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Where to Stay in Belize | Best Areas & Hotels

Where to Stay in Belize | Best Areas & Hotels

Figuring out where to stay in Belize simply comes down to what you’re looking for in a vacation. If you want a bit of surf and sand, then the best option would be to go to the coast.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to see some interesting ancient temples or animal habitats, then you’ll probably want to go more to the west instead.

If you’re unsure about what you might want to visit first, then our article will help you out by taking you through the most famous attractions that the country has to offer.

Where to Stay in Belize

Image of Caye Caulker in the Summer with people walking down a long street

Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock

Belize is located just south of Mexico, and since the coast of Mexico is known for some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Belize also has some fantastic coastal spots you can visit.

The country is a very popular tourist destination during the summer for the many beautiful sugar-white, soft sand beaches, but it has something to offer during the other seasons as well.

Belize is arguably just as famous for the many Mayan temples and artifacts as it is for its beaches, and places like the Xunantunich Mayan Ruins are often the first that tourists want to visit and explore when they visit the country.

There’s also a lot of natural beauty in the form of the botanic gardens and animal preserves located throughout Belize as well as plenty of large caves that you can spelunk or simply go on cave tubing tours.

You also have places like the Belize Museum, which serves as a home to some of the most notable Mayan artifacts, the snorkeling and scuba diving locations that show you a whole new beautiful world hidden under the waves, and many more interesting attractions as well.

The country itself isn’t that big, but figuring out where to stay in Belize can sometimes be a real pain because there are so many attractions, and they’re scattered all over the place.

The 5 Best Parts of Belize

We’ve gone over the most interesting attractions and the most beautiful beaches, so all that’s left is for you to look through the locations that we’ve outlined and pick out the one that attracts you the most.

  1. Placencia Peninsula: The go-to place to spend your vacation on the beach
  2. Belize City: Plenty of interesting attractions and a lot of restaurants that you can visit
  3. San Pedro: Both beautiful beaches and a thriving nightlife
  4. Hopkins: The best place for cave explorers and nature enthusiasts
  5. Cayo: Home of the biggest Mayan temple in Belize

Belize’s Best Areas and Hotels

Belize is full of both large resorts that come with full spas and luxury restaurants and smaller hotels that might not have as many amenities but will still provide you with everything that you need, and at a reasonable price at that.

Regardless of your traveling situation or preferences, we’ve got you covered. You’ll find both the most luxurious hotels and the most cost-effective ones in each region outlined in our article below.

You just need to check which one fits your budget and conditions the best. Once you’ve made your pick, it’s easy to book a room through the links we’ve provided.

1. Placencia Peninsula

Placencia Peninsula's colorful cabins overlooking the beach and the ocean below palm trees

Johanna Veldstra/Shutterstock

Belize has around 180 miles of coastline, so saying that it has a few beautiful beaches that you can visit is an understatement. Most people that come to Belize want to go to the coast and spend as much time out in the sun and water as they can.

So their first port of call (pun intended) is usually Placencia Peninsula. This crescent piece of land at the edge of Belize is known for the sugar-fine white beaches that cover the 16-mile-long coast.

The most famous beaches in the area has to be Maya Beach and the beach that’s just in front of Placencia Village. These are known as “barefoot beaches” because of how clean the beaches are and how soft the sand is.

Placencia Peninsula is also very well known for its thriving fishing culture, so the restaurants in the area are always well-stocked, and the catch of the day is something you really need to try if you’re in Placencia.

In terms of attractions and/or activities, our personal recommendation would be the scuba diving tours that take you to see some beautiful flora at the bottom of the shore as well as plenty of colorful fish species and plenty of sea turtles.

While this area has quite a lot of restaurants and seaside bars that you can visit if you want to get a drink, there aren’t any shopping malls, historic sites, or any other attractions that you might be interested in visiting.

This is the quiet part of Belize, and it’s great for daytime fun on the beach. However, if you’re not looking for a tan, then you might want to try someplace else.

Things to Do

  • Take a boat out to Laughing Bird Caye national park and check out the collar reefs in the crystal clear water and the cave that was home to so many different avian species.
  • Grab your oxygen bottles and snorkels and make your way down to the Silk Cayes Marine Reserve if you want to see some of the most beautiful underwater flora and fauna that you can imagine.
  • Taking a tour down the so-called “Monkey River” will take you past the habitats of crocodiles, howler monkeys, and a whole bunch of colorful birds.
  • Rent out a bike or a kayak and take a more scenic tour of the peninsula while also getting a bit of exercise in. 

Where to Eat

  • Omars Creole Grub is the best spot for traditional Creole food.
  • Buba Wuba’s Grill and Smoke Shack is where you go for some BBQ.
  • Placencia Beach Club is a great place to grab a cold drink on a hot day.

Placencia Peninsula Budget Hotels

  • Seahorse comes equipped with a cable TV, a small kitchen that’s equipped with an oven and fridge, and free WIFI.
  • Oceans Edge offers simple but very cozy apartments that come with a full kitchen, free WiFi, and even a little seating area with a sofa.

Placencia Peninsula Mid-Range Hotels

  • Itz’ana Resort & Residences comes with a free continental breakfast each morning, free WIFI throughout the property, and a front desk that’s on-call 24/7.
  • Laru Beya Resort has an Ac unit in every room, an in-house restaurant with a topical theme, and a fully-stocked bar.

Placencia Peninsula Luxury Hotels

  • Chabil Mar Villas has free parking and free bikes that guests can use to get around the peninsula during their stay, on top of the free WIFI throughout the property and the rooms that come with a flat-screen TV, an AC unit, and a fully-equipped kitchen.
  • Naïa Resort and Spa offers a free continental breakfast each morning, a fully-equipped fitness center that guests can use, a decently-sized outdoor pool with a lounging area, and a bar where you can enjoy a drink.

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2. Belize City

An image of the harbor in Belize City, a top pick when considering where to stay in Belize

Matyas Rehak/Shutterstock

While this might not be the capital of Belize, it’s actually bigger than the actual capital, which is Belmopan. The coast-side city is divided into a north and south side by the Haulover Creek.

This offers a fun way to get around the city and allows you to see some of the sights by simply renting out a boat that acts as a water taxi of sorts. Belize City is famous for the Museum of Belize, which is home to a great many Maya artifacts.

The museum itself used to be a jail until it was renovated back in the early 2000s, so you’ll also get a glimpse into the conditions that prisoners used to be kept in.

Belize City is also located close to both the Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve and the Billy Barquiedier National Park. Both of these locations are great places for people that want to check out the natural beauty of Belize by kayaking and hiking.

There are also many possibilities to check out a different side of the country by going spelunking and exploring the many cave systems — with an experienced guide at your side, of course.

There are plenty of nightclubs that you can visit, but the problem is that this town is incredibly dangerous at night.

If you’re staying here, then we’d recommend sticking to open areas and always traveling in groups while moving during the day. Don’t stray too far from your hotel during the night either. 

Things to Do

  • If you want a bit of fun, then you can try a bit of cave tubbing and ride down the river in a floating tube to explore the inside of the cave in comfort.
  • If you get tired of cave tubing, you can always visit the Mayan Temple that’s located just above the cave if you want a glimpse back in history.
  • Shark and Sting Ray Alley Snorkeling may sound dangerous, but it’s actually pretty interesting to see these massive creatures close up.
  • Visit The Baboon Sanctuary and try to catch a glimpse of these little guys as they run around inside their enclosure.

Where to Eat

  • Moe’s Pizza is a great place to go if you want to grab a quick slice.
  • Vino Tinto offers a great selection of drinks and a great view of the coast.
  • The Tavern has a pretty big menu full of local dishes.

Belize City Budget Hotels

  • Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza comes with a fitness center and an outdoor pool that all of the guests can use, as well as a cable TV and free wifi in every room.
  • Easy Inn Hotel offers pretty simple accommodations, but you still get an AC unit, cable TV, and free wifi for a pretty reasonable price.

Belize City Mid-Range Hotels

  • Golden Bay Belize Hotel provides all of the guests with a free continental breakfast each morning, a front desk that’s always available to answer your calls, and an AC unit and Flat-screen TV in every room.
  • Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina comes with an AC unit and a cable TV in every room, as well as a coffee machine that all of the guests can use and an outside seasonal pool.

Belize City Luxury Hotels

  • Villa Boscardi provides all of the guests with a cable TV and a coffee machine in every room, as well as a complimentary breakfast each morning and free wifi throughout the property.
  • Ramada by Wyndham has free parking for all of the guests, two on-site restaurants that the guests can use, both a business center and a fitness center, and an outdoor pool.

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3. San Pedro

Empty beach with upholstered teal chairs overlooking the water below palm trees for a piece titled Where to Stay in Belize

James bommarito/Shutterstock

San Pedro is located on Ambergris Caye, which is the largest of the many islands of Belize. The crystal clear water and spacious beaches make this an ideal destination for any tourist, but the city itself has quite a lot to offer as well.

The city doesn’t have all that many streets or tall buildings, but that only adds to the charm and gives it a much more peaceful feeling than someplace like Belize City.

The main form of transportation here is either bicycle or golf cart, and the streets are more like paved walking paths. This makes it an ideal destination for anyone that’s looking for a bit of peace and quiet and an overall relaxed atmosphere.

However, if you only want to relax during the day and prefer to spend your nights drinking or having a bit of fun, then San Pedro definitely won’t disappoint. This city has quite a few bars that you can visit, as well as plenty of restaurants and cafes.

There are also festivals that you might be lucky enough to catch, like the carnival that’s organized every February, the Lobsterfest that’s a real tourist magnet during the summer, or the Dia de San Pedro, where the entire city comes out to honor the fishermen that established it long ago.

Simply put, San Pedro is one of the most visited spots in Belize and has the most hotels and restaurants.

This means that there’s going to be a crowd of tourists in the city regardless of which time of the year you decide to go. You should be fine if you get a room ahead of time, but you might have less luck finding a free table in the city sometimes.

Things to Do

  • Visit the famous Half Moon Caye Wall if you want to do a bit of scuba diving and check out one of the most beautiful underwater locations that you’ll ever see.
  • If snorkeling is more your style, then you can always visit the Hol Chan and Caye Caulker marine reserves to check out the fauna that they have there.
  • Try to catch the international Costa Maya festival, the Tres Pescados Slam Tournament, or the colorful Holiday Lighted Boat Parade.
  • Take advantage of the beaches in this area by renting out a lounge chair, getting yourself a drink from one of the local bars, and working on your tan.

Where to Eat

  • Elvi’s Kitchen has a great mix of Mexican, Caribbean, and local cuisine on the menu.
  • Juice Dive is where you go if you want to get out of the sun and enjoy a nice chilly mojito.
  • Sugar Shack is great because sometimes you just want a double scoop on a hot day.

San Pedro Budget Hotels

  • Ramon’s Village Resort offers you a choice between an American or an a la carte breakfast each morning, and all of the rooms come with an AC unit and free parking.
  • Ocean Tide Beach Resort provides all of the guests with a Cable TV and mini-fridge in every room, and you also get an outdoors swimming pool and a bar right next to it.

San Pedro Mid-Range Hotels

  • Turtle Island Beach Resort comes with an AC unit, cable TV, and deposit box with every room, as well as a complimentary a la carte breakfast each morning.
  • Caye Casa has a flat-screen TV and free wifi in every room, an outside swimming pool that everyone can use, and some rooms also come with a microwave, a stove, and an oven.

San Pedro Luxury Hotels

  • Alaia Belize provides all of the guests with an a la carte breakfast each morning, and evening entertainment each night, as well as an in-house restaurant and bar, a fitness center, and round-the-clock concierge and room services.
  • Matachica Beach Resort and Spa comes with both an outdoor pool and a hot tub, an in-house restaurant and bar that guests can enjoy, free parking and wifi, and a fitness center where you can work up a sweat.

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4. Hopkins

Beach in Hopkins, one of the best places to stay in Belize, as seen from the shallow water by the beach

Taharqa/Shutterstock

On one hand, Hopkins has a lot of the same sort of cave tubing and snorkeling activities that you can find in almost any other part of Belize.

On the other hand, it’s also the place where you go for some of the more unique tourist experiences in this country. The first thing that comes to mind when we say unique experiences has to be the bioluminescent tours and sunset river cruises.

In essence, you get on a boat, and you’re taken out to a point past the shore at sunset where you’ll see flora and fauna starting to glow under the water.

This is a breathtaking sight, and it’s an incredibly calming one as you and your fellow tourists are taken past the glowing waters at night, making for a scene straight out of a sci-fi film.

If you’re a bit more of a thrill-seeker, you might like to visit the Bocawina Rainforest. Here you’ll find an entire adventure park that includes fun activities like ziplining paths as well as waterfall rappelling courses that you can try and complete.

Hopkins is an incredibly friendly and welcoming village, and it has a lot of small shops, mom-and-pop restaurants, and little bars that you can visit.

However, all of these places are pretty small, and while you have a few places that you can choose from, there aren’t nearly as many restaurants or bars as some bigger cities like San Pedro or Belize City.

Things to Do

  • Visit the village during lobster season or while the famous Mango Fest is going on in the summer.
  • Visit the Mayflower Bocawina National Park and try out the many hiking trails that take you down to the waterfall or through the lush forest.
  • Go on a nighttime boat cruise and check out the beautiful plants and fish that can only really be seen in all their glory at night.
  • Take one of the Garifuna dancing, drumming, or cooking courses if you want to get a bit more in touch with the local culture in a few short lessons.

Where to Eat

  • Kat’s Coffee is where you go for your morning cup ‘a joe.
  • Queen Bean offers a pretty great breakfast menu that you can try out.
  • Innie’s Restaurant is the best place to try some local cuisine.

Hopkins Budget Hotels

  • Latitude 17 is a simple cottage that comes with a cable TV and a kitchen that has a microwave that guests can use.
  • Sugar Patch Inn comes with a flat-screen TV and an AC unit in every room, as well as a coffee machine and free toiletries.

Hopkins Mid-Range Hotels

  • Cosmopolitan Guesthouse has a two-section outside swimming pool, a cable TV and AC unit in every room, and free wifi throughout the hotel.
  • Bocawina Rainforest Resort comes with an on-site restaurant, free wifi throughout the property, and ceiling fans in every room.

Hopkins Luxury Hotels

  • Parrot Cove Lodge offers guests equipment like bicycles, kayaks, and paddleboards that they can use for free, on top of the rooms that come with a flat-screen TV and a coffee maker and the on-site grill restaurant.
  • Hopkins Bay Belize a Muy’Ono Resort has two swimming pools that the guests can use, a flat-screen TV, an AC unit, and a fan in every room, and the front desk also provides tourist assistance and can help schedule tours and arrange various activities.

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5. Cayo

Cayo, a top pick for where to stay in Belize, pictured on the water with boats by cliffs

Paulharding00/Shutterstock

Rather than a city or a village, Cayo is actually the name of the western part of Belize. While other regions of Belize are known for their beaches, and rightfully so.

The Cayo District is mostly known for the Mayan temples in this area, the nature exhibits, and the vast stretches of forests and caves that make exploration fun. This section of Belize is probably most well-known for the Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, which are the largest ruins in the country.

Curious visitors can take part in one of the many guided tours that take place and check out this massive structure, learning a bit more about the sorts of rituals that used to take place at the top along the way.

However, Cayo is not limited only to archaeological and historical attractions. The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve is a great place for hikers and nature enthusiasts. To get the most out of this area, you’ll need a comfy pair of sneakers and a pair of binoculars.

Take one of the paths and keep a sharp eye out for the colorful avian species that are indigenous to this area. At the edge of the northeastern corner of the Cayo District is where you’ll find the Belize Zoo.

While the many nature exhibits around the country can show you the indigenous animals in their natural habitats, the zoo is a great place for those that like to witness exotic species in a more comfortable environment — even fauna that might not be native to Belize.

Cayo is a large area, but it’s largely “empty.” There are Mayan sites, nature exhibits, and restaurants here and there, but surprisingly few bars, cafes, and even hotels, so it might be a good idea to go elsewhere if you’re looking to party.

Things to Do

  • Visit the Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, which is arguably the most famous temple in a country that’s full of ancient attractions.
  • Go to the Belize Zoo and check out all of the different animal exhibits that they have on display there.
  • Try out some of the many hiking trails in this area and experience the natural beauty of this location firsthand.
  • Visit the Natural history museum or the Belize Botanic Gardens and check out the exhibits that they house.

Where to Eat

  • Guava Limb Restaurant & Cafe is the best place to go in the morning to get some coffee and breakfast.
  • Lola’s Munchies and Booze offers exactly what it advertises – drinks and something light to go along with the alcohol.
  • Erva’s Restaurant is where you go if you want to try the best fish dishes in town.

Cayo Budget Hotels

  • Rumors Resort Hotel offers free wifi throughout the property, a children’s playground where the little ones can play, and cable TV in every room.
  • Drift Inn Cayo comes with an outdoor swimming pool, an in-house bar, and a front desk that’s always available. 

Cayo Mid-Range Hotels

  • Rolson Hotel has an on-site Mexican restaurant where guests can get something to eat, coffee-making facilities in the lobby, and cable TV in all of the rooms.
  • Hidden Valley Inn & Reserve has cottages that come with a ceiling fan for those warm afternoons and an outside fire pit that you can gather around on those chilly nights.

Cayo Luxury Hotels

  • Falling Leaves Lodge comes with an in-house restaurant and bar, free parking and wifi for all of the guests, a flat-screen TV and a safety deposit box for every room, and a beautiful garden where you can enjoy a drink at night.
  • The Lodge at ChaaCreek has an outside pool with a lounge area, a full health spa that guests can take advantage of, and an in-house restaurant that serves traditional Central American cuisine, and all of the ingredients are fresh and locally sourced.

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So, Where Should You Stay in Belize?

As we mentioned before, Belize is pretty small, but it has quite a lot of interesting attractions that are scattered all over the country. We covered all of the more notable spots that tourists seem to gravitate to when they visit Belize.

So it’s pretty easy to find something that might pique your interests, and you might like to see in person. However, if you can’t remember all the attractions and locations we went over, let us refresh your memory.

Placencia Peninsula and San Pedro are both known for their beautiful beaches and their lively nightclubs, so picking either one of them will allow you to get a tan in the sun all day and drink yourself silly in the bar all night.

Hopkins and the Cayo District both have interesting Mayan temples that you can visit, animal enclosures where you can see the indigenous fauna, and caves that you can explore, so again, picking between the two is only a matter of preference.

Belize City has museums, animal enclosures, and plenty of restaurants and cafes. However, there aren’t any notable beaches nearby, and most of the more interesting Mayan Ruins are in other locations.

Whichever part of Belize you choose, you’re sure to have a memorable trip. Happy travels!