By Albert N. August
While some may feel that a day in Belize is never enough, others that have been here would love to spend a lifetime and some can only spend a day before their cruise ship departs. As a Sales and Marketing Representative for one of the largest tour operators (Yute Expeditions) in Belize I often get asked this question, ‘If I only had one day in Belize what should I do?’
Truth of the matter is, I can never seem to find just one right answer to that question, mainly because there is so much to do even with a small window of opportunity; however, this is what I would recommend to you if you only had one day in this amazing jewel of ours called Belize.
After breakfast, climb aboard a smaller vessel that will take you inland to the Tourism Village, feel free to look around and pick up a couple souvenirs from the local artist in Belize City. Now comes the tricky part of the day, what to do when time isn’t on your side. The real question here is, “What do I want to know about Belize”, does the history of the Mayan People intrigue you, what about the warm Caribbean sun and turquoise waters calling your name as the fresh Caribbean breeze whistles and inviting sound in your ear or are you more interested in experiencing the different cultures of Belize. Then I have wonderful news for you, there is a little something for everyone, whether it is adventure you’re seeking, yearning to zip through jungle canopy at Caves Branch Outpost or take a relaxing float in an inner tube through caves used by the Mayas for rituals. The Belize zoo is also an excellent choice for families with small children, last but not least the islands of Caye Caulker and San Pedro awaits those who would love to sun bathe in the warm Caribbean Sun or snorkel with nurse sharks and Rays.
Cave tubing and Zip lining at Caves Branch Outpost
Soar through Belize’s unspoiled jungle canopy from treetop to treetop from a bird’s eye view of the rainforest below. An accelerating adventure, there are 10 runs at heights ranging up to 100 feet off the ground, culminated by rappelling down from the last treetop to the ground for that final adrenaline rush.
The beauty about Cave tubing & Zip Lining is that you can combine both tours because they are located in at the same site; I highly recommend that you try both of them. Zip line in the morning; take a break to enjoy an amazing buffet style Belizean lunch then gear up for your afternoon relaxing cave tubing tour.
Your trained guide will set you up with your necessary equipment, begin the one mile trek through Belize’s sub-tropical forest, waltz across knee
high portions of the river and pass through two caves before reaching a stunning lagoon surrounded by steep limestone walls. Along the way, your guide will point out various exotic flora and fauna, native to this region.
Float along the cool waters in an inner tube illuminated only by your headlamp, gently pushed by a current or led by your guide into two large chambers – both impressive sanctuaries used by the Mayas for sacrificial rituals. Plunge into darkness and listen to the sounds of the cascading waterfalls and bubbling rapids. Upon exiting the caves, continue floating along the jungle-lined river for approximately thirty minutes before returning to the starting point.
Total travel time 2 hrs to and from Belize City, Zip line tour takes 45 minutes to do and Cave Tubing is as follows; 35 minute hike to get to cave, 45 minute actual cave tubing and 30 minutes tubing over open water.
Another Excellent choice from Belize City would be the ancient Mayan Site of Xunantunich, total travel time to Xunantuntich would be 3 hours round trip but definitely worth the drive.
Xunantunich was the first site to be opened to the public, when the road and the hand cranked car ferry were completed in 1954. What you will see today is a Classic period (300-900 AD) ceremonial center, with large plazas ringed with pyramids. The tallest is the astonishing 130 foot “El Castillo” (The Castle) which is large by Mayan standards and is only exceeded by the Caana pyramid at Caracol in the Mountain Pine Ridge. The site was occupied until around 900 AD and was likely abandoned after an earthquake, the evidence of which was discovered by archaeologists in the mid-1900.
The Islands of San Pedro and Caye Caulker
Best way to get to the islands;
An hour and a half boat ride gets you to San Pedro, boats leave every hour from the Tourism Village in Belize City, or you can do it the easier way. Get a cab to take you to the municipal airstrip for a 15 minute flight out to the island. Either way you decide to do it is always the fun and right way.
The islands are perfect for those of you who want to take the advice of the warm Caribbean sea breeze and head over to one of the islands for one of many activities offered. The cool Caribbean waters off San Pedro are a natural haven for marine life, boasting hundreds of species of Marine life from the tiniest creatures such as sea horses to the largest such as whale sharks. San Pedro has also become a sport fisherman’s hot spot for fly fishing for permit and bone fish.
The white sandy beaches are perfect for the couple who would just like to relax on the beach and soak up the Caribbean Rays.
What to eat on the island? The catch of the day is always the way to go, when on the island do as the locals do. Fresh gilled sea food with rice and beans is always the best choice and you can find the freshest of food anywhere on the island. I always say, “Follow your nose” because it never lies.
The above tours and adventures are designed to get you back to Belize City before you need to board the ship and set sail to your next destination.
I hope that my recommendations assisted you in deciding what to do in terms of adventures while in Belize. If you have any other questions about what Belize has to offer, feel free to send me at email at email@example.com or check us out on the web at www.inlandbelize.com