A Family Trip To Belize
YOUR GUIDE TO BELIZE
Belize is small – almost deceptively small – but this teensy-weensy country holds the keys to terrific wildlife, gorgeous islands, and ancient cultures.
Visiting Belize With Family:
Why It's Fabulous For Your Kids
The country of Belize straddles the strip of land between the Caribbean Sea in the east and the lush rainforests in the west and has been synonymous with adventure to many in the travel world. This is because the variety and accessibility of wildlife in this country is such that a well-planned Belize family vacation has the potential of very high rewards – it’s a great learning opportunity for kids and adults alike and an adventure that promises to be both hands-on and entertaining. The country’s flora and fauna are comparable to its big brother, Costa Rica. Belize simply wraps those up in a more compact package, enabling your Belize family vacation trip to be more focused and shorter timewise, something that’s coveted more in our fast lives. Yet, such a trip doesn’t sacrifice any of the extraordinary adventures of wildlife encounter that most families will be truly excited about. Among the many notable species, you’re virtually guaranteed to find howler monkeys, spider monkeys, coatimundis, iguanas, toucans, aracaris (relatives of toucans), and some of the almost 600 bird species that grace the country. If you’re feeling lucky on this trip, you might meet up with the creatures that are rarely seen as well. These include the shy jaguars, sulky tapirs, and the keel-billed toucans. If you’re the kind who doesn’t like lugging along a superzoom camera during a family vacation, make sure you at least carry a lightweight but powerful pair of binoculars around your neck so you don’t miss out on the myriads of unique adventures. Gracing many of the pathways here you’ll find an animal I’ve always been fascinated with since first watching nature documentaries decades ago. These are armies of leafcutter ants, making long and winding trails to diligently carry their cut pieces of leaves. This, however, might depend on the season you visit Belize, and it’s also true that you get to see them in some of the South and Central American countries as well. For those curious souls who don’t really know what purpose these leaves serve, make sure to visit our “I Wonder Why” section dedicated to just this.
"It’s a great learning opportunity for kids and adults alike and promises to be hands-on and entertaining."
"The world’s second largest coral reef is right here in Belize."
It’s a well-known fact that the Great Barrier Reef in Australia can be seen from space. What’s little known, however, is that the world’s second largest coral reef is right here in Belize, quite aptly known as the Belize Barrier Reef, guaranteeing plentiful adventures for those closer to home. The kaleidoscope of creatures in this marine reef habitat must be seen to be believed. And if ever there was a place to show off your snorkeling and scuba diving skills, it’s here. For the rest of us, there’s always the possibility of learning them from some very able and efficient masters of the tradecraft. But you don’t want to miss this opportunity during your Belize trip. There are over a hundred species of corals in the region, and a sight of the largest fish on the planet, the gentle whale shark, will get you enough adventure to justify such a move.
"If you’re on the hunt for an affordable kid-friendly adventure destination in a country where English is the official language, it’s Belize.
And you better belize it!"
Finding Real Adventure In Belize:
But Not For The Faint Of Heart
If you think you could end your Belize family adventure vacation with all these activities, you’re sorely mistaken, since at this point you’ve not covered arguably the most interesting sites of Belize. The country truly shines in showing off some of the most well-preserved architectural ruins of the ancient Maya culture. Belize is a country dotted with ancient temples, where large stone stairways that occasionally lead up to impossible heights. The scope of Maya civilization becomes apparent after viewing these intricate networks of ancient temples across the length and breadth of the country. All of the Mayan ruins are important in their own rights, but if you only have limited time, make sure that you at least visit the ones in Caracol, Xunantunich, Lamanai, and Cahal Pech. The ultimate adventure during your family trip to Belize, in our view, will be when you enter the long, pitch dark Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, which you can only do on a guided canoe. (You can, of course, choose to make your trip far more memorable by swimming the length of the cave, but we wouldn’t recommend that.) A few hundred yards from the mouth of the cave, in the light of a powerful strobe light, you’ll witness firsthand the goosebumps-raising sacrificial rituals practiced by the Maya civilization.
"Inside Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, you’ll witness firsthand the goosebumps-raising sacrificial rituals practiced by the Maya civilization."
"Children are likely to love the easy accessibility to stunning wildlife, lovely islands, and glorious ruins of the ancient Maya civilization."
The secret sauce that Belize provides for family vacation travel has several well-cooked ingredients for an unforgettable adventure. The first among these is safety, probably the #1 consideration for parents for travel anywhere, and in that regard, Belize should be a safe bet. I’ve done a lot of research about the safety aspects myself, and the fact is that your family trip to Belize will likely be a lot safer than most places in the United States. Of course, you should make sure to do your own research based on your family’s needs and preferences before you plan a trip. And remember that anytime you’re in a new environment you should always keep your wits about you. When you compare with the neighboring countries, affordability is another component that makes the country a particularly attractive place for family vacations. Most children are an impatient bunch, though, and parents often struggle to pick between convenience and mobility. Thankfully, the intersecting area here is quite broad. This means that families with children are likely to love the easy accessibility to stunning wildlife, lovely islands, and glorious ruins of the ancient Maya civilization. Belizeans are known to be family-friendly folks who’ll usually go out of their way to welcome families with open arms. As you plan your Belize family vacation, these are a few things you ought to consider.
Kid-Friendly Attractions In Belize
It's see why the Belize District is so popular among families with children. It so happens that Belize caters to a large influx of tourists coming here on cruise ships. Now, there’s nothing wrong with taking a cruise ship to Belize on your next vacation. However, if you’re going to Belize as a family traveling independently and looking for some decent adventure, then know that there’s one commonality between cruisers and children, although for a wholly different reason: both have little time to spare. While the tourists on cruise ships might have to do this for their contracted all-inclusive package deal, children usually do it for a far more mundane reason: a lack of attention span. Thankfully, the result is that your family can plan to partake with ease in many fun adventure activities which are still limited in scope that are ideal for kids.
A memorable boat ride will take your family to your island paradise, and for children, the adventure begins the moment they step inside these boats. Once you reach the island, there’s hardly an activity that’s not going to keep the entire family busy. You can swim, snorkel, sail, kayak, dive, or just lie in your hammock and get lazy.
A more exotic activities, your Belize family adventure vacation can be planned with a visit to the lush forests in the west. This place is not only for grownups, as any nature-loving child should fall in love with the kinds of adventure this region of Belize has in store.
After stepping on six of the seven continents as a family with three kids, I can safely say that Belize should be among your top destinations for fun and adventure, especially for families traveling with kids. In fact, your family trip to Belize, if done right, would actually cost less than your family trip to, say, Disneyland. Once you’re a visitor here, you’ll find out that the prices are quite reasonable as well. For families that are not regular international travelers, Belize can help you get your feet wet (literally) for your future travel adventures for far and wide. It will be a far more memorable one as well. Just try wiping out those memories of your children swimming with nurse sharks (yes, it’s uber-safe)! Or the ones where you didn’t believe what you saw in the crystal-clear waters as the spectacular coral reef inhabitants came into sharp focus. Not only that, Belize makes things so much simpler in so many ways. Consider this: among all the Central American countries, Belize is one place where you wouldn’t need to download a foreign language via Google translator before your trip, because its official language happens to be English. For everyone who’s not a bilingual, that’s hard to beat on an international travel. So, remember, it’s a big world out there, but Belize is as easy and as affordable as it gets for an adventure family vacation. It’s little wonder then that Belize ranks as one of the hottest travel destinations among families. And especially when planning a trip originating from North America, promises to at once make for an exciting and exotic family experience.
"Your family trip to Belize, if done right, would actually cost you less than your family trip to Disneyland."
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