The best itinerary for Belize!

by Kelly

This is the best itinerary for Belize, the one you need to plan your trip! Belize is an incredible country, one we were so excited to explore. It has so much to offer, from jungle, ruins, beaches and islands. It really is a must visit.

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How to get to Belize | best itinerary for Belize

By air:

Flying in is always the easiest option. Flights go to Belize City from all over. The Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport just 14km outside of Belize city. 

Travelling Mexico to Belize by bus:

There are a couple of ways you can do this, on your own or with a shuttle company. We did a shuttle on the way to Belize and our own on the way back to Mexico. I have detailed the border crossing in this blog. It was the easier and stress free option although having done it once I would probably do it on my own next time. Or I think the best way to do Belize from Mexico is to head to Chetamul and then catch the San Pedro Water Jet ferry straight to Caye Caulker and start there. This is the hassle free and fastest way to get to Belize from Mexico.

Do you need a car for Belize? | best itinerary for Belize

Honestly we think Belize is a great country to hire a car. We met several people who were driving around and it was super easy. There’s lots of places you can only do by car so it’s worth it. The Hummingbird Highway is a fantastic drive, I really want to come back to do this! 

Travelling in Belize by bus:

You can definitely bus around Belize but it’s not perfect. The best bus company is Florindia. They’re the newest, nicest and not much more expensive than the express buses. It runs brim Belize City south, if you’re going to Hopkins or Placenia I would take this bus.

Otherwise you’re looking at the older big buses and chicken buses. Theres no rhyme or reason to which route or time will be a chicken bus but you always want to try and choose the express option which stops slightly less than the regular bus.

Taxis and shuttles can be expensive, short distances aren’t too bad but long distances you’ll want to share with a group.

How much time for Belize? | best itinerary for Belize

We spent 8 days in Belize and loved it. There are still things I want to come back to see so if you have the time I would allocate about 2.5 weeks ideally.

My ideal Belize Itinerary | best itinerary for Belize

Day 1-3:

Fly in or bus to Belize city. Head to the port and take the ferry to Caye Caulker. Spend 3 nights here. This is the most idyllic island, we fell in love with it. Check out our detailed Caye Caulker blog to see what you need to know. 

Where to stay in Caye Caulker:

Best budget Caye Caulker accommodation:

We stayed at the Enjoy Hotel, it was central, clean and comfortable.

Best midrange Caye Caulker accommodation:

We also loved Barefoot Caye Caulker HotelColinda Cabanas and Sea Dreams Hotel.

Day 4-7:

Join the Ragga Sailing Adventures 3 day/2 night tour and have the experience of a lifetime. Check out our detailed Ragga Sailing Adventure blog to see why we loved it so much! You will spend your days filled with snorkelling, sailing, fishing and fun! It is one of the best things we did in Belize and honestly I can’t wait to return and do it again, it is that good.

You’ll end up in Dangriga, take a taxi to Hopkins and stay at The Lodge at Jaguar Reef.

You can get a taxi from the Dangriga port or even better hire a car here. Having a car in Belize is the ideal way to get around as the public transport is doable but not perfect. It also allows you to enjoy the drive along the Hummingbird Highway!

Day 8-11:

Spend 3 days of bliss at The Lodge at Jaguar Reef. This was truly an exceptional stay! We couldn’t fault it. You’ll be able to explore the tiny town of Hopkins and do some great day trips from here but you won’t want to leave for long. It’s truly a beautiful experience. While in Hopkins make sure to do the excellent tours that will teach you about the local Garifuna culture. Check out our detailed Hopkins blog for what you need to know. It is the tiniest seaside town but full of culture and heart.

These are the best day trips from Hopkins: 

Hopkins is a great base to do tours from, these are the best we found:

Guided Bioluminescence Night Kayaking Adventure in Belize – a nighttime voyage takes you into a world that comes alive with the mysterious allure of bioluminescent algae. Your paddle strokes disturb the water, watch the dazzling display of bioluminescent on the lagoon.

Cockscomb Basin Waterfalls and Jungle Hike Tour – Cockscomb Basin Waterfalls and Jungle Hike Tour takes you on a journey through a wide range of flora and fauna, including jaguars, howler monkeys, and an incredible variety of birds.

ATM Cave – One of the most popular and impressive ceremonial caves. This is an all day tour from Hopkins which takes you through a subterranean river. Swim into the mouth of the cave, wade through ankle- to chest-high water before climbing through intricate passageways of dry chambers to reach a cathedral-like main hall filled with artifacts and sacrificial remains. This is the most impressive of all the tours in Hopkins.

Fishing Tour – this half day tour takes you to many fishing spots along the Belize’s southern barrier reef.

Monkey River Tour (with transportation from Hopkins) – cruise down the Monkey River. A scenic yet little-known waterway that’s home to howler monkeys, manatees, crocodiles, and even giant iguanas. Get a glimpse into local fishing traditions and enjoy an authentic Belizean meal.

Where to stay in Hopkins:

Best budget Hopkins accommodation:

Crash pad hostel

Best Overall & Luxury Hopkins accommodation:

The Lodge at Jaguar Reef. This is the best hotel in Hopkins, I would stay here again in a heartbeat. It was so luxurious and beautiful with so much to offer such as free kayaks, bikes and right on the beachfront. It is just a perfect stay.

Day 12-14:

Go to Placenia. We didn’t get here ourselves so it’s still on our list for next time we are in Belize. We spoke to a local lady who raved about it and other travellers agreed. 

Where to stay in Placenia-

Best budget Placenia accommodation:

Casa Palma Placencia – simple rooms, great staff, cheapest price point

Best midrange  Placenia accommodation:

Sea View Suites – on boardwalk close to beach, great staff, clean rooms.

Best luxury Placenia accommodation:

Turtle Inn – beautiful rooms, excellent staff and great location. Very highly rated

Mariposa Belize Beach Resort – great staff, close to airport still central, great rooms, on beach and excellent facilities.

Day 15-18:

Go to San Ignacio. If you hired a car this is where you can drive along the beautiful Hummingbird Highway! It’s so high on my must do list after hearing so much about it. You’ll be stopping off at waterfalls, staying in cute accommodations along the way, it sounds dreamy! I would even add on a couple of extra days to enjoy this and end up in San Ignacio.

Alternatively in San Ignacio the little town is  spread out but it is right in the jungle and the tours you can do from here make it worth visiting. We recommend the ruins right in town Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins and the Xunantunich Mayan Ruins which are a little further out. These are the best tours from San Ignacio.

Check out our detailed San Ignacio blog to get everything you need to know.

Where to stay in San Ignacio-

Best budget San Ignacio accommodation:

Venus Hotel – comfortable and big rooms. Great location in the centre of town.

Best midrange San Ignacio accommodation:

Falling Leaves Lodge-beautiful hotel actually located right near the Cahal Peache ruins with easy access.

Best luxury San Ignacio accommodation:

The San Ignacio Resort-beautiful luxurious rooms and excellent hotel restaurant. There are multiple tours run on the property which are included in your stay! Such as the Iguana Reserve, Tea Tasting, Birdwatching etc.

What to eat in Belize:

We always eat local foods as it really adds to the experience in a country. Our favourite local Belizean dishes were:

Stew chicken-absolutely delicious (just watch out for the bones) served with rice, beans and salad.

Fry jacks- Mike loved these at breakfast! Soft fried bread (no gf options) filled with your choice of eggs, meat, cheese etc.

Fresh fruit-a must from all the road stalls

Rice and beans-will be served either mixed already or poured over the rice. Either way it’s good.

Coconut rice-just delicious!

Jerk chicken-spicy and BBQed to perfection.

Martha——-hot sauce! We loved it so much we bought some to take home! In varying labels of hot from mild to very firey.

Where to next?

Ragga Sailing Adventures – must do in Belize!

Caye Caulker must visit destination in 2025

The Lodge at Jaguar Reef – the best place to stay in Belize

Is Hopkins worth visiting in Belize?

Crossing the Mexico – Belize land border in 2024

Gluten free Belize

Why you have to visit Xunantunich Mayan Ruins from San Ignacio

What to do in the jungle town of San Ignacio, Belize

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