Tourist Attractions in Belize

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Beach camping on Half Moon Caye, Lighthouse Reef Atoll

Natural attractions such as Belize’s islands, atolls and coast are great for travelers looking to explore the Caribbean Sea. Here, the reef is always top of mind, including visiting popular diving and snorkeling sites such as the Great Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, and the Southern Belize Reef Complex.

See also: Top Belize Destinations and 10-step Belize travel guide

And Belize’s mainland is perfect for anyone interested in cultural attractions and jungle adventures. This includes visiting ancient Maya temples, sacred caves, and incredible nature reserves. And don’t forget activities such as horseback riding, cave tubing, zip-lining, and bird watching.

Top-rated Tourist Attractions and Places to Visit in Belize

The Great Blue Hole is part of Belize's Barrier Reef

1. Belize Barrier Reef

The Belize Barrier Reef is perhaps the number one attraction in Belize. It’s the second-largest barrier reef in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site. Popular reef activities include fishing, diving, snorkeling, and sailing.

2. Actun Tunichil Muknal

Actun Tunichil Muknal is an impressive Maya ceremonial cave that contains rare bloodletting altars, sacrificial human remains, and over 1400 catalogued artifacts. It’s Belize’s top cave tour.

Family at ATM Cave

Tropic Air Pilot during Blue Hole Flyover Tour

3. Great Blue Hole

The Great Blue Hole is Belize’s most famous monument. It’s a giant marine sinkhole near Lighthouse Reef Atoll that draws divers from around the world and it’s Belize’s top tourist site for a scenic flyover tour.

4. Hol Chan Marine Reserve

Hol Chan Marine Reserve offers one of the best snorkeling experiences in Belize. During a trip here you will see pristine coral gardens and swim with marine wildlife such as sea turtles, nurse sharks and stingrays.

Snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve in Belize

Caye Caulker's The Split

5. The Split

The Split is a narrow waterway that divides Caye Caulker into two. It has a fun beach bar for drinks and areas to relax while you get a suntan. You can also do water sports such as snorkeling, parasailing, and fishing.

6. Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve

Mountain Pine Ridge is a nature reserve created to protect Belize’s native pine forest. The Rio Frio Cave, Rio On Pools, and Big Rock Falls are popular sites and fun activities include hiking, swimming and birding.

Rio on Pools in Mountain Pine Ridge, Belize

Kids at the Belize Zoo

7. Belize Zoo

The Belize Zoo isn’t your ordinary zoo, here you will only find rescued animals that are native to Belize and they roam “free” in large enclosures that replicate their natural environment.

8. Xunantunich

Xunantunich is my favorite Maya temple. After crossing a hand-cranked ferry, lush jungle surrounds the site. The main temple, El Castillo offers spectacular views of nearby villages and Guatemalan mountains.

El Castillo is the tallest temple at Xunantunich

Great Blue Heron and Cow in Crooked Tree Belize

9. Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary

The Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the quaint Creole village of Crooked Tree and provides refuge for thousands of migratory and resident birds. It’s a marshland so expect to mostly see wetland birds.

10. Fishing

Due to the barrier reef, fishing in Belize is as good as it gets. Whether you want to cast a line from your hotel dock, go flyfishing for a Grand Slam on still flats, or venture beyond the reef for deepwater fish, the possibilities are endless.

Trolling for Barracuda is popular at Southern Belize Barrier Reef

Lamanai's mask temple

11. Lamanai

Lamanai is the most popular Maya site in Orange Walk. To get there, visitors take a scenic 26-mile boat ride where they can spot exotic birds, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, river otters, and crocodiles.

12. South Water Caye Marine Reserve

South Water Caye Marine Reserve is the largest marine reserve in Belize. Easily accessible from Hopkins, it’s perfect for snorkeling or diving. The area also includes the Man of War Caye, a nesting site for the brown booby and magnificent frigatebird.

Sea Turtile sign at Tobacco Caye Belize

Cave tubing in Belize

13. Nohoch Cheʼen Caves Branch

Nohoch Cheʼen Caves Branch is an archaeological reserve consisting of an extensive network of limestone caves surrounded by dense jungle. It is very popular for Belize adventure activities such as cave tubing, spelunking, and canopy zip-lining.

14. Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve

Off the coast of Southern Belize lies Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, a critical nursery and feeding ground for sea turtles, sharks and rays, and numerous fish species. Eco-tourists from around the world visit for outdoor adventures and wellness tourism.

Belize sea kayaking in Glovers Reef

northern emerald toucanet in Belize

15. Birdwatching

Belize is a year-round destination for birdwatching. Of the over 590 exotic birds that can be easily spotted in Belize, approx. 80% are local and the rest are migrant species from North America. Birding hotspots and lodges exist throughout the country.

16. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the largest protected areas in Belize and it’s the first Jaguar preserve in the world. It’s perfect for visitors interested in jungle hiking trails, birdwatching and waterfalls.

Belize jaguar sign at Cockscomb Basin

San Ignacio sign at the San Ignacio Farmers Market

17. San Ignacio Farmers’ Market

The San Ignacio Market is a great place in downtown San Ignacio to buy food, meet locals, and witness firsthand why Belize is a melting pot of cultures. The best time to visit is on Saturdays between 7am-5pm.

18. Caracol

Caracol is the largest Maya site in Belize and one of the most popular Maya sites in Mesoamerica. It’s rich and exciting history rivals Guatemala’s Tikal, which is considered one of the great ancient wonders of the world.

2012 Winter Solstice in Belize

Diving with Whale Sharks in Placencia ,Belize

19. Gladden Spit & Silk Cayes Marine Reserve

Gladden Spit is a protected marine reserve off the coast of Placencia. Every year, Whale Sharks visit the area during the months of March to June. The reserve, the silk cayes in particular, are also a pristine snorkeling destination.

20. Bocawina National Park

Bocawina National Park is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a hardcore jungle adventures. The park has the longest zip-line course in Central America and three waterfalls to rappel down from.

Big Drop Falls at Bocawina National Park

21. Secret Beach

Secret Beach is a fun destination on Ambergris Caye where beach-lovers can go for a good time. Aside from being a great spot to swim and enjoy the sun, the area has several popular restaurants and bars.

22. The Living Maya Experience

The Living Maya Experience tour allows guests to visit the traditional Maya village of Big Falls in Toledo where they can actively participate in daily village life. It is one of the top cultural tours in Belize.

The Living Maya Experience at Big Falls in Toledo, Belize

Community Baboon Sanctuary Visitor Centre and Museum

23. Community Baboon Sanctuary

The Community Baboon Sanctuary is a howler monkey nature reserve located in Bermudian Landing, a small Kriol village. Along with Howler Monkeys, you get to see other wildlife and also witness everyday village life.

24. Monkey River

The Monkey River tour is a popular boat trip that can be done from Placencia or Hopkins. It allows visitors to get up close to nature and see birds and other wildlife critters such as howler monkeys and crocodiles.

Monkey River boat tour

A baby Green Iguana at the Green Iguana Conservation Project

25. Green Iguana Conservation Project

The Green Iguana Project focuses on the conservation of endangered iguanas. It’s a top attraction in San Ignacio where visitors can learn about the iguana’s surrounding jungle habitat and witness their life cycle.

26. Chaa Creek Nature Reserve

Set along the banks of the Macal River, the Chaa Creek Nature Reserve is a 400-acre protected area near San Ignacio Town that offers extensive facilities and eco-tours to its jungle resort guests and day visitors.

horseback riding in belize

Ziplining in Belize

27. Zipline Adventure

A zip line adventure generally involves enjoying a bird’s eye view of Belize’s jungle canopy. This activity can be done at Mayflower Bocawina and Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch.

28. Barton Creek

Barton Creek is a cave located near San Ignacio that was once used by the ancient Maya for ceremonial activities, which include human sacrifices. It’s one of Belize’s top caves and can only be explore by canoe.

Canoeing Barton Creek Cave

Macal River canoeing in San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize

29. Macal River

The Macal River starts in the Maya Mountains and meanders its way down through many communities in Cayo. Its calm nature and easy access from San Ignacio make it great to explore via canoe or kayak.

30. St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park

Just outside of Belmopan, along the Hummingbird Highway, the Blue Hole National Park is known for it’s popular sapphire-coloured blue hole cenote, St. Herman’s Cave, and great introductory birding trails.

St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park in Belize

Altun Ha is a Maya Temple near Belize City

31. Altun Ha

Altun Ha is one of Belize’s most visited archaeological sites. This Maya temple is featured prominently in Belize’s national beer and it’s where the famous Jade Head of the Maya Sun God Kinich Ahau was found.

32. Cahal Pech

Cahal Pech is a small Maya site located in San Ignacio, Cayo. Although this site is really small, I really like that it’s in walkable distance from downtown San Ignacio and thick jungle foliage surrounds the temples.

The Main Courtyard at Cahal Pech Maya Ruins

The Belize botanic gardens

33. Belize Botanic Gardens

Located near San Ignacio, the Belize Botanic Gardens is a great way to experience some of Belize’s best trees, flowers, and plants. Various Orchids, including Black Orchids, the national flower of Belize can be found here.

34. Museum of Belize

The Museum of Belize is great for visitors interested in learning about Belize’s history. Small exhibits of ancient Maya relics, old stamp collections and vintage photos are available year-round.

Museum of Belize in Belize City

Old Belize Kukumba Beach and Marina near Belize City

35. Old Belize

Old Belize is a popular Marina where sailors from around the world dock their yachts. Onsite you can find a man-made beach, zip-line, waterfall, restaurant and a private museum showcasing Belizean history.

Where to vacation in Belize

For anyone looking to have the ultimate Belize vacation experience, along with exploring as many of the manmade and natural attractions listed above, I suggest that you split your trip between Belize’s jungle and beach. Choose your destinations wisely and hire a good tour guide whenever possible.

San Pedro, Ambergris Caye

Ambergris Caye is Belize’s largest island and it’s a popular destination for snorkeling, diving and fishing. San Pedro town is its largest settlement and it’s known for luxury beach resorts, restaurants and fun nightlife.

Caye Caulker

Caye Caulker is Ambergris Caye’s smaller sister island and a popular stop for travelers looking to relax and enjoy a “go slow” Caribbean vibe. The island attracts individuals that want to enjoy a beach vacation on a budget.

San Ignacio, Cayo

San Ignacio is a small town in the Cayo District that serves as a hub for eco-adventures in Belize. Its lively downtown is popular with tourists since it has a restaurant and nightlife scene that is not seen elsewhere in Cayo.


Hopkins is a seaside village that is a cultural hotspot for learning about the Garifuna of Belize. Aside from cooking native Garifuna dishes and taking drumming and dance lessons, top activities include snorkeling and diving.


Placencia is a charming seaside village located on an 18-mile peninsula in Southern Belize. With a beautiful coast and some of the best beachfront resorts, the village is one of the most visited hotspots in Belize.

Lighthouse Reef

The most distant of Belize’s three atolls, Lighthouse Reef Atoll is located about 50 miles off the coast of Belize City, surrounded by the easternmost part of the Belize Barrier Reef.


Located 20 miles (32 km) off the coast of Belize City, Turneffe Atoll is the largest and northernmost atoll of Belize. It is also the most developed atoll, home to luxury dive resorts and fishing lodges.

Tobacco Caye

Just off the coast of Dangriga you can find Tobacco Caye, one of Belize’s smallest and most charming islands. It is perfect for travelers looking for solitude, warm waters, palm trees, and star-streaked night skies.

Glover’s Reef

Glover’s Reef is a beautiful atoll located 36 miles off the coast of Dangriga. It lures travelers looking for remoteness and up close views of Belize’s reef, including having countless opportunities to snorkel right offshore.

Belize City

Visit Belize City to explore the old capital of Belize. Take a scenic tour to learn about the city’s culture, economics, and architecture. Then visit local markets or grab food at the many local restaurants.