Reefs and Islands
Ambergris Caye - Largest and most populated of the Belize cayes, Ambergris offers more accommodations, services, and activities than any of the smaller islands. Boats and tour services are easily booked for excursions to the reef and the outer islands. Ambergris is the choice for the more socially inclined traveler. Our three, four, and five-night packages at Ambergris include roundtrip flight from Belize International Airport and lodging at one of the following hotels: Belize Yacht Club Victoria House Journey's End Ramon's Village Caribbean Villas Tropical Resort Sunbreeze
Belize is a land built by the Sea.
Offshore the hemisphere's largest barrier reef runs the length of the country, emerging in islands and atolls, and sheltering an underwater world of astonishing beauty and diversity. ancient limestone from old seabeds underlies most of the mainland, covered now with river deposits and rich tropical rain forests, but revealed in dramatic sinkholes and caverns. the Maya Mountains, remnants of some primeval island rise in startling contrast to the lowlands, culminating in the isolated pine forests of Mountain Pine ride and the 3675 foot beacon of Victoria Peak.
Fifteen hundred years ago Belize was the heartland of the Mayan empire, and the ruins of their cities dot the coastal plain. the Mayas still live here joined by the descendants of British pirates and planters, Puritan traders, African slaves, Mexican farmers, Asian immigrants, and the colorful Garifuna people with their blend of African and Carib Indian culture. Belize is a multiracial society joined dtogether under a British form of government, the heritage of Belize's days as the crown colony of British Honduras, and graced by a chracteristically Belizean tolerance and laid-back gentility.
Belize City is not a glamour spot, but we believe it has had a bad rap. It is the hub of things and the best base for touring some of Belize best attractions (see below). Stay in the suburb of Fort George at the elegant seaside Radisson, the Ramada, the Fort George Guest House, or the smaller Coltan B&B while exploring the fascinating coastal zone. The following day tours are offered out of Belize City:
1. Howler Monkey Reserve. The villagers of Bermudian Landing have joined together to form a community reserve to protect and enjoy the black howler monkeys. Visit this model community conservation project to understand both the local community and the animals it protects.
2. Altun Ha Maya Ruins. Altun Ha was one of the smaller Mayan polities, but is the most accessible of the archaeological sites and has yielded one world-renowned museum find: the "Jade Head." (Visit may be combined with either Crooked Tree or the Howler Monkey Reserve.)
3. Crooked Tree Wildlife Reserve. Crooked Tree is a wetland sheltering an incredible variety of water birds including jabaru storks and roseate spoonbills. Tour includes a boat ride across the lake and through creeks and bayous with a naturalist guide.
4. Lamanai. The ruined city of Lamanai has a romantic beauty, an ancient limestone city nearly overgrown by dense vegetation. One of the oldest Mayan settlements, Lamanai was continuously occupied until Spanish times. Travelers still approach it as the Mayas did, by boat up the New River.
5. Belize Zoo. Dedicated to the preservation of wild species, the Belize Zoo is one of the finest in Latin America and in the world. It is usually a stop on the return trip from the Maya Mountains, but can also be visited as a day tour out of Belize City.
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