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11 Can't Miss Experiences in Belize

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AFAR sent me on a trip of a lifetime to experience what it truly means to "Discover How To Be” across all 7 regions in Belize. These are my favorite experiences from that extraordinary journey. For the full 49 highlights from all 7 regions and a video from Belize, visit http://www.afar.com/north-america/belize/guide
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Belize
In the Orange Walk district, in Northern Belize, lies one of the largest Maya ruins in the country: Lamanai. It is accessible by road but I arrived after a one-hour boat ride up the New River. The name “Lamanai” is roughly translated...
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Lamanai, Belize
The 20 or so guest cabanas that make up the living quarters for Lamanai Outpost Lodge are scattered over a small area on the banks of Crab-Catcher lagoon not far from the boundaries of the ruins of Lamanai. It’s a rustic-looking complex at...
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2141 Pearl Street, San Pedro, Belize, San Pedro, Belize
Hol Chan Marine Reserve, located just a few minutes' boat ride from San Pedro, is the place to go for snorkeling in Northern Belize. This small, protected area (Hol Chan means "little channel" in Mayan) is home to part of Belize's barrier reef,...
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Barrier Reef Dr San Pedro, Belize, San Pedro, Belize
The Phoenix, a little slice of paradise on the edge of San Pedro, features more modern architecture than most buildings in town, as well as modern amenities. Rooms are one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom condominium suites that feature...
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A short boat ride north from San Pedro will deposit you onto a portion of Ambergris Caye that feels worlds away from any town or city. Once ensconced in a private bungalow on a private beach, there isn’t much to distract the guest from complete...
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Mile 29 Western Hwy, La Democracia, Belize
This zoo in incredible for a few reasons: obviously, primarily for the animals there. Being in Belize, there are jaguars, ocelots, scarlet macaws... everything you wish you could stumble upon when hiking in the rainforest (if only hiking boots...
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Maya Beach, Placencia, Belize
John and Ellen left their home countries (Australia and the United States) to build a life in Belize and open a restaurant and hotel, thus giving them the time to connect with people in a meaningful way. Whether their passion for life...
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Placencia Sidewalk, Placencia, Belize
There’s a stretch of sand between the Placencia Boardwalk (the narrowest, smallest main street in the world), and the ocean where a white house and a stand of seagrape trees are almost all that would alert you to the presence of an informal café...
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Placencia, Belize
On a sandy street, in a building with Victorian trim, near the Purple Monkey Bar and across from a tour company, there’s an unassuming storefront that guards what some people told me is the best gelato in the world. Tutti Frutti Gelateria serves...
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Belize
Driving in any direction on the Hummingbird Highway, it would be hard to miss this white shack surrounded by cars, in a small clearing immediately next to the road under the shade of a very large tree. Ms. Bertha’s Tamales has little signage, but...
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The Punta Gorda Market lies not far from the lapping waters of the ocean, on a street lined with shops and casual cafes. From overturned milk crates, out of the backs of trucks and underneath rainbow-colored umbrellas, Belizeans sell everything...