The three main Belize jungle vacation destinations are Cayo, Toledo and Orange Walk.
Guatemala is on the western boundary of Belize's inland Cayo District. San Ignacio is the main town, and most of Belize's most well-known jungle vacation lodges, sites and activities are located in Cayo - such as the Xunantunich Mayan ruins, cave tubing, Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, Chaa Creek, duPlooy's, Banana Bank and Black Rock.
Cayo is the the area most travelers visit for their first taste of the Belize jungle, often because they want to try a specific jungle activity, such as cave tubing, or have heard of a specific jungle lodge, such as Chaa Creek, or want to see a specific site, such as the El Pilar Archaeological Reserve for Maya flora and fauna .
And, it's true, the Cayo District offers lots to see and do, and a wide variety of places to stay.
For example, in addition to the Xunantunich and El Pilar Mayan ruins, Belize vacation visitors can also tour Cahal Pech and Caracol (the largest Mayan ruins in Belize - and an ancient Mayan city-state that rivaled Tikal).
The Toledo District is Belize's southernmost district, and its least explored one - especially for Belize vacation travelers. Toledo is bordered on the south and the west by Guatemala, the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Stann Creek District to the north and offers Belize vacation adventures in deep jungle rainforests and Mayan villages that look much as they did a hundred years ago, plus fantastic birding, beautiful jungle rivers and waterfalls, unexcavated Mayan ruins and little known and little explored caves.
In short, Toledo is different - in many ways like the Belize of 100 years ago - when every trip was a journey, full of unexpected pleasures and delights for those willing to take the time to see and discover them.
While the northwestern Orange Walk District is most well known for sugar cane, visitors can find an amazing array of tropical birds and several excellent Belize jungle lodges, plus the Lamanai Mayan ruins, the longest continuously occupied Mayan ruin in Belize - since 1500 BC.
Belize vacation travelers to the Orange Walk District can not only visit Mayan ruins (Colha and La Milpa in addition to Lamanai), but also take a night-time crocodile safari, spot birds to their heart's content, horseback ride, hike and generally commune with nature in the area's lagoons and expansive jungle tracts, such as the Gallon Jug Estate, managed by Programme for Belize.
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary and Community Baboon Sanctuary are located northwest of Belize City in the Belize District.
The Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary is well known by birders for the wide variety of birds that flock to the Lagoon (including the Jabiru stork), especially from February to early June (traditionally Belize's dry season). Crooked Tree Village also hosts a cashew festival in May each year. Travelers can tour the Lagoon by boat, and the surrounding area on foot, by bike or by vehicle. The Altun Ha, Lamanai and La Milpa Mayan ruins are accessible from Crooked Tree, as is the Belize Zoo and the Community Baboon Sanctuary. The area does have a couple of good places for lodging.