Trips to Belize City often come with a sense of de-ja-vu. The city was once ruled by the British and English is still the official language, so it’s easy to feel like you’ve been here before. You’ll spot street names like Albert Street, and pass an Anglican cathedral with the name of St John. But go beyond the city limits and you’ll discover things you won’t have seen before. Out here, it’s possible to snorkel along a 150-mile barrier reef, hike around Mayan ruins, and do your own stunts during cave-tubing and zip-lining adventures.
• Belize is home to one of the world's largest coral reefs, so snorkelling and scuba are bread-and-butter activities out here.
• Lamanai is one of the largest Mayan sites in Belize. Concealed from the rest of the world by tropical jungle, the site has more than 800 ancient structures, including temples and pyramids.
SHORE EXCURSIONS► View all EXCURSIONS
Airboat Adventure Tour►
Channel your inner Crocodile Dundee on this trip, with an airboat ride across Belize’s marshlands. The day starts with a bus ride through historical Belize City. En route, your guide will point out some of the city’s landmarks, like St John’s Cathedral. At Almond Hill Lagoon, you’ll swap the coach for an airboat, similar to the ones that zip across the Florida Everglades. Breezing across the surface of the water, you’ll spot water lilies, wading birds and turtles in this unspoilt, remote wilderness. And, turning off the boat’s huge propeller, you’ll quietly drift past a herd of graceful manatees, or sea cows, as they feed in the mangroves. Later, as you cruise along Indian Creek, keep your eyes peeled for the Morelet's crocodiles that also call these waters home.
Lamanai Temples & River Cruise►
You’ll go back to the days of the Mayans on this tour, on a cruise along the New River. You’ll be on the water for about two hours, making plenty of photo stops along the way. The river is teeming with wildlife, and if you point your camera towards the banks you could come away with snaps of howler monkeys, iguanas and crocodiles. Then there’s the jacana, nicknamed the ‘Jesus bird’. Reason being, it looks like it’s walking on water when it wades across floating vegetation. The river empties into a lagoon, where you’ll catch sight of the Lamanai ruins. You’ll dock at the Lamanai Welcome Centre, before exploring the site’s museum, which houses ancient artefacts, before walking through the jungle paths to see some of the temples and monuments the Mayans left behind. You’ll also have the chance to scale one of the pyramid-shaped temples – it towers 100 feet above the ruins and the lagoon, so the panoramas are top notch.
Crystal Cave Tubing Exploration & Zip Line►
You’ll go high into the treetops and down below ground all in one day on this high-octane trip. First up is a ziplining tour of the jungle canopy. After harnessing up and getting a full safety briefing, you’ll take a short trek through the rainforest, past towering cohune palms native to Central America. You’ll stop at a cliff-edge – the launch pad for your zipline adventure. Guides will hook you up to a series of five travers and, as you fly along them, you’ll get a bird’s-eye view of the caves and jungle greenery below. Afterwards, you’ll swap your harness for a life jacket and make your way to the entrance of a huge cave. Here, you’ll take a pew in a rubber ring and float along subterranean lagoons. The ancient Mayans used to stage their rituals in these caves, and you’ll get up close to the crystal formations, stalactites and stalagmites.