Planning your trip to Belize? Then you can’t miss this comprehensive list of the very best places to visit in Belize, from caves to astounding beaches and Mayan Ruins. Check it out!
Belize is a small country by the Caribbean Sea which boasts a large number of attractions and wonderful places to visit and explore, including bustling cities, paradisiacal islands, lush jungle, and ancient archeological sites.
Having a subtropical climate, it’s unlikely you’ll ever be cold while visiting Belize, as most days during the dry season are warm and sunny, ideal for enjoying the country’s natural wonders and glorious beaches.
Check out the absolute best places to visit in Belize, so you can include them in your itinerary for an unforgettable trip!
Belize’s largest island, Ambergris Caye is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, featuring beautiful beaches with turquoise waters, magnificent resorts, and plenty of water-related activities, from thrilling watersports to scuba diving locations and snorkeling excursions.
San Pedro is its main town, located in the southern part of the island, and is where you’ll find a great number of restaurants & bars, shops, and unmatched nightlife. You can rent a golf cart to explore the island, take part in one of their festivals or events, or join one of the many diving tours or watersports activities on offer.
If you’re looking for a more relaxing experience, you can chill by the beach, swim in the warm waters of the Caribbean, and simply enjoy being in one of the best vacation spots in Belize.
And what if I told you that you could stay on a private island off Ambergris Caye, and you don’t need to be a millionaire?
Turtle Island Beach Resort is a fantastic resort part of the Trademark Collection by Wyndham, featuring an outdoor pool overlooking the sea and beach houses and villas with direct access to the lagoon and private plunge pools.
The best part? Rates start at 200 USD a night!
▶ Book your stay at Turtle Island Beach Resort ON THEIR WEBSITE or on BOOKING.COM.
San Ignacio is a town located in western Belize, close to the Guatemalan border. It’s considered the cultural center of the Cayo District, and it’s a great base to visit some of the most impressive Belize tourist attractions, including Actun Tunichil Muknal, an ancient cave where ceramics, stoneware, and skeletons from the Mayan era remain to this day.
Barton Creek is another closeby attraction, featuring an impressive natural cave with covered passages, and from San Ignacio you can also visit the astounding archaeological site of Xunantunich and Cahal Pech, home to Belize’s second largest pyramid.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley
The Hol Chan Marine Reserve is located off the coast of Belize, close to Caye Ambergys and Caye Caulker, and boasts beautiful coral reefs, marine life, sea greass and a mangrove forest, all of which you can enjoy from up close by snorkeling around it.
At Shark Ray Alley, as its name suggests, you’ll get to swim with nurse sharks, as well as stingrays, colorful fish, and sea turtles. The corals and their surroundings are one of the most amazing things to see in Belize, so don’t miss a trip here if you have the chance!
Xunantunich is a Mayan archaeological site situated near San Ignacio, home to impressive ruins from the pre-colonial era, among which stands out El Castillo (the Castle), a 40-meter high pyramid (131 feet) that’s the second largest one in Belize.
Xunantunich is believed to have been a very prosperous city and home to 200 thousand people back in the day. The site, which has been named with the Mayan word for ‘stone woman’ as it lost its original name, was abandoned a millennia ago, although its buildings still stand and can actually be climbed!
Caye Caulker is a small paradise island off the coast of mainland Belize, surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea and featuring perfect-looking beaches, a forest reserve and incredible opportunities to visit the colorful and lively underwater world.
Caye Caulker has a vibrant party atmosphere, plenty of watersports to be enjoyed, and a cool hot spot for hanging out called The Split, which is a literal split in the island caused by a hurricane in the 1960’s. You can explore Caye Caulker by bike, relax at the beach, and shop for local handicrafts: this is the best place to vacation in Belize if you’re looking for both the beach paradise and fun vibes!
Placencia is at the southern end of the Placencia Peninsula, and it’s another gorgeous beach resort that makes the top Belize vacation spots. Its palm-fringed beaches are the perfect place to spend all day every day, but at Placencia you can also enjoy diving and snorkeling tours to the Barrier Reef, go bar hopping, watch the whale sharks if you visit in the season (between March and June), and explore the cute former fishing village.
Placencia is close to Mayflower Bocawina National Park and Cockscomb Basin Forest Reserve for some hiking day tirps as well.
Located on the coast of Belize, this charming village boasts a laid-back beach vibe and several shops, bars, and restaurants, as well as upscale resorts and attractions as a consequence of its growing popularity.
Hopkins is a really good place to immerse yourself in the authentic culture of the area, listen to the Garifuna Drumming, and mingle with the locals – Hopkins has been named the friendliest village in Belize for a reason!
The Maya King Waterfalls, the Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve, and the Banana Farm make amazing day trips from Hopkins.
Tobacco Caye is a very small island located right in the middle of the Belize Barrier Reef, and offering stunning surroundings and opportunities to enjoy watersports, mainly diving and snorkeling. It’s a good base to explore nearby islands, but you could also choose to unplug from the modern world in this paradisiacal retreat, relaxing by the beach, laying in a hammock and swimming in the warm turquoise waters.
Tobacco Caye is one of the best places in Belize to enjoy nature and not be distracted by tourist attractions or big crowds, and it features overwater and seafront cabins with spectacular views that are opened year-round.
The Great Blue Hole is one of the best places to go in Belize to be blown away: it’s a stunning natural phenomenon! This giant sinkhole is over 393 feet (120 meters) deep, and is situated in the middle of the Lighthouse Reef atoll. Of nearly-perfect rounded shape, its intense blue color due to its depth makes it stand out from the rest of the water, and it’s not only the largest sea hole in the world, but it has also been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Experienced divers can explore the Blue Hole, which is filled with stalagmites and stalactites that date from before the sinkhole was formed, toward the end of the last Ice Age.
This Belize must see archaeological site is home to Mayan ruins that are really well preserved, and not as visited as other Mayan sites in the area. Home to around 180 thousand people during its heyday, this city is believed to have dominated the Mayan world in the area, and it’s even bigger than Belize City!
At the site you can find its main structure and the tallest in Belize, the Canaa which means Sky Palace, as well as ball courts, five large squares, causeways, 24 altars, tombs, and an astronomical observatory, among other buildings. It’s one of the most inspiring places to see in Belize, especially for history buffs!
The Belize Jaguar Reserve, officially known as the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary & Jaguar Preserve, is a 150-square mile area of tropical forest, declared a Jaguar Preserve in the late 1980’s and the world’s first and only one of its kind.
The preserve is home to a large number of jaguars, as well as pumas, Jaguarundi, howler monkeys, snakes, and around 300 species of birds. While it is very difficult to catch a glimpse of an actual jaguar (they are masters at not being seen!) you can definitely see signs of them, especially if the ground is muddy after the rain. It’s a wonderful tourist destination in Belize for lovers of nature and wildlife.