Fun Things to do in Belize City in 2023
Here are the most fun things to do in Belize City on vacation in 2023 that are ideal for all types of adventurers including families. These excursions range from viewing historic architecture such as St. John's Cathedral, traveling to ancient Mayan Sites like Altun Ha and Xunantunich as well as learning about the Mayan culture at the Museum of Belize. Other options include a safari like adventure to the Lamanai Mayan Site, tubing at the Cave Branch River and viewing native species of animals at the Belize Zoo. You can decide to take a jeep tour through the jungle, visit the Lighthouse reef and the Great Blue Hole by helicopter or you may choose to go ziplining through the jungle canopy at high-speeds as well as kayaking down a rapid filled river. Read below about Belize City activities, attractions and points of interest.
- Belize City Hotels
- Belize City Activities
- Placencia Hotels
- Placencia Activities
- San Ignacio Hotels
- San Ignacio Activities
- San Pedro Hotels
- San Pedro Activities
One of the most popular things to do in Belize City for all types of explorers including families that want to learn more about ancient Mayan civilizations is to take an Archeology Tour. When you go on one these excursions you will be delighted with viewing the intricate engineering skills of the Mayan people as you walk through plazas filled with temples, altars, ball courts and palaces. Many of the tours include stops at visitor centers where you can learn more about the unique qualities of the ancient Mayan people. You can visit Mayan Ruin Sites at Altun Ha, Lamanai, and Xunantunich. Each ancient Mayan city has a story to tell about the ancient Mayan civilization and there are plenty of great photograph opportunities of the surrounding area when you stand atop a temple that soars 100-feet into the sky.
Lamanai and the New River Safari in Belize
When you are searching to combine several activities into a single day of fantastic adventure and exploring then the best thing to do in Belize City is to try the Lamanai and the New River Safari in Belize. Your all-day journey begins with complimentary hotel pick-up service at one of the selected hotels in Belize City where you will meet your expert tour guide who will explain your itinerary for the day as you drive 45-minutes to the New River. Once at the New River you will embark on a boat and cruise down the New River for 1.5-hours while you gaze at the gorgeous jungle landscape which includes numerous species of wildlife as well as flora and fauna. Once at the New River Lagoon you will set out on a 1.5-mile moderate to easy hike through the jungle where you will learn about ancient Mayan medicine plants. When you arrive to the Lamanai Mayan Site you will have plenty of time to view the Jaguar Temple, ornately carved stelae and the Temple of the Mask which highlights Kinich Ahau the sun god. Afterwards you will indulge in a complimentary lunch before hiking out of the jungle to the riverboat and from there you will be transported back to your selected hotel.
Sightseeing Tours are a great thing to do in Belize City for families and all types of travelers that are interested in combining a couple of activities into a fun filled day. There are a wide variety of the excursions that range from viewing the historic architecture in Belize City to riding in jeep through the jungle to viewing ancient Mayan sites like Altun Ha. Other options include visiting a howler monkey sanctuary, the Belize Zoo where you can see jaguars, pumas as well as ocelots and even the Belize Travelers Rum Museum where you can sample some of the world's finest rums. These tours are ideal for people looking to view as many sightseeing opportunities in one excursion as possible while you learn about the Mayan people and British colonial times of Belize.
If you like to fly the sky at high speeds while viewing the gorgeous natural surroundings of the jungle then the best thing to do in Belize City is to take a Zipline Tour. There numerous excursions that provide you and your family with an exhilarating time of adrenaline as you glide above the jungle canopy at heights between 85 to 450-feet. You will be thrilled with the length of the various zipline courses that can reach distances of 1,000-feet on a single ride. These tours are perfect for families that like to have fun and view the natural jungle landscape in a unique way. There are plenty of add-on options like a trip to Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, caving tubing at Cave Branch River and rappelling into Crystal Cave.
One of the most interesting and exhilarating things to do in Belize City for all adventurers especially families is to take a Tubing Tour. During these excursions you will float down places like Caves Branch River where you will enter caves and learn about the ancient Xibalba people that were intricate in Mayan rituals. The caves will be full of interesting geologic formations like stalagmites and stalactites as well as beautiful crystal formations along the walls. The tours will have you gazing at gorgeous jungle landscape and the wildlife as you float effortlessly down the river. You can combine one of these tours with several different options such as a trip to Altun Ha or a thrilling zipline ride that will have you soaring at heights of up to 450-feet.
Nature and Wildlife Tours
If you are interested in the beauty of the natural scenery coupled with viewing numerous animals in their native habitat then a perfect thing to do in Belize City is to go on a Nature and Wildlife Tour. You will be delighted with the assortment of excursions available that will combine the serenity of the natural landscape with plenty of wildlife. There are tours that will take you to a howler monkey sanctuary and you can encounter baboons along the New River as well as combine a day of fishing while you float down the calm waters. There are opportunities to ride in a jeep through the jungle while spotting numerous orchids and maybe even a cave or two. There are even excursions with add-on options like walking through Lamanai Mayan Site where you are sure to see a crocodile.
When you are ready to explore and absorb the wonderful people and environment of Belize then one of the best things to do in Belize City is to take the family on a Cultural Tour. There are a wide variety of these excursions that will make everyone happy with opportunities to visit the Belize Zoo where you will view the big cats that are native to the country to taking a tour of a rum factory to seeing the historical architectural that dots the downtown area. Other exciting places you can see include the Museum of Belize where you can learn about the Mayan people thru to the Spanish Conquest to the British colonial days of the British Honduras. With vast amount of ethnic and social groups that exist in Belize toady these tours will give you great first-hand knowledge of the area.
If you want to combine a little adrenaline with beautiful scenery then an ideal thing to do in Belize City is to try a Helicopter Tour. You will be pleased as your adrenaline raises to new levels as your helicopter lifts off and soars through the sky. As you are flying you can experience the natural tropical landscape from a different perspective and once you are over the Caribbean Sea you will be amazed at the different colors of the water below. You can experience viewing the Great Blue Hole from up high as your helicopter circles the area allowing you to take unique photographs of this natural wonder. While you are soaring in the air you will be delighted to view the Belize Barrier Reef from the sky and you can gain a new appreciation on why this part of Caribbean Sea is such a special place.
One of the best things to do in Belize City for families who like to experience the outdoors and nature is to go on a Horseback Riding Tour. Families will enjoy the time in a peaceful environment as you gallop through the Belize countryside and these excursions are great for all types of riders from novice to expert. You will experience the Belize countryside from St. Paul, one of the oldest villages in Belize and you will be amazed at the wildlife that you will see that includes white tail deer to iguanas to howler monkey while you ride through an Open Pine Savannah Forest. Most excursions include round trip transfer and an added bonus of a Belizean lunch.
One of the most adventurous things to do in Belize City for all types of explorers is to try a Kayaking Tour. There are numerous excursions to choose from that are perfect whether you are a novice or expert paddler. You will have the opportunity to kayak within the Nohoc Chen Park which contains six distinct caves which feature beautiful formations such as rock flow, crystals as well as numerous stalagmites and stalactites. While you are kayaking you will learn about the Xibalba people who ruled the underworld in ancient Mayan culture. You can also touch a sacred waterfall that tumbles down from the cave ceiling into river below. These tours are great for families and you can even add-on options like a stop at Altun Ha Mayan Ruins.
Lamanai Mayan Site
Taking a trip to Lamanai Mayan Site is a great thing to do in Belize City for adventurers who are looking to visit one of the most impressive Mayan sites in Belize. Located 2-hours from Belize City in the Orange Walk District, the Lamanai Mayan Site which translates to the Submerged Crocodile is situated on 1.5 square miles along the New River Lagoon and consists of eight plazas that contain hundreds of surrounding structures that have yet to be excavated which were occupied from the Pre Classic thru to the Spanish Conquest or from 400 B.C.E. to 1600 C.E. Lamanai Mayan Site is known to be the longest continually occupied ancient Mayan city and did not follow the collapse of the Mayan people after 1000 C.E. Lamanai Mayan Site has three important structures which are the Mask Temple, the Jaguar Temple and the High Temple where if you climb to the top you are afforded panoramic views of the surrounding New River Lagoon and jungle landscape. Accessing Lamanai Mayan Site is an adventure within itself and requires a 1.5-hour boat ride up the New River as well as a 1.5-mile hike through the jungle.
One of the best things to do in Belize City for people who want to mix adventure with learning more about the ancient Mayan civilization is to take a trip to Xunantunich Mayan Ruins. Located 70-miles west of Belize City adjacent to San Jose Succotz, Xunantunich which translates to the Stone Woman is situated one square mile on top of a high plateau overlooking the Mopan River and contains six plazas with 26 associated structures with the highest occupancy during the Late Classic Period or from 750 to 900 C.E. The complex at Xunantunich Mayan Ruins has similarities to a neighboring complex called Naranjo which collapsed in 820 C.E. and stelae suggest there was a power shift to Xunantunich. The most impressive structure at Xunantunich Mayan Ruins is the temple called El Castillo which soars into the sky over 130-feet and is the second tallest Mayan pyramid in Belize. El Castillo contains several unique friezes which portray the gods of creation, the tree of life which extends from the underworld to earth to the heavens. In recent years there has been a burial chamber discovered which is the largest to be found in the last 100 years.
One of the best family-friendly things to do in Belize City for travelers who like to learn about ancient civilizations as well as viewing incredible structures is to plan a stop at Altun Ha Mayan Ruins. Located 31-miles north of Belize City along the Old Northern Highway, Altun Ha which means Rockstone Water in the Mayan language is situated on 44-acres and features over 500 buildings or mounds as well as two plazas that contain 13 reconstructed structures that were primarily occupied during the Pre Classic to the Late Classic Period or with the highest occupation taking place from 400 to 900 C.E. during the Classic Period. While you are at Altun Ha you can view several temples with the most important being the Sun God's Temple or the Temple of the Masonry Altars which towers some 52-feet into the air. During excavations at this temple a 10 pound jade skull carved into a facsimile of Kinich Ahau which is the Sun God in Mayan culture was found. Altun Ha also has an impressive water cistern or lake that was constructed and sealed to hold water for the settlement.
When you want to view numerous animal species that are native to Belize then the best thing to do in Belize City is to visit the Belize Zoo. Located 29-miles west of Belize City along the Western Highway, the Belize Zoo is situated on 29-acres of tropical savannah landscape and is home to over 170 animals from 45 native species of Belize. Founded in 1983 by Sharon Matola the Belize Zoo's mission is to educate visitors about the variety of animal species that exist in Belize. Many of the species within the zoo represent animals that have been rescued, rehabilitated, orphaned or donated to the zoo. When you visit the Belize Zoo you will have the opportunity to experience wildlife such as jaguars, margay, pumas, jaguarundi and ocelots. There are several other interesting species that range from manatees to scarlet macaws to spider monkeys to boa constrictors. The Belize Zoo also provides numerous exhibits which explain the eco-system of the Belizean rainforests as well as lectures on conservation methods for educational purposes.
If you are interested in learning more about Belize's colorful past as a British colony then an ideal thing to do in Belize City is to visit the Government House also known as the House of Culture. Located near downtown Belize City adjacent to St. John's Cathedral, the Government House was constructed in 1812 with architectural style that incorporated Caribbean vernacular and British colonial accents. The Government House originally constructed to be the residence of many British government officials that were placed in charge of the British Honduras colony. During 1812 thru 1824 the Government House also was used for the coronation of four Miskito kings with the ceremonies having all the pomp and circumstance of a coronation in England. Today the Government House is the House of Culture which is home to a collection of artifacts that range from period furnishings to art exhibits to historical displays and is home to the Eric King Collection which is one of the largest collections of Belizean postcards and vintage photographs. Activities onsite include lectures, musical concerts, weddings and banquets.
Photo by Roger W
When you want to venture into the underwater world that exists within the Belize Barrier Reef then the only thing to do in Belize City is to visit the Lighthouse Reef. Located 50-miles southeast of Belize City, the Lighthouse Reef is an atoll which is 22-miles long as well as 5-miles wide and has a shallow sandy lagoon that encompasses an area of 46 square miles with depths that range from 6.5 to 19.5 feet. The Lighthouse Reef was made famous by explorer Jacques Cousteau and is home to the Great Blue Hole which is a must see for scuba divers as well as snorkelers. The Great Blue Hole has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage listing since 1996 and provides needed habitat to many endangered marine life which includes three species of turtles such as loggerhead, green sea as well as the hawksbill turtle. While scuba diving or snorkeling you will be amazed at the marine life as well as that includes blacktip sharks, barracudas, stingrays and reef sharks. The Lighthouse Reef and the Great Blue Hole are a must see for all underwater enthusiasts.
St. John's Cathedral
If you like to view historic architecture and an actual place where local kings have been coronated then the St. John's Cathedral is superb thing to do in Belize City. Located in downtown within the Fort George District, the St. John's Cathedral was constructed between 1812 thru 1820 with slave labor and is the oldest Anglican Church in Central America. The Colonial style building was constructed of red bricks that were used as ballast on the many ships traveling from England to the British Honduras. The interior of St. John's Cathedral is beautifully adorned with intricate stained glass, an old organ, and mahogany as well as sapodilla which highlight the impeccable craftsmanship used during construction. An interesting fact about St. John's Cathedral is that four individuals from the Indian Moskito tribe which lived along the Mosquito coastline had been coronated as kings at the church during ceremonies that would have been reminiscent of English royalty ceremonies.
Museum of Belize
If you want to learn more about the fascinating culture and history of Belize then the best thing to do in Belize City is to stop at the Museum of Belize. Located within downtown in the Fort George District, the Museum of Belize is situated within the original 1857 Colonial style building known as Her Majesty's Prison. The Museum of Belize features numerous exhibits on the Mayan people as well as the early history of Belize while as a British Colony. Permanent exhibits on the second floor include Mayan artifacts, paintings and photographs while the first floors retains much of the prison's history that includes several cells that you can view that still contain original graffiti as well as artwork that was created by inmates. You can learn about the early periods of Mayan culture and folklore thru the Spanish Conquest to early British Colonization that brought logging and other activities into the rainforest areas. The Museum of Belize also has numerous lecture series throughout the years that are informative and entertaining.
Photo by Connie
Belize Tourism Village
Address: 8 Fort Street
When you are searching for a great shopping and entertainment experience then the perfect thing to do in Belize City is to take a trip to the Belize City Tourism Village also known as Fort Street Tourism Building. Located at the mouth of the Haulover Creek within the downtown area, the Belize City Tourism Village is a superb for cruise line passenger that are only a 15-minute tender from their cruise ship. The Belize City Tourism Village has an open air mall layout with over 30 shopping boutiques and restaurants as well as entertainment venues. Once at the Belize City Tourism Village you will be delighted with the assortment of duty-free shops that range from jewelry to watches to home furnishings to health and beauty. There is something for everyone that is looking for duty-free shopping with easy access from your cruise ship as well as if you are staying in Belize City.
Photo by Melissa
The Belize Sign Monument
Visiting the Belize Sign Monument is one of the best things to do in Belize City for all types of travelers including families that are looking for a memorable photograph. Located in Buttonwood Bay Park adjacent to the Belize City Tourism Village, the Belize Sign Monument is a colorful piece of work that allows you the opportunity to remember that Belize is a special place. The Belize Sign Monument is a huge sign that spells Belize in large colorful letters that you can climb on and around in order to get that fun filled photograph. The Belize Sign is an ideal spot for families to have a good time while creating photographic memories that will last a lifetime.
Photo by Prayitno
Old Belize Adventure Cultural and Historical Center
If you want to enjoy an entertaining day that includes culture, history and lots of beach activities then an ideal thing to do in Belize City is to visit the Old Belize Adventure Cultural and Historical Center, also known as Kukumba Beach and Cucumber Beach. Located 5-miles south of Belize City along the Western Highway, the Old Belize Adventure Cultural and Historical Center is situated at Cucumber Beach Marina and features a beach, marina, museum as well as a restaurant. The Old Belize Adventure Cultural and Historical Center is dedicated to help visitors understand the history of Belize from ancient Mayan civilizations to pirates to the migration of numerous cultures and ethnic groups during British colonial rule. The museum also includes a rainforest exhibit that includes a cave with stalagmites as well as stalactites and a waterfall. The Cucumber Beach area at the Old Belize Adventure Cultural and Historical Center is packed with activities from swimming to beach volleyball to a water park that has a waterslide that drops you into the Caribbean Sea. The marina allows for clearance with the Belize Port Authority and is ideal for boats entering the country. The TGI Crazy Gringo Restaurant concentrates on regional cuisine from the Caribbean.