Volunteering vacations to Belize could get you spearing destructive, invasive lionfish, IDing sea turtles on the second biggest barrier reef on the planet, or building boardwalks over fragile rainforest floors. Read our travel guide to find out more about volunteering in Belize.
Things to do in Belize
Although neighbouring Guatemala is more famous for its Mayan ruins, Belize is also on the Mayan Trail, with over 2 million Mayans living here for over 2,000 years. And indeed, 10 percent of Belize's population today is Mayan, maintaining their own language and culture. The sites of Xunantunich, Altun Ha and Caracol all still in the process of being excavated, slowly but very surely, from the jungle. Xunantunich is the most developed, its central palace masterpiece rising up to 40m. Caracol is less touristy but just as dramatic, enveloped by the Chiquibul Forest Reserve which still conceals remains that may reveal a city as large as modern Belize City. For waterfront Mayan sites, Lamanai can be reached by boat along the New River Lagoon. Or, the highlight for most tourists, Actun Tunichil Muknal limestone cave system was, for Mayans, a spiritual underworld. Humans were sacrificed here and tours of the caves reveal some visible remains, calcified and crystallised in the limestone. Glittering examples of Mayan traditions indeed.
Our Belize Vacations
June may be out of peak season for tourists, but it is peak season for lobster, with Lobster Fests kicking off on the Cayes. Peak season for rum too, it would seem.
Eat, drink & be very merry
"Yu kyaahn travl pahn emti stomak" is a popular Creole expression, meaning, literally ‘you can’t travel on an empty stomach’. Nor will you, with street food to tempt you, rice and beans to fill you, fruit cakes and Johnny Cakes to fatten you, and rum or beer to flatten you.
Diving & snorkelling
You’ve got to Belize it, but many don’t. Belize has the second largest barrier reef in the world, after Australia’s great one. Also great, and definitely gorgeous, scuba diving and snorkelling are sublime. The north offers more commercial snorkelling trips around Cayes Ambergris, Caulker and Half Moon, as well as the Turneffe Reef Atoll and stunning Great Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef. Or head to the quieter south for marine conservation volunteering vacations, where you can get your PADI while contributing to management of the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Park, on the migratory path for whale sharks between March and June. Learning to spear lionfish is not only good fun, but also of great importance for marine conservation as they are a highly destructive, invasive species. Diving is good all year round in Belize, although June to October is rainy and potentially hurricane season, so waters risk being choppier. Underwater photography vacations are also a feature out on the reefs, for plenty of #nofilter nirvanas.
If you'd like to chat about Belize or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
The wonderful thing about sea kayaking in Belize is that, even as a beginner, you can paddle for days here. Different islands every night. Same starry skies.
If ever you wanted a vacation that offers total digital detox, sea kayaking from one Belize caye to caye, or cove to cove, is it. This is Belize at its most blissful. You get to discover the coral reef, but spots that are favoured by fishermen rather than boats full of divers. Fish from your kayak, put sails on it, or moor up and dive in.
Responsible Travel would like to thank Belize for their sponsorship of this guide.
More about Belize
Wondering about the best time to visit Belize? Temperatures are fab year-round. For sunny and dry, try November until May; the refreshing rains start in June.
Our Belize travel guide reveals that it’s not all about the sea – there are also Mayan temples, Caribbean culture and hiking trails brimming with birdlife.
Belize’s highlights are scattered across the map on land and sea, with a jungle-lined coast that stretches almost 300km, plus hundreds of cays and islands.
Read about the history, where to see the great sites, and what sort of adventures await on our Mayan vacations in Belize.
Head south to Toledo on a Garifuna cultural vacation to meet this community and support their enterprises.
Explore inland Belize with Maya guides who illuminate the culture and beliefs of their communities.
Belizean cuisine reflects the country’s multicultural population and its magnificent Caribbean coast location.
As well as exploring the much celebrated marine life, wildlife vacations in Belize will take you inland to see birds, tapirs, monkeys and elusive big cats.
Family vacations in Belize are so exhilarating and easy that many are hooked for life, thanks to its small size, paradise islands and adventures at every turn.
Lionfish spearing in Belize tackles an invasive species causing serious destruction to indigenous species.
Responsible diving and snorkelling in Belize helps conserve the world’s second-largest barrier reef.
Belize kayaking vacations can take you along jungle-clad rivers or along the Barrier Reef between idyllic cayes.
While it has plenty of paradise beaches, Belize is very much a honeymoon destination for adventurous couples.
An extraordinary array of birdlife, from kingfishers to hawks, can be spotted on bird watching vacations in Belize.
Marine conservation vacations in Belize all revolve around its magnificent Barrier Reef Reserve System (BBRRS).
Tailor made vacations in Belize give you more freedom in where you go, and what you do.
Read Belize travel tips from our partners and travelers who have explored its coral reefs, wildlife-rife tropical forests and ancient Mayan cities.
Read more about responsible tourism in Belize, where the government takes sustainability seriously.