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  • Belize Zoo (near Belize City): The Belize Zoo (tel. 220-8003; www.belizezoo.org) houses over 125 animals, all native Belizean species. It is considered a national treasure and a model for the possibilities of a conservation-based zoo. The zoo itself is wonderfully laid out, on meandering trails with large and well-maintained enclosures for the animals.
  • Old Belize (Belize City): Old Belize (tel. 222-4286; www.oldbelize.com) is part museum, part playground, part beach, and part adventure attraction. There's something here for everyone, and plenty for the kids. It's easy to spend several hours, if not a whole day here.
  • Ambergris Caye (Northern Cayes and Atolls): Ambergris Caye is the most developed of Belize's beach and diving destinations. As such, it has the greatest selection of hotels and activities, many of them either geared towards or just plain great for kids. From snorkeling to paragliding to touring the island on golf carts and visiting the Butterfly Jungle, there's plenty to keep families and kids of all ages occupied here. Xanadu Island Resort (tel. 226-2814; www.xanaduresort-belize.com) and Captain Morgan's Retreat (tel. 888/653-9090 or 307/587-8914 in the U.S., or 226-2207 in Belize; www.belizevacation.com) are two good choices for families.
  • Jaguar Reef Lodge (Hopkins Village, Southern Belize; tel. 800/289-5756 in the U.S., or 520-7040 in Belize; www.jaguarreef.com): This intimate beachfront resort has a range of amenities and activities that will make parents happy and keep kids occupied. In addition to the pool and long beach, this place has sea kayaks and mountain bikes, and an extensive menu of daily tours and activities.
  • The Inn at Robert's Grove (Placencia, Southern Belize; tel. 800/565-9757 in the U.S., or 523-3565 in Belize; www.robertsgrove.com): This is another small beach resort that is well suited for families. As at Jaguar Reef, there's a wide enough range of activities available here to keep families active and interested for a full vacation. What makes this place slightly trump Jaguar Reef are its two swimming pools and two private cayes.
  • Cayo District (Western Belize): The Cayo District is the heart of Belize's Mayan world, as well as its prime ecotourism destination. Between a full plate of active adventure activities and a steady diet of Mayan ruins and ancient burial caves, families will find this a great place to spend time in Belize. Chaa Creek (tel. 824-2037; www.chaacreek.com) is not only extremely comfortable for families, but they also have their own butterfly breeding project and natural history museum on-site. And if parents need a little pampering, they also have an excellent spa.
  • Caves Branch (Cayo District and Western Belize): You'll be heroes in your kids' eyes after you take them inner-tubing through the dark and spooky network of limestone caves traversed by the slow-moving Caves Branch River. Families looking for some creature comfort would be wise to choose Jaguar Paw (tel. 877/624-3770 in the U.S., or 820-2023; www.jaguarpaw.com), while those with a real hankering for adventure should head to Ian Anderson's Caves Branch (tel. 822-2800; www.cavesbranch.com).
  • Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.