For some the Caye's charms and the miles of reef are just not enough. Fortunately Belize is packed full of adventure and, being a tiny country the size of Massachusetts, you are never far from anywhere.
High on the list of any mainland tour is a visit to stunning Mayan ruins. While the roads may be bumpy, the rewards are breathtaking. Below is a list of the more popular sites:
Altun Ha - A popular site, Altun Ha was founded around 200BC and had a population of 10,000 at its peak. An image of the "Temple of the Masonry Altarsis" graces the label of Belize's ubiquitous Belikin beer.
Caracol - The largest of Belize's Mayan sites, and relatively unvisited. Caracol was founded in 1200BC and reached a peak in 562AD when Caracol, now with a population of roughly 150,000, vanquished their famous neighbors at Tikal. The 65 square mile site has only been partially excavated. The "Ca'ana" pyramid is the largest man made structure in Belize.
Xunantunich - Close to Caracol and within site of the Guatemalan border, these Mayan ruins are named for the ghost of a woman claimed to inhabit the site. She is dressed completely in white, has fire-red glowing eyes and generally appears in front of the great pyramid "El Castillo"'. She ascends the stone stairs and disappears into a stone wall!
These three sites can be visited by an easy day trip from Caye Caulker. Talk to our representative or any of the Caye's tour operators to arrange a trip.
Tikal - Dating back to 4,000BC, Tikal is the largest of all the Maya Mundo cities with architecture and a setting which are breathtaking; as recognized by its listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is situated 50 miles into Guatemala. We can help you arrange a day trip by air from the Caye.
Cave Tubing and Exploration
The limestone Maya Mountains of Belize create an exciting world of rivers disappearing into the underworld where you can float on inner tubes with only your headlamp to light your way. Floating past side windows that filter the jungle light through the mist as you swirl around stalagmites jutting from the river and stalactites looming from above. Some underground hiking and jungle trekking is required and some tours are subject to water level.
Cockscomb Basin Jaguar and Wildlife Sanctuary
The reserve was founded in 1990 as the first and premier wilderness sanctuary for the jaguar in the world. Inside the preserve, well-maintained trails have been cut to give visitors a taste of the area's bio-diversity, offering impressive views and an ideal environment for plant spotting, serious birding or seeking out wildlife, jungle flora and fauna in a wilderness state. The trail network continues to expand, including a three-day hike to the second highest point in Belize, 3,543-foot Victoria Peak. One trail leads to a waterfall and is a great place for a swim. You can also rent inner tubes and float down the South Stann Creek River, while listening to the toucans and howlers off in the dense foliage.
Although the jaguar is what the reserve is famous for, you will need to be lucky to see one of these elusive nocturnal cats. You will, however, see lush tropical forest, many of the 300 species of birds and indications of the 55 different mammals that inhabit the sanctuary.
Not an ordinary zoo (is anything in Belize), this is the "Best Little Zoo in the World". In the zoo's words "The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center was started in 1983, as a last ditch effort to provide a home for a collection of wild animals which had been used in making documentary films about tropical forests. Shortly after the backyard "zoo" began, it was quickly realized that its Belizean visitors were unfamiliar with the different species of wildlife which shared their country. This very aspect fomented the commitment to develop the little zoo into a dynamic wildlife education center. Today, The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center is settled upon 29 acres of tropical savanna and exhibits over 125 animals all native to Belize. The zoo keeps animals which were orphaned, born at the zoo, rehabilitated animals, or sent to The Belize Zoo as gifts from other zoological institutions." We approve. Trips to the zoo are easily arranged with the help of our on-site manager.
Come enjoy all this wonderful island has to offer and stay in style at our beautifully designed Caye Caulker condos on the beach.