins via the allocated pathways you will need good mobility. The site is divide’s into two, Plaza’s A and B with Plaza B being the larger. Named the Temple of Masonry Altar which at its peak rises close to 60Ft (18 meters) above the Plaza. Several tombs that are believed to have kept the bodies of Altun Ha’s high priests make part of this find.
Among these tombs was that of an elderly male priest whose contents include the infamous Kinich Ahau. This Priceless solid jade carving is the head of the Maya Sun God “KinichAhau” weighing an incredible 5KG (10LB) and standing an impressive 6 inches tall. To date Belize is home to the largest jade sculpture ever found. Since its discovery in 1968 by two locals working with Dr. David Pendergas, the KinichAhau has seemed to pop up all over the world. The Central Bank of Belize is now home to “The Crown Jewel of Belize” This Priceless Maya artifact is kept in a fortified vault under 24-hour guard.
Plaza A is known as ” The Temple of the Green Tomb” Justly named due to the find of some 300 items of jade among other artifacts. This tomb was the funeral chamber of a Maya Priest-King and a number of offerings were also in the find alongside the jade and other artifacts. We will save the more detailed descriptions of these two temples for those that take the tour. Where your guides will inform you about religious rites and activities such as bloodletting and ceremonial sacrifices. Which will allow you to dwell into the world of the Mayans and view life from their perspective.
Altan Ha like any of the Maya ruins are great tours for families and large groups alike. Altun Ha is open from 8 – 5 daily and has restroom facilities and a number of local stalls selling souvenir and refreshments. The site is not serviced by public transport and is difficult to reach so the best way to get there is by joining a tour. Bring insect repellent and water it can get very hot, especially in the summer months. Arriving early is a great way to beat the heat preferably before midday or plan trips between November and mid-April. This time of year has better weather, the downside for some is this is also the peak season in Belize so expect more tourists. There are walkways to reach the top, no one will allow you to climb the steps of the actual ruins not even for photographs.
You will normally find this tour packaged with other activities such as cave tubing. Although you can do it by itself check what your tour includes as it can vary. This tour is a “Must Do” for anyone visiting Belize you will thoroughly enjoy this tour.
Although we have only spoken of a few tours Belize has to offer there are in fact dozens and dozens of tours to fill up your vacation. Having a look around the FYI site will help you find local tour companies who can help you further with your search.