Belize is known for its beaches and eco-lodges, and scuba diving and fishing are popular pastimes. Diving areas include Hol Chan, rife with sharks and stingrays, and the massive Great Blue Hole, a sinkhole once explored by Jacques Cousteau.
Belize is one of the region’s top tourist sights, a jewel in the Central America courtyard. In the past, it is regarded as the British Honduras protectorate and the only nation with English as an official language, located in Central America, is splendidly located between Mexico and Guatemala.
Belize is well known amongst tourists for its hip Caribbean shoreline and a relaxing atmosphere that removes your stress and worries when you enter its lovely environment.
The nation is also renowned for its varied culture and a host of scuba and snorkeling operations that draw many hundred people from across the globe.
The Belize Beaches are certainly the main appeal of the nation with such a huge shoreline, but that’s not all. There are, in reality, many plastering jungles in the nation, Maya Ruins, several uninhabited islands, native wildlife, and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the world’s second biggest, and a world heritage site.
Belikin is the domestic drink and hitchhiking is the normal route to go from location to location.
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Placencia
- 2 Recommended for you:
- 3 2. Ambergris Caye
- 4 3. Hopkins
- 5 4. Caye Caulker
- 6 5. Turneffe Atoll
- 7 6. South Water Caye
- 8 7. Silk Caye
- 9 8. Glover’s Reef Atoll
- 10 9. Sapodilla Caye
- 11 10. Laughingbird Caye
When to visit Belize:
Belize has a humid subtropical climate, with the highest rainfall Jun–Nov and hurricanes most likely Aug–Oct. Peak travel season is Dec–Apr. It’s possible to snorkel or dive with whale sharks Mar–Jun. Popular events include the pre-Lenten Fiesta de Carnaval (Feb) on Ambergris Caye; Toldeo’s Chocolate Festival (May), with a street fair of food stalls; and Ambergris Caye’s International Costa Maya Festival, with a beauty pageant and concerts (Aug). Fishing is year-round, but tarpon are especially plentiful Jul–Sep.
Consider Belize’s top beaches in accordance with their popularity and offer.
Placencia is a beach resort on the Caribbean coast of Belize. It’s at the southern tip of the Placencia Peninsula, known for its palm-lined beaches. Between the peninsula and the mainland, Placencia Lagoon is home to manatees and saltwater crocodiles. Offshore, there are dive sites on the coral Belize Barrier Reef. To the north, the Garífuna community of Seine Bight is a hub for traditional drumming and dance.
Popularly described as “barefoot perfect” by residents around the area, Placencia, in southern Belize, is known to be home to some of the best beaches in Belize. With its 16-mile long coastline and several pristine beaches, Placencia is surrounded by the Caribbean in the east and the Placencia lagoon in the west.
The distance between the city and Placencia is 185 km approximately and can be covered within 3 hours by road or half hour by air.
Known for its gorgeous white sandy beaches, the peninsula is full of adventure activities like snorkelling, diving with whale sharks, sailing, and lots of inland excursions. One day tours are available for those who wish to explore the Belize Barrier Reef.
The beaches of Placencia peninsula origin at Maya Beach in the north, covers Seine Bight, and end in the lap of Placencia Village.
A wide range of accommodation including beach resorts, luxury oceanfront hotels, beach huts, and hostels may be rented in the peninsula. Yachts are available to rent for the night as well.
When to visit Placencia
Placencia is warm year-round and sees plenty of rain. The most popular time to visit is Dec–Jun, which coincides with the slightly drier season. The area can also be affected by the Caribbean hurricane season (Jun–Nov). During the Sidewalk Arts Festival (Feb), musicians and artists perform and display their work in Placencia Village. The annual whale shark migration (Apr–Jul) attracts divers and snorkelers. Placencia Lobsterfest (Jun/Jul) celebrates the start of the lobster season with music and dancing.
2. Ambergris Caye
Home to one of the best dive sites in the country if not in Central America, Ambergris Caye offers a laid-back atmosphere, plenty of water sports, top in line snorkeling, and is the largest island among the hundreds of islands in northern Belize.
The town can be a bit overcrowded as compared to other beach towns in the country, however, finding serenity is as easy as hiring a boat from one of the many piers and travel up to the north of Ambergris Caye.
Exploring the spectacular Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, also known as the Great Mayan Reef, is the most significant attraction in the area and can’t be missed at all. The reef includes several protected areas including the Belize Barrier Reef, the Cayos Cochinos Marine Park, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park.
Enjoy the $1 ‘chicken drop’ game at Wahoo’s Lounge and get a chance to win $100 towards your bar tab.
When to visit Ambergris Caye
The peak travel period coincides with the dry season (Nov–May). The tropical climate is warm year-round, with a hot, humid and rainy season Jun–Oct, and a slight chance of hurricanes from late Aug–mid-Oct. Key events include Carnaval (Feb/Mar, dates vary), the San Pedro Lobster Festival (Jun), celebrating the opening of the lobster season with a street party and steel bands, and the International Costa Maya Festival (early Aug), featuring concerts and a beauty pageant.
Reflected upon as the friendliest village in Belize, Hopkins is located roughly 140 km from Belize city and 65 km from Placencia.
Easily accessible by bus or car, Hopkins is a traditional Garifuna village with its natural vibe intact. No paved pathways, no high rise modern buildings, and no beach cleaners to clean seaweeds, palm leaves, and fallen coconuts, the beach at Hopkins is exactly what a laid-back natural beach surrounding should be.
The only resorts are located far away from the coastline and into the city making the atmosphere around the beach completely tranquil. The natives are warm and friendly and believe in welcoming everyone with open arms.
Hopkins is surrounded by quite a few waterfalls, mountains, and reefs, and is home to natural attractions such as Bocawina National Park and Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve.
4. Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker, another gem in the list of Belize’s best beaches, is strictly a Caribbean paradise. Accessible only by a water taxi from the city, the island swears by the motto of living slow and peacefully.
Don’t be surprised when you see NO CARS here because they are not allowed. Everything on the island is within proximity so you can either walk around or rent a bicycle to have a day riding your bike around the island.
A typical day in Caye Caulker involves a lot of laying around in a hammock and snorkeling when you want a break from hammock swinging. If you get restless and want more, take a day trip to Belize ruins and spend your time cave tubing.
The island has more backpacker hostels and guesthouses than plush hotels which are a giveaway for the kind of vibe and atmosphere that Caye Caulker has in store for you.
5. Turneffe Atoll
Located southeast of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye, Turneffe Atoll is one of the three islets of the Belize Barrier Reef, other two being the Lighthouse Reef and Glover’s Reef. It is also the largest coral islet in Belize and in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.
Officially a Marine Reserve, Turneffe Atoll is home to several endangered marine species and has been a protected area since 2012.
The abundance of marine life such as sting rays, large fish and corals makes Turneffe Atoll one of the best spots for diving for amateurs and experts alike. The island also offers ample snorkeling and catch-and-release sport fishing options.
The Mangroves around the island is what makes the atoll even more remarkable.
6. South Water Caye
South Water Caye
Considered as one of the best-kept secrets of Belize, South Water Caye is most popularly known for its 15-acre stretch of off-the-beaten-track diving and snorkeling activities.
The coastline is adorned with soft, powdery white sand which can be best enjoyed by the Pelican Beach Resort. The stretch is decorated with aptly lined coconut trees and hammocks. The reef can be reached easily from the shore as it’s a short swim.
Though there is not much to see and do here except for those mentioned above, South Water Caye is perfect for spending some time in the lap of nature, catch up on reading, and just doing nothing.
7. Silk Caye
Belize may be known to the world for its vibrant villages and towns but the cays are the key attraction around this country in Central America. Silk Caye, also known as Queen Caye to some, is another place you can’t miss when you travel to Belize.
Sugar-white sandy beaches, the vast coastline, and an enthralling community of marine life are what makes Silk Caye worth your while.
The island is also a snorkeling and diving paradise. Hold your breath and get ready to spot rings of corals which have been in existence way before humans have alongwith natural aquatic formations like Fire and Staghorn, Hawksbill turtles, and even Whale Sharks!
Located east of Placencia Village, Silk Caye has no accommodation options so the only way to explore the island is on a day trip. You can also rent a boat yourself if you know how to sail.
8. Glover’s Reef Atoll
Glover’s Reef Atoll
Named after the English pirate brothers John and Rodger Glover, Glover’s Reef is a Marine reserve and a World Heritage Site and is one of the three atolls of the Belize Barrier Reef.
The interior lagoon of the islet is speckled with approximately 850 rings of reefs. Five of the major cays comprising the Glover’s Reef Atoll are the Southwest Cay, Middle Cay, Northeast Cay, Long Cay, and Manta island.
There are a handful of dorms, cabins, and camps for travelers to spend their night. The immaculate turquoise waters of Glover’s Reef Atoll are far away from the crowds and offers serenity at its best.
Whether you visit here for marine adventure sports such as diving, snorkeling, and fishing, or you plan to stay a few days relaxing and unwinding, Glover’s Reef is nothing short of a beach paradise.
9. Sapodilla Caye
In a country that brags of over 200 Cayes, Sapodilla Cayes are often considered as the most picturesque Cayes in Belize. Located 40 miles east of Punta Gorda, the Cayes form the southernmost group of Cayes in the famous Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.
Sapodilla Cayes’ Marine Reserve is a protected marine reserve as well as a World Heritage Site. It is home to over 14 mangrove and sand Cayes.
Snorkelling, diving, and fishing here are considered as some of the country’s finest.
The beach waters are crystal clear and provide shelter to a wide variety of marine wildlife such as dolphins, sea turtles, whale sharks and Manta Rays. Other popular fish in the region include snappers, spadefish, parrotfish, and angelfish.
10. Laughingbird Caye
Declared a National Park in 1991, Laughingbird Caye is situated 11 miles from the famous Placencia Village.
Considered as a prime spot for snorkelling, kayaking, and scuba diving, Laughing Bird Caye is on every visitor’s list who make it to Placencia.
The Caye derived its name from Laughing Gulls which once inhabited the Caye. Though the Gulls may have drifted away due to increased urbanization, several exotic seabirds such as the blackbird, brown pelican, and green heron can still be spotted in the vicinity.
The Laughingbird Caye National Park has three areas – recreational, buffer, and the preservation area. Some of the common coastal creatures that you can expect to see here are crabs, grunts, barracudas, eels, stingrays, and lobsters.
It is also a popular choice for wedding and honeymoon couples.