Belize is one of the most exciting family adventure travel destinations in Central America, especially for teens and young adults. Lately, I've been planning a lot of adventure trips to Belize for active families. It seems likes the everyone's most cherished experience involves making connections with the local cultures. Dinning on traditional native cuisine, exploring Maya ruins and learning about the history of this beautiful country. Here are my top 7 activities and experiences you don't want to miss during your family vacation in Belize.
1. ATM CAVE: Actun Tunichil Muknal is considered one of the top 10 caves in the world. Access to this Maya underworld and sacrificial site can be done by most spelunkers 12 and older. We first hike through the forest, once we get to the caves we swim in underground rivers surrounded by crystallized stalactites and stalagmites to get to the main chamber. Inside you'll find ancient Maya ceramics and stoneware used for ceremonies, and even calcified skeletons that sparkle with crystallization. Hands down, it's a MUST DO! Read more here
2. MAYAN ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES: All over Belize there are vestiges of the vast Maya civilization such as the ancient cities of Tikal, Yaxha, Caracol and Xunantunich. These sites are all magical and it's fascinating to see first-hand what students have read about in school. It doesn't get any better than standing on top of a Mayan temple with a great guide describing the advancements the Mayans made in science, written language and astronomy.
3. CAVE TUBING OR RIVER TUBING: Tubing down gentle underground streams through vast limestone caves is so much fun for children 10 and older (and their grandparents). Enter the mystic ,Maya underworld where caves were used for Mayan ceremonies and ritual burials.
4. CULTURE & CUISINE: Just last week a Wildland traveler reported to me: “Often spontaneous things we had not planned turned out to be some of the best highlights of the trip.” As is often the case, our Belizean guides will take you to a Mayan Women’s cooperative pottery workshop. There they will also show you how to make tamales and tortillas, which is a lot of fun and a great way to interact in an authentic Mayan home.
5. JUNGLE TIME: My two favorite ways to enjoy the jungle in Belize, is either hiking to the Black Hole Drop or riding by horseback to the secluded Big Rock Falls. The Black Hole Drop involves a hike up into the foothills of the Maya Mountains to the precipice of the Actun Loch Tunich or to “The Mother of all Caves”, that you then rappel down. The horseback ride takes you to the beautifully secluded Big Rock Falls. A gorgeous 150 foot waterfall on the Privassion River, where we picnic and there's an optional zipline. One of my favorite lodges for jungle adventures is Caves Branch Jungle Lodge.
6. SNORKELING/DIVING THE BARRIER REEF: Belize offers the perfect water conditions for those adventurous teens and young adults who wish to snorkel or scuba dive to explore the underwater world of the second biggest barrier reef. You can also snorkel offshore the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, named the best beach in the world by Outside Magazine this year.
7. SPA TREATMENTS & ROOM SERVICE PLEASE: Many young travelers like to be pampered after a strenuous day in the jungle or at the beach. They can enjoy a healing and invigorating spa treatment in the forest or overlooking the white sand and blue turquoise waters of the Caribbean. At home or on vacation, young adults appreciate privacy and a little time on their own, so having separate rooms where they can order room service is a nice treat. It also gives parents the opportunity to enjoy a romantic evening together.
So don't miss out on these and other exciting adventures in Belize. Ask me and I'll help you create fun family memories into your next Belize Wildland Adventure!
Keeping it wild,