Ready to plan the perfect Belize vacation? Muy’Ono Resorts has you covered! Join us as we uncover eight must-visit Belize towns and islands, from charming beachside destinations to over 400 cayes dotting the coastline, all the way to the heart of lush, untamed jungles. Discover where to visit in Belize, and the best places to stay for your dream escape in this vibrant country!
1. San Pedro
The best place for local nightlife
The Town: A brief flight from Belize City leads to Ambergris Caye, Belize’s largest island, where San Pedro thrives as its bustling hub. Boasting vibrant nightlife, excellent shopping, and delectable seafood, it’s no surprise that this lively town is one of Belize’s most sought-after vacation spots. Hop on a rented golf cart to explore the streets and discover the allure of Secret Beach, featuring many beach bars inviting you to indulge in a day of drinks, swimming, eating, and even water park adventures.
Things To Do: San Pedro, nestled along the Belize Barrier Reef, offers easy access to the best water activities in Belize. Snorkeling at Hot Chan and Shark Ray Alley stands out as a top underwater adventure, allowing you to encounter nurse sharks, eagle rays, sea turtles, and an array of vibrant tropical fish. While day trips to jungle activities are possible, they’re not recommended due to substantial travel times that might consume a significant portion of your day.
Where To Stay: For an unrivaled San Pedro experience, the tallest hotel on the island, The Watermark Belize Hotel, provides a luxurious escape. Offering various accommodations from oceanview studios to spacious two-bedroom family suites, guests can enjoy on-site amenities such as a rooftop restaurant and pool with sweeping town views, spa services, and hassle-free golf cart rentals. The hotel is the perfect gateway to dive into local culture and cuisine.
The best place to chill at the beach
The Town: Placencia, situated around 100 miles south of Belize City, boasts some of the nation’s most stunning beaches. Recognized as one of the safest havens in Belize, it offers visitors stretches of white sand, towering palms, and crystal-clear Caribbean waters. Once a quaint fishing village, it now hosts an array of local restaurants serving fresh seafood, lively bars for dancing, and a bustling boardwalk known as “The Sidewalk.”
Things To Do: This laid-back coastal town, like Hopkins, provides opportunities to explore jungle and water activities during your stay. Delve into the marvels of the Caribbean Sea through fly fishing, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, kayaking, and paddle boarding, or venture into the jungle to discover ancient Maya sites, the ATM cave, zip lining, river tubing, and nature reserves. Explore the town for a taste of authentic local culture, delectable bites, and unique souvenirs.
Where To Stay: Placencia’s coast offers diverse resort experiences. The Placencia Resort boasts the region’s largest pool, family-friendly accommodations, and a wealth of activities. Offshore, Ranguana Caye provides an idyllic 2-acre escape for snorkeling, fishing, and kayaking along the Belize Barrier Reef, complemented by delicious BBQ at Bully’s Beach Bar. For fly fishing enthusiasts, the 2023 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing spot, Blue Horizon Lodge, promises prime angling experiences with modern cabanas and all-inclusive packages for varying skill levels.
The best place to immerse in Garifuna culture and friendly people
The Town: Hopkins, acclaimed as the “friendliest village in Belize,” rests serenely on the mainland coast within the Stann Creek District. Renowned for its vibrant cultural scene, it is the heart of Garifuna heritage. Despite its lack of modern amenities, this tranquil locale boasts an array of local shops, restaurants, and bars, ensuring an idyllic beach getaway.
Things To Do: Hopkins is an excellent home base for Belize Barrier Reef and jungle adventures. Guests can opt for inland adventures like zip lining, cave tubing, and exploring ancient Maya sites, or dive into snorkeling, fly fishing, and discovering Belize’s cayes. Immerse yourself in Garifuna culture through drumming lessons, dance, and tasting traditional Belizean delicacies—an array of activities awaits!
Where To Stay: Discover your quintessential “home away from home” at Hopkins’ premier beachfront resort, boasting two pools and waterview on-site dining. Hopkins Bay Resort offers one to three-bedroom beach houses catering to families, couples, and adventure seekers eager for a vibrant Belizean experience. With guided tours at your fingertips and a convenient stroll to town, guests can indulge in the World’s Best Pina Colada and relish an active, fulfilling vacation.
4. The Cayes
The best place to visit a private island
The Cayes: Over 400 cayes (pronounced “keys”) line Belize’s coast, forming the world’s second-largest barrier reef—the Belize Barrier Reef. Each caye offers a unique experience, from the lively buzz of Ambergris Caye, the largest, to the untouched serenity of more primitive cayes. Perfect for embracing Belize’s coastal charm, these islands showcase the country’s diverse and unspoiled beauty, inviting visitors to experience their own slice of paradise.
Things To Do: Belize’s cayes offers excellent opportunities for fly fishing and exploring the Belize Barrier Reef through SCUBA diving and snorkeling. For an incredible cook-and-catch experience, hunt for lobster or conch, then celebrate by turning it into a fresh cooked meal. It’s a perfect spot to unwind with a drink, enjoy a seaside massage, or doze off in an overwater hammock. Jungle adventures are within reach from the cayes but plan for a full day due to travel time.
Where To Stay: The cayes are home to Belize’s best private island resorts. Royal Belize offers a luxurious island experience for a private group getaway or family reunion. Everything is taken care of with a personal chef, island activities, and excellent service. Thatch Caye Resort, a short boat ride away, has overwater bungalows and oceanfront cabanas, providing a romantic all-inclusive vacation. Guests can enjoy a laid-back atmosphere and activities like diving and fishing.
The best place for outdoor adventure
The Town: Nestled within the lush jungles of Cayo District, just 70 miles west of Belize City, near the Guatemalan border lies San Ignacio, a haven for adventure, history, and Mayan culture. While less bustling with tourists than coastal towns, its nightlife and culinary scene are on the rise. Encounter incredible wildlife, from local birds to adorable kinkajous and playful monkeys.
Things To Do: San Ignacio offers easy access to ancient Maya wonders like Xunantunich, Canal Pech, and the mystical Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave. Engage in diverse jungle activities such as ziplining, cave tubing, horseback riding, and waterfall exploration. Visit the Green Iguana Conservation Project and immerse yourself in local culture through shopping at the San Ignacio Market and savoring authentic cuisine.
Where To Stay: The best way to enjoy the jungles of San Ignacio is to stay in an actual treehouse. Sweet Songs Jungle Lodge allows you to do just that with your choice of Signature and Premier Treehouses. Featuring suspended daybeds, woven porch nets, and indulgent bathtubs, it’s a haven for nature enthusiasts. Enjoy an infinity pool, access to river activities, and elevated dining at The Treehouse bar with daily bird and wildlife visitors.
6. Punta Gorda
The best place to indulge in Belize cuisine
The Town: Serving as the largest village and capital of the Toledo District, Punta Gorda rests near Belize’s southern border, often overlooked by the typical tourist routes. This region boasts Belize’s most concentrated jungles, a thriving Maya community, and a refreshing lack of the usual crowds in other popular destinations. Visitors are drawn to the town by the coastal allure of being along the water, the captivating, rich history, and the abundant natural wonders within the jungle.
Things To Do: Punta Gorda stands out as an unrivaled destination for savoring the rich tapestry of Belizean cuisine. This vibrant hub of agritourism and culinary marvels invites visitors to explore and taste the diverse flavors that define the essence of the country. Immerse yourself in hands-on experiences through engaging in local tortilla, coffee, and chocolate-making classes. Beyond that, delve into Caribbean adventures like world-class fly fishing or snorkeling.
Where To Stay: Opt for a luxurious immersion in Belize’s dense jungles at Copal Tree Lodge. This award-winning eco-lodge provides spacious hillside rooms and an open restaurant visited by howler monkeys and is surrounded by a 3,000-acre sustainable farm supplying organic produce. Enjoy diverse agritourism experiences, from food-making classes to witnessing the Copalli Rum-making process nearby.
7. Glover’s Reef Atoll
The best place for underwater adventure
The Town: Situated approximately 27 miles off the Southern Belize coast, Glover’s Reef Atoll is one of the country’s most secluded vacation spots. Designated as a National Marine Reserve and part of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System—an esteemed UNESCO World Heritage Site—the atoll comprises five “islands”: Northeast Caye, Long Caye, Middle Caye, and Southwest Caye. Foregoing full-service Wi-Fi and air-conditioning, this destination beckons visitors to disconnect and immerse themselves in some of Belize’s least-explored natural wonders.
Things To Do: Glover’s Reef Atoll promises an unparalleled underwater adventure, boasting access to over 700 coral reefs. Dive into activities like SCUBA diving and snorkeling amidst sharks, turtles, rays, and many vibrant local species. Explore kayaking and surfing at Belize’s exclusive accessible surf break. The surrounding waters teem with diverse fish populations, offering thrilling angling opportunities for jack, barracuda, and snapper. Embracing its off-grid essence, this destination invites visitors to revel in less crowded spaces and ample time to explore untouched natural beauty.
Where To Stay: Glover’s Reef Atoll offers limited lodging options due to its remote location in the Caribbean Sea. Slickrock Belize Adventures presents an action-packed itinerary with eco-lodge amenities, guided water sports, and delectable island cuisine. Nestled on Long Caye, Slickrock’s all-inclusive package ensures a complete island experience. Their rustic yet comfortable facilities harmonize with the natural environment, operating solely on solar and wind power, allowing guests to connect with Belize as nature intended.
Experience Belize’s diverse charm by visiting two resorts—one jungle and an island or beach. Whether in town or on the water, you’ll enjoy the best local cuisine, unforgettable adventures, and a deep immersion into the country’s vibrant culture. Feel confident in your choice of accommodation, as each resort engages in the Muy’Ono Resorts Travel Better program, ensuring vacations that make a positive impact. Check out the Beginner’s Guide to Belize for more travel insights, and book your vacation today!