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Where to stay in Belize for Beach?

Belize is a small Central American country that offers some of the best beaches and beach towns in the region. With its Caribbean coastline, Belize has stunning stretches of white sand, palm trees, and calm, clear waters perfect for swimming, snorkeling, diving, or just relaxing on the beach.

Belize is a small Central American country that offers some of the best beaches and beach towns in the region. With its Caribbean coastline, Belize has stunning stretches of white sand, palm trees, and calm, clear waters perfect for swimming, snorkeling, diving, or just relaxing on the beach.

The Best Beach Towns to Stay in Belize

As a traveler who has explored much of Belize’s coast, I wanted to share my insights on the best beach towns to stay in if you’re planning a beach vacation in Belize. In this post, I’ll cover my top picks for beach destinations in Belize and detail what each town offers, where to stay, and tips from my own experiences.

Ambergris Caye

One of the most popular spots for beachgoers in Belize is Ambergris Caye. This 25-mile long island off the northeastern coast of Belize is all about sun, sand, and turquoise waters. The island has a funky, laidback vibe with small beach resorts, boutique hotels, Airbnbs, and beach bars and restaurants.

The beaches along Ambergris Caye are stunning. On the western side of the island, you’ll find Ambergris Caye’s most beautiful beaches like Secret Beach and Maya Beach. These wide stretches of powder soft sand and calm, shallow waters are perfect for swimming and lounging. As you go north, the beaches become even more secluded and peaceful.

Some of my favorite places to stay on Ambergris Caye include:

  • Victoria House: This is one of the most elegant beachfront resorts on the island, with a sophisticated yet relaxed ambiance. The spacious casita-style rooms all face the water and the resort has two long piers for swimming. There’s a pool and tropical gardens as well as an on-site spa.
  • Xanadu Island Resort: For a moderately priced option right on the beach, Xanadu is a great choice. Its beachfront suites and apartments are simple but full of local Belizian charm. The grounds have lush gardens, thatch palapas, and hammocks.
  • Caye Casa: This is a good budget option, with simple but modern rooms only a short walk from the beach. The apartments have kitchens so you can save money by cooking some of your own meals.

Wherever you stay, you’ll have tons of options for water activities, beach bars, and seafood restaurants within walking distance or a short golf cart ride away. Make sure to spend time in San Pedro town to experience some of Ambergris Caye’s nightlife, shops, and restaurants.

Some insider tips for Ambergris Caye:

  • Golf carts are the main way to get around the island, so consider renting one to explore more easily.
  • Pack bug spray – the sandflies can be pesky!
  • If you visit between November and July, you might spot manatees swimming in the lagoons.


For a more laidback, rustic beach village vibe, head south to Hopkins. This Garifuna fishing village has retained much of its cultural heritage and local charm despite growing popularity with tourists.

What Hopkins lacks in beaches, it makes up for in culture and authenticity. You won’t find huge resorts here, but small eco-lodges, guesthouses, and colorful local shops and restaurants. Just south of the village’s main drag, you’ll find a 4-mile stretch of pretty beach lined with coconut palms. It’s great for beachcombing, swimming, or watching local Garifuna drummers.

Some top places to stay include:

  • Beaches & Dreams: Set on a quiet section of beach, this intimate eco-resort has thatched roof cabanas and Bali houses scattered among lovely gardens. The on-site restaurant is excellent too.
  • Jaguar Reef Lodge: Situated right on the beach, Jaguar Reef has spacious, breezy rooms in brightly painted cottages. It’s on the pricier side but has a pool and one of the best restaurants in Hopkins.
  • Funky Dodo: For budget travelers, Funky Dodo has both shared and private rooms, a chill backpacker vibe, and helpful owners who can arrange tours and activities.

Insider tips for Hopkins:

  • It’s an ideal place to experience Garifuna culture through food, drumming, or dance lessons.
  • Most beaches near the village are not ideal for swimming due to sea grass. Head south to nicer sections.
  • Rent a bike to cruise around town and chat with locals for the true Hopkins experience.


At the southern tip of a long, narrow peninsula, Placencia offers 16 miles of lovely beaches with lots of family-friendly amenities. Alongside its beautiful beaches, you’ll also find the quaint colorful village of Placencia, which has a fun mix of locals, expats, and tourists.

Some of Placencia’s best beach resorts include:

  • Maya Beach Hotel: Situated on the prettiest section of Placencia’s beach, this boutique hotel has a pool, bike rental, and spacious suites with full kitchens. It’s close to shops and restaurants but quieter than in-town options.
  • Laru Beya Resort: Just south of town, Laru Beya’s intimate villas all face a pool and the sea beyond. The gorgeous beach has palm-shaded loungers and thatched huts. It’s adults-only, so perfect for a romantic escape.
  • Lydia’s Guesthouse: This Victorian-style B&B is right in the village so you can walk to everything. Rooms are affordable and full of character, plus there’s a pool and rooftop lounge with sea views.

Things to do in Placencia village and on the peninsula:

  • Take a boat trip to snorkel at Laughing Bird Caye or spot manatees.
  • Sign up for a fishing, sailing, or scuba trip to take advantage of the peninsula’s amazing waters.
  • Visit the colorful Placencia Sidewalk Arts Festival in February.
  • Hop over to the cute private island of Cayo Espanto for a luxurious day at their overwater bungalows and spa.

San Pedro on Ambergris Caye

I already touched on Ambergris Caye’s beaches, but no list of top beach towns in Belize would be complete without also mentioning the island’s only town, San Pedro. While it’s not directly on the beach, San Pedro offers easy access to Ambergris Caye’s stunning beaches.

With a laidback, fun vibe, San Pedro is the place to stay if you want to enjoy both relaxation on the beach and a taste of local restaurants, shops, and nightlife. The town comes alive at night with live music spilling out of beach bars. During the day, you can people watch from a cafe on the pedestrian-only Front Street or explore the colorful fishing docks.

My top recommendations for staying in San Pedro town:

  • The Phoenix: A stylish beachfront resort right in town, The Phoenix has two pools, a rooftop lounge, and spacious suites with full kitchens. The location makes enjoying San Pedro’s dining and nightlife scene easy.
  • Pelican Reef Villas: Just south of town, these tropical villas offer more space and privacy with full amenities. Being a little outside the hustle and bustle makes accessing the island’s top beaches easier too.
  • Sandbar Hostel: For solo travelers or those on a budget, Sandbar is a fun hostel option with both shared and private rooms. It has a pool, bar, and organized activities and tours.

Things to do in San Pedro:

  • Start your day with breakfast on a cafe balcony overlooking the sea. Try Estel’s for a local vibe.
  • Sign up for a snorkeling, diving, or fishing tour to nearby spots like Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley.
  • Shop for souvenirs and artisan crafts at local shops like the Belizean Arts Gallery.
  • Bar-hop along the beach at night, stopping to listen to live music at spots like Fido’s Courtyard.
  • Don’t miss having freshly fried chicken, fish, or ceviche at a street food cart. They’re the best!

Ways to Get Around Belize’s Beach Towns

Whichever beach destinations you choose in Belize, getting around easily is key to fully enjoying your coastal vacation. Here are some tips:

  • On Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, golf carts can be rented affordably for self-guided exploring. No need for a car here!
  • In Hopkins and Placencia villages, you can walk or bike around town. But a rental car is useful for reaching more remote sections of beach.
  • Small local flights connect Belize’s beaches and islands to each other and the mainland on airlines like Tropic Air and Maya Island Air.
  • Water taxis like the San Pedro Belize Express provide boat transportation between Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and Belize City.
  • Shuttles and buses between mainland towns like Belmopan and Dangriga can get you closer to coastal villages like Hopkins and Placencia.

Final Tips for Planning Your Perfect Belize Beach Getaway

With its amazing array of beach destinations, Belize offers something for every type of traveler seeking that ideal combination of sun, sand, culture, and adventure. Here are a few final tips to start planning your beach vacation in Belize:

  • Visit between December and April for ideal beach weather. But May to July offers fewer crowds and cheaper rates if heat and potential rain don’t bother you.
  • Look into renting a vacation condo or villa for more space and amenities if staying for a week or more. Many come with beach access, pools, and full kitchens.
  • Pack (or purchase on arrival) plenty of high SPF sunscreen, bug spray, and after sun aloe vera gel. The Belize sun is intense.
  • Check if your lodging includes free use of kayaks, paddleboards, or snorkel gear before renting elsewhere. Many offer recreational equipment for guest use.

I hope these recommendations help you choose the perfect spot for soaking up the sun and sand in Belize. Let me know if you have any other questions as you plan your beach getaway!

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