• Betting on a Chicken Drop: A chicken drop is a sort of poor man's version of roulette, and much more fun. Numbers are painted on a grid and bets are placed. Then, a chicken is set loose on a wire mesh screen suspended over the grid. The winner is chosen by the chicken's first "drop." In addition to any monetary winnings, the "winner" often must clean the grid. The Corona del Mar in San Pedro holds a chicken drop on Thursday nights.

  • Drinking a Cool Seaweed Shake: Made from dried natural seaweed, blended with both condensed and evaporated milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and some ice, this drink is surprisingly refreshing and tasty. You can get these drinks at several beach destinations around Belize, but Placencia seems to be the home of the seaweed shake.

  • Staying with a Maya Family: It certainly isn't going to be like a night at the Four Seasons, but if you're looking for a real cultural exchange experience, you should consider actually staying with a traditional Maya family. The Maya Village Homestay Network (tel. 722-2470; demdatsdoin@btl.net) can organize this for you.

  • Sitting on the Dock of a Caye: One of the most distinctive features of most beachfront hotels in Belize is the private pier jutting out into the sea. Many of these have a thatch-roofed shade structure at the end, often strung with hammocks. This is a great place to read a book, take a siesta, or simply spend an hour or two marveling at the ocean’s amazing shades of blue.

  • Spending the Night in a Maya Ceremonial City: An intimate and rather luxurious nature lodge, Chan Chich Lodge (tel. 800/343-8009 in the U.S., or 223-4419 in Belize; www.chanchich.com) is built right on the site of a minor Mayan ceremonial city. The hills just outside your private cabin are unexcavated residences and pyramids. Ruins and basic excavations dot the grounds, and the surrounding rainforests are rich in bird and animal life.


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.