Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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With its Caribbean coasts, warm climate, and clear water, Belize is a versatile tropical paradise that deserves to top virtually any travel bucket list. It doesn’t matter if you’re the adventurous type or if you’d prefer to lounge on the sand with a good book. There’s a place in this Central American nation for you.
After weighing the pros and cons of each, we’ve managed to create this list of the 10 best, so your Belize vacation can be the beachy getaway you’ve always dreamed of.
Map of the 10 Best Beaches in Belize
The 4 Best Beaches in North Belize
1. Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Caye is one of Belize’s largest islands, making it one of the most popular destinations for visitors.
As a tourist, you have multiple options when it comes to enjoying this caye’s coastal offerings. The island is home to multiple resorts, which each have privately accessible beach stretches where you can enjoy amenities like beach umbrellas, chairs, and on-site refreshments.
You don’t even have to be a guest at these hotels to access these areas. You can just buy a day pass if you’d prefer to stay elsewhere. However, there are also multiple public sections of the sand, too. These tend to be busier since they’re frequented by both tourists and locals, so you’ll want to avoid visiting on weekends or in the evenings when they can get crowded.
2. Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker is just 5 miles long, but it’s one of the most beloved islands off the coast of Belize. The water around the island is warm and bright blue, so you can swim comfortably for hours. It’s also shallow enough for children to splash around in without worries.
The most popular swimming spot on the island is the Split. Here you’ll find not just crystal clear waters but also numerous amenities like boat rentals and restaurants. This part of Caulker likely developed after being hit by Hurricane Hattie in 1961. As a result, there are 2 parallel coasts you can swim between.
There aren’t many other sandy stretches large enough to lay out a towel elsewhere on the island, though. So if a Caye Caulker beach day is on your itinerary, make sure you scope out a spot at the Split early.
3. Digi Park
Digi Park, also known as Belize Telemedia Limited Park or BTL Park, is a family-friendly recreational area where you can have fun on land or near the water. The park is home to a grassy playground for kids of all ages and multiple areas where you can lay out a blanket for a picnic. The park can get busy, but crowds usually don’t pick up until the afternoon.
If the water is just too inviting to resist, there’s also an access path to the sand. Keep in mind, though, there are no lifeguards, and the water can be unpredictable, so swimming generally isn’t recommended. This beachy spot is more suited to relaxing on the shore than going for a dip unless you’re an avid swimmer.
The park also regularly hosts concerts, fairs, and other festivities, so check if there’s anything scheduled during your trip if you’d like to have a more immersive cultural experience.
4. Turneffe Atoll
Turneffe Atoll is one of Belize’s most picturesque beach destinations. Largely considered a resort island, it offers plenty of seclusion without sacrificing fun and excitement.
The signature calm blue water surrounding the shore is perfect for diving and swimming, and the beach offers plenty of space to lay out in the sun to relax. The island’s beach resorts even offer excursion packages, so you can head out into deeper water if you’re looking for a little more adventure.
Turneffe is so picture-perfect, it’s even been said you can find Neverland on the island, which is sure to pique the interest of any young children you might be traveling with. Since this atoll is a popular vacation spot, the beaches are well-maintained, so they don’t have the rugged natural look you can find on Belize’s other small islands.
The 6 Best Beaches in South Belize
1. Laughing Bird Caye
Named after the laughing bird gull that often comes to the island to breed, this coastal spot is a nature lover’s haven.
The island is part of Laughing Bird National Park, so it’s pristine and kept in its natural state. However, it also means there won’t be many frills while you’re here. In fact, most often, people visit to partake in specific excursions.
Snorkeling is one of the most popular activities that can be done around the island, but you can also rent a boat or just relax on the beach. The water here has gentle currents, and it’s generally shallow near the shore, but make sure you’re comfortable treading water since it can get to around 16 feet in depth rather unexpectedly. This is a great spot for families, but check age requirements before booking an excursion.
2. Maya Beach
Though the Maya Beach village only has about 225 permanent residents, it’s still one of the best vacation destinations in Belize.
The beach is highly recommended for couples who are planning a romantic getaway since it’s a secluded and quiet area where you can relax and unwind. However, you can also rent a kayak or go snorkeling if you want to add a little bit of adventure to your visit.
The beach doesn’t have too many diverse amenities, but there are nearby restaurants, and you can purchase a day pass to access the private areas owned by the village resorts. The water in Maya Beach is calm and shallow, with rarely any waves during the spring and summer months. So, you can wade and swim with leisure, but if you’re a surfer, this might not be the spot for you.
3. Parranda Beach
Parranda Beach is a versatile spot that can accommodate a wide variety of travelers. The warm water and calm waves make it a prime spot for swimming and wading in the water. If you’d prefer to stay on dry land, you can always find a spot to lay out a towel or grab a day pass from a hotel to get access to private beach umbrellas and chairs.
During the week, Parranda Beach tends to be pretty calm, but it gets a bit more lively in the evening and on the weekends. You’ll be able to hear music from local resorts, and there’s more of a beach-party ambiance on the sand.Hot Tip:
The beach is open 24 hours a day, so if seeing the sunrise or sunset on the beach is on your Belize bucket list, this is a pretty ideal spot for it.
4. Seine Bight
If the word “relaxation” comes to mind when you think about a beach vacation, it’s hard to do better than Seine Bight. This little beach town offers a quiet environment where you can relax and enjoy the exotic coast and peace of Belize.
The beach is also a great place for history buffs. The first people to live in this part of the country were the ancient Mayans, and it was later used as a pirate hideaway. So, you’ll be walking on historic ground while going on a beach stroll.
Like many places in the country, Seine Bright’s beach has a mix of private and public areas. The public spots tend to get more crowds and offer a more authentic, local experience. However, the private sections, which are owned by resorts, offer more amenities and seclusion, which are perfect for a romantic getaway.
5. Silk Cayes
Silk Cayes is part of a marine reserve that protects part of Belize’s barrier reef. However, just because the area is set aside for environmental conservation doesn’t mean you can’t visit.
You can take a 45-minute boat ride from the mainland to arrive here on your own. Alternatively, you can make arrangements to go on a snorkeling excursion if you’re interested in checking out the vibrant underwater world around the islands. If you have a diving certificate, you can even go scuba diving to explore deeper in the water.
These cayes are perfect if you want a truly tropical experience. The water is clear and bright blue, and since they’re maintained in their natural state, you have the best chance of seeing Belize’s natural wildlife while here. However, small children might not enjoy visiting as they won’t be able to participate in many excursions.
6. South Water Caye
When you visit South Water Caye, you’ll feel the buzz and stress of civilization fall away. Since the island is part of the South Water Caye Marine Park, the area is protected from industrialization. Instead, you’ll be able to enjoy nature both on land and in the water.
Unlike some of Belize’s cayes, there are lodging options on South Water. However, you’ll still have to make arrangements to charter a boat to take you to the island since there are no bridges or public ferries.
The warm water is clear and inviting, so you can head out snorkeling to watch the colorful fish that call the area home swim around under the surface. However, if you’d prefer to have a more laid-back visit, you can also wade near the shore or stick to laying out on the sand to listen to the tide.
Belize is a coastal paradise with beaches to suit nearly any type of travel. Whether you’re planning a couple’s trip or a family vacation, you’re sure to enjoy yourself on these Central American shores. We hope that this list has helped you narrow down your options so you can have a Belize dream getaway.
Featured Image Credit: hat3m via Pixabay
Frequently Asked Questions
Belize is a top spot for beach lovers, and that’s in part because it has such inviting shores. However, that doesn’t mean all of the country’s waters are swimmable. Make sure to check with locals and keep an eye out for any alerts.
Belize has a mix of both gold and white sand beaches. You can even find more uncommonly colored grains like pink. All of these coasts are gorgeous and are comfortable to walk or lay on. As a rule, though, white sand is usually softer.
Belize’s Central American location and warm climate make it a great beach vacation spot all year. However, if you want to minimize the chance of encountering rain during your trip, plan to visit between January and May. That period is the nation’s dry season.
There are a lot of reasons to visit Belize, no matter what sort of traveler you are. Nature lovers can go for hikes, people looking for some relaxation can enjoy the slow pace of life on the Caribbean coast, and its beaches are world-renowned.
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