Soak up the sultry atmosphere at Smoky Mermaid Restaurant & Bar, where strings of lights hang from the trees in the backyard of a former mansion. The restaurant is popular for its relaxed garden setting (casual plastic seating) and Caribbean-accented food (cassava-crusted snapper; ecstasy-chocolate coconut pie).
Uncovering authentic local finds and having experiences that make you feel like you’ve really connected with a place are important elements in ensuring an extraordinary vacation. We’re taking advantage of our partnership with Travel + Leisure to get their editors’ recommendations and insider tips on the places you will want to visit. Here are their picks for just one of the 150 destinations they covered.
Belize City has no naturally sandy stretches, but the man-made Cucumber Beach, five miles outside of town, is worth a visit. In the lagoon-like saltwater pool, children splash around in the water and fly on rope swings.
Founded in 1983 by an American biologist who wound up with 17 semi-tame animals in her possession after filming a documentary about rain forests, the Belize Zoo has become a highly respected institution. Only native Belizean species (pumas, tapirs, kinkajous) are on view, and their surroundings reflect their wild habitats as closely as possible.
Here, you’ll get an overview of local history through a series of re-created settings: a Mayan ceremonial site; a rain-forest trail shaded by towering trees; a cave with limestone stalactites and stalagmites; and a replica of a house that’s common in communities of Garifuna, who are West African descendants.
Be sure to visit our Shore Excursions page or speak with our onboard Destination Concierge for arrangements to any of these must-sees.
View or download this port's map and shopping guide here.