For a compact country only 180 miles long and less than 70 miles wide, Belize packs a pirate’s ransom of adventure and romance into a stunningly varied island. Here you might scuba dive in the Caribbean from laid-back offshore cays, canoe down jungle rivers, hike to Maya temples on pine-covered ridges or deep in rain forest, and swim at the foot of remote waterfalls that you may have all to yourselves. In fact, exploring the riches of Belize’s Maya route goes hand in hand with discovering the country’s natural treasures.
Belize’s Maya legacy begins offshore at Ambergris Caye is the perfect place to begin or end your Maya odyssey in Belize: Diving and snorkeling among the more than 500 species of fish are the main events when you’re not soaking up the laid-back village ambience. For an extra thrill, take a side trip to dive the deep “Blue Hole” that Jacques Costeau made famous, or sign up to snorkel among stingrays and sharks—fortunately, these stingrays have never stung anyone, and the toothless “nurse sharks” don’t bite.
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