Plan your vacation to Belize
Welcome to the jewel of Central America, Belize! If you’re yearning for a vacation that combines stunning natural beauty, ancient wonders, and rich cultural experiences, look no further than this tropical paradise. Nestled between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize boasts a diverse landscape of pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and the world’s second-largest barrier reef. Whether you seek thrilling adventures like cave tubing and zip-lining or a tranquil escape surrounded by turquoise waters, Belize has it all. In this article, we’ll guide you through planning the perfect vacation to Belize, from must-visit destinations to cultural delights and practical tips for an unforgettable journey. Get ready to discover a destination that will capture your heart and leave you with cherished memories that last a lifetime.
Table of Contents
Step 1: Learn About Belize
Many people are unaware of where Belize even is! So, lets get some crucial information out of the way quickly. Belize is a Central American country, located below Mexico. Belize borders Mexico, Guatemala, and kind of Honduras. When here you can experience the Belizean culture, natural beauty, and the Belize Barrier Reef. San Pedro and Caye Caulker are the backbone of Belize, with thousands of tourists visiting them for quick access to the second largest barrier reef in the world. Our mainland boasts beautiful Maya sites, gorgeous waterfalls, and lush jungles. There is a variety of activities for anyone, from just relaxing by the beach to zip-lining above the jungle and deepsea fishing.
How to Get to Belize
When flying to Belize, you will choose Belize City’s Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (BZE). This is our only international airport so it is not hard to find. From there, you can take hopper flights, water taxis, rental cars or public transportation to get around the country. To find out more about Transportation in Belize, click here!
What language do they speak and what is the currency?
Belize’s national language is English, but they speak several languages in Belize. The former British colony gained independence back in 1981. The currency here is Belize Dollars (BZD) which is at an exchange rate of $2BZD to $1USD. Bring in and use US Dollars (don’t bother with exchanging money for BZD). When you use USD, you’ll get smaller change back in BZD so don’t worry about having local currency upon arrival (Belizeans love USD!). Just be sure to count your change and remember $5USD means $10BZD and $20BZD means $10USD.
*If you have any other currency, exchange it to USD before getting to Belize. The rates are not favorable.
Vacation to Belize Activities
Visiting Belize gives you access to a multitude of activities and excursions. Check out our Adventures Page for information on tours. For coastal cities and islands (San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Placencia), you can go sailing, deep sea fishing, diving, snorkeling, fly fishing, or even kite surfing. If you want to check something off the “Bucket List” – visit the Great Blue Hole. Explore the waters by boat, visiting some of over 400 Belizean Cayes, largely unpopulated and untouched. Most are isolated Cayes where you might find only one resort on and shuttle services provided by them to reach the island or reach via sailing trips.
If you are an expert bird watcher or hobbyist, mainland Belize will get your heart racing with the diversity of birds. If you are an explorer, venture out into the jungle, swim in watering holes and rivers, rappel down waterfalls, or hike to the tallest point in Belize (Victoria Peak).
Step 2: Book Your Flight to Belize
Flights to Belize
Many major US airlines are flying to Belize daily. Major connection hubs include Miami (American Airlines), Houston (United), and Atlanta (Delta). Other airlines have direct flights certain days of the week, so if you want to cut down travel time, check our international airports directory to see when flights are coming in. The list is only for the current month, but it will give you the information on when flights are coming in and from where. With that information, you can determine what days of the week would be good for your arrival and departure.
Months that are generally cheaper to travel to Belize are between May – November, and the most expensive travel time is between December and February. For travel during peak high season (Dec-Feb), book at least 3 months in advance. Many guests will arrive around Christmas without their rooms booked and end up paying exorbitant prices since all the more affordable rooms are already reserved.
Step 3: Book Your Hotels in Belize
Where to Stay
Now, you need to decide where to go and what to do! I think this is the hardest parts when travelling to such a vast tourist destination. But, here we list three destinations you won’t regret. Station yourself on Ambergris Caye for sea adventures, San Ignacio for Maya Sites, and Sittee River for nature and culture. Or choose only one or two if your time is limited. For more on hotel recommendations click here!
San Pedro is the biggest Island in the country of Belize. It is one of the top attractions in Belize due to its proximity to the Belize Barrier Reef. San Pedro is just a 15 minute boat ride to the amazing Hol-Chan Marine Reserve. At Hol-Chan, you can swim with nurse sharks, eagle and spotted sting rays, sea turtles, and among over 100 different species of coral on the reef. This marine reserve is lively due to being undisturbed from fishing and other practices that may harm the reef. We recommend Drift Inn.
Step 4: Research (and book) excursions
Book Your Excursions in Belize
Before booking a hotel, I find it best to find out what you want to do! Many people will book their entire stay in one location. Then, you are a little stuck and have longer commutes for the excursions you may want.
For the best trip in Belize, do some time in the Cayes and some time on the Mainland if you want both types of tours. On the mainland, you experience the Maya culture and wander around Maya sites. You can be one with nature, and explore the jungle, go see wild animals, and swim in rivers with refreshing water.
Although we suggest leaving some days up for spontaneity, having some reservations adds a framework to your travel plans. For each location, book at least one excursion! Drift Inn offers both island and mainland adventures, so book now!
On the island, it is important to try to do your dives early on in your trip to ensure good weather. For the mainland, trips like ATM Caves have limited capacity and tour guides so you must secure your spot early. For travel, flights and water taxis do not need to be booked far in advance (though flights may get more expensive on the days leading up to the travel date).
Step 5: How to get around Belize
Once you are in Belize, there are many ways to be get around! For example, by plane, bus, water taxi, boat, car, and taxi. Depending on your destination, different routes have better options. Your budget and itinerary will also determine which method of transportation to take. Buses and the water taxi are the most affordable, with buses to get around the country being less than $15 USD per person. Getting a rental car on the mainland will be roughly $75 USD per day, but will give you freedom to drive everywhere you want to go and reach attractions more easily.
If you want to travel to the Northern Cayes (Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker) you’ll need to book a flight or water taxi. Flights are approximately $90 USD one way, the water taxi is about $60 USD round trip.
Step 6: Prepare for your Vacation to Belize
Packing for your Vacation to Belize
My main tip here: Pack lightly. If you can fit your belongings in a backpack or carry on roller bag, you’ll thank me later. There are few elevators in Belize, and no one wants to carry a huge suitcase up flights of stairs. Plus, there is not much you will need!
For an island vacation in Belize, a handful of swimsuits, a couple pairs of shorts and tops, and perhaps a few dresses is the MAXIMUM you need to bring. Many tourists bring multiple pairs of shoes, three outfit changes a day, and a couple hats to their beach vacation, only to be barefoot in a bikini for most of the trip.
For the mainland of Belize, to trek in the jungle bring a comfortable pair of athletic shoes and at least one set of long sleeves and pants to protect yourself in the evenings from bug bites. It also gets chilly at times, so a light raincoat or jacket is advised.
Here are some items to bring with you:
- Reef-safe sunscreen
- Eco-insect repellant
- Long-sleeve rash guard (Protect your skin from the sun!)
- Tumbler (Save the environment from plastic waste, use your own cup at the bars in Belize!)
- Small, portable speaker (Great for golf cart rides on the island or rental cars that don’t have Bluetooth!)
Visiting Belize? Stay with Drift Inn
Are you ready for an adventure in Belize? Look no further than Drift Inn. Our comfortable and affordable accommodations provide all the necessities for your trip, including premium mattresses, private bathrooms, A/C, hot water, and WIFI. Plus, our convenient location on the island or in Cayo puts you just steps away from the beach and easy access to all major tour sites.
But we don’t just offer a place to rest your head. Drift Inn is a community of travelers who live to explore and make new connections. Our staff can organize tours and excursions, from trips to the Blue Hole to golf cart or car rental. And with opportunities to meet other guests at the bar, participating in tours, and gathering for live music, you’ll never be short of company. So, book your stay with Drift Inn and start planning your Belizean dream adventure today.