Belize was founded by adventurers—pirates, loggers and roughneck settlers who carved a place to live from swamps and jungles. A few centuries later, adventurous ecotravelers found this corner of Central America, and today, Belize is a rising star among those seeking active and educational vacations.
Tourists go to see its vast expanses of rain forest, rich collection of birds and animals, a long stretch of coral barrier reef and plentiful Maya ruins. As a result, tourism now surpasses agriculture as the largest industry in Belize, generating more than one-fifth of the country’s gross domestic product. About a third of a million international visitors go to Belize annually for everything from honeymoons to snorkeling, along with almost two-thirds of a million who visit briefly on cruise ships.
Of course, Belize’s growing popularity is making it somewhat less wild than it used to be—especially if you find yourself in a well-appointed jungle lodge or seaside resort (even the sounds of howler monkeys can seem rather civilized when you’re sipping cappuccino on the veranda).
Belize’s travel infrastructure is continually improving but remains far from polished: Some areas are difficult and/or expensive to get to, and conventional resort amenities such as golf courses and tennis courts are few and far between. Belize’s handful of “highways” are narrow but in fairly good condition, and getting around the country is not without its delays and challenges. We find these to be rather minor drawbacks, however. A bit of rawness just seems fitting for a place that caters to so many active travelers.
Belize City is Belize’s only urban area of any size, though it and its suburbs account for fewer than 80,000 people. It is the country’s commercial, cultural and transportation hub, but it is actually Belize’s least-appealing visitor destination. Belize City’s high crime rates (rarely a week goes by without several murders and drive-by shootings) keep visitors wary, especially around the downtown area after dark. Many quickly flee to safer and more scenic areas on the mainland or to the islands (commonly called cayes in Belize), a short plane flight or boat ride away from Belize City.
Ambergris Caye, Belize’s most popular destination, offers a pleasing mix of informal living, watersports and the country’s best restaurants and nightlife. Caye Caulker, Hopkins, Placencia and San Ignacio also attract many visitors. Up-and-coming spots such as Punta Gorda, Corozal Town and Sarteneja are inexpensive and almost totally unspoiled by mass tourism.
The exclusive and complete travel guide is available to our clients.
LeisureVoyage is a joint venture of miniServe and OneVoyage. Through our unique industry relationships, we are able to create a luxury hotel portfolio that encompasses hotels from both Virtuoso and Signature Travel Network, two leading luxury travel consortiums in the world.
101 Cooper Street 263 | Santa Cruz, CA
Mon - Sat 9.00 - 17.00 Sunday CLOSED
Your security matters the most to us, so we take extraordinary measures to protect your information. Unlike many other agencies, sensitive information from you is encrypted from the start. LeisureVoyage is PCI-DSS compliant with regular website vulnerability scans by trusted 3rd party.