Belize is often forgotten about by tourists, but this stunning Central American country has some exceptional beaches along its long Caribbean Sea coastline. There are islands such as Ambergris Caye and Laughingbird Caye which are mini paradises, as well as lavish coastal resorts, so there really is something for everyone.
Best of all, Belize’s beaches provide a variety of activities to enjoy. From relaxing on the sandy shores with a cocktail in hand to scuba diving at great depths.
Luckily we know this country well, so come with us as we take you on a tour of the best beaches in Belize!
THE BEST BEACHES IN BELIZE: BEACHES THAT WILL TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY
- Ambergris Caye
- Laughingbird Caye
- Turneffe Atoll
- Silk Caye
- Caye Caulker
- Hopkins Village Beach
- Goff’s Caye
- South Water Caye
- Half Moon Caye
- Punta Ycacos
The Best Beaches in Belize That Locals Want All to Themselves
Placencia, in southern Belize, is regarded by many as having some of the best beaches in the country, and we would describe it as “barefoot perfect”.
With its 16-mile long coastline and several pristine beaches, this resort area is surrounded by the Caribbean on the east and then the Placencia lagoon to the west. So you’ve got beaches on either side!
Unsurprisingly, Placencia has some of the best beaches in Belize such as Maya Beach and Seine Bight. There will be no dull moments here too, as there are various daring activities like snorkeling, diving with whale sharks, sailing, and many inland excursions available here!
2. Ambergris Caye
Belize’s largest island, Ambergris Caye, has a fascinating history. During the Caste War, European pirates and Mexican refugees fled to Ambergris Caye and the majority of the island’s current population is now of Mexican descent.
The island’s economy was formerly reliant on the coconut industry and fishing, but in recent years Ambergris Caye’s beauty has been discovered by the outside world and tourism has boomed.
There’s almost 400 small islands off the coast of the main island too, many feel like secluded paradises and the beaches are pristine.
You can also find many luxury hotels and gourmet restaurants on the best stretches of coastline on this island, such as Secret Beach, Mar de Tumbo, and The Sandbar.
If you decide you’ve had enough of sunbathing for one day, then this island is also home to many forests, savannahs, and lagoons which are perfect for fishing and exploring. If you’re feeling adventurous, it’s easy to rent a golf cart or bicycle to explore the sights on your own if you wish.
3. Laughingbird Caye
Another island off the coast of Placencia is Laughingbird Caye, which makes for a great day trip thanks to its spectacular beaches.
This island is a true tropical paradise without hotels or infrastructure. So if you’re looking for sandy beaches, beautiful water, an abundance of palm trees, and a natural, unspoiled landscape, then this is the spot for you.
Laughingbird Caye is also an excellent spot for exploring the region’s rich underwater life, so it’s popular with snorkelers. In fact the majority of guided boat cruises to Laughingbird Caye offer snorkeling or scuba diving. This island is also a popular spot for birdwatching in Belize.
4. Turneffe Atoll
Twenty miles off the coast of Belize City is another one of this nation’s paradise islands – Turneffe Atoll. You’re going to need a big budget for this one though – the atoll is a private island complete with luxury accommodation.
It has a beautiful beach with soft sand and turquoise hued waters, but what we love about this place is the beach activities here. It’s renowned as one of the best spots to go diving, snorkeling, and sport fishing. It’s also an official Marine Reserve, so you can see species like stingrays, large fish, and corals.
5. Silk Caye
You might be noticing a theme by now – anything with the word ‘Caye’ after it in Belize typically has movie-worthy beaches. Silk Caye is no exception!
This tiny island has only a few palm trees on it and looks like the sort of deserted island you would come across on a Hollywood script. To get here you’ll almost certainly have to pay a tour company – who will take you to some spectacular snorkeling spots around the caye on the way – but it will be well worth the price.
On a boat tour they’ll take you to the best spots to see stingrays, turles and nurse sharks, before stopping at the tiny Silk Caye for a slice of unbeatable paradise. Bliss.
6. Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker is the second-largest caye in Belize and is located 21 miles northeast of Belize City and 11 miles south of Ambergris Caye.
Although the island is around 4 miles long, the town is just a mile long, so most of the island remains pristine and undeveloped.
Caye Caulker, like Ambergris Caye, was predominantly a fishing community, but its economy has now shifted to tourism. Scuba divers, snorkelers, anglers, and tourists looking for beach-fun at a reasonable price now flock here!
Although it was formerly a sleepy fishing community, this fun-loving isle is now known for its nightlife and parties rather than diving and fishing. So if you’re looking for beach parties this could be the place for you!
Because it is such a small island, walking around it and exploring all the beaches – some of which are secluded and hidden away – takes little over an hour. There are a couple of great restaurants and cafes that provide excellent seafood too.
7. Hopkins Village Beach
Hopkins Village Beach is located in the eastern Garífuna village of Hopkins, about 40 minutes drive south of the town of Dangriga. This uninterrupted, quiet 5-mile beach is lined with coconut trees, local residences, colorful guesthouses, and a few local eateries. The waters aren’t Caribbean turquoise, but they’re still clear and incredibly refreshing.
If you want to relax, swim, snorkel, scuba dive, fish, or learn about the local Afro-Amerindian culture, this is the place to go. They’ll even teach you how to play the drums if you’re interested. This is one of the best beaches in Belize for families!
8. Goff’s Caye
This is a small, sandy island with a lot to offer!
You’ll fall in love with the exquisite pearl beaches and turquoise waters here after just one glimpse. It’s perfect for a picnic by the shore, or just sunbathing with a view.
The coral reefs at Goff’s Caye are home to a plethora of colorful fish and turtles too, making it an ideal spot for snorkeling.
Our tip – remember to bring your own snorkeling equipment as it will be far cheaper than hiring on the island.
9. South Water Caye
South Water Caye is one of the lesser-known but equally impressive beach options in Belize and is known for its off-the-beaten-track diving and snorkeling activities.
Take a camera with you to capture the beauty of this gorgeous coastline, which is adorned with soft, powdery white sand.
The Pelican Beach Resort, located in South Water Caye, is one of Belize’s most famous beach resorts and a great option if you’re looking for a luxury stay.
10. Half Moon Caye
Another top diving site, Half Moon Caye is a spectacular island with long stretches of palm-lined beaches and beautiful blue waters.
It’s not easy to reach, but that means you could have a beach all to yourself on this beautiful paradise island.
This is Belize’s first national park, and there’s only one form of accommodation here – glamping-style beach tents with unbeatable sea views. If you want a special Belize experience, this is it.
Back amongst people, take a visit to Sarteneja, a village that is home to the largest fishing community in Belize.
The sand is lovely, but it’s the shades of light blue in the water that we really love. It’s also one of the best beaches in Belize for culture.
This village is a bustling fishing hub, and a great opportunity to speak to locals, charter a fishing boat, or even barter for fresh fish right off the boat!
12. Punta Ycacos
This beach is remote, hardly visited, and may just be the best beach in Belize for long walks and secluded picnics.
You’ll find this beach on a quiet peninsula in the Toledo district. There’s no signs, no facilities, and most of the time no people. Expect white sand, swaying palm trees and an overwhelming feeling of serenity. Bliss.