Belmopan is situated a mile away from the eastern side of the Hummingbird Highway and about 50 miles away from Belize City. More modest and more private than the prominent resort regions, the humble capital of Belmopan is a dynamic city encompassed by staggering landscape and natural wildlife. A stone’s throw away from the Market Square, Independence Plaza is home to the various government offices.
The Mayan civilization flourished here from about A.R. 300 to A.D. 900. Very little is known about Belmopan from that time until the 1520s, when Spain claimed Belize as part of Guatemala. Shipwrecked British sailors settled here for more than a century and gained control of Belize. Belmopan and the entire country acquired self governing status when it gained full independence in 1981.
When To Go:
Certain areas in Belmopan may get so many downpours amid the nation’s long wet season, which endures from June through December. Around this time, the rains oftentimes happen toward the evening hours. The most continuous precipitation frequently happens in June or early July and is succeeded by a break in late July or August known as the “short dry season”.
February to May is known as the dry season, and the rate of days that encounter downpour is altogether lower than amid whatever is left of the year. If there are mild showers amid this time they are by and large mellow and brief. The dreaded hurricane season generally corresponds with the stormy season. Cases of extreme climate are not by any means occasional despite the fact that the probability of a real storm hitting straight in Belmopan are not high. Winds and downpour are the most well-known impacts of adjacent tropical storms and a few travelers or visitors may choose to abstain from going to the capital city amid the blustery season all the way through to keep from being troubled by a nasty climate.
The following list of attractions and things to do is what awaits you on a visit to Belmopan City:
Cave Tubing Experience
The Cave Tubing and inland tours are a mandatory activity when in Belmopan. It is accessible via public bus transport and you can spend two hours inside the Blue Hole Park to enjoy this interesting and physically challenging activity. The tour comes with an expert guide who knows the trails and the techniques of how to have an enjoyable cave tubing adventure in Belmopan. The initial group that can begin a cave tubing thrill must compose of at least ten people that will pass the walking trail from the entrance up to the “hole”.
Flashlights, tubes, safety gears , and other important gadgets are practically provided by the tour guides who work in this area. If you have any question on how to get to the other end, the guides will gladly tell you how to navigate safely and get all the way up to the other end of the cave. For a fun and relaxing adventure that you can enjoy with your friends and family, do not hesitate to try on the tour package that is made affordable for all in the Blue Hole National Park.
Like the cave tubing experience in the Blue Hole, a hiking trek to the forest of Belmopan is not complete if you do not try the thrilling adventures offered by the Crystal Cave. Its trails are more challenging to discover because it gets more difficult the deeper you go and make sure you make it all the way to the other end with a guide to have the best fun, and thrilling water adventure that will make your memories of Belmopan one for the books. You have to be physically fit, unquestionably not overweight, and have great physical body adaptability to have the capacity to do things like the difficult maneuvers that you need to overcome in most of the passage waterways and be able to fit into the cramped rocky spaces. The greatest reward is to reach all the way to the end (after passing the 180 meter water trek) which is the actual location of the dark Crystal Caves.
To enjoy the water sports ride and the twists and turns for nearly four hours in Crystal Cave, bring a good waterproof digital camera with a wide angle lens and flash to take scenic photographs of your adventure. Wear comfortable clothing that you are not scared of getting ripped while making your way into the rocks and a good brand of water shoes. You can book this tour in the city and there are lots of tour operators who offer this adventure at a reasonable price. Once you make it here, be sure to take lots of “selfies” or group photos while covered in orange colored mud. Although exploring the cave requires a lot of stamina.
The cave-tubing and zip lining experience in Jaguar Paw is one of the best ways you can enjoy the natural scenery of Belmopan. Zip lining is more of a fun sports activity to do here (it is the highest and longest) plus the one hour cave tubing adventure that is a real winner! You walk with your rented tube through the jungle to a certain point and then you lie in the tube that leaves you feeling relaxed while going with the flow of the small river.
You see the toucans fly over your head and you go through the caves that are very beautiful! A trek through the forest can also lead to finding some rare Mayan artifacts to admire along the way. It is a once in a lifetime water adventure that can only be enjoyed and experienced in the city of Belmopan.
Blue Hole National Park
The Blue Hole National Park offers the best cave tubing and water adventure in the city. It is nice to walk, swim, and discover its interesting wildlife. For a cave tubing site, it has a complete infrastructure (toilets, shower rooms, snack bars and restaurants. Be sure to take a good guide with you to have a fun-filled water sports experience and explore the best parts of the park.
The cave tubing experience usually costs around US $40 for more than two and half hours. You can enjoy an unlimited hours of swim on its waters once you are done with the cave tubing experience. The Blue Hole is definitely worth a visit and be sure to bring along your friends and family to have an adrenaline pumping adventure in the middle of this famous Belmopan forest park.
St. Herman’s Cave
The St. Herman’s Cave is a site that is fully accessible and fairly difficult, in physical terms. It is also little slippery so extreme caution is advised when trekking its treacherous trail. Bring a mosquito repellent because the insects are a bit annoying. Approximately you need to take a hike along the 10 minute path to the forest and you’re in the cave. You can hike through the cave without a guide. But if you want the cave tubing experience it is guided by trained scuba divers of the city. They usually charge US $ 50 per adult to do the tubing experience (fee guide).
Once you enter the cave, you cross to the right and walk about 300 meters inside the cave and the tubing then begins. Everything looks exciting once you get inside in the completely dark cave. You also have to climb, crawl and squeeze through the narrow crevices. A superb and amazing experience! More or less, all the activity is in water for more than 45 minutes. After almost an hour of fun, you return to walking across the river that roughly covers you up above the knees. Finally, you can either walk to the nearby Blue Hole Park (about an hour walk) or go by car.
96 Orchid Gardens (Orchid Island)
The 96 Orchid Gardens or more popularly known as the Orchid Island is a wonderful place about orchids and plants in Belmopan. The huge collection of orchids here is astonishing! If you are a hobbyist or a great fan of orchid growing this is the ideal place to visit and revel in the numerous mixtures of orchids on location. They are available to be purchased and you will discover they are reasonably priced according to the species and origin of the orchid. The manager proudly displays some of the collections of rare and beautiful Black Orchids. This is one of the nation’s iconic symbol and endemic only to North American countries like, Belize, El Salvador, and the Honduras.
They have an assortment of ornamental house plants not just orchids, all the plants are neatly arranged, you can take pictures in the garden, or ask the staff how the plants are maintained and preserved in this park. They are so tolerant and will teach techniques on how the plants are well tended. They also teach lessons about flower arrangement in affordable cost. The place is cool, relaxing, and one of the ideal attractions to see when in Belmopan.
Five Blue Lakes National Park
The Five Blue Lakes National Park occupies a wide selection of land and natural attraction that is encompassed limestone slopes and tropical backwoods. The shifting depth of the waters and the natural light striking through the trees causes the entire water to create a natural show and manifests a colorful shade and mix of brightness utilizing the presence of five shades of the blue colors, where the lake originally derived its name. A small promenade and observation area can be found on the eastern side of the attraction. You can also rent kayak or a canoe if you want to get up close and see this natural wonder. It is located just across the equally popular 96 Orchids (Orchid Island).
The famous lake in Belize is worth the effort and a must see destination when in Belmopan. Aside from seeing a lake that changes colors anytime of the day, you can also see and be amused by its rich flora and fauna. You can also swim or dive in some parts of the lake. If you need to stay overnight, there are lots of resorts, bed and breakfast places to stay in and where you can enjoy the beauty of the lake especially at night. The place can be visited anytime and do not worry about security, there are patrol guards that regularly maintain the peace and stability in the area. Include a visit to the lakes in your travel itinerary in Belmopan and you will not be disappointed.
Art Box Arts & Crafts Center
The Art Box Arts & Crafts Center is an arts and crafts complex that is distinctively Caribbean in nature and orientation. It is one of the hidden gems of Belmopan and you need more than a day to understand its purpose and significance in the city and economy. This complex is proud of the works of art, rich culture and the top handicrafts and Belize culture since it was first introduced here in 1996. Guests and locals are enthralled at the rich collection of art gathered all around Belmopan and its surrounding cities.
The center is focused on delivery of quality and uniqueness, to promote and push the artisan skills of the people of Belize. I f you need to bring something home to your friends and family, be sure to purchase an original craft made in Belize from the center. You not only help the economy earn their needed revenue, you also help support the lives of their local artist and bring home an authentic piece of Belmopan culture.
Maya Guide Day Tours
Learn and understand a bit about the Mayan culture and civilization with the help of the knowledgeable tour guides of the Maya Guide Day Tours . The journey begins in a kayak adventure that goes deep into the jungles of the North American region. Private tours can be arranged for at least 4 people. Part of the package is to pick up the guests from their accommodations or to set a pick up point within the city. The road trip adventure along the highway is already an interesting way to know the history of the city as the guide share interesting anecdotes behind every building or scenes that look amusing. Upon arrival at the destination, the hike through the wooded trail begins.
Equipments to make the hike easy and convenient for guests are provided by the staff (walking sticks, water, ropes, etc.) of the Mayan Guide Tours. At the location, there are ready kayaks, helmet, safety vests, and head lights. The trail includes a discovery of Mayan artifacts along the way as well as passing by some falls, caves, and traversing a serene lake where you can spend so much time to bond with your family or just enjoy the peace and quiet of the beautiful Belmopan. The tour ends with having lunch and lots of time to take pictures, to admire the views before taking the hike back again to the city center.
Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch Adventure Company
The Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch Adventure Company is one of the best tour companies that offer the best service if you want o explore more than just the cave tubing experience in Belmopan. Once you avail of their package, you are set to a great adventure in the waters and inland treats from their jolly and helpful staff. They have such an adventurous streak on them that it is impossible to get gored during a guided tour with them.
They are amazing and trained well especially when the point of the tour reaches the so called “black hole dive” and the twists and turns of the cave tubing in the wild waters of Belmopan. The famous drop itself is made more fun and surely it is one of the unforgettable parts of an exciting one day tour with the amazing guides of Mr. Anderson.
Banana Bank Ranch
The Banana Bank Ranch has everything you need to have a memorable say in Belmopan. It offers awesome accommodation in its own distinct style. Everything here is divine, provides great food, swimming pools, bar, horseback riding, and kayak sailing. Even a short visit will yield so many activities to explore and enjoy with your family. The horseback riding experience is the best part and can be enjoyed by adults and children. The horses look elegant and well trained, responsive and made available with a guide for every rider. In addition, this attraction is very easy to access and just a few minute drive away from the city of Belmopan.
Belmopan is very extensive and you can actually stay here for more than a year and still miss so many attractions and things to do because of the proximity of one attraction to the other. It requires traveling all around in a city that is truly mesmerizing especially with the great Caribbean Ocean that is just a few miles away and holds so many remote attractions to discover. The best part of spending a holiday adventure in Belmopan is you can go around and see paradise like natural attractions without the hustle of too much crowds especially during the so called shoulder seasons.
You can enjoy a vacation here in peace, as well as being an ideal honeymoon destination for newly-wed couples, the caves and the waters hold so much fun and laughter that is a delight for the truly adventurous and high spirited traveler who is always on the lookout for exciting places and things to do. Belmopan is a smart choice for an adventure filled holiday destination when in Belize.