Belize’s magnificent sites, colorful culture, exciting adventure activities and spectacular scenery make it “Un-Belize-Able” for family travel. The proximity of the jungle and beaches makes it easy to combine destinations for an adventurous, yet relaxing vacation. We decided to experience three famous sides of Belize: a caye (small Caribbean island), the jungle and a beach town.
With a population of just over 1,000 people, Caye Caulker has a laid back beach vibe that families really enjoy. There are no paved roads, and only 4 cars on the island, so kids can ride bikes along the beach front without fear of traffic, aside from a golf cart here and there. The beach front “road” is lined with outdoor restaurants and shops. We stayed at Sea Dreams Hotel on Caye Caulker’s north side. We felt very at home at this family-run hotel where the staff always seemed to have a smile…and it was very contagious. About 20 steps takes you to there private dock where you can snorkel or take their canoe out. To get a better peek under the waves, we headed on a scuba dive with Frenchie’s Diving.
They took us to a spot nearby where sharks and sting rays and we were surrounded by sting rays. They glided by, appearing weightless, swerving in and away. Their “wings” felt slippery as they brushed past slurping at bits of fish and shrimp in the water. The nurse sharks were a bit more reserved circling at a safe distance of about 20-feet. The kids were in awe as the creatures grouped around in this underwater mingle.
Just two-hours west of Belize City, San Ignacio is a small town tucked in the vast green jungle of Belize. Punctuated by Mayan pyramids and caves, the jungle holds a sense of mystery! We stayed about 10 minutes out of town at Chaa Creek, a resort situated on its own reserve. They family loved relaxing in hammocks on the deck and the boys loved spotting caterpillars, geckos, iguanas, butterflies and more. In the evenings and mornings, you could hear howler monkeys as they called to each other through the tree tops.
While at Chaa Creek, we also visited Xunantunich pyramids and hiked to the top for incredible views over the verdant jungles with hints of other Mayan pyramids peeking through the leaves, and went cave tubing with Cave Tubing R Us.
The kids said they felt like Indiana Jones climbing pyramids and exploring caves…especially when slices of light from holes above the caves sliced through the darkness. It was a true adventure!
Located on a long peninsula in southern Belize, Placencia is a small village brimming with fun, lots of funky restaurants and shops and friendly people. We stayed about 1/4 mile north of the village at Chabil Mar Villas, an elegant resort with a barefoot casualness about it. The kids loved swimming in the pool and jumping off the dock into the ocean. We all enjoyed riding bikes and kayaks. While the kids have fun jumping off the pier and checking out the fish, we’re told the crystal clear waters the Caribbean is known for lie just off shore on the barrier reef (the second longest barrier reef in the world). So, we head out with Avadon Divers for a day of scuba diving on the reef.
After our time in the jungle hearing the grunting of the howler monkeys, the kids are keen to see some, so we booked a tour with Monkey River Eco Tours, for a guided boat ride upriver.
Along the river, the guide points out iguanas, birds and a crocodile. Then he pulls over to a bank and off we hop for a short hike…and short it is! After about 10 feet of hiking, we find a troop of howler monkeys – including a couple of babies. They come down from the trees searching for food and get within 8 feet of us. Watching the kids faces as they gaze in awe at the monkeys makes the trip!
For more information on family travel in Belize, visit Travel With Kids. And before you roam, be sure to get travel insurance.
Return to RoamRight Travel With Kids Home