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Squashed between Mexico and Guatemala in the luxuriantly green heart of Central America, Belize's natural beauty is staggering for a country of such tiny proportions. Whether you plan to hike the rainforest-draped mountains of Cockscomb Basin, scuba dive with sharks and kaleidoscopic fish in the world's second longest barrier reef, or unearth Mayan pyramids in jungly Caracol -- the toughest challenge, as every first-time visitor will tell you, is deciding what to do first.
Things to Do
Belize's cay-dotted barrier reef is a scuba-diving magnet, with the best action around Glover's Reef Atoll and Hol Chan Marine Reserve's famous Shark and Stingray Alley. Active types go caving in the limestone Cayo District, spot storks and kingfishers in Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary's wetlands, and hike Cockscomb Basin Forest Reserve's mountains, home to endangered jaguars. Get in tune with the mysterious Mayan cosmos clambering over Caracol's jungle-draped pyramids to the backbeat of howler monkeys.
Join cruise ship daytrippers in Belize City, browsing for art and Mayan-inspired jewelry at Fort Street or handicrafts like authentic stone and wood carvings at the National Handicraft Center. Laid-back shoppers pick up ceramics and bamboo crafts in San Pedro and Placencia. Buy a bottle of the ubiquitous Marie Sharp's Belizean Heat hot sauce for a lingering taste of Belize.
Nightlife and Entertainment
Belize is more famous for its raucous wildlife than nightlife, with its atolls attracting torch-bearing night divers. San Pedro is the exception with a string of beachfront cocktail bars and pumping clubs. Place your bets on where the chicken will make its next "drop" at crazy Pier Lounge at Wednesday night's Chicken Drop game. There's gambling of a more glamorous kind at Belize City's Princess Hotel Casino. Placencia's barefoot bars are a relaxed place to kick back and try Belize's homegrown seaweed shake.
Restaurants and Dining
Belize's food is a cavalcade of Caribbean, African and Mayan influences. Fort George in Belize City is the place to dine alfresco as the sun sets over the waterfront, peppered with restaurants serving crispy conch fritters and fusion cuisine. Stroll nearby Barracks Road for spicy fare from Jamaican jerk to tandoori specialties. For candlelit romance, cocktails and creative food, there is San Pedro, where much-loved Elvi's Kitchen rustles up a feast of crab claws and freshwater lobster.
A perfectly relaxing getaway begins with American Airlines flights to Belize City. Tranquility, history and gorgeous views await you in Central America during a Belize vacation, and you can find as many or as few things to do in Belize City as you like. From relaxing on a pretty beach to seeing wildlife, here are a few of our picks.
The largest city in Belize is located on the coast of the Caribbean Sea, which means that one of the most popular activities in Belize City is simply enjoying the shore. The Hopkins area beach is dotted with inviting hammocks, and it's also great for a number of water sports. But if you really want to escape to a picture-postcard style beach, head away from the mainland to Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye.
Aside from enjoying its gorgeous beaches, there are plenty of other things to do in Belize City, such as visiting Altun Ha. Located about 30 miles north of the city, this ancient Mayan ceremonial site includes over a dozen ruins, including the Temple of the Masonry Altars.
Connecting with nature is another of our favorite activities in Belize City, and luckily it's easy to do. For starters, visit the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, a protected area that's home to a number of wading birds. Depending on when you visit, you'll be able to see species such as wood stork, boat-billed heron, snail kite and American pygmy kingfisher. You'll also want to be sure to visit the Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, the oldest protected wildlife area in Belize. This bird sanctuary is home to 4,000 birds, and is located on the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. In addition to bird watching, you can enjoy snorkeling and diving. You'll also find a historic lighthouse that has actually shifted seaward as a result of hurricanes.
For a peaceful adventure, fly to Belize City with American Airlines. You can experience nature, pass the time on a beautiful beach or visit ancient Mayan ruins during a getaway that's easy to plan. Browse our flights to Belize City now and start deciding how you'll spend your time here.
|San Pedro Lobsterfest||Jun 2013 (annual)||San Pedro|
|International Costa Maya Festival||Aug 2013 (annual)||San Pedro|
|St George's Caye Day||Sep 2013 (annual)||Belize|
|Belize Independence Day||Sep 2013 (annual)||Belize|
|Garifuna Settlement Day||Nov 2013 (annual)||Belize|
|Deer Dance Festival||Dec 2013 (annual)||Crique Jute|
|San Pedro Carnival||Feb 2014 (annual)||San Pedro|
|Baron Bliss Day||Mar 2014 (annual)||Belize|
|La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge||Mar 2014 (annual)||Belize|
|Cashew Festival||May 2014 (annual)||Crooked Tree Village, Corozal Town|
|Ambergris Delight||Latin American||In San Pedro||1||2|
|Amor y Café||Breakfast/Lunch||Around Town||1||2|
|Big Daddy's Diner||Caribbean||The Business District||1||1|
|Blue Water Grill||International||In San Pedro||3||3|
|Cactus Plaza||Mexican||Around Town||1||1|
|Café Sol||International||Around Town||1||2|
|Capricorn Restaurant||International||On North Ambergris Caye||3||2|
|Celi's Restaurant||Seafood||In San Pedro||2||2|
|Chon Saan Palace||Chinese||Around Town||2||2|
|De'Tatch Seafood Beach Bar & Grill||South American||Around Town||2||2|
|Don Corleone||Italian||Around Town||2||3|
|Earth Runnins' Cafe||Latin American||Around Town||1||2|
|Elvi's Kitchen||South American||In San Pedro||1||3|
|Emery's||South American||Around Town||2||2|
|Estel's Dine By the Sea||Seafood||In San Pedro||1||2|
|Glenda's||South American||Around Town||1||1|
|Gomier's Foods||Vegetarian||Around Town||1||1|
|Habanero Mexican Café & Bar||Mexican||Around Town||2||2|
|Harbour View||International||Fort George||3||3|
|Jambel's Jerk Pit Too||Caribbean||Barracks Road||2||2|
|King Kassava||South American||Hopkins Village||2||1|
|Le Petit Café||Cafe||Fort George||1||2|
|Macy's||Caribbean||The Business District||1||1|
|Mambo||Eclectic||On North Ambergris Caye||3||3|
|Marian's Bayview||Indian||Around Town||1||2|
|Martha's Restaurant & Pizza House||Pizza||Around Town||1||1|
|Omar's Diner||South American||Around Town||1||1|
|Palmilla||International||South of San Pedro||4||3|
|Patty's Bistro||Latin American||Around Town||1||2|
|Pickled Parrot||International||Around Town||1||2|
|Purple Space Monkey Village||International||Around Town||1||1|
|Rainbow Grill & Bar||Seafood||Around Town||2||2|
|Rasta Pasta Rainforest Café||International||Around Town||2||3|
|Reef Bar||International||Around Town||1||2|
|Rendezvous Restaurant & Winery||Thai||On North Ambergris Caye||3||3|
|Ristorante Puccini's||Italian||Around Town||2||1|
|Riverside Café||South American||Around Town||1||1|
|Riverside Tavern||International||Around Town||2||3|
|Rojo Lounge||Eclectic||On North Ambergris Caye||3||4|
|Running W Steak House & Restaurant||Steaks/Chops||Around Town||2||3|
|Sand Box Restaurant||Seafood||Around Town||2||2|
|Sibun Bite Bar & Grill||South American||Around Town||2||2|
|Sweet Basil Gourmet Café||International||On North Ambergris Caye||2||2|
|Taste of India||Indian||Around Town||1||2|
|The French Connection||French||Around Town||2||4|
|The Secret Garden||International||Around Town||1||2|
|The Smokey Mermaid||International||Fort George||2||2|
|Trattoria Placencia||Italian||Around Town||2||1|
|Wet Lizard||Latin American||Fort George||1||2|
|Wild Mangos||International||In San Pedro||2||3|
|Y-Not Bar & Grill||Latin American||Around Town||2||2|
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