If small is beautiful, then it’s certainly true of this diminutive Caribbean country. Adventurous types flock here to scuba dive on the world’s largest barrier reef after Australia, whilst culture seekers won’t be short of Mayan ruins to discover. But perhaps more than anything, Belize has dozens of pristine white sand beaches, lapped by the rolling azure sea. Sailing around the 450+ islands of Belize is by far the best way to explore them, but we’ve included a few for the land-lubbers among you, too.
Explore the most spectacular beaches in Belize with the unique Culture Trip’s Sailing Trips.
Tranquility Bay Beach, Ambergris Caye
Known as La Isla Bonita, Ambergris Caye is the beautiful, beating heart of the tourism industry in Belize (and not just according to Madonna). Head to the far north for your own crowd-free stretch of sand. Tranquility Bay is most easily reached by boat, however, you can also access it via car down a dusty beach track. Grab your snorkel and explore the underwater world from the shoreline before heading to The Tacklebox Sea Bar for a rum cocktail.
Ramon’s Village, San Pedro
This bustling town may be a little much for those looking for a peaceful haven, but it’s still a far cry from Cancun. No building tops three storeys, and the beaches are long, white and palm-fringed. Dodge the crowds by heading to Ramon’s Village Resort beach. Despite belonging to the hotel, it is open to the public. Lay your towel under one of the coconut trees and marvel at the coral sand; it’s cool to the touch, even on the most scorching day.
Hopkins Village Beach, Hopkins
Hopkins is said to be the friendliest village in Belize, as well as the cultural capital of the Garifuna people. Come for the laid-back vibe and miles-long white sand beach and stay for the varied festivals throughout the year, from Mango Fest in the summer to Garifuna Settlement Day in late Autumn. There are no restrictions on the main town beach, so wander at will to find your piece of paradise.
Placencia Village Beach, Placencia
Placencia was once a quiet fishing village at the southern tip of the Placencia Peninsula, but word got around about the beauty of this idyllic jungle-fringed beach getaway. It’s difficult not to find a good stretch of shoreline here. The main village beach is one of the best in the region, dotted with local hotspots like the Barefoot Beach Bar and the Tipsy Tuna Sports Bar. Whale shark diving tours are a popular pastime, as are the howler monkey boat trips. But don’t go bathing in the lagoon, unless you want a saltwater crocodile for company!
Maya Beach, Placencia
Further north on the Placencia Peninsula, you’ll find Maya Beach, the epitome of a “get away from it all” beach hideout. This is not the place to come if you’re after a party, although there are still a few cheap beach bars for that essential rum-based cocktail. This tranquil place has perfectly calm waters for snorkelling, diving or swimming, and is close to the Laughing Bird Caye National Park, if you fancy a bit of an adventure. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the view of the Maya mountains.
Got the cash to splash on a private island stay? Head to Ranguana Caye, a tiny two-acre island, just 20mi (32km) west of Placencia. Go paddleboarding on the clear waters or kick back in a hammock with a good book. If you come between August and October, keep your eyes peeled for sea turtles nesting in the sand. Bully’s Beach Bar serves up plates of conch ceviche and garlic butter shrimp, washed down with an ice-cold daiquiri. Stopping for lunch by boat? Make sure you book in advance.
Half Moon Caye, Lighthouse Reef Atoll
If you love scuba diving, then you need to make a beeline for Half Moon Caye. It’s cited as one of the best diving spots in North America. Beneath the surface of the water, you’ll find a steep drop-off – known as a wall – which gives the appearance of staring into the deep abyss. Spot snappers, hogfish and stingrays. Back on dry land, the beach is a pristine, crescent-shaped patch with barely a soul in sight.
Southwest Caye, Glover’s Reef
Glover’s Reef has some of the most abundant sea life in the Caribbean – and Southwest Caye specifically is the largest marine reserve in Belize. Grab your snorkeling gear and hit the shallow reef – it’s an easy swim from the shore. Here, you’ll find swirling shoals of fish, sea turtles, and even the occasional dolphin. It’s best reached by yacht – split your time between sunning yourself on deck and diving into the balmy waters below.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.