Belize is a small country located in the heart of Central America and borders Mexico and Guatemala. Its tourist attractions are very varied: the Great Blue Hole, the keys, and the coral reef. It is an ideal destination for lovers of nature and the sea, perfectly suitable for families and couples looking to relax on the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean. In this article, we are going to review the best places to stay in Belize.
Best areas to stay in Belize
1. Saint Peter
The largest island in Belize is Cayo Ambergris and this is precisely where the city of San Pedro is located, one of the most unique places in the world. Upon arrival, you will find a sign that welcomes you as follows: “The laws of San Pedro: no shoes, no shirt, no problems.” And this is totally true. Here the streets are not paved, so the bars and restaurants are covered in sand. It is for this reason that the tourist can go calmly with flip flops or simply without shoes. The tropical climate also invites you not to wear too many clothes. And the last, “without problems”: it is fulfilled to perfection, since its magnificent beaches are the closest thing to paradise, and they will surely clear the problems of your mind once you step on San Pedro.
The city is very quiet and has a relaxed atmosphere, and will give you the possibility of reaching the beaches on foot, without the need to take transport or, at most, with a golf cart. The beaches are surrounded by peers that the locals use to go fishing. From there you can also take maritime excursions to the Barrier Reef or the Great Blue Hole as well as to take a dip in its spectacular turquoise waters. It is essential to take a walk through the picturesque center of San Pedro and see the daily life of the local people and it does not take long: San Pedro has 4 unpaved streets, which preserve the essence of bygone times with their authentic colonial style. At night the atmosphere is concentrated in the Central Park area, there is the market, musicians playing live, restaurants, pubs, bars, and discos. Be sure to try the Creole gastronomy and in particular the fresh seafood that will surely surprise you.
In San Pedro, you will find very exclusive tourist complexes (with few rooms) ideals if you are traveling as a couple or on a honeymoon. It is also possible to stay in completely renovated old colonial villas and enjoy a very island atmosphere.
2. Caye Caulker
Just 32 kilometers from San Pedro is Cayo Caulker (you can get there by boat, water taxis, or even small planes). It is a small coral island with spectacular beauty. The abundant marine fauna and its coral reefs, declared a World Heritage Site, offer an experience that does not leave any visitor indifferent. It is a perfect place to stay in Belize if you like diving and snorkeling. If you go with this intention we recommend Split, a narrow channel that separates the island into two parts, there are a lot of colorful fish and places to explore.
If you want to stay in Caye Caulker, you have several types of accommodation at your disposal. In the center there are colonial hotels with all kinds of facilities, however, the prices are not suitable for all budgets. If this is not your case, do not be discouraged, since in Caye Caulker you can also find more affordable accommodation: many locals have converted their houses into charming mini-hotels where you will not miss anything and also give you the opportunity to spend a very authentic stay.
Three hours from Belize is Placencia, a small fishing village that offers a wide variety of tourist attractions, especially for lovers of nature and water sports. The landscape around Placencia is very beautiful: paradisiacal beaches, lagoons surrounded by mangroves, and huge coral cays. In its beaches of crystalline waters, you can swim calmly, practice diving and snorkeling, and enjoy a varied and colorful marine fauna. If you fancy doing a “more earthly” excursion you can visit Cockscomb, recognized as the only jaguar reserve in the world., where pumas and other felines also live. At night you can walk along the beach and have a drink in the restaurant area while listening to the typical Belizean music, Brock down, which is a variant of calypso, a genre very widespread in the English-speaking Caribbean.
It is easy to find accommodation in Placencia, as it has a wide range of rooms in tourist resorts and hotels, located along the beach. There is also more alternative accommodation, and it is possible to sleep in the typical cabins built with reeds and woods similar to a bungalow. Most of the hotels seem like small nature reserves full of abundant vegetation, so it offers a very quiet and paradisiacal environment perfect to go with family, friends, or partners.
4. Turneffe Atoll
And to finish our article on the best places to stay in Belize, we leave you with the incredible and forgotten Turneffe Atoll. This is one of the most unknown places for tourists traveling to Belize. The small island of Turneffe stretches for 48 kilometers and can be reached by boat and by plane (as it has a small airstrip for charter aircraft).
Turneffe’s natural charm includes typical Caribbean fine sand beaches and impressive coral formations. It is an excellent place to dive or snorkel and explore the rich marine fauna, and with less tourist crowding. This atoll is also an ideal destination for lovers of fishing.
As it is such a small island, there is not a great offer of hotels, and you can only stay in 2 hotels that are resort-type: the Belize Dive Haven Resort & Marina and the Turneffe Island Resort (the latter is 5 stars). If you want to discover the marine fauna diving in a unique place or you are on a fishing excursion, do not hesitate to sleep in this place because you will spend an unforgettable vacation.