Belize’s Lighthouse Reef Atoll and Half Moon Caye

On Lighthouse Reef Atoll, you’ll find Half Moon Caye, a historical natural monument and protected area with a lighthouse, bird sanctuary, shipwrecks, and incredible diving spots offshore. Author Lily Girma shares everything you need to know about this interesting area.

The Community Baboon Sanctuary in Belize

The Community Baboon Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization consisting of 220 members in seven local communities who have voluntarily agreed to manage their land with baboon preservation in mind. Learn more about visiting the sanctuary, as well as the history of the organization.

Where do you recommend eating in Belize?

Ambergris Caye has the reputation for being more "touristy" than other parts of Belize, but it also has the best restaurants and most delicious food options in the country. From Ruby's Deli (where locals line up every morning to grab fresh-baked, stuffed johnny cakes) to Latin specialties like pupusas grilled by street vendors, from Elvi's Kitchen serving the best shrimp curry I've ever had in the Caribbean to fresh seafood eateries like Caramba, San Pedro is a foodie's paradise. Throw in upscale, intimate fine dining spots like Casa Picasso or the beachfront Blue Water Grill, and it's no exaggeration to say that San Pedro is Belize's best all-around food destination. The Cayo District is a close second, with the best farmers market in the country and easy access to fresh vegetables, fruits, and cheeses.

Which activities should travelers be sure to try in Belize?

Belize may seem small, but it offers an incredible variety of activities that range from culture to adventure. A memorable trip would blend one cultural experience, one outdoor experience, and one island or Barrier Reef experience. Spend the day in Hopkins, a Garifuna beach village, to learn about an endangered culture—beat the drums and sample cassava-based meals. Hop on a river safari to Lamanai Archeological Site, which includes wildlife spotting, hiking in the rainforest, and climbing up Maya temples. Snorkel or dive off the Belize Barrier Reef at Hol Chan Marine Reserve if short on time, or off one of the three atolls.

Belize’s Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary

A 33-mile drive from Belize City, or a little over an hour by bus, the island village and wildlife sanctuary of Crooked Tree are primary destinations for serious bird-watchers. Lily Girma provides an overview of Crooked Tree, including information on hiking, lagoons, and the annual cashew festival.

Which beach would you recommend for the overall best beach experience in Belize?

If you’re looking for a great beach with entertainment, Placencia Beach is definitely the best pick. In addition to 16 miles of golden sand that stretches across three areas or neighborhoods, there are numerous bars, restaurants, and boutique hotels lining its shores—and therefore plenty of all-around entertainment. And while Belize's offshore cayes or islands are my favorites and have stunning white sand beaches surrounded by gorgeous Caribbean turquoise waters, they're often isolated or restricted to on-site resort visitors only. If you want to experience a secluded white sand beach and turquoise waters straight out of a dreamy postcard, then take a day trip or stay on one of the offshore islands, like South Water Caye or Ranguana Caye.

Belizean Restaurants & Cuisine in Belize City

Belize City is packed with traditional Creole eateries. From jam rolls and flaky pastries to traditional Belizean fare like stew chicken, fish fillets, and meat pies, there are plenty of food options to choose from in this roundup of the city’s best restaurants.

Finding Adventure in Belize

Get your heart racing by exploring the largest cave system in Central America, more than 11 national parks, and numerous forest and marine reserves and wildlife sanctuaries. Author Lily Girma shares the exciting kinds of adventure that await you in Belize.