Belize City, Belize
This city is a great jumping-off point for adventures on and offshore the tiny Central American country of Belize. Ships anchor and tender you to the purpose-built cruise ship facility, which has some shops and restaurants. They are housed in colorful buildings situated on a wooden pier, and excursion companies are set up to meet you there for your tours. Most cruisers head out of town to see the country's wide variety of natural wonders, which include jungles, caves, and warm water full of vibrant coral, nurse sharks, and sea turtles.
What We Love
Cave Tubing: Belize is a haven for all types of outdoor adventures, and this is one of the most unique. You can hike into caves and plop onto a tube to float along and explore ancient Mayan sites among a vast network of underground rivers.
The Great Blue Hole: This massive underwater sinkhole might be the top spot for divers in all of Belize, and that's saying something. The spectacular hole — which, yes, is a rich blue color — is almost 1,000 feet across and more than 400 feet deep.
Best Known For
Mesoamerican Reef: Belize is located along the second largest reef system in the world (the first being Australia's Great Barrier Reef). This makes the coast a hotbed for divers and snorkelers of all abilities.
Mayan Ruins: Book a trek into the jungle to visit ancient ruins that reveal centuries-old former villages that show how the Mayan people used to live. Altun Ha, Lamanai, and Xunantunich are sites well worth a visit.
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Who It's Best For
Adventurers: Like a physical challenge? You'll love Belize for its hiking, ziplining, tubing, river rafting, snorkeling, and diving opportunities.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Crime Is an Issue: Gang violence has been on the rise since 2014. Visitors should exercise an abundance of caution, especially if venturing out on their own.
John Roberts is a New Jersey-based writer for ShermansCruise who worked at The Virginian-Pilot.