Belize Activities for the Adventurous Travelers

Belize is a great destination for active travelers, offering a vast array of specific sport and adventure opportunities in a small area. Whatever your taste in recreation, Belize should have something for you. There are a few places in the world where travelers can enjoy such a diversity of landscapes. From lowland jungles and mountainous forests to spectacular Great barrier reef and idyllic beaches, the region offers exciting places to practice a wide range of adventure sports. Check out some of the most popular ones below.

Diving/Snorkeling In Great Barrier Reef

BelizeBelize’s barrier reef has been named one of the Seven Underwater Wonders of the World. There are many places to dive and snorkel all along Belize’s territory, including the cayes, atolls, and various spots on the reef and mainland. Water visibility generally reaches over 100 feet. The water temperature stays close to 80 degrees Fahrenheit all year long and the barrier reef makes for calm water almost year round. Take advantage of the many diving resorts and hotels catering to divers.

Windsurfing

Belize is a perfect place to enjoy the fabulous sport of windsurfing. The cayes provide flat and quiet waters that are created by the protecting reef. The constant shore winds give an ideal location for beginners to have a first lesson. For the intermediate, it is fantastic for speeding and chop hopping. The water below is so clear that you can see fish and stingrays, and it is not unusual to see dolphins as you sail. For experienced surfers, there are wave sites and swell access on the outer reef.

Birding

In Belize, you have the opportunity to observe hundreds of different species of birds. Belize has recorded more than 540 species within its borders. Because of the country’s small population and lack of industry, much of Belize has remained virtually undisturbed. On various islands, you will find reserves for birds like the black catbird reserve on Caye Caulker and a bird sanctuary on Man-of-War Caye where you will find pelicans, brown bobbies and frigate birds.

Canoeing/Kayaking

In a country that is abundant with water sources, canoeing and kayaking are a very common and rewarding activity. Whether inland on one of the many river systems, in and around a cave, or out on the open sea near the reef and the cayes, you will have a chance to witness the unspoiled nature of Belize from a different point of view.

Caving

Belize has unbelievable cave formations. With abundant limestone and a wet climate, there are a great number of caves throughout Belize. Although most caves have not been thoroughly explored yet and because of the isolation of them, you will find natural splendors and archeological significance like ancient Mayan pottery and abundant species of animals like blind white crayfish and numerous arachnids. Rio Frió, St. Herman’s and Barton Creek Cave are some of the best ones to go to.

End Your Day With Belikin Beer

At the end of your adventure-filled day, nothing beats lounging on the beach as you enjoy the sunset. And while you are at it, grab a bottle or two of Belikin Beer. The number one beer in Belize, this refreshing drink will surely complete your day.

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Beers Produced by the Belize Brewery

After you are done with all the swimming, surfing and sightseeing, wouldn’t it be nice to lounge in the sand and just rest? To make this all the more relaxing, why don’t you add a Belikin beer to the equation? Then take a trip to the Belize Brewery and grab yourself some of their best beers. Know, though, that are only four main beers in Belize. But if you include the locally-brewed Guinness and the three seasonal beers, then there would be eight. Nevertheless, here are the top five of the seven Belizean beers available in your trip.

Belikin Beer

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (Stout, 7.5%)

Belikin beerThe brew recipe and brand licensing of this beer is directly from the namesake of the popular Ireland brewery we all know, but it is Belikin Brewing Company that brews ad bottles this beer here in Belize. So, technically, it is a Belizean beer still. Also, the brew recipe is not as the same as the conventional Guinness. In fact, it might be better. The Belikin beer factory does a great job at brewing the centuries-old recipe. From the get-go, you can taste the smooth and nice roasted malts of this beer. Also, the presence of added hops is definitely noticeable, particularly in the finish, giving a clean medium bitterness to this dry stout. It has a bit of coffee flavor and a small bit of chocolate.

Belikin Beer Factory Produces

Sorrel Stout (Stout, 6.5%)

This Belize Belikin stout is the brand’s winter seasonal, which is a stout brewed with sorrel, an herb used in salads, sauces and soups. Sorrel has a flavor comparable to sour wild strawberries or kiwi fruit. When you drink this beer, you might not pick up kiwi flavor, although you will get a bit of strawberry. This beer has a rather syrupy flavor, but it should grow on you after the first initial sips. It might be the flavor profile that’s changed when the beer warms a bit or it might just grow on you. This is a slightly sweet stout and is the most complex tasting beer that Belize Brewing Co Belikin beer makes. Its taste is slightly reminiscent of a Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper.

Verano (Pale Lager, 4.8%)

This is the Belikin Brewing Company’s summer season, and is wrapped in a golden foil. The name ‘verano’ translates to summer in Spanish and the company says that this beer is a ‘summer in a bottle.’ It is a tasty beer and might be better than the regular lager, but it might be because of the aging of some of the flavor; it might have muted a bit while others came through more. This lager has some nice but slight orange peel flavor and has a bit of spiciness to it, as well. The beer carries a small sweetness to it and also has a very light tang to it as well. The brew is zesty while also very refreshing. You can easily see yourself crushing a few of these during the summer heat.

Belikin Lager (Pale Lager, 4.8%)

This is the most commonplace in Belize – maybe the top seller – and a solid Central American style pale lager. It might be somewhat watery and bland, but it was very refreshing in the afternoon heat and is the perfect choice to switch over to when you are just looking for another stout. Make sure that you grab a bottle with a green cap, or you might accidentally wind up with a Belikin stout. It tastes of grains and is pleasantly slightly sweet with a little floral flavor. It has a slight flavor of hops that is almost missed for a mild bitterness. It is very clean, smooth and thirst-quenching. This is a great beach beer, and is much better than almost all pale lager equivalents in Belize.

Belikin Stout (Stout, 6.5%)

Belizeans can brew a decent stout. This offers a pleasant change of pace for this Central American nation. Maybe this English stout is a nod to their British roots, as the country is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations headed by the Queen. And this is not some specialty beer for Belize, as it’s quite commonplace at almost all bars, stores and restaurants. Just make sure that you get the bottle with the blue cap, or you will end up with a pale lager. This thin stout has tastes of roasted malts, caramel, licorice and a tinge of coffee. It is still light-bodied enough to have a few of consecutively and still drinks refreshingly even on a hot day. The flavor becomes richer as it warms up.

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Common Ingredients in Belize Food

Belize is a country that is so diverse in history that its cuisine will seemingly take you back in time. The country might not be home to many world-renowned dishes or any Michelin starred restaurants just yet, but travelling through Belize for a week or more will undoubtedly leave you longing for more of the best dishes of the country. Belizeans are very proud of their culture which comes through in their Belize food. It is safe to say that most Belizean cooks use the same ingredients to prepare their food. Here is a list of the most common ingredients used in Belizean cuisine.

Tasty Belize Food

1. Corn – Arguably the most popular ingredient in Central America, corn is used in most of the food prepared in Belize, making it one of the most common ingredients found in Belizean food. Corn is used to make tamales, salbutes, tacos, tortillas, garnaches, panades and many more.

2. Beans – If you are a Belizean, you definitely eat beans at least three times a week. Beans are mainly used to prepare beans soup.

Belize food3. Rice – A magical mixture of rice and beans makes one of the favorite dishes of Belize (and is sometimes even referred to as the country’s national dish): the rice and beans.

4. Coconut oil – Perfect rice and beans must be complimented with some coconut oil. Oil is also used to prepare other traditional Belizean dishes.

5. Onion – Onion might not be the nicest ingredient in this list, but it has to be included because it is in almost every dish prepared in the country. Basically, onion is like oxygen for their food; if it does not have it, it is not perfect.

Belize Cuisine On The Rise

6. Sweet peppers – This ingredient is used in soups, fast foods, sauces and in many other Belizean foods, so rightfully it made it in this list of the most common ingredients found in Belizean food.

7. Tomatoes – Tomatoes is the brother of sweet peppers. Wherever you see one, you will see the other. This ingredient is used to prepare excellent sauces and nice vegetable salads.

8. Season All – This ingredient is what gives everything that cooks look for the taste that it has. The use of the families in Belize of Season All has become a tradition in the preparation of food in the country.

9. Flour – Flour might be the least used ingredient in this list, but it is one of the most common ingredients used in Belize. It is used to make the famous tortillas.

10. Salt and pepper – Salt and pepper is used to add the final touch to a well prepared meal. There are some Belizeans who love to put their pepper along with their meals.

Taste The Famous Belikin Beer

If you have not visited Belize and sampled some of their native cuisine, now is definitely the time! On your next visit to Belize, make sure that you make time to taste their delicious recipes. And while you are at it, make sure that you complement your food with the famous Belikin Beer for the ultimate Belize experience.

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History Behind Belikin Beer vs. Charger Beer

There are so many interesting and important stories in Belize that just fade into unwritten history over the years, and no one ever speaks in print about these stories anymore. One example of such story is the beer war between Belikin Beer and Charger Beer during the 1970s.

Belikin Beer

Belikin beerBelikin Beer came on the scene during the late 1969. Prior to this, people drank imported Heineken and Amstel beer, and Guinness stout, all for 50 cents a pint. When Belikin came on the scene, the government raised taxes on foreign beers, so most of the Bealizeans had to start drinking Belikin. The Belize Brewery owners, the Bowen family, which lead the Coca-Cola soft drink franchise before they went into beer, is a high ranking Bayman family in Belize. They are like royalty, and trace their ancestry to the Battle of St. George’s Caye and before that.

By the early 1970s, a challenge to Belikin was raised by two brothers, Arturo and Orlando Matus, whose ancestors came as ladino refugees from the Castle Way in the Yucatan, a war which started in 1847 and lasted most of the second half of the nineteenth century. They founded Matus Brewery Company in 1976 and launched the Charger Beer. Belikin was not an especially tasty product for the Charger was dominating the domestic beer market in the middle 1970s. They also create the Charger football team which no doubt helped sell beer. Charger becomes a ‘red hot’ product in Belize.

Between 1976 and 1977, Bowen’s bankers offered the Matus brothers the opportunity to buy out Belikin Brewery. Orlando Matus declined the offer, on the grounds that he did not want to create a monopoly. Today, Charger is just a faint memory. Orlando Matus is in Louisiana, a defeated man, while Belikin rules in Belize.

So, what happened? The Matus brothers did not have any money so they built their beer factory and business with loan money from the Bank of Nova Scotia. They did not want to sell stock to raise the venture capital; they wanted a wholly owned family business. According to newspaper stories after the collapse and foreclosure of the Charger Beer Company by the bank, the newspapers revealed that during the beer war, the Bowen family had bought up empty returnee Charger Beer bottles.

Belize Country

In Belize country of that day, all containers were imported into the country and quite expensive with duties and shipping, so bottling companies had a bottle buy back policy. The Bowen family, the winner beer company, got that way, by buying up all the competition empty Charger Beer bottles and secretly storing them in a warehouse. This broke Charger Beer because they had to keep importing expensive bottle for their beer. Eventually, they could not afford to do so and the loans were too big and the bank foreclosed, putting them out of business.

Visit To Belize

Whether such a story is completely true or not, the years that have passed had proven just how big a company like Belikin has become. On your next visit to Belize, make sure that you grab a bottle or two of Belikin Beer and taste its rich taste and history.

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Drinking In Belize: The Country’s Rum Industry

Aside from the popular Belikin Beer, Belize also offers good rum. The country is part of Central America but its coast is on the Caribbean Sea, so rum is entrenched in its alcohol habits ever since. It is not that it just your eyes everywhere like the Jamaica, but you will easily find and buy it, and at very affordable prices.

The Belize rum industry today is dominated by Travellers, a company that Mr. Omario Perdomo started mid-century with a bar of imported beverages for travelers in the center of the former capital, Belize City. Those days were also when the sugar cane industry sky rocketed, so a lot of Belizeans decided to start doing their own distillates. Mr. Omario Perdomo of Travellers Bar was no different, deciding to homemade his own rums. Travelers Rum was born and they now have over 20 products in their line, including vodka and bitters, that are massively distribute around the country.

Surprisingly, the best rum seller in Belize does not belong to Travellers, but the second family that rules the spirits industry in Belize: the Cuello Liquors. It is called Caribbean Gold. They have a success formula of making very mellow gold rum than anyone can drink neat or mixed, as it is much smoother than any white rum counterpart. Also, it is almost as cheap as water. This family owns the other two major distilleries if the country, Cuello and L&R, and are both located close to Orange Walk Town. They are two separate companies as the brothers split their affairs in the past. Because they do not produce for most of the year, tours are not readily possible.

On the other hand, Travellers is more organized and even ready for tourism as they organize tours for the cruise ships. They do not do official visits to the distillery unless you are a professional on the subject. However, they do have a small Rum Museum close to the warehouse where they do the aging and bottling process. The tour is interesting in terms of history of the company and rum in general in Belize, and you can freely taste the company’s line of products, which is something that you should do on a full stomach. But then, again, you will not have much access to the distillation process itself.

During the visit, one thing that you might notice in Travellers that you might not have heard about it being done is manually recycling used bottles. It is an admirable action and might not be profitable the way it is done, but this is the company’s way of giving back to the community and the environment. In another place, it would sound like green marketing rubbish, but being done so manually and effectively like it is done here; it will feel like it is for the right cause.

On your next visit to Belize, do not just settle with the Belikin Beer as your end-of-the-day refreshment; you might also want to consider enjoying a swig of Belize’s rum, whether it is from Travellers, Cuello Liquors, or any other distillates.

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A Short History And Tour Of The Belikin Beer Distributor

belikin beerIf you ever find yourself looking to taste something new in Belize, you can always stop by the Belikin Beer Distributor and pick up a case of beer to share with your friends and family. Belikin is the leading locally-produced beer brand in Belize, first brewed during the 1960s. Four types of beer are sold under the name of Belikin, the lager with 4% alcohol, Belikin Premium (lager) with 5% alcohol, Lighthouse (pale lager) with 4.2% alcohol and Belikin Stout (dark beer) with 6% alcohol.

Brief History Of Belikin Beer

When the sun is beating down in any part of Belize, thirty tourists want beer. And of course, they want beer that actually tastes good. This is why, in Belize, when people ask for Belize, they mean Belikin Beer. The name ‘Belikin’ comes from the Mayan language that means ‘Road to the East.’ The Belikin label features a Pre-Columbian Maya pyramid-temple at Alta Ha. Kevin Bowen, the third generation of a family of bottlers, runs the Belize Brewing Company’s high-tech plant in Ladyville.

The ground of the Brewing Company also houses the Coca Cola bottling plant of Belize, as well as the Crystal Water bottling facility. It was Kevin’s grandfather who started Crystal Bottling Works and Barry, his father, started brewing Belikin in 1971. To ensure that he is getting a quality product, Barry Bowen hired a German brew master, and bought all the brewing equipment from Germany as well. Brewmaster at Belize Brewing Company Reinhard Hopp, looks over the scientific process designed to ensure that Belikin Beer is consistently good, and every batch that preceded it. His domain is that of gleaming stainless steel and copper vats used to process Belikin, the beer of Belize.

Processes Of Making Belikin Beer

Beer might be relatively easy to make, but the numerous steps in the brewing process allow for the changes in taste that reflect the society that makes it. Also, such a process ensures that only the best possible beer is brewed, with a flavor that is apt to the flavor preferences of its drinkers. In Asian countries, the malt is made from rice. Meanwhile, in the other parts of the world, ginger roots and even spruce pine are used. Because Belikin Beer is crafted like the beers from Germany, all of the ingredients are imported except for the water and the sugar.

Making Belikin Beer starts in the malt room. This is where the grist of imported grain is mixed with water before it is fed to the mash tun. Here, the enzymes start to convert the starches of the grain to sugar before the mixture goes to the lauter tun, which is a big filter that separates the liquid from the grain. The extracted liquid goes to the kettle where the hops are added and the heat kills the enzymes, so their action with the starches is stopped.

The liquid is then allowed to cool with both chilled water and regular water before it goes into fermentation tanks where it is held at 50 degrees Fahrenheit for about a week. This is now known as ‘green beer’ and is stored in the aging room for 2 to 3 weeks. It then goes to the filtering room where it is filtered again. At this state, beer is sent to the ‘bright beer’ tanks and enters a bottling process after being filtered again and having carbonation added.

The recycled bottles of Belikin Beer have an average life of ten fillings. It is little wonder that their life span is quite short. After the separation and inspection process, the kegs and bottles for the draft beer are washed with a caustic soda solution that guarantees that each container is spotless clean. The bottles speed along a conveyor system where they are filled, capped, inspected and date coded as they come off the line. As a final step in the brewing process, the bottles are heated to pasteurize the beer, giving it a longer shelf life.

Belikin Beer Will Stay For Good

The ancient Egyptians know how to do it. Two thousand years ago, African tribesmen brewed their own. In the United States in the 1930s and 1940s, people commonly made batches of beer in their cellars that was supposed to be used only for home consumption. Today, microbreweries are springing up in homes as people see the wealth of information on making homemade beer on the internet. Beer has remained to be a part of almost every culture around the world, but this does not mean that local beer always tastes good. But in Belize, beer does taste good, thanks to the efforts of the Belize Brewing Company.

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Have You Tried The 3 Famous Belikin Beers?

Belikin beerThe leading locally produced beer in Belize, Belikin Beer is brewed by the Bowen family. The company was established in 1969 and started brewing Belikin Beer and the Belikin Stout brand name in 1971 with the tagline “The Beer of Belize.” The name “Belikin” was derived from the Mayan language that means “Road to the East”. The Belikin label features a drawing of a Pre-Columbian Maya temple-pyramid at Altun Ha.

Belikin Beer In Belize

The most common Belikin Beer is a light lager beer. Stout beer, Belikin Premium and Lighthouse Lager are also brewed and sold under the name of Belikin. Their brewery is based in Ladyville, Belize District. If you are looking for other flavors to spice up your drinking nights in this Caribbean country, here are three flavors that you need to try out.

3 Famous Beers Of Belikin

1.    Chocolate Stout – Developed by ancient Mayan thousands of years ago, this drink is cultivated and handed down from one generation to the next. When it was perfected by the Belize Brewing company, it gave birth to the Belikin Chocolate Stout. This exceptional craft beer comes with a modern carbonation of a rich and creamy flavor that is both velvety and chocolate-y with just the right hints of rum and vanilla. The Belikin Chocolate Stout was introduced by Nolan Michael in honor of the month of chocolate celebrations as part of the Cocoa Festival in Punta Gorda south of Belize.

2.    Verano Beer – Imagine if you can bottle all the light, enchantment and whimsy of summer; the Belize Brewing Company did exactly this with their summer offering which is the season Verano craft beer. It has a bright golden sunrise color and a light citrus aroma. This drink sublimely combines an orange tartness with a subtle sweetness for an extraordinary and refreshing taste experience. This beer owns its unique appeal to the lager fermentation process that imparts a melody of tropical fruit notes. This is combined with orange peel and exotic spices like the rare wheat malt from renowned Breiess Malting. All these flavors beautifully combine together to create a clean-finishing and thirst-quenching beer that is perfect for warm summer days.

3.    Sorrel Stout – This holiday season; open something really special with the Belikin Brewery’s exclusive Sorrel Stout. Handcrafted using traditional sorrel, this Belizean favorite brings that much needed extra cheer to the spirit of the holidays. This is nicely aged and balanced Stout that is blended with specialty malts and carefully picked German hops, bringing together local Caribbean heritage, color and flavor. With this drink, you can enjoy the magic of the season with a delicious Sorrel Stout.

Grab An Iced-cold Belikin Beer When You Visit Belize

Indeed, one of the best things about Belize is its Belikin Beers. With all its available flavors, you will never get tired of having your daily fix of this wonderful and refreshing beverage. If you happen to have a vacation in Belize, you definitely have to try Belikin Beers!

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Why You Should Travel in Belize: Top Tourist Attractions

The top tourist attractions as you travel in Belize

top tourist attractions in BelizeTravel in Belize and see a country with exotic wildlife, cave formations, coral reefs, tropical beaches, and a laid-back Caribbean atmosphere. From the Belize drive resorts and ancient temple ruins, you would not believe that such a beautiful place exists in your midst. Read on and know what makes Belize island one of the top destinations in Central America.

Great Blue Hole

This is the most popular dive destination in the island of Belize. The Great Blue Hole offers so many interesting limestone formations that mold its walls. Underwater near the Lighthouse Reef is a gigantic sinkhole that creates a perfect circle of deep blue water. The deeper one dives into the Great Blue Hole, giving breath-taking scenery of limestone formations and stalactites become more complex and intense.

Caye Caulker

This is a coral island found on the Caribbean Sea, only accessed by a small plane or high-speed water taxi. In the recent years, the island has grown very popular among tourists and backpackers because of its lad back vibe, cheap prices, and abundance of bars and restaurants. The main transport to this area is walking. With its well-defined paths, crossing the island should only take about 20 minutes. Golf carts and bicycles are available in the area for rent.

Caracol

The largest Maya site in Belize, Caracol sits high on the Vaca Plateau at 500 meters above sea level. This used to be one of the biggest ancient Maya cities, covering about 168 square kilometers. It peaked at around 650 AD with an estimated population of about 150,000. The largest pyramid in Caracol is Canaa. At 43 meters, this remains the tallest man-made structure in the island up until today.

Placencia

Placencia is a famous peninsula found south of Belize. This is home to the best mainland beaches as well as the most amazing offshore coral caves. East of the Placencia Peninsula is a long expanse of white sand beach, white its western side features a narrow and long bay. The lovely beaches combined with abundant and expensive accommodation makes it a great place to relax and unwind.

Lamanai

Located north of Belize, Lamanai used to a Maya city and its ancient ruins are not yet completely uncovered. Much of its archaeological work concentrates on the investigation and restoration of its bigger structures like the 33-meter tall High Temple. Lamanai, literally translating to “submerged crocodile”, was still occupied by Mayans when the Spanish arrived and is one of the few Mayan sites that retained its traditional name.

Ambergris Caye

This is the largest of a few hundred caves found in the northernmost waters of Belize. It is a top tourist destination in the country, with its lack of big city traffic and high-rise hotels contributing to its relaxed and laid-back feel. People can get around the place just by walking. There are quality hotels in the town and resorts are just less than half a mile from the town of San Pedro. Travelers can rent golf carts and bicycles as a form of transportation.

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Belikin Beer overlooking the pier in Belize

Belikin Beer overlooking Ambergris Caye Belize

Taken by Reuben Salazar, this is a great shot of a Belikin beer at a place in Ambergris Caye, Belize. We found this stump in the middle of foliage and it made a beautiful shot.

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Drinking Belikin Beer in Belize

Drinking Belikin Beer in Belize by Devani AldersonDrinking Belikin beer in Belize.

Checking out some properties on a real estate field trip to Belize, stopping to have a nice cold Belikin and some lunch. I be likin’ the Belikin!

Photo by Devani Alderson

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