The Best Hotels and Places to Stay in Belmopan, Belize

Banana Bank is a Belmopan hotel perfectly placed for jungle adventures
Banana Bank is a Belmopan hotel perfectly placed for jungle adventures | Courtesy of Banana Bank / Expedia
Alex Robinson

The purpose-built capital of Belize is practically village-small: a scattering of concrete buildings, mini-shopping precincts and fortified embassies on grassy plains in the shadow of the Maya Mountains. It’s some 50mi (80km) from the country’s real urban center, Belize City, and most visitors are here for diplomatic work, or out of curiosity. This is the world’s smallest capital city, but there’s plenty to enjoy nearby, from Mayan ruins to steamy jungles and a handful of hotels, many of them in the city’s rainforest environs around the Belize River. These are the best to book – and you can do it with Culture Trip.

1. Dream Valley, for remote, romantic seclusion


Dream Valley Belize cottage surrounded by patchy rainforest, rich in warm polished woods and opening onto a large deck
Courtesy of Dream Valley Belize / Expedia

It’s just 10 minutes’ drive from downtown Belmopan, yet Dream Valley feels deliciously back-to-nature. Wood cabins and cottages balance on a grassy bank surrounded by patchy rainforest, overlooking the winding Belize River, where crocodiles lurk. Luxe log cabin interiors, rich in warm polished woods, have ample seating space. They open onto large decks with private dining tables; some have al fresco hot tubs for two. Good-value package deals include all meals and tours from the lodge’s extensive menu, including zip-lining, cave-tubing and visits to Mayan ruins.

2. Chocolate-making at Kiki Witz


A chic Kiki Witz shack composed of high-gleam timber with a big deck in a forest glade
Courtesy of Kiki Witz / Expedia

Kiki Witz is right off Belize’s main highway, within walking distance of Belmopan’s airstrip, less than an hour’s drive from both the coast and the Maya Mountains. Despite its good connections, staying here feels ranch house-bucolic. Accommodation is in chic shacks of high-gleam timber, with walk-in showers and large decks; the whole thing comes wrapped in gardens of heliconias in a forest glade, next to a winding creek. The lodge offers dozens of activities, including canoeing on the Belize River, horseback riding, birdwatching and, for foodies, traditional chocolate-making.

3. Horseback outings at Banana Bank


Horses graze outside a thatched roof cottage at Banana Bank in Belize
Courtesy of Banana Bank / Expedia

It would be easy just to put your feet up on your private deck at Banana Bank and enjoy the view of hummingbirds flitting past the pool in the tropical garden, or laze in a swish suite, decked out in warm tropical cedar, with a four-poster bed and stained-glass windows. But stays here are all about jungle adventure – especially on horseback. The lodge organizes riding camps that last from three days to as long as three months; expect, too, rides through the rainforest around the nearby Belize River.

4. Sleeping Giant, for adventure tours


The tiled pool area with fountains and lush foliage at Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge
Courtesy of Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge / Expedia

While Sleeping Giant is just a 30-minute drive from downtown Belmopan, it boasts a genuinely wild setting: overlooking the Sibun River below the Maya Mountains, next to one of the largest protected rainforests in the country. There’s a stack of adventure tours to sign up for, from night safaris and horseback rides through the jungle, to caving and birdwatching. Suites – in purpose-built concrete and terracotta tile cottages – have wraparound balconies with mountain or river views and expansive interiors of rustic tiles, raw stone and bespoke carved-wood furniture.

5. Balcony lazing at Caves Branch

Resort, Hotel, Lodge

The stylish living space of a Canopy Treehouse with floor-to-ceiling window views of the jungle at Andersons Caves Branch Jungle Lodge
Courtesy of Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge / Expedia
Caves Branch, 30 minutes south of Belmopan, has been one of Belize’s top jungle lodges for more than two decades. Set in genuine wild country, it is known for its stylish safari cottages – expect beautiful bespoke forest-themed murals, high-gleam hardwood floors, four-posters draped with gauzy mosquito nets and al fresco rain showers. Treefrogs trill in the surrounding jungle as you laze away days on your balcony, perched over a wild river. The tours are some of Belize’s best – with visits to Mayan sites and horseback rides, alongside adventure caving and long and short jungle hikes.

6. Student-style digs at Tree Society


The rustic and colorful shutterboard cabins at T.R.E.E.S Research Center and Eco Lodge
Courtesy of T.R.E.E.S Research Center and Eco Lodge /

A half-hour drive from Belmopan and the Caribbean coast, the Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society (TREES) is a mix of ecolodge and scientific research station. Run by rainforest biologists, it caters mostly to Canadian study-abroad students and dedicated wildlife enthusiasts here on an extended stay. Accommodation is rustic – in bubblegum-pink or electric-blue shutterboard shacks of simple furnishings (balconies, beds). Here, in the shadow of the mountains, you have a real heart-of-the-forest feel – and the guiding, from genuine wildlife experts, is hard to beat.

7. Juntos Cottages, for indolence poolside


The large swimming pool and sundeck at Juntos Cottages
Courtesy of Juntos Cottages / Expedia

Juntos is only 10 minutes’ drive from downtown Belmopan, but it enjoys a tranquil, bucolic setting: overlooking a bend in the Belize River, it is set in a garden of rainforest trees, bright with heliconia flowers and hummingbirds. This is lazing territory – as you’ll deduce from the large swimming pool and sundeck. Accommodation ranges from double rooms with en-suites to complete cottages, with kitchens, living-dining areas and balconies. The warm-wood interiors invite you to stay in – but staff can organize impressive tours into the rainforest as well as to Mayan ruins.

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