Nestled between Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, Belize is a dream of lush jungles, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters.
This small Central American country borders the Caribbean Sea and includes about 450 islands (Cayes).
But there is more to Belize than just its natural beauty. It is also a country with a beautiful cultural diversity, where ancestral Mayan traditions coexist with African, Caribbean and European influences.
The official language of the country is English, but Spanish, Creole and various Mayan languages are also spoken.
Belize is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy diving, kayaking, bird watching, hiking and more. It is also known for its numerous Mayan archaeological sites, witnesses of the rich history of the region.
Moreover, this destination, often less known by travelers, will charm you with its music, its local cuisine and its warm people.
How to go to Belize with Reward Points
The main airport of Belize is the Philip S.W. Goldson (BZE). In Canada, the only direct flights to Belize are from Toronto and Calgary. They are seasonal only.
The options are very limited, but there can be some good finds for Belize to make with Aeroplan points sometimes. For example, if you book a round-trip flight in advance, you can go for about 25,000 Aeroplan points.
Large hotel chains are almost absent from Belize. Still, there is the Alaia Belize, Autograph Collection in San Pedro, which is available for about 40,000 to 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.
Redeeming points for an account credit is a great way to lower the cost of a trip to Belize. Even for airline tickets, accommodation or car rental!
Many rewards programs offer this option. Here are some examples of reward programs to use:
- NBC Rewards: Through their À la carte Travel Agency or by paying for the expense yourself with your points (each 10,000 to 12,000 NBC points gives $100 credit)
- American Express Membership Rewards points: Pay for the expense yourself with your points (every 10,000 Membership Rewards points earns $100 in credit)
- Scene+: Paying for the expense yourself with your points (every 10,000 Scene+ points gives $100 credit)
Belize - Things to see and do
There are many things to do and see during a trip to Belize, here are some of the most popular activities:
Snorkeling and diving
Belize is one of the best places in the world for snorkeling and diving because of its coral reef, the second largest in the world. Belize’s crystal clear waters are teeming with marine life, including sharks, rays, sea turtles, tropical fish and much more.
Among the best dive sites: Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye, Turneffe Atoll, Lighthouse Reef and Ambergris Caye.
Explore the jungle
The country has a dense jungle, which is home to a rich fauna and flora, including howler monkeys, jaguars, toucans and colorful butterflies. You can hike in the jungle, explore caves, go tubing on the river and much more.
Among the best hiking sites:
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the Maya Mountains and famous for its spectacular waterfalls and for housing the largest population of jaguars in the world;
Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM), for its sacred Mayan cave;
Five Blues Lake National Park, in the mountains of southern Belize;
Victoria Peak, the highest point in Belize;
and Bacab Eco Park, a park with suspension bridges and zip lines.
Discover the Mayan archaeological sites
As the cradle of the Mayan civilization, Belize has many archaeological sites to explore, such as the ruins of Xunantunich, Lamanai and Caracol.
Relaxation on the beaches
The destination is popular for its beautiful white sand beaches, especially on the islands of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. You can snorkel, fish, kayak or just relax in the sun.
Discover the local culture
Belize has a rich culture, a mixture of Mayan, African, Caribbean and European traditions. You can visit local villages such as San Pedro located on Ambergris Caye and Hopkins, famous for its sandy beach and Garifuna culture.
In February or March, don’t miss the unmissable Carnival of San Pedro which includes street parades, music, dancing and colorful costumes.
You’ll also enjoy sampling the popular dishes and ingredients of Belize’s local cuisine: rice and beans, fry jacks, gibnut, ceviche, salbutes, tamales, hudut, fried conch, rum punch and Marie Sharp’s Hot Sauce, a hot sauce made from locally grown habanero peppers.
Where to stay?
Belize offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxury hotels to youth hostels. Rates vary according to season and location.
Luxury hotels and resorts
Belize has several luxury hotels offering upscale services and spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea. Other establishments offer the all-inclusive formula.
Among the most popular hotels in the destination:
Lodges in the jungle
Villas, vacation homes and youth hostels
There are many villa and vacation home options available in Belize City and on the islands of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye.
If you are looking for more economical accommodation, youth hostels are a good option. You’ll find them in popular places like Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye.
Getting around Belize
Belize has a relatively limited road network, but public transportation is available. Cabs are also a popular way to get around.
Cab: They are available in most cities and are a convenient way to travel short distances. Prices are generally reasonable but it is important to agree on the fare before getting into the cab.
Bus: This is the most common means of transportation for travel. Local buses are generally cheap and regular, but they can be crowded and can take a long time to get from one city to another. Express buses are more expensive, but offer faster and more comfortable service.
Rental Car: If you want to explore Belize independently, renting a car may be a good option. The main roads are generally in good condition, but the secondary roads can be more difficult to navigate. It is important to note that driving in Belize is on the left.
Boating: If you are traveling to the islands of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye, boats are a common means of transportation for inter-island travel and ocean excursions.
Biking: Belize is a popular destination for cycling and mountain biking. Renting a bike is an economical and ecological way to get around the cities and villages.
Some practical information
Language: The official language is English, but Spanish is also commonly spoken, as is Creole.
Currency: The official currency is the Belizean dollar. US dollars are also accepted in most tourist establishments.
Climate: Belize has a tropical climate with warm temperatures all year round. The rainy season is from June to November. The best time to visit the country is from October to June, during the dry season.
Health: Vaccinations are not required to enter Belize, but it is recommended to take precautions against mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and malaria.
Belize has much to offer visitors looking for warmth and outdoor activities. With proper planning, a trip to this country in the heart of Central America is sure to be an unforgettable experience!
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