It may be small, but Belize has an awful lot going for it. One day you can be snorkelling the Western Hemisphere’s longest barrier reef system; the next making eyes at its largest, most powerful cat at the world’s only Jaguar preserve.
"You’ll generally find the roads are quiet, the beaches relaxed, and the archaeological sites often blissfully crowd-free (the engaging jumble of cultures makes for some amazingly good eats too)!"
Another time you could find yourself paddling down the Macal, Sitee and Belize Rivers, or over to San Ignacio’s Saturday market, accompanied by the sounds of wildlife and birdsong.
Incredibly rich in natural wonders, in wildlife, and in incredible vistas, just 380,000 people (equal parts Mayan, Creole, Mestizo, Spanish, Lebanese, Chinese, British, Indian, and Mennonite) inhabit an area similar in size to Wales.
There’s hiking through mountain ranges, tropical rainforest, jungle and caves; lazing on a hammock nursing a cold one while scarlet macaws scream overhead; or exploring underground rivers once used by the Mayas for sacrificial rituals.
Speaking of which, as the epicentre of the ancient Maya world (once home to more than two-million Mayas), you’ll find ancient temples hidden away in lush green jungles pretty much everywhere you go, and it’s not uncommon to come across ancient pieces of pottery, or hear that a distant hill is actually a temple… so if you’ve always wanted to embrace your inner Indiana Jones, you’ll want to have your hat and whip at the ready!