The recreational and cultural opportunities of mainland tours and trips on Ambergris Caye are virtually endless. From relaxing along the pristine, white sand beaches to scuba diving along the reefs, the island's pleasures are substantial. But Mayan ruins, cave tubing, zip-lining and other mainland adventures should not be missed either.
Although there are numerous Mayan ruins in western Belize as well, those at Altun Ha are much more accessible from Belize City. In fact, Altun Ha is less than an hour away. Altun Ha is distinguished by two significant central plazas that are ringed by a host of mounds and pyramids. Altun Ha was first discovered in the 1960s when an archeologist noticed the the ruins while flying overhead. Since then, some of the most imposing Mayan ruins have been uncovered from the jungle foliage, and hundreds more remain. The largest known piece of carved Mayan jade in the world has been recovered from Altun Ha.
Cave tubing involves riding inner-tubes down the Cave Branch River, which courses through the rain forest and then dips down through spectacular caves. Experienced guides make for a safe and yet exhilarating excursion. You'll experience caves that were part of what the Mayans considered a sacred subterranean world inhabited by powerful divinities. The caves in the Archaeological Preserve can also be more closely examined on foot.
Zip-lining in Belize is perhaps more fascinating and exhilarating than in many other places. The lines run high amidst the towering treetops in the tropical rainforest near the Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve. Monkeys will often accompany you on your memorable zip-lining journey through the rainforest canopy. Runs typically range from 150-feet to 600-feet in length. The karst limestone cliffs in the area offer a dramatic backdrop to an already adrenalin-inducing experience.
The history, culture and underwater caves in and around Belize City offer numerous day trip possibilities. Head over to the mainland by day, and then return to your comfortable accommodations at Exotic Caye Beach Resort at night. A quick trip by ferry or a 20-minute plane ride to the mainland opens up a new array of fun-filled, exciting experiences. Have your camera ready to record these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities so that you can savor them again and again.