Belize serves up a delightful cocktail of white sandy beaches, turquoise Caribbean waters, steamy green jungles, and blue mountain views
With Mexico to its north and Guatemala to its south, Belize lies on the Caribbean coast of Central America. The potent combination of its warm climate, lush scenery, and compelling wildlife will get your creative juices flowing. Just pack your swimsuit, a waterproof camera, and your sense of adventure for this photo trip of a lifetime. Here’s how.
Highly popular among sun-worshipping tourists, Belize’s glittering sandy beaches are just as perfect for photo enthusiasts. Dangriga, Hopkins, and Placencia are wonderful tourist towns, and all three give you easy access to coastal scenery.
But to really experience the best that Belize has to offer, you will need to find a way out to the offshore barrier reef, the second largest in the world. Here you will find tiny deserted islands bedecked with only a few swaying palm trees. Underwater lies a beautiful reef teeming with life, including whale sharks (which peak in April and May), sea turtles, and plenty of other photogenic species.
Although a few islands have resorts on them, the best way to get to the barrier reef is by signing up for a snorkeling or diving tour, or by chartering a private boat (either can be easily arranged in one of the towns). The most photogenic islands are typically the ones farthest from the mainland, so talk in advance with your charter operator if you want to be on location for sunrise or sunset photography (you can also book an overnight camping excursion). A wide-angle zoom will come in handy for coastal scenery shots, especially for combining incoming waves with colorful sunset skies.
If you plan to do any snorkeling or diving, consider bringing along a waterproof camera or an underwater housing for your DSLR. Quality housings start at around $1,500; renting one is another possibility, although a rental for a two-week photo trip can cost almost as much as buying one. But don’t rule out waterproofing your compact camera; I opted for a Canon PowerShot S100 in a Fisheye FIX underwater housing, which gave me RAW shooting and other options.
While the results with this rig were certainly more than adequate for my occasional underwater forays, nothing beats a DSLR for flexibility and speed of use in underwater work.