Belize

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About Belize

Belize has your Caribbean highlights pretty much covered: its vast barrier reef is home to more than 500 species of fish and more than a hundred different types of coral, and it’s a paradise for divers and snorkelers; and then there’s the rainforest, a haven’t for exotic wildlife: leaf-cutter ants, through toucans to monkeys and jaguars, and the Mayan ruins, AND that’s before we event begin to wax lyrics about the near perfect beaches!  So our Gurus were falling over each other for the assignment to pick the best places to stay in Belize.   

Where to Stay?  Which part of Belize is for you?

  • Belize City, at the mouth of the Haulover Creek where it drains into the Caribbean, is the main port, and the biggest city.  It’s got an element of run-down elegance, with graceful colonial houses and seaside parks, but it’s also extremely lively and colourful, reflecting the wonderful multitude of cultures that have come together to build the charm of Belize.  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.  Many visitors also take an airboat ride on the salt marshes just outside Belize City.  And the Mayan site of Altun Ha is really close to Belize City.
  • San Ignacio, in the Cayo District, 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 rainforest.  San Ignacio is right on the Macal River, which is a good place to start looking for exotic wildlife, and it’s got a bustling market and a colourful town centre.  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. 
  • Placencia is the first of our beach break destination recommendations in Belize, a gorgeous stretch of white, palm fringed sand on a narrow peninsula.  It’s got good facilities, so it’s an easy choice for families, with a range of restaurants and great diving and snorkelling too.  
  • 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.  And 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 so many great sites, whether you want to see teeming coral reefs or explore caves and tunnels.  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 for a deeper insight into island culture and history you might want to stay in Dangriga? in the Stand Creek District. It’s one of the largest towns in the south of Belize, with a similar look and feel to Belize City, but on a smaller scale, and it’s close to the popular southern cays, but it’s also home to several really interesting cultural and religious sites, and a lively local arts scene.  
  • If you’re looking for the capital Belmopan, it’s almost in the centre of the county, close to the caves, ruins and National Parks of eastern Cayo.  Belmopan is a purpose built capital, and has that sort of feel about it, but it’s also got some great restaurants.

Belize used to be a British colony, and English is the official language, but these days it’s very multicultural.  Try the maize pancakes, Falmaau, the conch cevice and the shark empanadas!  

The Best Places to Stay in Belize

The Best Beach Resorts in Belize

  • Victoria House is a luxurious, beach-side resort just outside San Pedro, which looks across the water to the white sand of Belize.  There are just 42 rooms and suites, with four-poster beds in dark wood, crisp, white linen and terracotta floors. The views are incredible too, and you’re just minutes, by boat, from Belize’s barrier reef.  As well as the beach there’s a stunning infinity pool.  And plenty of facilities and activities laid on.

Belize’s Best Rainforest Escapes

  • The Hidden Valley Inn is really hidden. This 12 room property is set within its own 7000acre private reserve, so each of the rooms and suites have incredible rainforest views and a real feeling of intimacy.  But luxury has certainly found the Hidden Vally Inn, and you can expect excellent food and a luxurious spa as well.  
  • The Copal Tree Lodge is a luxurious, 16 room resort in Punta Gorda, which is the heart of Belize’s rainforest. The rooms are spacious and bright, with private verandahs overlooking the rainforest, a chic pool, a cocktail bar and an elegant restaurant with a view.  You’re not far from the ocean either, and very close to the Rio Grande.  
  • Ka’ana Resort is a collection of 17 small cottages, set in amongst lush tropical gardens, and surrounded by rainforest and National Parks. The rooms are simple, tasteful and peaceful, perfect if you just want to escape, but this is also an excellent spot for anyone who wants to explore the jungle on foot, or on horseback, or kayak on the Macal River.  
  • Pooks Hill Lodge is a collection of rustic lodges set on 300 acres of private reserve set deep in the jungle - think thatched roofs and terraces opening out directly onto the trees. Of an evening the restaurant serves traditional, regional cuisine by lantern light. This is a great base for visiting Tikal, and some of the other local Mayan ruins, and doing some bird watching.

Belize’s Best Honeymoon Hotels 

  • If you’re looking for show-stopping luxury on Belize, the seven exclusive villas of the Cayo Espanto are a good place to start.  These seven villas and associated hotel buildings are surrounded by tranquil turquoise waters and an air of privacy.  This is the sort of hotel where nothing is too difficult to arrange, from fishing expeditions or diving trips, to the perfect sundowners.
  • Like some of our Rainforest Escapes, the Blancaneaux Lodge is a hidden haven, this time in a gorgeous riverside setting.   There are 16 rooms and suites making up the property, and they’ve a sort of luxury cabana-hut feel, with roofs made of palm leaves, but decor that includes local art and antiques.  The lodge’s restaurant adds to the feeling of luxury and romance, but most importantly this will be an escape just for the two of you.  
  • If you’re hoping for a beach honeymoon the stunning Matachica Resort and Spa might be more your scene, as this collection of fantastic, palm-roofed huts is actually on a bight, white sandy beach.  And each hut has its own patio complete with a hammock.  A nice touch is the varied decor of the huts, it makes it even more personal.  
  • The Chan Chich Jungle Lodge is back in the jungle, deep within its own private 130,000 acre nature reserve, in the Rio Branco Conservation Area.  A stunning spot if you’re looking for a jungle hideaway.  The ere are just 12 private cabana-huts, each comfortably, and stylishly, decorated, with local art and fine linens.  And outside you’ll find an abundance of birdlife and possibly even a jaguar…

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 is plenty of space, mahogany furnishings and private balconies overlooking the Macal River.  And there’s a luxurious spa and great food. 
  • Just outside San Ignacio in the Maya Mountains, Chaa Creek, is a wonderful spot for animal spotters.  The 23 palm-thatched cottages are elegantly furnished, and close to the Macal River, so there are birds and animals all around, and you can expect to see hummingbirds and wild parrots by the elegant pool.  

The Best Hotels for Families in Belize

  • Turtle Inn is a fantastic collection of 25 elegantly furnished rooms and cottages on the picturesque island of Placencia.  The cottages are ideal for families, with lots of space and traditionally styled interiors, lots of light and big verandahs that open out onto such tropical gardens.  These are great pool and a private beach, and a kid’s club with a wide range of activities on offer.  
  • Close by is the larger resort of Itz’ana Resort, which is another great choice for families, with its range of 94 rooms, suites and villas, in a configuration to suit every family.  You’re right on the beach, and most of the family suites and villas have ocean views, plus impressive luxury features.  The Lagoon Villas even have their own waterfront plunge pools. There’s a kid’s club, and a private 40foot catamaran. 

Belize’s Best Places to Stay for Divers

  • The Xanadu Island Resort is just outside San Pedro, and just ten minutes by boat from the reef, and you’re on the landward side of the promontory, so you’re looking across to the beautiful beaches of Belize.  The resort has the palm trees, leaf-roofed buildings, lagoon pool and private beach that spell paradise for many of us, and the fact that there are just eight suites, some with two or three bedrooms, means that each of them feels private so we recommend them for both families and couples.  
  • Just a short trip from San Pedro and the barrier reef, Las Terrazas Resort and Residences is a plush, 37 villa resort right up against its own private, white, sandy beach. The resort also has its own, private, onsite diving centre.  And just about everything else you could imagine needing in a tropical island paradise, including a cocktail bar, fine dining restaurant and plenty of watersports facilities.  

Some of the Best Value Places to Stay in Belize

  • The Gaia River Lodge is a secret retreat on the banks of the Gaia River, with 18 private cabanas, which offer both luxury, but also privacy: expect roofs made from palm leaves, treetop views and a real Robinson Crusoe feel, but with beautiful linens.  And at the end of a day exploring or bird watching, you can expect to enjoy an excellent Belizean meal in the restaurant.
  • Robert’s Grove would fit will into our recommendations for the best family hotels in Belize too, but it’s such good value that we included it here.  Robert’s Grove is a fantastically varied collection of suites and self-contained villas, in a beautiful spot right beside a stretch of pristine, white, palm-lined beach.  And you’re only about ten minutes from Belize’s incredible barrier reef.  There are 72 room choices, and a choice of restaurants too, if you don’t want to self-cater.  The decor is charmingly traditional, with whitewashed walls and simple wooden furniture.  But the views are incredible. 

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

  • International visitors usually 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 where to stay in Belize?

Weather

Monthly Weather in Belize

Best Hotels in Belize

  • Gaia River Lodge San Ignacio, Belize 18 rooms from $165

    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

    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. See More

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  • Robert's Grove Stann Creek, Belize 72 rooms from $175

    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.

    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. See More

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  • Xanadu Island Resort Belize 8 rooms from $180

    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.

    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. See More

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  • Pooks Hill Lodge Belmopan, Belize from $200

    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.

    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. See More

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  • Victoria House Belize 42 rooms from $210

    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.

    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. See More

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  • Ka'Ana Resort San Ignacio, Belize 17 rooms from $237

    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.

    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. See More

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  • Las Terrazas Resort & Residences Belize 37 rooms from $267

    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

    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. See More

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  • Copal Tree Lodge Toledo Settlement, Belize 16 rooms from $247

    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

    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. See More

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  • Mystic River Resort San Ignacio, Belize 15 rooms from $250

    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!

    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. See More

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  • Hidden Valley Inn Belize 12 rooms from $265

    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

    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. See More

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  • Blancaneaux Lodge Belize 16 rooms from $289

    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

    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. See More

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  • Matachica Resort & Spa San Pedro (BZ), Belize from $299

    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

    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. See More

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  • Chan Chich Jungle Lodge Belize 12 rooms from $310

    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.

    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. See More

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  • Turtle Inn Belize 25 rooms from $319

    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.

    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. These are great pool and a private beach, and a kid’s club with a wide range of activities on offer. See More

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  • Chaa Creek San Ignacio, Belize 23 rooms from $390

    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

    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. See More

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  • Cayo Espanto Belize from $1795

    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

    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. See More

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  • Itz'ana Resort Stann Creek District, Belize 94 rooms

    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

    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. See More

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