The world is a classroom with wonderous lessons to learn that you can’t find in a textbook.  Traveling is an integral aspect of our nature; exploration is written in our nomadic genes. Travel not only enriches us as individuals but has a profound effect on the bonds we share with our tribe (or family).  Taking a trip with your children opens them up to different experiences, introduces them to new places and other cultures.  When you escape the demands and distractions of your everyday life you can really connect with one another and build on the strength of your family’s foundation.  Traveling together provides an ideal opportunity to unplug and reconnect with your loved ones while making memories that will last a lifetime.  Many moments on your trip can become significant, from sharing a simple meal with each other to navigating unfamiliar roads successfully, whatever adventures you tackle together become part of your family’s internal scrapbook.  This small country with its intriguing history and surprising diversity has so many unique and novel excursions to offer vacationers, each special in its own way, but here are five Belize activities I know your children are certain to always remember.

Cave Tubing

A top tour for anyone visiting the mainland, cave tubing is one of the coolest excursions you could choose.  Requiring minimal physicality, it is an adventure activity that both young and old can enjoy.  Entering the underground labyrinth of Belize’s extensive cave system can seem a bit daunting but you’ll soon relax along the lazy river ride as amazement overrides trepidation.  Your kids will be in awe of the cathedral-like caverns and intricate subterranean structures that nature has formed over centuries of erosion and accretion.

Swimming with Sharks and Turtles

Belize’s barrier reef is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and snorkeling it can be a sensational and awe-inspiring expedition.  The biodiversity of the thriving coral reef and the beloved marine animals that cruise the shallow, warm waters surrounding it will instill a sense of wonder in young travelers.  Your family may find a renewed respect for the natural world and desire to protect these precious environments.  Swimming alongside nurse sharks and sea turtles is a memorable experience your children will cherish forever.  Book a boat tour to nearby Silk Caye or Laughing Bird Marine Reserve for an unforgettable day of discovery.

Making Chocolate

Agrotourism couldn’t be sweeter when you learn how chocolate is made in the traditional way.  From bean to bar, you’ll never guess how the strange looking cacao pod goes from a tree in the rainforest to the sweet confection loved the world over.  Little travelers will gain a new appreciation of where their food comes from before the supermarkets and be totally engaged in the hands-on lesson, not just observing but working the process to produce their own finished product.  Yum!

Zip Lining Through the Jungle

Everyone is apt to remember this adrenaline-pumping activity.  Kids in particular will love screaming through the jungle canopy and over rushing rivers at dizzying speeds.  Zip along from platform to platform clinging to massive trees as you work your way through beautiful broadleaf tropical forest.  Both Maya Sky Canopy Tour and Bocawina Rainforest Adventures are a short drive inland from the peninsula.

Climbing Ancient Maya Temples

Way more fun than a museum!  We invite you to walk in the footsteps of the ancient Maya, a people whose thriving empire occupied this land two thousand years ago and whose modern descendants preserve a proud history.  Learning about other cultures helps us develop open minds, empathy, and acceptance.  What better way to do this than through travel, first-hand experiences, and Indian Jones style exploration?  Climbing timeworn stone steps to the top of a temple to be rewarded with the spectacular view of the surrounding jungle and the sounds of Howler Monkeys is surely something your kids won’t soon forget.