The Most Beautiful Beaches to Visit in Belize

Belize is home to a slew of idyllic beach landscapes
Belize is home to a slew of idyllic beach landscapes | © 24BY36 / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Celia Topping
22 October 2021

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.

Tranquility Bay Beach, Ambergris Caye

Deckchairs beneath palm trees on Ambergris Caye Belize / Alamy Stock Photo
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

Ambergris Caye: San Pedro: Thatched accommodation on Ramons Village beach
© Aivar Mikko / Alamy Stock Photo
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

Architectural Landmark
Belize, Stann Creek district, Hopkins, little garifuna fishing village, the beach
© Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo
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

Architectural Landmark
Belize, Placencia. Sandy beach along the Placencia port area
© Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo
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

Natural Feature
A gazebo at the end of a short pier extending from the beach in Maya Beach Belize on the Placencia Peninsula. Image shot 2009. Exact date unknown.
© Alan Wasserberger / Alamy Stock Photo
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.

Ranguana Caye

Natural Feature
Belize, Ranguana Caye with thatched hut
© Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
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

Natural Feature
Half Moon Caye, a coral caye in Belize on the Caribbean Sea
© John Michaels / Alamy Stock Photo
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

Natural Feature
Nassau groupers, Epinephelus striatus, at the spawning aggregation at Glover's Reef, Belize
© Images & Stories / Alamy Stock Photo
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.

Anchor offshore and explore these beaches by yacht on a day trip with SamBoat or multi-day vacation with Dream Yacht Charter.

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