They say good things come in small packages. At less than 9,000 square miles in size, Belize is a tiny treat wrapped in rainforests, glittering with pristine tropical islands, topped with Mayan pyramids, sprinkled with coral reefs, and drizzled with its famous local chocolate. Yum! Belize proudly shares its mix of Caribbean and Creole culture for meaningful travelers to learn about and appreciate. Whether you’re excavating ancient tombs or strolling down markets, outdoor enthusiasts and city stompers alike won’t be able to stay away from Belize’s natural beauty. Gear up and head on south for adventures in Belize!
From top to bottom, Belize boasts wildlife, national parks, animal reserves, and rainforests. The coasts are dotted with peaceful pedestrian islands, world famous coral reefs, and sinkhole scuba spots. The mainland is home to jubilant street markets, looming mountains, and ancient Mayan history. It’s an outdoor lover’s paradise. Even better, with Belize’s small size, seeing all of its amazing natural beauty is a breeze during adventure travel programs.
San Ignacio serves as the cultural-economic hub in western Belize. This bustling city is popular among students and adventurers alike and provides a taste of what local life is like. Loads of students flock to this city for summer adventures in anthropology, archeology, wilderness safety, and even cave digging, but all adventures stay for the coolest excursions. Take a stroll through Cahal Pech to marvel the impressive Mayan ruins under the jungle canopy. Shop at the open air markets and grab some Gibnut (a rodent delicacy) for lunch. Then slither down to the green iguana refuge, where specialists raise and protect the iguana population. You even get to play with the little guys as much as you like! Take a hike down south to the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve to see even MORE Mayan ruins, astonishing waterfalls, and thick forests.
The largest city in Belize, Belize City, juts its urban head out into the crystal blue water. It’s definitely more urban that its sister cities, but it’s not to be missed! The former capital of Belize is the country’s historical heart. Feel the pulse of the country’s Spanish and Creole influences in the brightly colored streets, the colonial houses, and ocean-side parks. See the ancient Mayan city of Altun Ha and the surrounding nature reserve filled with iguanas and monkeys. Just off the coast, you’ll find lots of islands and treasures like The Blue Hole, a famous sinkhole stretching mysteriously into the depths of ocean awaiting divers and explorers like yourself. If you’re feeling dangerous, you better Belize you can skim the seas of Shark Ray Alley, where you can snorkel with stingrays and nurse sharks!
If you’ve ever dreamed of living peacefully on your own private island in the Caribbean during adventure travel programs in Belize, just sail off the coast of Belize to Caye Caulker. Laced with palm trees and white sands, this little island has no cars, one traffic light, and complete tranquility. Many adventurers flock here to experience wilderness survival camps, wildlife conservation programs, and the second-largest coral reef in the world, the Belize Barrier Reef. You can spend a little time in paradise and help conserve beaches, manatees, sharks, howler monkeys, and rainforests. Don’t forget to do some snorkeling and scuba diving on the reef, and when you’re done, test your survival skills in the jungle.
Adventure Travel in Belize
This petite country serves up mountains, forest, beaches, and islands, so you have a bounty of outdoorsy adventure at the tip of your hiking boots. The most popular programs include wilderness survival, wilderness emergency medicine, nature conservation, and outdoor expeditions. Whoever you can can’t become the next Crocodile Dundee while having adventures in Belize?
Wilderness survival and medicine programs are wildly popular in Belize. Imagine spending weeks swinging from the trees like Tarzan! Learn to live off the land, using only the sun as your clock and the forest for supplies. Medicine programs focus more on teaching first aid skills for when mother nature strikes back, while expedition programs lean on teaching how to lead groups into the wilderness. In emergency medicine programs, you’ll learn to act fast as a first responder to medical emergencies in the wild throws of nature. Inherit the impressive medical skills to save the lives of fellow hikers and campers in danger.
If leading groups of adventurers sounds like your call of the wild, programs in Belize will familiarize you with the lay of the land, how to build a shelter, fashion a fish trap, and become king or queen of the jungle! Expect to spend a few weeks living and hiking the rainforest. Leaders will even equip you with basic first aid for bumps and scrapes along the way. Belize is a great place to become a student of nature as you hike through the rainforests, gaze upon the rare howler monkeys, and see the world’s only jaguar reserve.
Maybe the rough and tough scope of nature isn’t for you. If you would rather protect the beauty of the environment with the luxury of air-conditioning, the nature conservation travel programs may be for you. Take your pick from the myriad of Belize’s wildlife. From sharks to rainforests to birds to manatees, you can help save the environment one adventure at a time! You can take part in any number of ways. Conduct scientific research, or maybe help raise awareness and empower local communities to help your cause. You’ll make an unforgettable contribution to the beauties of mother earth, and the people that live nearby.
Costs & Affordability
You don’t necessarily need the big bucks to make it here in Belize. You’ll shell out decent fares for accommodation, grub, and transportation. Expect around $5 to $25 for a hostel room, or $25 to $40 for a hotel. Delicious local cuisine can be found at a steal for around $5 a meal. Not too shabby for picnicking in paradise! The priciest parts of your voyage will be your flight and adventure travel program fee.
Most of these programs pack a punch at an average of $1,000 per week, but they almost always include your essentials. You’ll get transportation from the airport, a roof (or tent) over your head, food in your belly, and handy skills in your toolbelt. Need to scrape together your pennies? Save up what you can and apply for a scholarship, which most programs offer. You can also start a FundMyTravel account to get loving contributions from friends and family.
Accommodation & Visas
Belize’s nature buffet will make you want to spend every waking moment under its utopic canopy, but you will need a place to rest your head at night. Lucky for you, almost all adventure travel programs in Belize come with built-in lodging in hotels, homestays, or hostels. You’ll get the chance to bunk with other participants or share everyday life with a local family. Any wilderness program will be on the rustic side of living. Expect them to either give you a tent, or teach you how to build your own shelter in the jungle.
Visas are not a big hassle unless you plan on staying for longer than a few months. Since most of these adventures last between one and three weeks, a 90-day tourist visa should do the trick. Just make sure to pack your passport and proof of your program! If you crave more adventure time in Belize, you can apply for a lengthier visa (such as a student or work visa) through your local consulate office — you can get started with GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
See nature in the purest form. Belize is home to so many rare sights of nature that have otherwise been destroyed in the world. Since the country has a low population density, you can savor a little peace and quiet in the untouched nature sanctuaries. The locals take heavy measures to protect all of its creatures and let people interact with them. You can snorkel with sharks, dive with manatees, play with iguanas, and prowl with jaguars!
Learn something new from Belize’s history. Belize has ancient Mayan roots that are displayed by the jaw-dropping stone temples marked around the country. Browse the well preserved ruins and learn how one of the world’s oldest civilizations — from sacrifice, sports, astrology, math — all shaped the Mayans’ world and yours as well. Learn about our roots and becomes well-rounded while you’re at it!
A rich price tag may come into play. Some of these programs are pricey for only a few week stay. Don’t fret if you’re short on funds, scholarships are there to help! However, not everyone receives one, so make sure you save, save, and save some more. Add to your savings little by little. You’ll hardly notice the money is missing from your spending, and before you know it, your program is paid.
Life is the jungle is not for the faint of heart. Even for the most experienced campers, spending a few weeks in the jungle during adventures in Belize may be difficult at times, especially without modern comforts like hot water, air conditioning, or a bed. You’ll face challenges like building shelter, finding food, and protecting yourself from animals and elements. Don’t worry, your guides won’t let you fall behind. Just make sure to mentally prepare yourself for the wildest challenge of a lifetime!
Endearingly rustic Belize offers endless adventure. Not only are you discovering a melange of several regions and centuries of tribal history, but you’re also seeing the spectacular feats of nature in an untouched light. Scuba dive through a wave of sharks one day and hike the rainforest-covered mountains the next. To get a doctor-approved dose of nature, travel Belize!