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Introducing Belize

Belize is a nature-lovers paradise. This tiny Caribbean nation (it's home to fewer than 500,000 people) not only has the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, it's also home to a whopping 94 protected areas that include marine reserves, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and archeological sites. This country has it all, from Mayan ruins and windswept atolls to jungle rivers and indigenous villages. 

When is the best time to visit?
The high tourist season occurs between December and May, which is the dry season in Belize. During this time the sun is out and there's less rain than from June through November. Diving conditions are stellar, with visibility around 60-100 feet (18-30 m), and the pleasant weather means great conditions for other outdoor excursions like riverboat trips and hikes around Mayan ruins. There is a bit of a shoulder season in July and August, when the rains slightly abate and the jungles and forests are teeming with wildlife. Learn more

Where should I go in Belize?
Divers and snorkelers should head straight to Belize's barrier reef, which stretches 180 miles (290 km) along the coast. There's an abundance of marine reserves and dive spots here, from the famous Blue Hole and Turneffe atolls to the waters around Half Moon Caye and Tobacco Caye. Beyond diving, other aquatic activities include kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and swimming with sharks and rays. 

On the mainland, you can enjoy a leisurely boat ride down the Moho River while listening to the calls of green macaws and howler monkeys in the trees. There are also more Mayan archeological sites in this country than you might expect, with some of the best being Altun Ha, Lamanai, and Xunantunich. Some of these ruins date as far back as 1500 BCE. 

How many days do I need?
The short answer: fewer than you'd think. Because of Belize's small size (it's just 8,867 sq. miles), you can experience both mainland and island highlights in as few as five days. With more time you could visit many more archeological sites and islands. And in two weeks you can do it all, from swimming with sharks, diving at various atolls, relaxing in beach bungalows, dining with indigenous families, and enjoying nature hikes, boat rides, and tours of Mayan ruins. Learn more

Getting around Belize
Driving is a good bet on the mainland. As for the reef, water taxis and ferries run to most of Belize's main islands and dive sites, as they are relatively close to shore. Some major islands, like Ambergris Caye, have their own airstrips and are serviced by small propeller planes. Note the cost of an inter-island flight is significantly more expensive than traveling by boat.

Belize Tours & Itineraries

Get inspired by trips other travelers have loved
Sunset in South Water Caye
Map of Islands of Belize: Tobacco Caye & South Water Caye - 7 Days
Islands of Belize: Tobacco Caye & South Water Caye - 7 Days

On this seven-day tour of Belize’s best islands, you’ll spend time discovering underwater marine life, while enjoying the pristine beaches. Begin at the Tropical Education Centre, where you’ll embark on a nocturnal tour of the Belize Zoo. Then, head to Tobacco Caye to start exploring the mangroves and coral reefs. The trip continues to South Water Caye, where you can swim, snorkel, paddleboard, and dive your way through the Southern Barrier Reef.

Mayan ruins in Xunantunich
Map of Experience Belize: Glover's Reef & Mayan Caves - 7 Days
Experience Belize: Glover's Reef & Mayan Caves - 7 Days

This seven-day adventure combines the best elements of Belize—the inland exploration of Mayan ruins and rainforest caves, along with several days to discover the remote coral atoll of Glover’s Reef. Perfect for active families and couples of all skill levels, this itinerary offers the flexibility to relax, paddle, snorkel, dive, and sea kayak, depending on your preference.

Sea kayaking on Glover's Reef
Map of  Discover Belize: Rainforests, Ruins & Reefs - 10 Days
Discover Belize: Rainforests, Ruins & Reefs - 10 Days

Spend 10 days discovering Belize’s greatest outdoor gems. Start out at a lodge in the heart of a rainforest. Then, spend some time in a Maya village, followed by a few days paddling and camping along the Moho River. Next, visit the jungle, tour the Maya ruins of Lubaantun, and take a tour of a chocolate farm. The trip concludes with several days of free time to explore Glover’s Reef Atoll to paddle, kayak, and snorkel at your leisure.

Tobacco Caye
Map of Rainforest & Reef Exploration in Belize - 7 Days
Rainforest & Reef Exploration in Belize - 7 Days

Spend one week discovering two different sides of Belize. Check in to your eco-lodge within Mayflower Bocawina National Park, and enjoy a few days adventuring in the rainforest—go ziplining, birdwatching, rappelling, and more. Then, head to Tobacco Caye, part of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, and enjoy some time on the pristine beaches. Laze in a hammock on your over-the-water deck, go snorkeling around the Southern Barrier Reef, and spend some time paddling and kayaking surrounded by the fresh ocean breeze.

Half Moon Caye
Map of Belize Lighthouse Reef Adventure - 7 Days
Belize Lighthouse Reef Adventure - 7 Days

The seven-day adventure begins with an overnight at Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, then heads out by boat to Lighthouse Reef. You’ll explore the Lighthouse Reef atoll—a tropical marine park and designated UNESCO World Heritage Site—via various snorkeling and paddling opportunities. Spend five nights at your Half Moon Caye Basecamp, which offers both guided and independent excursions, and end your trip with a night in Belize City.

Half Moon Caye, Lighthouse Reef
Map of Belize Wildlife, Mayan Ruins & Reef Tour - 9 Days
Belize Wildlife, Mayan Ruins & Reef Tour - 9 Days

Spend nine days exploring some of the best of Belize. Upon arrival, head to Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary to do some birding and view the native wildlife, along with exploring two different Mayan ruins. Next, take a water taxi to the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, and spend the next few days snorkeling, paddling, and relaxing beachside. Then, enjoy a final night on the town in Belize City.

Belize Travel Advice

Read our detailed insights to make sure you have the best trip
Underwater Belize
Belize in April: Travel Tips, Weather & More

Belize in April is the perfect time for an island getaway. Diving and snorkeling conditions are ideal, the coastal breezes offset the higher temperatures, and marine wildlife is...

Our Latest Belize Content

Overlook Tobacco Caye from a beach bungalow in the middle of the Belize Barrier Reef
How Many Days to Spend in Belize

In a week, you can enjoy the best of Belize, from its world-class diving to the inland Maya ruins. Stay longer to explore all of this tiny Afro-Caribbean nation as you visit indigenous villages and paddle down jungle rivers. And if you want to see as many of Belize's famous dive sites in a short time, base yourself on the island of Ambergris Caye, from which you can embark on day trips to incredible marine reserves.

Caye Caulker, Belize
Belize in December: Travel Tips, Weather & More

By December the dry season has arrived in Belize, meaning it's time for fun and sun. All the mainland highlights, like wildlife sanctuaries and Maya ruins, are easily accessible, as are the tours around the hundreds of islands all over Belize's Barrier Reef. Also, the idea of a Christmas holiday in this Caribbean locale is an attractive option for many folks in chilly North America and Europe.

Cockscomb Basin in Belize
Belize in November: Travel Tips, Weather & More

Take advantage of the pleasant final month of Belize's low season before the December tourist crowds arrive. Because while November does get a fair share of rain, the weather is quickly improving and the skies are bright and sunny more often than not. Taken together, these factors should be attractive to those looking for a great Caribbean holiday at budget prices.

Belize Travel Maps

Get the lay of land, and understand distances between the places you want to visit
Belize map: Belize’s Paradise Islands: Tobacco Caye & South Water Caye - 7 Days
Belize’s Paradise Islands: Tobacco Caye & South Water Caye - 7 Days
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Belize map: Belize: Glover's Reef & Mayan Caves - 7 Days
Belize: Glover's Reef & Mayan Caves - 7 Days
View article
Belize map:  Belize: Rainforests, Rivers, Ruins, & Reefs - 10 Days
Belize: Rainforests, Rivers, Ruins, & Reefs - 10 Days
View article

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Trip Reviews for Belize

The latest reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim

Guatemala is amazing!
Belize | Feb 20 - Feb 27, 2022

Weston
Weston L.
AZ | Mar 03, 2022

I would like to give my highest recommendation to both Guatemala as a country and to KimKim/Old Town Outfitters. My wife and I have travelled quite a bit and this was one of our favorite destinations that we have been to. From the inception of our idea to travel to Guatemala, Eduardo was incredibly responsive, receptive and flexible in creating an itinerary that matched our desired level of adventure and relaxation. In traveling to Guatemala we missed our connecting flight which altered... read more

I would like to give my highest recommendation to both Guatemala as a country and to KimKim/Old Town Outfitters. My wife and I have travelled quite a bit and this was one of our favorite destinations that we have been to. From the inception of our idea to travel to Guatemala, Eduardo was incredibly responsive, receptive and flexible in creating an itinerary that matched our desired level of adventure and relaxation. In traveling to Guatemala we missed our connecting flight which altered our arrival time significantly. After contacting Eduardo he sorted everything out and changed our itinerary to accommodate this unforeseen issue.

While in Guatemala, our guide Oseas, was also incredible. His local knowledge, flexibility and overall joy and passion for showing visitors his country enhanced our experience in a wonderful way. He was easy going but also a go getter with no hesitation in driving many long hours often starting early in the morning. We truly feel that Oseas has become a friend and would love to show him around our neck of the woods.

As far as highlights of the trip go, it is hard to nail down just one. That being said, we absolutely loved our time in the Lanquin/Semuc Champey region. The 7 hour drive from Guatemala City is absolutely worth it for those who are seeking a little adventure. Lake Atitlan surpassed its extensive reputation and Antigua was truly a city that we feel we could live in long term.

I speak Spanish which was helpful but absolutely not necessary as both our guide and everyone we interacted with from Old Town was fluent in English. The people of Guatemala are welcoming and friendly, rarely did I feel out of place or unwelcome. As a seasoned traveler, both Guatemala and Old Town Outfitters/KimKim come with my highest recommendation. Please consider a trip here and with them if you are looking for a Central American destination with all the natural and cultural beauty you can imagine.

Hotel Reviews
El Retiro Lodge
Lanquin

El Retiro Lodge encompasses the beauty and adventure that embodies the Lanquin region. Rooms were clean and secure and the dining area overlooking the river was incredible.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Very clean and safe feeling. Shower was not very effective and bed was hard but overall the other qualities of this lodging far exceed the need for a hot shower.
Los Olivos Hotel Boutique y Restaurante
Antigua Guatemala

Located in a perfect spot in Antigua, you are walking distance from every destination in Antigua. Wifi was good enough to perform video calls and the staff was very helpful

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Local specialist: Eduardo Celada
Eduardo
Eduardo Celada
Local specialist in Guatemala | Mar 03, 2022

Hola Weston,
I want to say Thank you for your review, it was nice to meet you at your hotel on the last day of your trip plan.

It's a shame that I could not go to cervecería 14 when you and Oseas were hanging out. I am pretty sure Oseas also enjoyed his time with you. I will show him your review so he can be proud of his Job with both of you.

See you next time !!
Eduardo