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Belize City and its nearby cayes Caye Caulker, Chapel Caye and St. George Caye are relaxed diving destinations with excellent snorkeling.
|lars, © Author: Lars Hemel
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Belize City is not the capital but certainly the town that most tourist visit while on vacation in Belize. Sitting at the mouth of the Belize River, she is the starting point for backpackers to locations such as Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. It is also the city where most tourists start a trip to some of the inland activities such as cave tubing or exploring its rich Mayan history at cultural excavations such as Altun Ha (Rockstone Pond). Other sights are the Belize Zoo which has received international fame because of its environmental, conservation and educational efforts regarding wildlife. The cayes Sergeant's Caye, Goff's Caye, English Caye, and Rendezvous Caye, just in front of Belize City, are bright pristine beach paradises with coral reefs as soon as you enter the water and hammocks including cocktails under some shaded trees. Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary is just 25 miles south of Belize City offering chances of seeing, swimming, diving and snorkeling with endangered American manatees. Caye Caulker, five mile long and half a mile wide, has been developed with budget accommodations such as friendly guesthouses, home feel hostels and cheap on-the-sea cabanas. Its northern end consists out of a mangrove swamp and is hardly used. These two parts are separated by a narrow fast streaming channel called the Split, which is literally filled with fish. It is a laidback town, great to enjoy an outside evening meal, listening to live music in one of the many bars or enjoying sunset at the beach or while kayaking.
This central Belizean barrier reef is an area of jungle lined cayes and mangrove islets that offer exceptional diving, thrilling river tours and bird-spotting trips to its coastal areas, grasslands and wetlands. Most diving in this region is done at the barrier reef just a five minutes boat ride from Caye Caulker's eastern shore. It is diving at shallow patch corals interspersed with coral outcroppings forming overhangs and small tunnels. Chapel Reef, just south of Caye Caulker, is privately owned and is known for its formidable golf course. Another favorite is St. George Caye at only ten miles east of Belize City that became famous because of the Battle of St. George's Caye in the late eighteenth century when the English defended their colony from the Spanish. There are tours leaving Belize City and Caye Caulker to nearby Ambergris Caye, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Turneffe Islands and Lighthouse Reef. It is a quiet, relaxed and take-your-time destination with friendly slow-paced people which you will remember for the rest of your life.
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