The red-footed booby colonizes Lighthouse Reef's Half Moon Caye, a protected breeding site. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

How Travelers Can Help Stop Wildlife Poaching in Belize

You are guaranteed to see wildlife in Belize, whether in the wild or in captivity. However, some poached birds and wildlife are often sold on the international market, while others end up in Belizean homes or in businesses who want to add “color” to attract tourists. Here are simple ways you can help discourage animal poaching in Belize and all over the world.

Catch of the day on display outside Rose's Grill and Bar. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

Enjoying Belizean Seafood

One of the favorite Belize specialties is fresh fish, especially along the coast and on the islands, but even inland Belize is never more than 60 miles from the ocean. There’s lobster, shrimp, red snapper, sea bass, halibut, barracuda, conch, and lots more prepared in a variety of ways. Here’s a quick overview on specialties to try and useful advice on enjoying them sustainably.

Aerial view of northern cayes. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

Where to Go in the Belize Cayes

Regardless of where you go in the Belize Cayes, days are spent alfresco: kayaking, sailing, fishing, feasting on fresh catch, swimming alongside rays and turtles, gazing at magnificent frigatebirds hovering in blue skies. Or mastering the art of dolce far niente: the sweetness of doing nothing. Here’s an overview of island highlights.

Bone fragments found at the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

The Marco Gonzalez Maya Site, Belize

Those looking for a little Mayan history on Ambergris Caye in Belize can find it at the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site. History and adventure buffs will enjoy private guided tours of this virgin site, currently under study, which was inhabited by the Maya for 1,600 years.

Mayan village of San Pedro Columbia. Photo © Lebawit LIiy Girma.

Planning Your Time in Punta Gorda and the Deep South of Belize

Just an hour and a half on a regional flight from Belize City will land visitors in the real backcountry of Belize, where they’ll find all that is authentically Belizean in one place: virgin rainforests, waterfalls, five Mayan archaeological sites, a diverse population, and, more importantly, proximity to the most pristine and uncrowded of Belize’s offshore islands for snorkeling, diving, and sportfishing in two adjacent marine reserves.

Nurse sharks at Shark Ray Alley, Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

Best of the Belize Cayes 5-Day Itinerary

In five days, you can experience a few of Belize’s most beautiful islands. This itinerary includes self-guided activities, as well as some guided tours. Caye hopping can be a bit more costly than exploring overland, so feel free to use this itinerary as best fits your budget. One thing is certain: you won’t run out of islands to see or things to do!

Belize's waters are teeming with unique coral formations. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

Where to See Marine Life in the Belize Cayes

Whether you’re a beginner or certified underwater aficionado, Belize’s splendid down under is sure to impress. Here’s a sampling Caribbean critters you’ll encounter and where to go to see them. The good news is, you don’t have to be a diver to see them all.

Silk Cayes. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

Discover the Belize Cayes

Belize’s cayes are everyone’s deserted island fantasy come true. Learn about the many islands and their draw, plan when to visit with expert advice, then discover them for yourself.

Billy Barquedier National Park. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

Romantic Getaways in the Belize Cayes

On the rise as a wedding and luxury honeymoon escape, Belize offers easy romance, but there are a few unique places and ways to experience the best of all its magic. From fine dining to secluded escapes, here they are.