View Map

Overview

Belize's Cayo district is in the throes of making the transition from wild frontier to eco-adventure nerve center. Largely defined by its unique geography — where rain forest meets cave-pocked mountains and palm trees segue to pines — the area also boasts significant Mayan ruins and multiple waterfalls fed by ribbons of river cleaving the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest. Some local, but mostly foreign, businesspeople have carved out their piece of the eco-tourism pie by establishing lodges, some quite luxurious, that serve as base camps for exploring the area's natural beauty. Among the most unique features of the region are the extensive cave ...

Belize's Cayo district is in the throes of making the transition from wild frontier to eco-adventure nerve center. Largely defined by its unique geography — where rain forest meets cave-pocked mountains and palm trees segue to pines — the area also boasts significant Mayan ruins and multiple waterfalls fed by ribbons of river cleaving the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest. Some local, but mostly foreign, businesspeople have carved out their piece of the eco-tourism pie by establishing lodges, some quite luxurious, that serve as base camps for exploring the area's natural beauty. Among the most unique features of the region are the extensive cave systems and cenotes, both of which the Maya consider sacred, as they are believed to be entrances to Xibalbá, the unseen underworld; exploring a cave here means entering the secret world of the Maya, where pottery shards, candles, and skulls are glimpsed along with bats and stalactites. This part of Belize is heavily protected and there are several national parks packed with wildlife to explore, either on an organized tour or with local guides: the three-day trek beginning at the Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary along the Indian Creek Trail and ending at Five Blues National Park is a highlight.

Conner Gorry
About the Expert

Conner Gorry is a contributor to more than a dozen Lonely Planet guidebooks and is the lead writer for Lonely Planet's Yucatan, Belize, and Guatemala guides.

view full overview

Conner Gorry for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The mix of mountains and jungle make anytime of year a good time to visit.