For its small size, Belize offers a surprisingly wide variety of romantic activities. From the lush jungle in the west to the Caribbean white sand beaches in the east, the people are friendly and English is the country's first language. Formerly under British rule, Belize is easy to navigate. Activities packages transport visitors seamlessly from jungle to sea between resorts such as Ka’ana, Chaa Creek and Victoria House.
1. in Belize Activities: Explore the Barrier Reef
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Belize's Barrier Reef is the world's second-largest coral reef system. Here in the turquoise water of the Caribbean Sea, an intoxicating underwater world exists. Visitors can snorkel or dive in many spots; the most popular is Shark Ray Alley in Hol Chan Marine Park, where sting rays and nurse sharks swim freely (don’t worry, neither like the taste of people). Lighthouse Reef Atoll is where divers plumb the depths of the famous Blue Hole. Vibrant colors of the fish range from cobalt blue to golden yellows, and the undersea gardens are as spectacular as anything on land. Salt water keeps activities fans buoyant, and slithering together through water with fins on your feet is a sensuous sensation all its own.
2. in Belize Activities: Visit Xunantunich Archaeological Site
Pronounced shoo-NAHN-too-nich, this Maya archaeological site is in the jungle near San Ignacio. It once claimed a population of as many as 10,000 people. Elite kings, gods, shamans, and astronomers lived here while commoners occupied huts outside. Eighty percent of the structures are reconstructed, but 20 percent date back as far as 600 A.D. Even if activities visits to archaeological sites are of minor interest, Xunantunich will impress. One of its structures is the second highest Mayan building in Belize and at 130 feet is a surprisingly easy climb. From the top, where the air is fresh and the view is lovely, one can imagine the magnificent stone structures painted the vibrant reds and greens and other colors integral to Mayan symbolism.
3. in Belize Activities: Kick Back on Caye Caulker
This sleepy little Belizean caye (meaning “island” and pronounced key) is a boat ride from Ambergris Caye and even more laid back. A catamaran sailboat with a two-spot snorkel stopover is one way to get there. Caye Caulker is a slip of white sand with not much beach and a motto of “No shirt, no shoes, no worry.” The locals are happy to tell any hurrying visitors to “go slow.” It’s good advice, since there are not many activities to do here. The “split” is where the good swimming is and a convenient Lazy Lizard bar is there, decked in colorful stripes. The bar encourages its devoted regulars as well as its island guests to write their names on the wall.
4. in Belize Activities: Follow the Chaa Creek Medicine Trail
Chaa Creek is a well-established resort in the Cayo District of western Belize. Its extensive property includes a medicine trail through jungle territory. The trail was started by Rosita Aruigo who apprenticed for 12 years with the last Mayan healer of the Cayo District, Eligio Panti; he died in 1995 at 103 years of age. On a self-guided tour, 45 plants are identified by signs. A well-informed guide offers more interesting information and will recognize such jungle sounds as approaching howler monkeys. End your activities with a visit to the Blue Morpho butterfly farm, a screened area filled with the iridescent-blue wonders. Horseback rides through the jungle are available here as well.
5. in Belize Activities: Shop for Souvenirs
Belize is rich in local handcrafted items, and shopping them is among couples' favorite activities. Bowls made from jungle hardwoods such as mahogany and cedar are handsome and prevalent. The gift shop at Ka’ana Resort in San Ignacio has a particularly nice selection and the one store at Chaa Creek in the same region features pretty embroidered textiles. At San Ignacio's colorful open market local craftspeople display wares as well as tropical fruits and vegetables. On the other side of the island, San Pedro is a bustling tourist town with many curio shops. Lacy and brightly-colored Latin lingerie is sold in various stores including the local pharmacy. Family-run Orange Gifts sells handcrafted items in San Pedro and the Cayo District.