11 Best Places To Visit In Belize

best places to visit in belize
| 5 min read

Filled with thrilling adventures, desirable island scenery, and one-of-a-kind cultures, Belize is too enticing to ignore. Offering lush rainforests, turquoise-hued Caribbean waters, and white sandy beaches, this country boasts a dreamy landscape you can’t take your eyes off of. Pair this intoxicating setting with diverse cultures, such as the Garifuna - descendants of Africa who first arrived in Belize in 1802 via a marooned slave ship - along with the intriguing and prominent Maya heritage, and you have a truly unique and captivating place. For an ultimate guide to this alluring country, you must scroll down for our list of the best places to visit in Belize.

1. South Water Caye

South Water Caye is a real beauty situated in Southern Belize. Though a bit underrated, this stunning spot boasts a nice, secluded feel with a chill vibe. This island offers 15-acres (6.07 hectares) of tropical splendor and features excellent off-the-beaten-path reef diving, snorkeling, and kayaking. The lovely reef is only a quick swim from the shoreline, and the outstanding beach is one of Belize’s sandy best. A word of warning: bring citronella candles or repellent to ward off the army of sand flies you’re sure to encounter in this heavenly paradise.

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2. Tobacco Caye

best places to visit in belize | tobacco caye
Source: instagram

Residing in a protected marine reserve, the tiny island of Tobacco Caye is the best locale for diehard snorkeling and scuba-diving fans. This island also earns praise from avid backpackers as well. A superb spot for shore diving, this egg-shaped island is only 3 acres (1.21 hectares) but it leaves a profound impression on those who visit, with its remote feel and tranquil beauty. The accommodations available are small and simple, but who cares? You’re surrounded by so much tropical elegance.

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3. Toledo

Boasting untouched rainforests, divine offshore islands, and authentic Maya villages, Toledo is the ultimate destination to experience true South American flavor. A somewhat secluded section of the country that has been labeled The Forgotten Land, Toledo offers a peaceful setting largely unaffected by tourists. Enjoy a step-back-in-time atmosphere while playing in the surf, visiting interesting Maya communities, and exploring the breathtaking, lush-green rainforests replete with sparkling, waterfall-fed swimming holes!


Website: Toledo

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4. Belize City (from USD 75.0)

Situated on a tiny picturesque peninsula, Belize City is the biggest city in the country. A bustling port town, this place is mainly a transportation hub packed with busy travelers wanting to get to their final destination. For those that choose to explore the city, they’ll discover why Belize City is the country’s cultural center. It is home to numerous fascinating attractions, like the striking Baron Bliss Light, an 1885 iconic red and white tapered lighthouse, and the Museum of Belize that exhibits an enchanting collection of the country’s national heritage and history.

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Belize City Extended Tour

Duration: 3 hours

1 review

Belize Tour Guide

Lance Pelayo

Lance Pelayo

5. Ambergris Caye

Of Belize’s many islands, Ambergris Caye is the largest and most populated with tourists. It’s no surprise, given the cay’s exemplary Caribbean beaches, world-renowned lodgings, and delectable dining options. A dream-like ambiance, this spot is known for excellent scuba diving and other exhilarating water recreation. The cay features several go-to places for diving and snorkeling, with famous sites like Belize Barrier Reef that’s home to Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Divers and snorkelers can witness colorful sea life and explore the 406.8-foot (124-meter) deep Great Blue Hole: the most famed dive destination in Belize.

Ambergris Caye

Website: Ambergris Caye

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6. San Ignacio

Nestled among wooded hills and rushing rivers, San Ignacio is a modest town replete with a temperate climate, delicious cuisine, and budget-friendly accommodations. Frequent and convenient bus connections make San Ignacio the perfect home base for travelers wanting to investigate the outstanding nature preserves and eye-popping Maya ruins in the region. This small town is a vibrant center of tourist activities yet it also hums with an upbeat and hard-to-resist local flair due to a lively marketplace and the constant stream of immigrants from primarily Guatemala.

San Ignacio

Website: San Ignacio

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7. Caye Caulker

Just off the coast of Belize’s mainland lies Caye Caulker. Though this island lacks the drop-dead-gorgeous beach beauty of an island like Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker is notable for what is referred to as The Split: the cay is divided by a narrow channel where travelers can find a laidback, refreshing bar and a nice sandy beach. The ambiance is easygoing and the number one activity is basically chilling out and unwinding with your favorite cocktail in hand. If you do care to indulge in rigorous activities, this place offers popular diving and snorkeling opportunities, and the Belize Barrier Reef is in close proximity.

Caye Caulker

Website: Caye Caulker

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8. Hopkins

A welcoming coastal village established in the 1940s, Hopkins stretches along an attractive bay and is enmeshed in the mesmerizing Garifuna culture. If you want to immerse yourself in this native culture, learn Garifuna drumming. Some lodgings even arrange enrollment at the local drum school for its guests. If you just want to do some leisurely exploring, one of the best ways to experience the island is to hop on a bicycle and drink in the surroundings. If you’re into fishing, this village is a favorite among anglers, with many local guides providing deep-sea fishing excursions or reef-fishing adventures.


Website: Hopkins

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9. Placencia

Beach front at Placencia, Belize
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dave ten Broek used under CC BY 2.0

A fine beach resort on the dazzling Caribbean coast of Belize, Placencia features a lengthy, slender peninsula of soft, white-sand beaches lined with swaying palm trees. Though it is one of the most in-demand destinations in the country, Placencia is actually just a quaint and unassuming fishing village at heart. Although overrun with tourists, it still maintains a bygone-era charm. Canoeing and kayaking are prime water sports here. Cute shops, lively cafes, tasty seafood eateries, and more can be enjoyed at The Sidewalk - a strip of real estate filled with touristy delights.


Website: Placencia

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10. Punta Gorda

Most of Punta Gorda’s charm lies in its low-key character. This modest fishing town is surrounded by Maya villages and beautiful cays, making it the ideal spot for simply soaking up the local flavor. Punta Gorda is an ideal base camp if you desire excursions to unspoiled rainforests, stupendous offshore cays, and an expansive network of caves. Other activities include offshore fishing, bird watching, and exploring Maya archaeological sites. Though Punta Gorda lacks beaches it shouldn’t stop you from diving off a pier into crystal-clear, placid waters and relishing a refreshing dip.

Punta Gorda

Website: Punta Gorda

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11. Dangriga

Though this is the biggest town in Southern Belize, Dangriga is not a tourist hotspot like Ambergris Caye, Placencia, or Hopkins. The locals are proud and the atmosphere exudes a festive quality that belies its somewhat dilapidated appearance. Dangriga is considered a major capital of the Garifuna people and their influence and culture are seen and felt throughout the town. Several museums showcase the rich Garifuna past, and Dangriga boasts the origins of Punta rock - a compelling mixture of acoustic Garifuna and electric instruments.


Website: Dangriga

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Beautiful Belize

Don’t hesitate to make Belize a part of your Central American adventure. A balmy paradise of majestic beauty, tropical island splendor, and fabulous mystical cultures, this tiny country offers big expectations and delivers with the ultimate level of satisfaction on the happiness scale.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Catherine has written professionally for over 10 years, and a sizable amount has been travel writing. Her desire to see the world was sparked at a very young age. Growing up, there were many family...Read more

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