Table of Contents
- Top Belize Hotels And Resorts
- Where To Stay In Belize
- Top Ten Beach Resorts
- Top Ten Jungle Lodges
- Top Ten Budget / Value Hotels
Top Belize Hotels And Resorts
Where to go and where to stay in Belize will depend on your budget and what you want to experience during your vacation. The country has various locations each offering a different side of Belize whether it is sand and beach, Maya ruins, immersive culture, jungle experience, fishing, diving, caves, total relaxation, soft and hard adventure. The country’s Caribbean coast, islands and cayes are perfect for sand, sun and sea activities. The mainland towns and villages are excellent for ecotourism adventure and jungle adventures. Belize is a medium sized country so most tourists can get the opportunity to sample beach and jungle adventures in a small amount of time. Belize has some 900 lodging places (not including some vacation home rentals), with about 8,400 total rooms. Most of these hotels, inns, lodges and guesthouses are small, owner-operated places. All inclusive resorts can be found on the main tourist areas such as Ambergris Caye, Placencia and western Belize.
Travelers to Belize today can expect to find a variety of accommodations to fit almost any budget or preference. Among the special Belizean accommodations are the jungle lodges. These are mostly in remote areas, but despite the remote locations usually you don’t have to forego life’s little luxuries, such as cold beer, hot showers and comfortable mattresses.
Where To Stay In Belize
Picking the proper accommodations is as crucial to a good vacation as your choice of activities. That’s why some folks would rather wait until they get to a destination to choose. That’s not always a good idea in Belize, especially February through April. Educating yourself about the kinds of accommodations available and then matching those with your budget and preferences will reap large rewards later. In Belize basic budget rooms are still fairly easy to find; small modern lodgings are adding more · rooms to alleviate the growing shortages, and several upscale hotels have been built on Ambergris Caye and in Belize City in the last few years and mom and pop operations are using Airbnb, VRBO and other online platforms to promote their accommodations.
Scattered about the rest of the countryside and coastal regions, small hotels and delightful intimate guest’ houses range from spartan cottages with kerosene lanterns on the riverbank to luxury cabanas built of rich tropical hardwoods and surrounded by the rainforest, glorious gardens, and well-manicured grass. The rooms offer access to thousands of acres of rainforest, nature reserves, rivers, waterfalls, beautiful flowers, wild animals, colorful birds, and modern Maya villages along with ancient ceremonial sites of their ancestors. On tiny cayes just offshore, simple cabins sit in perfect locations for easy-access scuba diving and snorkeling as well as world-class sport fishing including permit and bonefishing. Or for other serious divers and anglers, live-aboard boats offer accommodations and the opportunity to comfortably cruise to offshore cayes. Most of the hostelries in the country are small and intimate, which, in keeping with the small country, is what the tourist majority prefers. Note: In the more isolated areas, rooms may not have hot water, electricity, or telephones. Those staying in the Maya Guest Houses will also have to use an outhouse. Will adventurers let that stop them? It seems not.
Top Ten Beach Resorts
Here are our picks for the Top 10 Beach Resorts in Belize. Most are more upscale, deluxe properties.
- A Private Island Cayo Espanto, near Ambergris Caye
- Phoenix Resort, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
- Grand Caribe Beach Resort & Condominiums, North Ambergris Caye
- Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort, Hopkins
- Pelican Reef Villas Resort, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
- Chabil Mar Villas, Placencia
- Turneffe Island Resort, Turneffe Atoll
- Victoria House, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
- Maya Beach Hotel & Bistro, Maya Beach, Placencia peninsula
- Xanadu Island Resort, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
Honorable Mentions: Athens Gate, San Pedro; Beaches and Dreams, Hopkins; Belizean Dreams, Hopkins; Coco Beach Resort, North Ambergris Caye; Iguana Reef Inn, Caye Caulker; Matachica, North Ambergris Caye; El Pescador, North Ambergris Caye; Seaside Cabañas, Caye Caulker; Las Terrazas, North Ambergris Caye; Turtle Inn, Placencia; Turneffe Flats, Turneffe Atoll; Villas at Banyan Bay, San Pedro, Ambergris Cay.
Top Ten Jungle Lodges
These are our picks for Top 10 Jungle Lodges in Belize. Most are more expensive properties.
- Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch Adventure Camp, Hummingbird Highway, Cayo District
- Chan Chich Lodge, Gallon Jug, Orange Walk District
- Blancaneaux Lodge, Mountain Pine Ridge, Cayo District
- Hidden Valley Inn, Mountain Pine Ridge, Cayo District
- Table Rock Lodge, between San Ignacio and Mountain Pine Ridge, Cayo District
- Lamanai Outpost Lodge, Indian Church Village, near Lamanai Maya site, Orange Walk District
- Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge, Hummingbird Highway, Cayo District
- The Lodge at Chaa Creek, near San Ignacio, Cayo District
- duPlooy’s Lodge, near San Ignacio, Cayo District
- Belcampo Belize, near Punta Gorda, Toledo District
Honorable Mentions: Banana Bank Lodge, near Belmopan; Black Rock Lodge, near San Ignacio, Cayo District; Cotton Tree Lodge, Toledo District; Gaia Riverlodge, Mountain Pine Ridge, Cayo District; Hickatee Cottages, near Punta Gorda, Toledo District; The Lodge at Big Falls, Big Falls, Toledo District; La Milpa Field Station, Programme for Belize Rio Bravo, Orange Walk District; Mystic River Resort, between San Ignacio and Mountain Pine Ridge, Cayo District; Pook’s Hill Lodge, Cayo District.
Usually, the birding and wildlife spotting around the lodges are excellent, and they offer all the amenities you enjoy after the day’s adventures are done. Many, though not all, have bayleaf thatch cabañas built with a nod to Maya-style construction, yet done up in much more luxury and style than traditional Maya cottages.
The small private cayes have offshore caye and atoll lodges, often focused on diving and fishing but sometimes just on getting away from it all. Most are upscale spots.
Belize City and Environs – If there were nothing to Belize but Belize City, the country would get very few visitors. Belize City has an image problem, and part of that image of crime and not much worth the visitor’s time is at least partially accurate. But there’s no escaping Belize City, as it’s where most visitors arrive. It’s the commercial, media and transportation hub of Belize.
We consider Northern Belize Orange Walk and Corozal Districts. These areas, like the Far South of Belize, Toledo District, are relatively less visited. Yet, with proper planning they can offer the Belize traveler a lot to see and do, with generally much lower costs for food and lodging than the more popular destinations in Belize such as Ambergris Caye and Placencia
Orange Walk District Your introduction to Orange Walk District likely will be the sugar cane fields — and concomitant hulking sugar cane trucks and trailers — near Orange Walk Town on the Goldson Highway. Orange Walk Town itself is a somewhat scruffy, bustling place with more of a Mexican than Belizean ambiance, having limited interest for the visitor.
Western Belize is Cayo District, which stretches from a little east of Belmopan City through the San Ignacio/Santa Elena area and Benque Viejo to the border with Guatemala and also south along the scenic Hummingbird Highway and, in addition, the Mountain Pine Ridge and Chiquibul. To exaggerate just a bit, Cayo is the “Wild West” of Belize. For visitors, it is the turf in the traditional “surf ‘n turf” visit to Belize — a few days on the cayes, typically Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker, combined with some time on the mainland exploring ruins, rivers and rainforests. Cayo District has an area of more than 2,000 square miles, beginning near Belmopan and extending west and southwest to the Pine Ridge and into the Chiquibul wilderness and Maya Mountains.
Top Ten Budget / Value Hotels
These are our picks for Top 10 Budget/Value beach hotels in coastal and island areas of Belize. Although they may not be the cheapest properties in their areas, they give real value and service for your money. All are on the water (those in Punta Gorda have water views but are not on a beach).
- Maya Beach Hotel, Maya Beach, Placencia peninsula
- Coral House Inn, Punta Gorda
- Tree Tops Guesthouse, Caye Caulker
- Hopkins Inn, Hopkins
- Sea Dreams Hotel, Caye Caulker
- Coconut Row Guesthouse, Hopkins
- Colinda Cabañas, Caye Caulker
- Cerros Beach Resort, near Copper Bank, Corozal District
- Serenity Sands Bed & Breakfast, Consejo, near Corozal Town
- Blue Belize Guest House, Punta Gorda
Honorable Mentions: Coconut Row Guesthouse, Hopkins; D’Nest Inn, Belize City; Fernando’s Seaside Guesthouse, Sarteneja, Corozal District; Maxapan Cabañas, Caye Caulker; OASI, Caye Caulker; Pedro’s Hotel and Backpacker Inn, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye; Ruby’s, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye; Seabreeze, Corozal Town; Tipple Tree Beya Inn,Hopkins.
Southern Belize begins on the southern part of the Hummingbird Highway near Dangriga, leaving behind the scenic green Maya Mountains and transitioning to citrus and banana plantations. Dangriga may not be a tourist magnet, but it is a Garifuna cultural and art center. A short distance farther off the Southern Highway is the friendly and fastchanging coastal village of Hopkins and the wild inland expanses of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, with its roaming jaguars, and Mayflower Bocawina National Park. A little farther south is the Placencia peninsula, a rival to Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker for beach vacation popularity.
Going farther still into the Deep South, you reach Toledo District, with lush, rain-soaked rainforests, ancient Maya ruins and contemporary Maya villages. Then, you come to the end of the road, Punta Gorda, a friendly ends- of-the-earth little bayside town. PG is also an exit point for boats to the Caribbean Coast of Guatemala. By the time you get to Toledo District, coastal beaches are not easily accessible and the tail end of the Belize Barrier Reef is a good ways out from shore. But the sea and reefs are pristine, and the fishing is fine. Dangriga, Hopkins, Placencia in Stann Creek and PG in Toledo are jumping off points for visiting the offshore cayes and atolls, although the distances involved make some of the boat rides long.
Updated November 2022