If you’re considering a family vacation in Belize, hear me out. I have a niece and nephew and the first thing I realized when traveling with kids is that picking the right destination is key. You need to take them somewhere that has the wow factor, somewhere that will keep them entertained and you sane. Of course, part of making a family trip a success is making sure that adults also have a great time, and Belize has plenty to keep kids and parents happy (and in my case, the uncle, happy).
Best family friendly activities
1. Horseback riding
Kids love horses, now imagine going on an adventure through the jungle, learning about medicinal plants and hearing stories abut the ancient Maya who once called the area home.
2. Visit Butterfly farms
Going to a butterfly farm can be a great learning experience. Here you will be able to learn (by seeing) the entire lifecycle and check out the various colourful types of butterflies. Read more http://www.belizeadventure.ca/butterflies.
3. Spot a Jaguar
The Belize Zoo is one of the best tours in Belize. This zoo is far from ordinary, here animals roam in large enclosures that mimic their natural habitat and you can only find rescued Belizean wildlife. Make sure you see the mighty Jaguar as it sunbathes near a pond.
4. Beach time
The beach is always fun. You can either relax and soak up the sun or spend the day swimming.
Swimming with tons of marine wildlife is an adventure of a lifetime. I recommend Hol Chan Marine Reserve as the best place to do this – here you will be able to see beautiful coral gardens and swim with colorful fishes, sea turtles and Manta Rays.
6. Go boating
Choose a boat and go on an adventure. Check out wildlife on the river bank as you canoe with your kids on the Macal river, go kayaking on the Caribbean sea or if you have young fishermen, try deep sea fishing.
7. Learn about the Maya
Visiting the majestic Maya ruins is a good way to let your children’s imagine go wild. These impressive structures were build hundreds of years ago by individuals who are smarter than people make them to be. They were mathematicians, astronomers, and had elaborate trade routes. Here’s a list of best ruins to visit and read up on a few interesting facts about the Maya.
8. Hiking trips
Take in the jungle by going on adventure expeditions. An amazing place to see is Mountain Pine Ridge, this full day tour involves visiting a mountainous nature reserve filled with roaring rivers, cool caves and refreshing waterfalls.
9. Take in the culture
Take a day trip to a modern Maya village, get invited to their humble home and eat and drink traditional foods. Visit Hopkins village, try Garifuna food and take some drumming lessons.
10. Zip-lining and Cave-tubing
Zooming across tree canopies is one sure way to feel like you’re flying and for adventurous kids, ziplining is a must! Pair that adventure with exploring Mayan caves in a river tube and you have the perfect day trip.
If tubing isn’t your thing, how about cave canoeing? Check out Barton Creek Cave.
Best time to go to Belize with kids?
If you live in North America, you’re lucky to have four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Belize only has two seasons, the dry season (December – May), which is also known as the high tourism season and the rainy season (June – November), which is also known as the low season. I personally prefer the dry season, since its always sunny and skies are blue but the off season has its advantages of cheaper prices and contrary to what is expected, plenty of times the weather is great. Find out more http://www.belizeadventure.ca/when-is-the-best-time-to-visit-belize
How safe is Belize for children?
Your child’s safety shouldn’t be a concern when in Belize but some common sense should always be used. I have written a few tips here http://www.belizeadventure.ca/is-belize-safe
Where to stay in Belize with kids?
Resorts that cater to families are the best option for a guaranteed a good time.
The southern coastal village of Placencia has amazing beach resorts like the world famous Roberts Grove Beach Resort and the award-winning Chabil Mar Villas (recommended if you want a resort that is nearest to the village). And if you want to make your family experience the Garifuna culture of Belize, skip Placencia and stay in Hopkins – Hopkins Bay Resort is a great option.
And topping the list, make sure to try family resorts in Ambergris Caye: go fishing at El Pescador, enjoy modern villa comfort at the Phoenix Resort, or stay at Ramon’s Village and experience one of the island’s oldest resorts.