I love a good beach vacation, and even though I’ve gone on beach trips fifteen countries, the beaches in Belize are some of the best I’ve ever seen. Here are the ten best Belize beaches so you can decide where you want to go in Belize.
The 10 Best Belize Beaches
In no particular order…
Placencia is a region located on the southern tip of Belize. It’s a destination known for its laid back attitude and easy-going vibes. The coastline at Placencia is just miles of sandy beaches, easy waters, and mild weather. It’s found between lagoons with mangroves on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other.
It’s also the divers’ paradise, especially in May and June, because that’s when whale sharks make their most frequent appearances due to feeding in the waters. The beaches on this peninsula also offer plenty of boating activities as well as exploring the nearby Mayan ruins.
If you’re dreaming of a peaceful beach vacation, it’s hard to find a spot more tranquil than swinging in a hammock on the shores of Placencia.
The little fishing village of Hopkins has one of the most natural beaches in Belize. Since there is very little development in Hopkins, everything feels fresh and pure, especially the warm sandy beach that’s bordered with palm and coconut trees. The water is crystal-clear and is quite shallow at the start, making this an ideal beach for family vacations.
Due to the local Garifuna culture that’s used to living in paradise, there is a very relaxed ambiance and charm in Hopkins. There are plenty of waterfalls, a national park, and some Mayan ruins near the beaches, so there’s an abundance of extra things to do in Hopkins, too.
Secret Beach is no secret – a joke I’ve told countless times in this blog – yet should visit it nonetheless! A remote spot on Ambergris Caye, there are tons of amenities here like beach bars, wifi, and a taco truck. So while you may need to spend some time in a golf cart to get out here, once you’re here, you definitely will want for nothing (provided you bring some cash).
You can spend your day hanging out under the palapas, swimming in the calm water, or relaxing at the beach bars.
The island of Caye Caulker is a destination that feels like paradise. One of the reasons why it’s peaceful is the prohibition of vehicles. There’s a real sense of rest and relaxation here, as the beaches are totally superb, and the waters warm and mild.
Here you can find unique marine life if you decide to go snorkeling or diving. If you prefer to stay on land, the beaches can also offer plenty of life on their own. This little fishing village has an interesting dual personality, as it’s both perfect for resting and partying.
South Water Caye
An island that’s the perfect destination for those that prefer a little solitude now and then, South Water Caye is quite sizeable and yet not overcrowded. It’s very rarely a busy destination, meaning there aren’t many bustling activities to do, like partying. Instead, this is a gorgeous and completely natural destination ideal for simple rest and relaxation.
Here you’ll find pristine waters perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving, especially in a practically bottomless cave found on the ocean side. The cave is great for wall diving with clear visibility.
Two deserted islands of beautiful stature, the Silk Cayes are some of the most relaxing destinations in Belize. They’re located east of Placencia and are relatively small but ideal for those that seek a little personal space and comfort.
The Silk Cayes also perfect for exploring the unusual barrier reef found there, especially when it comes to some of the most unique aquatic formations on the planet. The islands have a very relaxed vibe, and the beaches are very shallow and ideal for snorkeling.
Due to the proximity of the protected marine reserve, you’ll see a lot of unique marine life living in the waters around you.
While you will want to spend some time at Secret Beach, you don’t need to go all the way out there to enjoy the beaches of Ambergris Caye. The beach boardwalk stretches throughout most of the town, lined with hotels and a beach bar or two as you go. The perfect spot to grab a drink when you need to cool off!
I don’t have a particular favorite spot, but explore and find your own! The area down by the bridge and the basketball course was fun because we got to watch the boats go under the bridge, but I also loved the palapas along the boardwalk.
While you’ll probably find a few other fun things to do in San Pedro since the town is pretty fun, the beaches are a true highlight!
Named after two pirate brothers in the 18thcentury, Glover’s Reef is a stunning elliptical reef with a unique form and even more unique biodiversity. It is considered the richest marine environment spot in the entire Caribbean Sea.
Diving, kayaking, and snorkeling are unmatched anywhere else in Belize, and while the beaches themselves are relatively small, they’re still great. You can also find a few resorts with plenty of activities.
Laughing Bird Caye
An island that’s located in the southernmost part of the Belizean barrier reef, Laughing Bird Caye is a long, thin strip of an island that’s one of the best spots for snorkeling in the region.
Its name comes from the time when laughing gulls used to inhabit the island. But due to human activity, the birds have moved to other islands. The perfect climate of the island, as well as the proximity of the reef, have made this spot very diverse in marine life. That’s the main reason why snorkeling is so popular, although there are several excellent dive spots in the region, too.
The Sapodilla Cayes are a system of several uninhabited islands that have some of the finest and clearest waters in the Caribbean. They’re known for being the perfect dive and snorkeling spots because the waters of the Caribbean wash through the reef cuts.
Here you’ll find an incredible amount of biodiversity, pristine and practically untouched beaches, and even interesting landmarks like lighthouses. Since there are many islands, the best way to explore each of them is by kayaking. However, diving and snorkeling are the de facto best activities due to the crystal-clear waters.
5 Things to Bring with You to Belize
I have an entire post on what to pack for Belize, but if you don’t read it, make sure to have these five things with you before you get to the Belize City Airport:
- Lonely Planet Belize which is available as a paper copy or in a Kindle edition.
- Mosquito Repellant is the single most important thing you’ll want on you as soon as dusk hits. Have enough to at least get through the first night.
- Full Sized Travel Towel This is the best travel towel in the world. It’s pretty enough for the beach, large enough that you forget it’s a microfibre towel, and quick-drying, which is crucial in super humid Belize.
- A GoPro for underwater and action photography. Why go all the way to Belize and not be able to capture some of the most exciting parts of your trip?
Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!
It’s a good idea to always have a valid travel insurance policy before you travel someplace like Belize where you’ll be doing activities and spending time outside. It’s just a fact that accidents can happen on the road, and you don’t want them to ruin your trip!
I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance when you’ll be doing any outdoor activities (like…ahem…snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming…).
I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for three years, and I happily recommend them. It’s an especially good idea to get travel insurance when participating in outdoor activities or driving in foreign countries. Even in the cities, though, you’ll be happy when you’re able to replace your stuff if it’s lost or stolen or have help with any medical bills.
More Belize Travel Resources
If you’re still trying to decide where to go in Belize, check out my post on the most Instagrammable places in Belize which will give you some trip inspiration beyond just the country’s (spectacular) beaches.
If you’ll be headed to Caye Caulker, check out my guide on how to get there from BZE and Belize City.
Finally, here’s my guide to snorkeling at Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley. Even if you plan to go snorkeling in a different part of the country, this guide goes over what generally to expect and what to bring with you.