It’s easy to fall in love with Ambergris Caye, but there’s plenty to see beyond the island. Are you looking for the ultimate mainland experiences? This guide will help you track down the most majestic ruins, wildest animals and thrilling sights. Book one of these day trips, and you’ll be on your way to an unforgettable off-island adventure.
If you’re interested in getting an inside peek at ancient Mayan culture, the Altun Ha ruins are a fantastic place to start. Situated just 30 miles north of Belize City, this historical site is home to the multi-room Temple of the Masonry Altars and the stunning Jade Head sculpture. Plus, when you reserve a spot on this trek, you’ll be able to sample authentic dishes at the Maruba Jungle Spa.
Lamanai and the New River
Lamanai is another must-see destination when it comes to ruins, and you can combine a day trip to the area with a journey up the breathtaking New River. Paddle through lagoons, catch a glimpse of a few falcons and then stop to marvel at the ancient Mayan masks.
Chat with any Ambergris Caye travel expert, and they’ll recommend a visit to this renowned refuge. Featuring only animals that have been donated, rescued or bred in captivity, the Belize Zoo is filled with native wildlife like tapirs and black howler monkeys. This is definitely a wild experience you won’t want to miss.
Xunantunich and Barton Creek
Made up of more than 25 palaces and temples, this Mayan site is the oldest in Belize. Take a trip to Xunantunich, and you’ll get the chance to explore the ancient area and see unbeatable views of the Cayo District from atop the El Castillo pyramid. What’s more, you can kayak and canoe through the beautiful Barton Creek caves.
Actun Tunichil Muknal
Of course, the Barton Creek caves are just one part of Belize’s vast underground system. For a more in-depth experience, head to Actun Tunichil Muknal to explore its mysterious chambers, altars and ancient remains. Who knows? You might even see a few freshwater crabs scuttling through the formations.
Whether you’re interested in checking out the ruins or want to unwind on a lazy river, the Ambergris Caye travel experts at Exotic Caye Beach Resort can point you in the direction of the perfect mainland journey. Just make sure to head back to the island in time to catch the sunset over San Pedro.