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February 22, 2023updated 12 Apr 2023 12:14pm

Belize: a paradise for thrill seekers

By Toby Louch

From land, sea or air, Belize is one of the best destinations for an adrenaline rush

Some travelers take a holiday to relax and unwind, while others journey in search of the next thrill and rush of excitement. While Belize is renowned for its serene beaches and peaceful landscape, it is also a haven for adrenaline junkies looking for their next adventure.

The contrast between the expansive Belize Barrier Reef and the dense jungle that covers the majority of the mainland makes Belize a thrill seeker’s paradise. Whether it’s swimming with sharks, looking out for jaguars, or ziplining through the trees, the varied landscape of Belize ensures there is something for everyone.

Some choose a trip to Belize purely for adventurous activities, spending their time in the Caribbean nation hiking through the rainforest. Others go to relax and choose a more active endeavor to add a change of pace to their vacation. Whatever the aim, the beauty of Belize is the freedom to choose and customize exactly how far you want to push your thrill-seeking.

So, if you see yourself as the next Indiana Jones or just want to go snorkeling, the possibilities and opportunities for adventure in Belize are endless.

Swimming with sharks in Belize

Few things will get the heart racing as much as diving under the waves in the presence of an apex predator. Since the release of Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic, Jaws, sharks have maintained a special place in the imagination.

During springtime, Belize is one of the best places in the world to dive with whale sharks. Famously, whale sharks pose no significant threat to people, they are filter feeders and their diet mostly consists of plankton. However, that’s not to say they don’t get the heart racing. Whale sharks are the epitome of gentle giants. They are the largest fish in the sea and their imposing size alone can be enough to instill panic in any unsuspecting diver.

The best time of year to swim with whale sharks is believed to be April and May. There are several dive operators in the south around Placencia. Most recommend diving certification, so if you’re new to the art of scuba, it’s perhaps best not to start with whale sharks.

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Aside from these giants of the ocean, the waters of Belize lay home to at least seven other shark species including the bull, lemon, nurse, hammerhead and Caribbean reef shark. While these are less predictable than the whale shark, it’s likely you could come across any of them on any dive or snorkeling session around the Belize Barrier Reef. So it’s best to be on the lookout for those fins.

Come to Belize for a jungle expedition

Many thrill-seekers flock to Belize for the vibrant waters of the Belize Barrier Reef, however, there is also plenty of adventure to be had further inland. Belize is characterized by the dense green jungle that covers the majority of the country. This jungle makes the perfect habitat for some fascinating wildlife.


Among the best animal spotting activities is a hike through the forests. Twelve miles south of Belize’s capital, Belmopan, you will find Caves Branch, a jungle lodge that operates several expeditions into the jungle.

One of the most exciting available is Black Hole Drop. This begins with a strenuous 90 minute hike to the edge of the Actun Loch Tunich, an enormous 300ft sinkhole in the middle of the jungle. Adventurers will then rappel from the edge into the sinkhole, where they will enjoy lunch at the bottom. While not for the faint of heart, this experience above the canopy will be unforgettable.

Individuals looking for something a little less strenuous, but just as enchanting, should consider the River Cave Expedition. This involves a mixture of tubing along rivers as well as climbing and hiking through underground caves. These caves were once used as ancient Maya ceremonial centers and you can even see ancient footprints dating back to 400 AD.

However demanding you want your expedition to be, the jungles of Belize are the perfect place for adventure. When it comes to spotting animals nothing is guaranteed, but the most enchanting encounters usually occur when you least expect them.

Reach for the sky

We have covered land with Belize’s jungles and sea with its incredible ocean, so it makes sense that any true thrill seeker would also like to spend some time above the ground.


There are many places to go ziplining in Belize and one of the best is Bocawina Rainforest Resort and Adventures. With one of the longest ziplines in Central America, Bocawina is the ideal place to experience a rush of adrenaline and the wind on your face.

Several tours are available that include ziplining. The standard experience involves soaring through the jungle canopy between 14 different platforms, on nine different ziplines. Those looking for something a little different should be aware that this experience is also available at night. At night the jungle truly comes alive, and you will undoubtedly hear the cacophony of the rainforest.

Bocawina Rainforest Resort also offers the opportunity to rappel down the impressive Bocawina or Antelope falls. Those so inclined can combine this experience with ziplining into a full day of adventure.

Land, sea or air, Belize is the ultimate destination for adventure. For anyone on the hunt for some adrenaline or just those looking to spice up their vacation with a bit of excitement, Belize should be the first destination on their bucket list.

Images: Travel Belize 

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