When you plan an island getaway, finding the best spot to check all the boxes is challenging. Belize is a getaway that does not disappoint. It has everything from stunning white sand beaches and turquoise waters to its mysterious rainforests full of wildlife.
There are many types of accommodations for travelers, from luxurious all-inclusive resorts to more budget-friendly hotels. There are romantic spots for two, to hotels that offer exciting adventures for the whole family where you never hear the words, “I'm bored.”
This tiny country with 400,000 people is not quite Caribbean nor completely Central American, so it offers a unique blend of cultures. It offers more than most traditional beach vacations, providing a beautiful dense rainforest full of adventure opportunities. Belize has committed to conservation which means it is one of the best places in the world to see wildlife.
Ready to plan that trip? Read on to find the top resorts in Belize.
How to Get to Belize
Getting to Belize is relatively straightforward, and there are multiple ways to reach this Central American gem. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to get there:
- By Air: The most common and convenient way to reach Belize is by air. Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (BZE) in Belize City is the country's primary international airport. Many major airlines offer direct flights to Belize from various cities in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and other international destinations.
- From the United States: Several airlines provide direct flights from major U.S. cities like Miami, Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and more. Flight durations are typically around 2 to 5 hours, depending on your departure city.
- From Canada: Canadian travelers can also find direct flights to Belize from cities like Toronto and Calgary.
- From Europe and other international destinations: While there are no direct flights from Europe to Belize, travelers can fly with major airlines to connecting cities in the United States or other countries with direct flights to Belize.
- Connecting Flights: If there are no direct flights from your location, consider booking a connecting flight through major airports in the region, such as Mexico City, Houston, or Miami, which often have good flight connections to Belize.
- Entry Requirements: Ensure you have a valid passport with at least six months of validity beyond your intended stay in Belize. Check visa requirements based on your nationality before you travel.
- Local Transportation: Once in Belize, you can travel to various destinations within the country by domestic flights, water taxis, buses, or rental cars.
Where to Stay in Belize
Choosing which of the top resorts in Belize depends on your preferences, budget, and the type of experience you want. Belize offers a wide range of options, from budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses to luxurious resorts and private villas.
Decide which part of Belize you want to explore. Whether it's the beaches of Ambergris Caye, the rainforests of Cayo District, or the cultural hub of Belize City, each region offers a unique experience.
Think about the activities you want to do while in Belize. Staying near the coast might be ideal if you plan on diving or snorkeling. If you're interested in exploring Mayan ruins or wildlife reserves, consider accommodations closer to inland attractions.
Here are our recommendations for the top resorts in Belize:
Have you ever wanted to stay on your own private island resort? Check out Cayo Espanto to experience a romantic beach resort like no other. Seven cozy yet elegant villas are built into the sand at this small luxury resort in Belize. It is located on a private island off the coast of San Pedro. Loved by celebrities for its seclusion and top-notch service, perhaps you will run into Tiger Woods, Leonardo DiCaprio, Harrison Ford, or Robert DeNiro.
Each of the six villas has a houseman who anticipates all your desires. He will appear with a fly fishing rod or a kayak as soon as the thought enters your mind. The chef prepares foods catered to your palate based on the survey you complete before arriving. Trust me; you will be spoiled.
If you get tired of lounging on the beach, you can go windsurfing, sail a catamaran or head out to Cayo Rosario or Bird Caye for a bird-watching tour. You may even catch a glimpse of a keel-billed toucan, the national bird of Belize.
Chabil Mar lies on 400 feet of private, white-sand beach on the Placencia Peninsula. It contains 22 villas, each with its own unique decorations from local artisans. All villas are considered luxury villa suites and have a full-sized, fully equipped kitchen, living area, dining area, and bedrooms. This is a great spot for families who need room to spread out and want to cook some meals at home.
Amenities at Chabil Mar include an al fresco restaurant with delicious local foods like grilled shrimp or lobster risotto, striking ocean views, two infinity swimming pools, and complimentary paddle boards, kayaks, and bikes. If you stay at Chabil Mar and want to go out to explore, you're not far from the town of Placencia.
You can even rent a golf cart at the resort to travel easily and explore the village for shops, dining, and entertainment.
Naia Resort and Spa
Naia Resort and Spa is ideal for a nature-based experience in Belize. It is in a private reserve on the Placencia Peninsula and has 35 beach houses that are spaced to feel secluded and private. This gorgeous beach is bordered by swaying palms and contains perfect golden sand.
The heart of Naia Resort is the spa spread over a collection of small islands that dot a freshwater lagoon. This is the perfect location to unwind and let the therapists work their magic while you listen to the sounds of a serene forest. Head to the Waterside Spa cafe for smoothies and healthy light bites after your treatment.
Three restaurants are located directly on the water, and nearby is a gorgeous pool with padded sun loungers. You can try out some local snorkeling around the barrier reef, and you may catch a glimpse of a green sea turtle.
Matachica Resort and Spa
Adjacent to one of the most extensive barrier reefs in the world, you will find Matachica Resort and Spa. If you dream of staying in your private villa with a thatched roof and a hammock, this is your kind of place.
This adult-centric spot allows you to choose from all-inclusive packages ranging from a signature romantic honeymoon, diving and fishing, or a combo of sea and jungle packages. You won't find any children here under the age of 16.
The Matachica Resort is located directly on the beach on the lovely island of Ambergris Caye, five miles from San Pedro. Snorkeling equipment is included in the accommodation cost at the resort. You will likely see manta rays, parrotfish, trumpetfish, and maybe even a nurse shark. Also included are sea kayaks, paddleboards, and bicycles.
If you want to sample the culinary delights Belize offers, head to the Mambo Restaurant and Bistro. When I was there with my husband, we loved the Mango Shrimp and the Mambo Pizza and may have eaten it multiple times during our stay.
Belizean Dreams Resort
This all-inclusive resort in Hopkins Village along the Southern Coast is a great spot for those seeking extra romance. They offer many different types of packages that range from high romance to high adventure.
The resort is comprised of nine standalone villas, all steps from the Caribbean Sea. If you need something smaller, you can opt for the boutique rooms located in the Promenade Building.
Belizean Dreams Resort offers more adventurous activities than the other resorts in Belize, like cave tubing, ziplining, and waterfall repelling. Those less adventurous folks can opt for horseback riding, jungle hiking, or fishing tours. Afterward, head to the Beachfront Tiki Bar for an artisanal cocktail with a view of the gorgeous blue waters.
Turtle Inn is one of the most opulent hotels in Placencia Village and was created by Francis Ford Coppola. It includes 28 ocean-facing thatched-roof cottages with exquisitely wood-carved Balinese furnishings. Each room features private decks feet away from the sand and the stunning Caribbean Sea.
Plan to dine on fresh fish at the Mare Restaurant, where they serve Italian fare like ceviche, gazpacho, and pizza made in their wood-burning ovens.
Sit poolside and enjoy the view of the Caribbean Sea or explore the wildlife at the Monkey River. Kids can enjoy watching the manatees play in the Placencia Lagoon.
In the heart of the town of Hopkins lies Villa Verano. This deluxe seaside boutique hotel is perfect for small groups, families, and couples. The resort has just ten rooms with breathtaking beach or courtyard views. It can be rented for one group accommodating 38 people or leased by the room.
Amenities include an enormous 70-foot outdoor pool that borders the Caribbean Sea. There is a rooftop penthouse that has lovely views of the sea and beyond. The roof also has a hot tub, gym, and game rooms.
There is no dining here, but five restaurants are within walking distance. Speak to the concierge about a Mayan Ruins tour, a waterfall hike, or a snorkeling adventure for the whole family.
Victoria House Resort and Spa
Perched at the edge of the Belize Barrier Reef is the Victoria House Resort and Spa. The resort is located on Ambergris Caye, about two miles south of the charming community of San Pedro. It is a boutique resort with 42 rooms in various styles and a romantic, opulent vibe.
Whatever you're looking for, whether it's thatched roof beachside casitas, colonial plantation-style accommodations, suites with ocean views, or oceanfront villas with private pools, Victoria House has it. The villas all boast a lush tropical setting with stunning views of the white sand beaches or the tropical gardens.
The three restaurants on-site suit all different types of travelers, from a romantic candlelit dinner to a sandwich and cocktail by the beach. If you want to impress someone special, set up a special candlelit dinner on the beach, complete with a personalized menu you can help create.
Las Terrazas Resort
Located on the island of Ambergris Caye, Las Terrazas Resort is about 3.5 miles north of the community of San Pedro. There are spacious townhome-style accommodations with oceanfront property. Each townhouse includes kitchenettes and stylish, modern decor.
Set on a gorgeous private beach, they have complimentary water sports like paddle boarding, kayaking, and Hobie Cat rentals to keep you are your family entertained. The kids will love renting a golf cart that allows you to explore the island easily.
Grab a Belizean rum punch if you can pry yourself away from the 70-foot infinity pool. Later you can head to the Rootop Sky Lounge for a handcrafted cocktail and delicious dinner while you watch the sunset over the lagoon.
Hopkins Bay Resort
Right on the Caribbean Sea near the village of Hopkins, this beach resort is an excellent choice for families and couples. Set on lush, landscaped grounds with a distinctly tropical vibe, Hopkins Bay Resort offers a variety of accommodation options. Hopkins has been voted the friendliest city in Belize, so this is an excellent spot if you are looking for an authentic experience.
Amenities at this resort in Belize are also plentiful. There is a restaurant, a swimming pool with views, umbrellas, chairs on the beach, and loaner bikes. For something really out of the ordinary, take the family to the Cockscomb Basin jaguar preserve, where you'll explore the jungle up close. Conservation efforts have allowed Belize to become the home to the largest concentration of jaguars in the world.
Pelican Reef Villas Resort
Pelican Reef Villas Resort is another excellent option for folks who need more room for family but want a luxurious stay. There are 24 suites that promise a personalized vacation experience like no other.
They offer unique adventure experiences like visiting Shark Ray Alley to swim with the sharks or a manatee snorkel excursion at a secret spot. Be sure to reserve these in advance as they are very popular. They even have a man-made snorkeling reef.
There are several restaurants for casual and finer dining that will appeal to all guests in your party.
PUR Boutique Cabanas
This high-end modern, adults-only resort has a social yet intimate atmosphere. PUR Boutique Cabanas has an energetic social scene with a swim-up bar and a taco bar on site. It's located in the neighborhood of Tres Cocos, where you will find plenty of dining options and nightlife.
Their boutique cabanas have the highest caliber finishes with a glamorous touch. Each has a private veranda with a hammock for a chill afternoon with your favorite book. You can also opt for a more extensive suite with a kitchenette and mini pool with an outdoor shower.
Top Resorts in Belize
You can be sure that you will have a relaxing and unforgettable experience in one of these resorts in Belize. Not every beach vacation can boast white sand beaches plus a rainforest and Mayan Ruins. Plan some adventures, then sit back in your hammock and enjoy the sounds of paradise.
This article originally appeared on Savoteur.