Belize is a tropical paradise. It has endless opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, tubing, and kayaking. Encountering its wildlife, whether at the zoo or a preserve, thrilling. You can meet a howler monkey or swim with a manatee. You'll find fantastic food and delicious, locally distilled spirits. And the history of the area comes alive as you explore the Mayan ruins that dot the landscape. There are plenty of beautiful beaches for lazy days in the sun, but don't forget the sunblock.

01Visit a Sacred Cave

Actun Tunichil Muknal Crystal Maiden cavefish / Getty Images

Actun Tunichil Muknal, known to locals as ATM, is a sacred cave and Mayan burial site. The tours are highly regulated, require permits and guides, and are limited to groups of eight at a time. At one point, you have to take off your shoes, and walk around with just socks, to protect the delicate artifacts. You'll come across the sparkling remains of children sacrificed to the Rain God, including the famous Crystal Maiden whose bones shimmer as a result of calcite deposits.