The best sightseeing in Belize can be found in Southern Belize in areas such as Punta Gorda. People usually go to Punta Gorda for jungle adventures, culture and history, as most of Punta Gorda is still the same way it was many years ago. It is still under-populated, too. There are lots of rivers in Punta Gorda, so you can go kayaking, canoeing, tubing, and rafting there. They also have hiking in Punta Gorda. It is home to a native culture in Belize called Kekchi Maya, which is one of the three Mayan groups in Belize. Many of them are still traditional and still practice their traditional ways of life.
One of the most remarkable activities to do in Punta Gorda is to see the chocolate making. They will give you a tour of the farm of the cacao beans and they take you through the process of chocolate making, from the farming, all the way to making chocolate, chocolate milk, etc.
Another great activity to do is the Mayan experience called a “home stay.” You can actually stay with a Mayan family. You can cook with them, farm with them, and practice their arts and crafts.
Another part of Belize that has some of the best sightseeing and activities is San Ignacio in the Cayo District. San Ignacio is in more of the central area of Belize. It is more commercial. San Ignacio is mostly famous for the Maya ruins and adventure activities such as cave tubing, zip lining, river canoeing, river tubing, etc. There are lots of Mayan ruin sites in San Ignacio. One of which is Caracol, which is the largest man-made structure in Belize and the second largest in Central America after Tikal in Guatemala. You can also go on a day trip to Guatemala to see Tikal, which is a very popular tour from San Ignacio.
One of the signature tours being offered in San Ignacio is the tour to the Actun Tunichil Muknal, which is more popularly called the ATM Cave. That cave was featured in National Geographic, and Discovery Channel, among other places, and we highly recommend it to our guests. The Maya used to use the ATM Cave in the past for ceremonial purposes. Once you get into the cave, there are literally hundreds of potteries all over the floor and some Mayan remains. This activity is usually combined with some adventure hiking as well. You would actually hike to the entrance of the cave, cross the river three times, and once you get to the entrance of the cave, then a guide will take you to the cave, and explain the geographical features of the cave and a little bit of culture and history of the Maya as well. The whole tour is very interesting and very popular.
There is also another less strenuous cave system in that care called Barton Creek Cave. This cave s less strenuous as you can just go into the cave in a canoe. You just have to paddle inside the cave where you will see some amazing cave features, Maya remains, potteries, etc.
There are other areas in Belize where you can go cave tubing. One of the more popular areas is near Jaguar Paw. Belize is the only country in the world where you can tube into a cave system. There is an underground river in Jaguar Paw where you can tube into. It is very popular, very easy to do and it is quite an adventure.
For extreme activities, we do have water rappelling. It is amazing and it’s definitely something that I want to do over and over again. For extreme adventurers, I would recommend water rappelling at the Antelope Falls in Bocawina Reserve. You have to hike all the way up to the top of the waterfall and rappel down the waterfall.
(Cave tubing adventure tours offered by Black Orchid Resort, Burrell Boom, Belize, pictured.)