The Best Vacation Rentals to Book in Belize

Enjoy spectacular Caribbean views from White Sands Cove
Enjoy spectacular Caribbean views from White Sands Cove | Courtesy of White Sands Cove / Expedia
Photo of Alex Robinson
22 November 2021

Tiny Belize has one foot in the Caribbean and the other in the Central American jungle. Its lowlands are speckled with ancient Mayan ruins; its coast is fringed with pearl-white beaches and mangrove wetlands home to manatees; and its mountain forests flicker with jaguars and ornate hawk eagles – as they have since the time of Columbus. The culture is a vibrant mix of Afro-Caribbean, indigenous Mayan and Latin American culture, while English is the national language. Come for a holiday and you’ll be at home in one of these Belize vacation rentals – bookable on Culture Trip.

The Lodge, for wildlife wonders

The pool area in front of one of the thatch-roofed, Mayan-inspired cottages at Lodge at Big Falls
Courtesy of the Lodge at Big Falls / Expedia

Vacation rentals at this jungle retreat – just beyond the tiny hamlet of Big Falls, in Belize’s far south – are pure rustic chic. Settle in and admire your thatch-roofed, Mayan-inspired cottage or wood cabin – they’re scattered around a lawned garden fragrant with tropical flowers and shaded by huge rainforest trees. The best of them overlook a rushing mountain river and have hammock-slung terraces and simple but spacious terracotta-tile and whitewash bedrooms. Walk-in en-suite showers brim with exuberant tropical plants. Tours – including guided wildlife-watching trips in Toledo District’s protected rainforests – are very good.

A beach of your own at Little Harvest Caye

Large deck and bar area under a thatched roof at Little Harvest Caye
Courtesy of Little Harvest Caye / Expedia

Unlike most in Belize, this private island vacation rental has the bonus of a white-sand beach. There’s a pool, too, with a large deck and bar area and accommodation for up to 10 guests. You stay in traditional Caribbean shutter-board cottages – bubble-gum pink or pistachio – with wraparound balconies. From the bed, views are wonderful – over the ocean to the palm-fringed shore, and the reef snorkeling right off the property is excellent. Just note that Placencia’s restaurants, bars and shops are a 20-minute boat ride away, and crossings are extra to the accommodation rate.

Chan Chich, for first-rate guiding

Chan Chich Lodge occupies a partially excavated Mayan archaeological site and offers luxurious palm-roofed cottages
Courtesy of Chan Chich Lodge / Expedia

Chan Chich combines the comforts and service of a boutique hotel with the thrill of heart-of-nature wilderness. The hotel occupies a partially excavated Mayan archaeological site in one of the wildest stretches of rainforest in Central America. Luxurious palm-roofed, home-away-from-home cottages have beds draped in wispy mosquito nets, large sofa-strewn living areas and wraparound verandas. There are also simpler, jungle-chic cabins alongside. Your accommodation rate includes all food, transfers and guiding, which is first-class and should be made the most of – jaguars and pumas are regularly seen on the dirt roads and tracks around Chan Chich.

Bright character at Hummingbird Suites

The colorful building housing Hummingbird Suites
Courtesy of Hummingbird Suites / Expedia

The Hummingbird Suites are serviced home rentals in bright orange, faux-hacienda-style units seconds from the beach in San Pedro village on Ambergris Caye. There’s no kitchen, but the island’s busiest and most popular restaurants and bars are on your doorstep. Interiors are attractive, painted warm orange offset by high-gleam wood ceilings and bright white floor tiles. There’s 24-hour reception as well as a small swimming pool, where you can get to know other vacation rental guests as you rack up some laps.

Bird Island, for your own private hideaway

Bird Island's tiny complex of wooden houses on an exposed coral reef
Courtesy of Bird Island / Expedia

A private tropical island all to yourself? It’s a vacation rental Belize can deliver. Bird Island is a tiny complex of wood houses on an exposed coral reef, so you can literally jump out of your room into the sea, for wonderful snorkeling with turtles and myriad fish. The night skies are milky with stars, and by day the rental home has ample deck space for sunbathing. The out-on-your-own feel is fabulous, and there’s a kitchen, barbecue and bed space for up to six in simple shutter-board rooms. Factor in a 15-minute speedboat ride – or an hour’s kayaking – to reach Placencia village for its restaurants and bars.

Stunning sunrises at White Sands Cove

The large and colorful cottages surrounded by greenery at White Sands Cove
Courtesy of White Sands Cove / Expedia

It’s a 15-minute golf-cart ride into San Pedro village from White Sands, which means that this vacation rental condo-resort is disturbed by no noisy bars and has a stretch of beach pretty much to itself. There’s plenty of room choice, too – from two-bedroom family houses to oceanfront villas – with spectacular Caribbean-sunrise views from breakfast balconies. Interiors have taupe floor tiles, blocky timber furniture, big working kitchens and plenty of living space. So settle in and put your feet up for a while.

Blue Parrot Beach House, for lavish living

Spacious outdoor dining space overlooking the water at Blue Parrot Beach House
Courtesy of Blue Parrot Beach House / Expedia

With sweeping wraparound staircases, balustraded balconies and a private boat pier, this mock-hacienda beach house in sleepy Hopkins village feels like a tax-expat’s retreat. The whole property (with space for 12) or selected one- or two-bedroom villas or suites are available for vacation rental. All have sweeping beach and ocean views and plush interiors with whitewash and floor tiles offset by bright Caribbean greens and ochers as well as Spanish-baroque-style carved furniture. A quick 10-minute walk will get you to a choice of restaurants.

The high life at Royal Belize

The stunning waterfront home with floor-to-ceiling windows at Royal Belize
Courtesy of Royal Belize / Expedia

No Belize vacation rental is more luxurious than the Royal, which has five plush suites on a private Caribbean caye off the coast of Hopkins village. This is a billionaire’s beach break on a budget: you have to rent the entire island, which can accommodate up to 10 in swish, minimalist villas with floor-to-ceiling glass and acres of living space. Stays include private chefs, butlers and staff, as well as snorkeling (over the pristine surrounding reef), kayak use and jet skis, should you feel the need to race across the water to Hopkins village, home to restaurants and bars.

These recommendations were updated on November 22, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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