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Are you planning a trip to Belize and want to find some great places to explore that are not just the beautiful beaches? I love a good beach but I really love a good jungle adventure and Belize is full of adventure!
It’s been almost two years since visiting Belize, TWO YEARS! I can’t even believe it, how did the time pass so fast? It feels like just yesterday I was listening to the screeches of the howler monkeys, and climbing on the mayan ruins. It feels like I just woke up after a long day of hiking through the jungle and tubing through water caves.
Okay, so I know what you’re probably thinking… this girl can’t give me the advice I’m looking for. She hasn’t been there in forever… she probably doesn’t remember anything. Well there, you are wrong traveler. I have a vivid memory, especially when it comes to my travels! I can remember the particular scents and tastes of the blackberry wine made from the fruit trees on the property I stayed at. I remember the feeling of a rotten cashew fruit as it squished between my toes, and I will never forget the sounds of the howler monkeys arguing back and forth in the canopy above me.
Oh boy, I can’t wait to share with you all the amazing things I experienced in Belize. Buckle up, here are some top Belize experiences you cannot miss!
P.S. I'm not a wifey.. it was just one of those fun best friend things you do when you're a girl
1. Stay in an Eco Cabin on a Monkey Reserve
I’ve stayed in many Airbnbs, and this one is one of my favorites by far. It sits on its own property with a beautiful little pond, tons of trees like the blackberry tree, the cashew fruit tree, and they are working on raising some mahogany trees which take 25 years to mature. In the evening you can hear the eerie growls of the howler monkeys and songs of tropical birds. You can take a bike ride around the property, collecting coconuts and cashew fruit. You can even fish in the pond right out the front. I could talk about this property all day! It was our own little paradise. The topper, is the amazing host! He gave us a cell phone so that we could contact him, and he offered rides and tours. In fact, we used his services for our cave tubing tour which I’ll talk more about later in the post.
2. Spend an Evening in Belize City
I know.. most places you read about Belize may tell you to avoid the area but I loved it! The people were so kind and while there weren’t any beaches close to the city, we found a really fun glow party and tons of other events going on. At the particular event we stopped at they had a DJ from Jamaica playing upbeat island dance tunes, they had black lights and glow paint that they would spray out into the crowd, and they had yummy beach cocktails. We met some awesome people and danced all night! It was completely unexpected, but one of the reasons why I just love exploring without an hour by hour agenda.
3. Climb the Xunantunich Mayan Ruins
We made a special trip 60 miles west from Belize city to get to these specific ruins. The drive on Western Highway was so beautiful and made our trip that much more memorable. To get to get here we had to drive our car onto a little ferry, locals will crank you across the Mopan River which is a popular river to kayak and raft on. Keep an eye out for the biggest iguanas, they love hanging out down here. The reason we had to make such a special trip to these ruins is because we wanted to CLIMB up to the top of the ruins and there was not certain information anywhere that we could find that proved we could climb on any other ruins other than Zunantunich. There was plenty of cool ruins here for us to explore and if you look up you may find some monkeys playing in the tree tops.
4. Have Breakfast and Lunch off the Western Highway
You must stop for breakfast at The Orange Gallery was just off the highway on our way to the ruins. It was placed on the most beautiful and lush grounds, the kitchen was open air, so we enjoyed the beauty of the rainforest as we sipped our coffee. Speaking of, seriously try the coffee here.. it was dreamy! After we finished up our tasty omelettes and lattes we walked through their gorgeous gallery, they had delicate handmade art and jewelry made by local women. After the ruins we stopped for a late lunch at Gumbolimbo jungle resort, now this was quite the drive, we almost turned back but it was an awesome adventure with a breathtaking view. It overlooked the canopy and they had some little pools that we dipped our feet in as we waited for our food. The lodge owner was incredibly gracious and walked us around the grounds, if you feel like staying off the beaten path they had some beautiful little villas!
5. Trek Through the Jungle to go Cave Tubing
We finished our trip with the big Belize must do, cave tubing. We chose to tube Caves Branch for no particular reason other than it was what was available last minute before we had to head to the airport later that day. To be honest all of the caves looked unique and seemed to have a lot to offer. We did LOVE this tour so much, they are as amazing as they are hyped up to be so don’t miss this when you visit Belize. When we visited in May the water was quite low and the river moved slowly, in some spots our guide got out of his tube and tugged us along.. poor guy! However, it did not take away from the experience in the slightest. The water in the opening was so aqua, we swam for a bit before heading into the caves. There was a beautiful waterfall and large jungle opening in the middle of the cave, I felt like I was in the goonies or the pirates ride and I was going to find some booty. Wear some comfy shoes and clothes that will get wet, you will trek through the jungle with your tube for a bit before getting to the mouth of the cave. It was magical!