Best Beaches In Belize To Visit In 2021

Sick of traveling to Mexico or the Caribbean? Want to try a new destination? What about Belize?

Belize is a tropical paradise situated just south of Mexico’s popular Yucatan Peninsula. It’s just a quick flight away from the USA, and the best beaches in Belize will blow you away. You can hop on a flight from most major USA hubs in the morning, and be on the beach in Belize before lunchtime. Belize has been blessed with 240 miles of coastline and more than 450 islands which they call “Cayes.”

The Belize Barrier reef system is the second-largest reef system in the world, after the Great Barrier reef in Australia. If you’re looking for a quick beach getaway here is our list of the best beaches in Belize to visit in 2020.

*When looking for the best price and biggest selection of hotels in the Belize check prices on, we’ve found they are the best option and have a great cancelation policy.*

Best Beaches In Belize

Our first trip to Belize was in 2011 and it is there that the idea to quit our jobs to travel the world was born. Fast forward 2 years later we quit our jobs and boarded a one-way flight to Belize.

We’ve spent over a month in Belize, it’s our favorite country in Central America. On our last trip, we rode the chicken buses in Belize all across the country (and even killed a chicken on a chicken bus on accident). Here are our personal favorite beaches in Belize and they are in order of our favorites.

1. Placencia, Belize

Three hours away from Belize City is the Placencia peninsula. It’s a three-hour drive or only a 30-minute flight, there are direct flights starting around $120 one-way with Maya Island Air. We chose the local bus, which takes 4-6 hours and is quite an experience.

Why Placencia Is One of the Best Beaches in Belize

A long strech of sand on one of the best beaches in Belize with a woman's legs on a beach char

The Placencia peninsula has 16 miles of gorgeous white sand beaches. There are several resorts available as well as local guesthouses. We loved everything about Placencia.

The town is set up great for tourists, there’s a pedestrian-only boardwalk that runs along the beach for miles. Claimed to be “The World’s narrowest main street” the boardwalk runs from one end of the village to the other end. Along the boardwalk, there are tons of restaurants, beach bars, and local souvenir shops.

woman snorkeling off of the beach in Belize

There are tons of things to do in Placencia and they all revolve around the ocean. If you love snorkeling or diving get out on a day trip with Splash Dive Center and explore the Belize Barrier Reef. Rent a beach cruiser and ride up and down the beach until you find the perfect spot for the day.

Recommended Placencia Accommodation

There’s a wide range of accommodation in Placencia from luxury beachfront resorts, budget guesthouses, – or – you can even rent a yacht for the night. If you want unique accommodation or are traveling with others consider renting a house on Airbnb, it’ll be cheaper than a hotel.

Get a $40 credit when you book your first trip! –>> sign up here!

We stayed at Chabil Mar for a few nights of luxury in a one-bedroom ocean view villa. If you are looking for a luxury resort or traveling with children this is a great option. We also spent a night at Lydia’s Guesthouse a local guesthouse just steps from the ocean for only $20 a night, the price can’t be beaten.

Best Restaurants in Placencia

Placencia is full of restaurant options but make sure to try the local Garifuna street food as well. It’s a must to try the salbutes from the street cart at the end of the boardwalk.

  • Best Beach Bar In Placencia: Barefoot Bar right on the beach with great daily specials and happy hour drinks
  • Best Dessert in Placencia: Tutti Frutti offers 18 different flavors of gelato our favorite was the peanut butter & dark chocolate $1.50 one scoop $2.50 two scoops
  • Best Street Food in Placencia: Carmen & Maria’s tasty street food where two can eat for $5

2. Caye Caulker, Belize

Caye Caulker is an island off of Belize accessible by water taxi from Belize City. The ferry takes 45-minutes and costs $12 USD. We went with the company Ocean Ferry Belize that has several departures per day.

You can also take the ferry to/from Ambergris Caye which is only 30 minutes away. It is possible to fly to Caye Caulker from Belize City, flights are around $75 one way and is less than 15 minutes.

Dock in front of the split in Caue Caulker one of the best islands and beaches in Belize

Why Caye Caulker is one of the Best Beaches in Belize

An island where the motto is “Go Slow” and that is exactly what the island does. There is no reason to be in a rush on Caye Caulker. Everything is within walking distance, no cars – just bicycles.

Caye Caulker is a great place to get a taste of island life in Belize. A day on Caye Caulker involves lots of snorkeling and naps in a hammock under a palm tree. If you get a little restless on the island there are day trips to the Belize ruins and cave tubing in Belize.

There isn’t a ton of action going on in Caye Caulker so most people spend around 2-3 nights, but we could easily spend a week in Caye Caulker.

Woman cave tubing in Belize

Recommended Caye Caulker Accommodation

Caye Caulker is a small island with more backpacker guesthouses than luxury hotels. We stayed at the Caye Caulker Plaza for $75 a night but had friends stay at De Real Macaw for under $50 a night. The cheapest guesthouses and luxury condos are listed on Airbnb.

Best Restaurants in Caye Caulker

Hopefully, you’ll be traveling during the lobster season in Belize, which is June 15th through February 15th, so you can try a grilled Caribbean lobster. If you miss the lobster season in Belize don’t worry, there are tons of other great dishes to try, don’t miss the conch either.

  • Best Beach Bar In Placencia: The Lazy Lizard is located right on the split with tables in the water. They have great drinks and food. A bucket of 6 beers is $12.50 USD.
  • Best Restaurant in Caye Caulker: Fran’s Grill for one of the tastiest grilled lobsters & jerk chicken served with UNLIMITED rum, garlic bread, breadfruit, and chocolate cake.
  • Best Cheap Restaurant in Caye Caulker: Syd’s is known for its “fry chicken” and we agree it was really tasty. For only $4.50 you get fry chicken, fries, and coleslaw.

3. Silk Caye, Belize

Our favorite day trip in Belize brought us to Silk Cayes. Unfortunately, there is no accommodation on Silk Cayes, but it still is one of the best beaches in Belize and a great place to spend the afternoon. On our day trip out to the Cayes, we had beach BBQ on Silk Caye.

Bright blue water in front of a small island Silk Caye which is one of the best beaches in Belize

The snorkeling at Silk Caye is amazing, don’t forget your GoPro and GoPro dome for fun split shots. Right from the beach, you’ll see tons of nurse sharks and stingrays swimming by. There are several companies offering tours out to Silk Caye from diving trips, snorkeling trips, private boat trips, click here to see all options and book online.

4. Hopkins, Belize

Hopkins is 2 hours away from Belize City and 1 hour from Placencia.  Traveling to Hopkins is easily accessed by car or bus. Many hotels in Hopkins have airport pickup services if arriving by plane.

A hammock strung between two palm trees on Hopkins beach in Belize

Why Hopkins Is One Of The Best Beaches In Belize

Hopkins is a small Garifuna village with one of the best beaches in Belize. Hopkins is considered “The Friendliest Village in Belize” and a great escape. Hopkins is surrounded by mountains and the Cockscomb Basin which is great for day trips and hiking. We rented a car in Hopkins and explored the surrounding area on our own.

Recommended Hopkins Accommodation

We spent a week in Hopkins and split our time at a high-end resort at the end of town and a cute beachfront cabin right in town. We loved our own little beachfront apartment at Coconut Row where we walked out the door right onto the beach. Coconut Row is located right in town and within walking distance to everything.

Two miles outside of town we stayed at Hopkins Bay Belize for a more luxury hotel stay. Hopkins Bay Belize has 1,2, and 3 bedroom villas that are great for a week in Belize or families. The resort is right on one of the best beaches in Belize and since it’s outside of town it’s very private.

There are over 60 listings on Airbnb in Hopkins with some gorgeous oceanfront properties with private beaches.

Get a $40 credit when you book your first trip! –>> sign up here!

Best Restaurants in Hopkins

Hopkin is full of restaurant options but make sure to try the local Garifuna street food as well.

  • Best Beach Bar In Hopkins: Driftwood Beach Bar & Pizza Shack is located right on the beach serving up the best pizza in Belize and ice-cold Belkin beers
  • Best Local Restaurant In Hopkins: Innie’s Restaurant try the famous Garifuna dishes Hudut and Darasa while enjoying some local Garifuna drumming & dancing. Most mains under $6USD

5. Ambergris Caye, Belize

Ambergris Caye is the largest island in Belize and accessible by water taxi or air. There are 11 daily flights to Ambergris Caye with Maya Island Air prices average of $86 one way. This would be an epic view of the islands of Belize and worth the money.

The water taxi from Belize City takes 75-minutes and costs $17. We went with the company Ocean Ferry Belize that has several departures a day. You can also take the ferry to/from Caye Caulker which is a 30-minute ride away and costs $12.

Woman's feet infront of the best beach in Ambergris Caye in Belize

Why Ambergris Caye Is One Of The Best Beaches In Belize

The island is 25 miles long and one mile wide, boasting some amazing white sand beaches. Ambergris Caye is best explored by golf carts and bicycles. The main town of San Pedro has tons of restaurants, shops, hotels, and companies to book day trips with.

Some of the most popular things to do in Ambergris Caye are snorkeling and diving. The most popular spots are Shark Ray Alley and Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Snorkel trips can be arranged for less than $65 a person here. It’s a popular destination for divers due to the Belize Barrier Reef, the second-largest reef in the world. The Great Blue Hole is on all diver’s bucket lists but if you aren’t a diver like myself, jump in a helicopter for an epic view.

Recommended Ambergris Caye Hotels

When we visited we stayed at a hotel far away from San Pedro and we wouldn’t recommend the hotel because of the location. When looking for accommodation this time I found the best selection and value was on Airbnb. You can rent luxury condos that will fit several people for under $200 or we would go for this modern apartment for $75.

Don’t forget you get a $40 credit when you book your first trip! –>> sign up here!

Best Restaurants in Ambergris Caye

  • Best Beach Bar In Ambergris Caye: Palapa Bar & Grill has the best and freshest seafood. We ordered the kingfish and watched a fisherman arrive 10 minutes later with my kingfish, doesn’t get any fresher than that. The restaurant & bar is located at the end of a long dock literally on top of the water. They have innertubes floating in the water where they can send a bucket of beers down too.
  • Best Bar In Ambergris Caye: Lola’s is located right in San Pedro and a popular spot for ex-pats and tourists. There is a great selection of drinks, tons of TV’s to catch a game, and lots of Chicago Cubs memorabilia.
  • Best Restaurant In Ambergris Caye: Waruguma is known for its lobster burritos and HUGE portions. Not only is it the best restaurant in San Pedro but the best value. If there is a line just wait, grab a Belikin beer, it’s worth the wait.

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Have you traveled to Belize? What do you think is the best beach in Belize?


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26 thoughts on “Best Beaches In Belize To Visit In 2021”

    • If we had to pick one it would be Placencia. Placencia has more going on, better vibe, better beaches, better day trips, and more options. Hope that helps!

  1. Hi, we really love Tulum on Mexico where we can have a bit of culture ( Mayan ruins), snorkelling, nice restaurants and wonderful beach. Where in Belize we can have similar experience?

    • Belize is pretty small so no matter where you stay you can get a few experiences like you mentioned. However, none of the beaches we have listed have all as close together as Tulum unfortunately. Based on what you are describing I would check out either Placencia for the beach or Cay Caulker for the snorkeling, restaurants, and vibe. Maybe split your time. You can take a day trip to see ruins, however, they are nice, but just average Mayan ruins.

  2. I have a question about the sea grass. We are looking at a beautiful home on Placencia (Villa Tipsy Gecko)to rent. It is located about 1 mile from the Placencia resort. My concern is when I look at Google earth there is a lot of dark area in the ocean. I am worried this is seagrass. How can I know because we really want to be able to enjoy the ocean/beach right out our back door. Also we have a number of divers in our group and the reason we picked Placencia is because the beaches are supposed to be better but now I am worried that there will not be great diving like there is in the other areas of Belize. Did you dive in Placencia? How is the diving there?

    • We dove in Placencia, but it was a boat ride from shore about 30-45 minutes – a place near the Silk Cayes. The diving is still nice here, you are just a bit further away from it that in other parts of Belize. I wouldn’t worry about the Google earth picture – those can be years old. I would look at current facebook pages from resorts or people visiting Placencia instead for a more accurate picture of what is happening. Seagrass can be seasonal or sometimes it is always there growing on the sea floor – which on the positive side can attract sea turtles. As for beaches, Placencia has some of our favorite in Belize, what most people don’t realize is that Belize’s coastline is rockier and more reef covered than just all sand. Hope that helps a bit.

  3. My friends like to snorkel and I was wondering which place is the best for access to snorkeling and day trips to visit new areas and go on adventures?

      • Hi there,
        I’m so confused! I keep reading different things about Belize making it difficult to choose where to spend the last 5 day’s of our Guatemala / Belize travels. I’d love to hear your take on what’s confusing me. I keep reading Placencia has the best beaches, but the sand is dark, rough and grainy and the water isn’t really turquoise.
        Caye Caulker & Caye Ambergis have the turquoise water and white sand but no real beaches.
        I’d love some advice- traveling with my 2 well-traveled daughters, ages 15 & 17. They are certified divers, and love swimming. We will have already seen the jungle and ruins. Where would you advise we spend our last days of our travels where we can enjoy both a gorgeous beach, including swimming from our hotel, and go on diving and snorkeling excursions?

        • Dara,
          Based on what you’d like I’d suggest you go to Placencia and then for the divers take day trips. Silk Caye is amazing. There is great diving & snorkeling all around.

          Caye Caulker is one of our favorites but you are right there aren’t any “real beaches” around. If you are looking for a mix of beach & diving then Placencia is best for you.

  4. HI there, Is Belize a kids friendly destination? We are looking to travel there with our kids but they like hotels or resorts with pool slides or kids club. Thank you for your advice.

    • The seagrass in the Caribbean changes day by day, there are days that it’s bad and then the next day it’s cleared up. I’d see if there are any live webcams in the area at hotels/restaurants and see what they are showing. You can’t escape the seagrass it’s all over the Caribbean.

  5. This has been one of the most informative sights I’ve seen. We are beach lovers with no divers….prefer some night life. We can’t decide between Caye Caulker and San Pedro…..any thoughts?

    • Glad we could help. Caye Caulker is our personal favorite it is super chill and you can walk everywhere. San Pedro is much bigger with lots of golf carts which means you’ll have to rent a golf cart or a bike most likely. There is way more options for nightlife and restaurants. It really depends if you want to get away from everything then head to Caye Caulker. You can always take a day trip to the other islands.

  6. Thank you SO much for this guide! I’m planning my Belize trip right now, and this has given me a great place to start- I’m loving all of the details. Sorry, I couldn’t help but LOL when I saw that your favorite dessert place in Placencia was Tutti Frutti, because we have them here in Houston, haha!

    • Where did you end up picking to visit in Belize? Placencia has some of the best beaches in Belize and the gelato at Tutti Frutti is awesome too! Funny there is one called that in Houston, is it good?

  7. My experience traveling in Belize was staying on the island of Caye Caulker. While the color of the water is beautiful itself, there were too many plants in the water, unlike the Maya Riviera beaches; but if you’re an independent traveler who likes
    to avoid touristy destinations, it’s the place to be. I wish I had gone more inland and seen rainforest & ruins as well.

    • The islands don’t really have beaches and we do think some tourists don’t realize this in advance. They are really great for snorkelers and divers due to their location to the reef. We loved Caye Caulker and it’s chill laid back vibe. Next time you should check out Placencia and then take a day trip to some of the islands out there like the Silk Cayes, white sandy islands.

  8. I completely disagree about Caye Caulker. We took the ferry over on a cruise stop and were so disappointed. The only “beach” we found was at the hammock park and the water was murky and the sand was slimy like clay. It was a pretty ride over, but that’s about all I can say. There are many more beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. I don’t think I would go back to Belize again unless it’s to see Norwegian’s new private beach resort.

    • Everyone has their own image of the perfect beach and beach day. Some like to lounge on the sand while others like to go diving and explore the underwater world. Belize is on the largest reef in the Western Hemisphere and the beaches there are more rocky yes but offer something different than the standard beach.

      This article is about the best beaches in Belize not the best beaches in the Caribbean. I wouldn’t say it’s one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, however, Caye Caulker is still one of my favorite islands in the world, I love the vibe of the island. Caye Caulker isn’t really cruisers destination, it’s more for backpackers and those looking to escape.

      Belize has so much more to offer besides beaches but you have to be up for that adventure.

  9. hello! It looks amazing Belize! Dreaming up a trip . By the way , you are misspelling the word Key ie CAYOS. For example Key Biscayne would be Cayo Biscayne. Correct me if I am wrong but I have never heard of a “caye”. Keep doing what you do! Love to You both. DEANNA


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