Lionfish hovering over coral. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

Belize’s War Against Lionfish

The Caribbean region’s coral reef has been battling an invasive, voracious, and predatory fish—destructive enough that it can devastate an entire reef system: the red lionfish (Pterois volitans). Belize is no exception. Countrywide, the war against the spread of lionfish is ongoing; here’s how Belize is fighting back.

A howler monkey at the Community Baboon Sanctuary. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

The Best Wildlife Spotting in the Belize Cayes

Filled with national parks and wildlife reserves, Belize home to an estimated 145 species of mammals, 139 species of reptiles, and at least 500 species of birds, many of which can be spotted along the cayes. An island vacation doesn’t mean missing out on any of the wildlife—here is what to look out for both inland and offshore.

Suspension bridge at Mayflower Bocawina National Park. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

Planning a Visit to Mayflower Bocawina National Park

Mayflower Bocawina National Park in the Belize Cayes comprises more than 7,100 acres of Maya Mountain wilderness set aside to protect and showcase the area’s five waterfalls and green-fringed Mayan ruins. A trail system offers excellent independent hiking with guides and tours offered to enhance the experience, and plenty of other adventures.

Four-eyed butterfly fish along the Belize Barrier Reef. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

Plan a Visit to Bacalar Chico National Park Marine Reserve

Located on and around the northern tip of Ambergris Caye, Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve hosts an incredibly diverse array of wildlife, offers excellent snorkeling and diving, and is rich with history. Here’s your guide to planning a visit, from all about the reserve’s sights to where to stay, what to eat, and how to get there.

Two chairs on a dock in clear shallow water surrounded by palm trees.

Visit Belize’s Tobacco Caye

If your tropical island dream includes sharing said island with a few dozen fellow travelers, snorkelers, divers, rum drinkers, and hammock sitters from around the world, then Tobacco Caye is your place.

The sun sets over the horizon turning a dramatic cloud covered sky from golden to deep purple.

Planning Your Time in Belize’s Northern Cayes

Once the favorite hideout and playground of pirates, the Northern Cayes are Belize’s greatest tourism draw, and with good reason. These postcard-perfect islands offer quick access to the Belize Barrier Reef and Hol Chan Marine Reserve, a dizzying array of outdoor activities, and enough lodging, restaurants, and entertainment options to fit celebrity and backpacker budgets alike.

At sunset on the coast, the silhouetted statue of a fisherman hauling in his net.

Day Trip from Belize to Chetumal, Mexico

An exciting dose of culture shock is an easy 15 miles from Corozal. Chetumal, capital of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, is a relatively modern, midsized city of about 200,000. If you don’t come for the culture, then you must be here to shop in the new American-style mall, or see a first-run film in Chet’s brand new air-conditioned Cineplex, located in the Plaza de las Americas mall.

A boat is docked along a strip of shore surrounded by calm, clear water.

Discover Belize

If you’ve traveled in other parts of Central America or the Caribbean, forget them all. Belize is different: It is coconut shavings in your rice and beans. It is butter pooling in your conch soup—with a squirt of lime and a splash of hot sauce to make it bite. Belize is the hemisphere’s largest barrier reef; it is massive forests of giant cohune palms and prehistoric tree ferns, some amid ancient Mayan plazas.

Kriol stew. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

The Evolution of Belizean Food

The very idea of a national cuisine is as new as every other part of Belizean identity. Since the times of the Baymen, Belize has been an import economy, and with independence came renewed national pride where “Belizean” has been gradually applied to the adapted varied diet of many cultures.