Photo of Belize

About Belize

Belize has your Caribbean highlights pretty much covered: its barrier reef is second only in size to Australia’s and it’s a home to more than 500 species of fish and more than a hundred different types of coral - a paradise for divers and snorkelers alik. The beaches are that fine, pale white coral the Caribbean lures us all in with; the jungle is a haven for wildlife, from industrious leaf-cutter ants to the fancy-Dan toucan, the national bird of Belize, plus monkeys of all shapes and sizes, tapirs, iguanas and even the odd jaguar; and Belize was home to an ancient Mayan civilisation, who have left us their great stone temples and thousand year old cities to discover. Our pick of the best places to stay in Belize cover all bases, whether you want to explore ancient ruins, laze on the beach or get up close and personal with the local wildlife.

Belize used to be a British colony, and English is the official language, but these days it’s very multicultural.

What not to Miss

  • If you’ve never been diving or snorkelling this is definitely the place to try it, you can’t possibly visit Belize and miss out on the magic of its underwater worlds. The most famous is the Blue Hole, an incredible diving experience, but there are numerous other sites to whet your appetite, whatever your experience level, from underwater caves and tunnels, to coral walls, sites rife with whale sharks and turtles and all manner of colourful fish.
  • Of course life is pretty good topside too, on a boat, or atop board or in a kayak. There are coves and still waters to pop between, atolls to hop between - Ambergris Caye, Long Caye Lighthouse Reef and Caye Caulker are especially visit-worthy, and Belize even has an underground river system. Many visitors also take an airboat ride on the salt marshes just outside Belize City.
  • If you prefer your adventures land-based Belize will keep you busy too, with opportunities to explore caves, or jungle peaks, or to try zip-lining, or take a trek on horseback.
  • And Belize is extremely biodiverse, with many exotic endemic plants and animals hidden away in its jungles and national parks which you’d otherwise only ever see in a zoo. There is an excellent zoo here too, though, in case you can’t meet everyone in the wild.
  • Alongside the hidden creatures are the Mayan ruins. Xunantunich, with its famous El Castillo and 25 or so other temples and palaces, is probably the best known of Belize’s Mayan sites, but Caracol, Tikal and Lubaantun are worth visiting too if you can fit them into your schedule. And Altun Ha is really close to Belize City.
  • Belize also has the sorts of museums and historic attractions you’d expect, one of the most popular is Old Belize, which is a sort of mix between history and storytelling in amongst historical displays. And a great place to learn a lot about Belize in a short time - especially if you didn’t get a chance to read the guide book on the journey. The Museum of Belize is the more studious version and also noteworthy.
  • Belize is also known for its sport fishing, which you’ll either already know about and be hoping to hook a bonefish, or you’ll be completely indifferent to.
  • Try the maize pancakes, Falmaau, the conch cevice and the shark empanadas!

Where to Stay

  • Belize City, at the mouth of the Haulover Creek where it drains into the Caribbean, is the main port, and the biggest city. This is where the banks are, but it’s also where the cruise ships come, so it’s bustle-y, but still good for visitors, especially if you want to experience local culture and eat well.
  • San Ignacio is the second largest city, but by far the most popular spot for visitors. Here you’re close to several significant Mayan ruins, expansive cave systems and the spectacular jungle.
  • If you’re here to dive or spend a lot of time out on the water then San Pedro will be for you, a town on Ambergris Caye where the views and the waters are some of the best in Belize.
  • For a deeper insight into island culture and history you might want to stay in Dangriga in the Stand Creek District. Dangriga is also close to the popular southern cayes.

Don't forget that the best places to stay in Belize, especially the coastal ones, get extremely busy during peak holiday periods, so book well ahead to avoid disappointment.

The Best Places to Stay in Belize

For The Reef

  • The Xanadu Island Resort is a stunning beachside hotel with just eight luxurious two and three bedroom suites. You’re just ten minutes from the reef and close to San Pedro too. Rooms start from around $180 per night.

For The Rainforest

  • Ka’ana Resort is a collection of 17 small cottages set in amongst tropical gardens, and surrounded by rainforest and National Parks. As well as being a perfect sport for anyone wanting to explore on foot, this resort is also close the the Macal River known for its kayaking opportunities.
  • Copal Tree Lodge is a luxurious resort in the heart of the rainforest. There are just 16 spacious rooms - some with private verandahs overlooking the jungle. There’s also a pool, and you’re close to the ocean, but the most important thing is that there are plenty of opportunities to get back to nature.
  • Pooks Hill Lodge is a collection of rustic lodges deep in the jungle - think thatched roofs and terraces opening out onto the jungle. Of an evening the restaurant serves traditional cuisine by lantern light. This is a great base for visiting Tikal and doing some bird watching.
  • The Hidden Valley Inn is really hidden. Hidden away on its own 7000acre reserve. So these 12 rooms and suites are pretty remote, but still super luxurious, and the atmosphere is designed to immerse you in nature as much as possible.

The Best Eco-Lodges in Belize

  • The Mystic River Resort is an eight cabin eco-lodge surrounded by walking trails. There’s no air conditioning or television, but there are private balconies with river views, and there’s a luxurious spa and great food. Accommodation starts from around $250 per night.
  • Chaa Creek is a delightful, family-run eco-lodge just outside San Ignacio in the Maya Mountains. There are just 23 rooms in palm-thatched cottages with river views and the potential to see a whole raft of birdlife.

Belize’s Best Beach Break Hotels

  • Right by the beach on Belize’s largest island, Victoria House is a luxurious, 42 room hotel with elegant, but simple decor, a stunning pool and plenty of facilities and activities laid on.

The Best Beach Resorts in Belize

  • Just a short trip from San Pedro, Las Terrazas Resort and Residences is a plush, 37 room resort right up against its own private, white sandy beach. These villas are an elegant haven overlooking the sea or the gardens, and there’s fine dining and plenty of other modern conveniences and comforts on offer.

For luxury

  • For something truly special consider staying at one of the seven exclusive villas on Cayo Espanto. As well as being extremely private and surrounded by turquoise waters, each offer you exactly what you want, be it fishing expeditions, diving trips, or nothing but sundowners.
  • Itz’ana Resort is right on the beach, with a choice of beachfront suites or private villas, all stylish and all with access to the chic spa, impressive facilities - including a kid’s club, and a 40-foot catamaran.

The Most Romantic Places to Stay in Belize

  • Just perfect for honeymooners, the Matachica Resort and Spa is a stunning collection of bright, private casitas right on the beach, each with their own patios complete with hammocks. It’s romantic and luxurious.
  • Escape to the jungle to the Chan Chich Jungle Lodge, a remote and stunning retreat with 12 luxurious rooms decorated in a traditional style. Outside is an abundance of birdlife and possibly even a jaguar…
  • Blancaneaux Lodge is another hidden haven, this time in a gorgeous riverside setting with 16 charming huts for accommodation - plus an impressive restaurant and all the mod. cons. of course.

For families

  • Robert’s Grove is perfect for families looking for an adventurous spot to unwind in. It might sound like a contradiction, but this charming collection of self-contained villas and suites is on a stretch of pristine, white, sandy beach, but you’re also just minutes from Belize’s incredible barrier reef, so it’s hardly your average bucket and spade holiday. There’s a choice or restaurants on site too, which makes it easier to stay for a week or more.
  • The Xanadu Island Resort is a stunning beachside hotel with just eight luxurious two and three bedroom suites, making it perfect for families. You’re only ten minutes from the reef and close to San Pedro too.
  • Turtle Inn is a delightful seaside hotel on the picturesque island of Placencia, with 25 elegant rooms and traditional cottages all surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens. There’s loads to do: diving, fishing, yoga, and the hotel has its own private beach.

The Best Value Places to Stay in Belize

  • For $165 per night (low season) you can stay at the Gaia River Lodge, a secret retreat on the banks of the Gaia River, with just 18 rooms, all of them fairly luxurious, and very private. The restaurant specialises in Belizean classics and you’re surrounded by walking trails.

Prefer an Apartment or Villa?

  • If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner, booking.com.

Travel Information

  • The easiest want to get to Belize is to fly into Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City. If you’re travelling from Europe you might need to go via the US. You can also arrive by boat - you can even come over from Mexico via water taxi.
  • If you’re thinking about hiring a car we recommend checking what our online partners, Rentalcars have to offer.
  • Belize has a sub-tropical climate, which means you can expect fairly hot and humid weather here all year round. If you prefer dry weather you need to plan your visit for between December and May, but if you don’t mind the rain then the wet season is a bit less popular with visitors. July and August are usually fairly dry if you want something in the middle. As a rule it’s cooler in the mountains. But generally the best time to visit is between February and May.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Belize

  • Gaia River Lodge San Ignacio, Belize 18 rooms from £129

    A sublime secret retreat on the banks of the Gaia River. The luxury rooms are housed in private cabanas that ensure optimal privacy and intimacy. After a day's exploring the staggering natural surroundings return for a meal of Belizean specialities at the lodge's restaurant. A hidden gem.

    Romantic Break  -  The private cabanas and waterfall setting are perfect for a romantic break.
    Birdwatching  -  Excellent place for birdwatching with regular visitors including Orioles, Oropendolas, and Kites.
    Great walks  -  Superb walking trails leading through the forest from the hotel.
    Kayaking  -  Take a canoe ride down the Macal River.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
    Check Availability
  • Robert's Grove Stann Creek, Belize 72 rooms from £137

    A charming collection of self-contained villas and suites with an enviable location on a stretch of pristine white beach. Traditionally dressed throughout find beamed ceilings, white washed walls and simple wooden furniture. A choice selection of restaurants. Ideal for families and couples alike.

    Beach Life  -  Situated on a white sand beach and just minutes from Belize's barrier reef this is seaside perfection.
    Diving  -  Make the most of some of the best diving in the world in the Barrier Reef of Belize.
    Birdwatching  -  Take a boat ride up monkey river and find numerous species of birds.
    Views  -  Beautiful views of the Caribbean sea and Belize's barrier reef.
    Check Availability
  • Xanadu Island Resort Belize 8 rooms from £140

    Looking out Belize’s Caribbean coastline, Xanadu Island Resort is a stunning beachside hotel. The resort is perfectly suited to groups or families with luxurious two and three bedroom suites. Take a jungle tour or simply recline by the pool. A coastal charmer.

    Local exploring  -  Perfect for exploring the area surrounding San Pedro as well as the nearby Belize Barrier Reef.
    Beach Life  -  Located directly on the beach.
    Diving  -  The Belize Barrier Reef is only ten minutes by boat, it's the largest reef in the western hemisphere.
    Sights nearby  -  Take a trip to explore nearby Mayan Ruins.
    Check Availability
  • Pooks Hill Lodge Belmopan, Belize from £156

    A rustic chic lodge deep in the Belize jungle. Traditionally styled lodges feature thatched roofs, large terraces and local textiles. Spend evenings dining on regional classics in an atmospheric lantern lit restaurant and days exploring the forest and Mayan ruins. An adventurer's paradise.

    Back to Nature  -  Set within 300 acres of private reserve and surrounded by jungle; experience the call of the wild.
    Birdwatching  -  Bird Walk Cabbanas across the creek, 20 ft up, great for observing the humming birds, Spectacled Owl, Emerald Toucanet
    Sights nearby  -  Take a guided tour of the Mayan site of Tikal.
    Kayaking  -  Kayak through the mystical Barton Creek Cave.
    Check Availability
  • Victoria House Belize 42 rooms from £164

    A luxury beach-side hotel located on Belize's largest island. Elegant rooms feature four-poster beds, crisp white linen, terracotta tiled floors and simple dark wooden furniture. Choose to lounge on a white sand beach or by a stunning pool. For the active there's plenty to keep all entertained.

    Beach Life  -  Step into the island way of life in this luxurious beach fronted property.
    Diving  -  Located just minutes from Belize Barrier Reef find some of the best diving in the world.
    Birdwatching  -  Ambergris Caye's unique biodiversity makes it a hotbed for numerous species.
    Sailing  -  Hire a boat and set out in search of manatees.
    Check Availability
  • Ka'Ana Resort San Ignacio, Belize 17 rooms from £185

    A delightful collection of small cottages set amidst sprawling tropical gardens. The rooms carry a simple elegance with tasteful, comfortable furnishings. Relax by the infinity pool or go horse riding through the surrounding countryside. A secluded oasis.

    Great walks  -  Excellent walking opportunities in nearby national parks.
    Local markets  -  Browse the local San Ignacio Farmers' Market.
    Kayaking  -  Kayaking down the nearby Macal River.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
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  • Las Terrazas Resort & Residences Belize 37 rooms from £208

    A plush resort nestled on its own private beachfront, just a short distance from San Pedro. The private villas are havens of tranquility with elegant furnishings and terraces overlooking the sea or lush gardens. Enjoy fine dining in the restaurant and avail of the numerous facilities on offer.

    Beach Life  -  Situated on its own private beach, with an onsite dive centre and everything you could dream up about a tropical island paradise
    Honeymoons  -  The perfect intro to wedded bliss- massages, private villas, cocktails on the beach and diving in crystal clear waters
    Watersports  -  From diving to kayaking, water bikes to tubing this place has it all only a stones throw away
    Sights nearby  -  Rent a golf buggy and zip down the private beach towards the shops and sights in San Pedro
    Recommended by  -  Fodors, Tablet
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  • Copal Tree Lodge Toledo Settlement, Belize 16 rooms from £193

    This luxury resort is located in the heart of the rainforest in Belize. Rooms are spacious and bright with living space, comfortable beds and crisp bedding; book a suite for a private verandah with spectacular jungle views. Lounge by the pool before drinks at the Rum Bar; a unique retreat to nature.

    Back to Nature  -  Located in the heart of the rainforest in Punta Gorda, Belize, this resort makes a unique retreat to nature
    Local exploring  -  With endless packages available through the resort, there are plenty of ways to explore the local area
    Families  -  The self-contained family villa is perfect for families travelling with children
    Fishing  -  Perched above the Rio Grande River and the Caribbean Sea, the hotel's lodge is a fly fisher’s paradise
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  • Mystic River Resort San Ignacio, Belize 15 rooms from £195

    Wonderful eco-lodge with just eight cabins overlooking the Macal River. Large studios and one-bedroomed lodges provide comfortable accommodation with mahogany furnishings, tiled floors and private balconies with river views. Jasmine spa offers relaxation after a day's adventure in the jungle.

    Great walks  -  There are several miles of well marked trails, with something for everyone from leisurely ambles to challenging hikes
    Spa  -  Jasmine Spa offers a wide range of massage and beauty treatments using products inspired by the surrounding nature.
    Birdwatching  -  There are over 160 different species of bird to be spotted in the vicinity of the resort
    Back to Nature  -  No air-con or TVs here, just a relaxed jungle experience with all the other mod cons!
    Check Availability
  • Hidden Valley Inn Belize 12 rooms from £207

    A fabulous property hidden away amid its own 7000 acre reserve. With just 12 rooms and suites, there is an intimate vibe. Luxury has not been sacrificed despite the remote location, and the food is excellent too. But Hidden Valley Inn is all about the nature - come for a truly immersive experiene.

    Back to Nature  -  The Inn is set amid its own private nature reserve. Over 7000 acres of jungle to be discovered during your visit!
    Great walks  -  Over 90 miles of well marked trails for all abilities, from short treks to all day excursions
    Birdwatching  -  Try and spot one of Hidden Valleys "Big Five" - a list of extremely rare birds.
    Spa  -  The spa offers various treatments including a range of massages, facials etc
    Check Availability
  • Blancaneaux Lodge Belize 16 rooms from £226

    A hidden haven of luxurious cabanas with a gorgeous river setting. The charming river huts are stylish and atmospheric, showcasing local art and antiques. After a day exploring the abundant natural beauty, enjoy Belizean specialities in the lodge's restaurant. An exotic tropical paradise.

    Back to Nature  -  Set in the stunning Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, it's a real retreat to nature.
    Birdwatching  -  The surrounding natural environment is home to an abundant wildlife collection.
    Great walks  -  Some beautiful walking trails to nearby waterfalls and caves.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet
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  • Matachica Resort & Spa San Pedro (BZ), Belize from £233

    A stunning collection of bright casitas right on the beach in Belize. Each private casita features luxury ensuite rooms and hammocks swinging from from the patios. Relax on the beach or take a fishing trip with the hotel's captain. Made for honeymooners.

    Romantic Break  -  Luxury suites and sublime location make it perfect for a romantic break.
    Beach Life  -  Located moments from the water
    Fishing  -  Take a fishing trip for barracuda, grouper, snapper, bonefish, porgy, snook, tarpon, permit and jack.
    Kayaking  -  Hotel offers sea kayaking exploration.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
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  • Chan Chich Jungle Lodge Belize 12 rooms from £242

    Nestled amongst 130,000 acres of private nature reserve, Chan Chich Jungle Lodge is a stunning remote retreat. Each room comes in the form of a luxury casita with traditional interiors and local art. Go in search of the elusive jaguar or observe the abundant birdlife. One for nature lovers.

    Romantic Break  -  With romantic private cabanas and amazing surrounding jungle, it's perfect for a couples escape.
    Hideaway  -  Stunning lodge in the middle of jungle, perfect for a hideaway stay.
    Birdwatching  -  Incredible birdlife with native species including Lovely Cotinga, Ornate Hawk Eagle and Rose Throated Tanager.
    Great walks  -  Nine miles of well-maintained trails for hiking and exploring the surrounding jungle.
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  • Turtle Inn Belize 25 rooms from £249

    Delightful seaside hotel on the picturesque island of Placencia. The elegantly furnished cottages are decorated with traditional interiors and open out onto beautiful tropical gardens. Offering a host of activities: ranging for lion fish, diving, yoga and much more it caters for all interests.

    Families  -  With a kid's club and family rooms, it's perfect for a family trip to Belize.
    Beach Life  -  Located moments from your very own private beach.
    Diving  -  Scuba diving tours can be organised by the hotel and guests can go on a lionfish dive.
    Fishing  -  Fishing trips can be organised by the hotel.
    Check Availability
  • Chaa Creek San Ignacio, Belize 23 rooms from £304

    Delightful family-run eco lodge just outside of San Ignacio in the Maya Mountains. Each room takes the form of a palm-thatched cottage, featuring elegant furnishings and traditional artwork. Perfect for those looking for abundant bird and animal life. A riverside gem.

    Local exploring  -  Ideally situated for exploring the Maya Mountains and San Ignacio.
    Romantic Break  -  Deluxe cottages offer complete privacy.
    Birdwatching  -  Observe wild parrots and hummingbirds in the surrounding area.
    Kayaking  -  Go kayaking down the nearby Macal river.
    Recommended by  -  CN Traveller
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  • Cayo Espanto Belize from £1401

    Stunning tropical island hotel that offers seven exclusive villas. Surrounded by tranquil turquoise waters, luxury abounds with a personal houseman catering to your every need. Perfect for a romantic hideaway.

    Fishing  -  Fishing trips can be organised by the hotel, including fly fishing for bone fish.
    Hideaway  -  Looking for restorative peace and quiet, this could be the place.
    Diving  -  Scuba diving can be organised by the hotel.
    Sights nearby  -  Take a Mayan Ruin Tour.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
    Check Availability
  • Itz'ana Resort Stann Creek District, Belize 94 rooms

    This luxury resort is located on the beachfront in Belize. Guests can choose from stylish beachfront suites and private villas; interiors draw on the natural setting with feature walls and fresh flowers. Book a lagoon villa for a waterfront plunge pool. Unwind in the chic spa; a plush beach getaway.

    Families  -  There are great accommodation options for all the family here, plus activities that will keep the kids entertained all day
    Active Holiday  -  There's a huge range of activities available at this resort for all kinds of guests, from paddle boarding to zip lining
    Beach Life  -  With its privileged seafront location and luxury facilities, this hotel makes a fantastic beach holiday
    Sailing  -  Climb aboard a 40-foot catamaran and set sail on Belize’s Southern Marine Reserve, book through the resort
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