Belize Beaches and Islands

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Vacation Planning for San Pedro/Ambergris Caye Belize

The Palms ViewA Belize vacation that includes San Pedro/Ambergris  Caye will feature a wide variety of tours, restaurants, beach bars, gift shops and nightlife -- not to mention the nearby world-famous Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Shark Ray Alley and the Blue Hole.  (Note:  San Pedro is the town located on Ambergris Caye (caye is the local word for island), but many people use the terms Ambergris Caye and San Pedro interchangeably.)

However, Ambergris Caye has maintained its small, friendly ambiance as a Caribbean beach village rather than a mega tourist destination such as Cancun.

San Pedro/Ambergris Caye offers lots of different types of hotels, resorts, tours and tour operators to chose from on your Belize beach vacation, including ruins and jungle tours.

But, because Ambergris Caye is an island, getting to the ruins and jungle will involve a boat or plane ride to the mainland.

Vacation Planning for the Placencia Peninsula Belize

Beach in Front of DeTatch Restaurant - March 2003Placencia is a 12-mile long peninsula bordered on the east and south by the Caribbean Sea and on the west by the mangrove lined Placencia Lagoon.  Belize vacations that include Placencia focus on the Peninsula's  natural beauty, cultural authenticity and sense of community that welcomes a truly eclectic array of travelers.  In fact, in 2010 Placencia Village was voted one of the top 10 beach towns in the Caribbean by readers of Caribbean Travel and Life magazine. 

Lodging in this Belize beach vacation destination ranges from very upscale resorts to moderately priced apartments, houses and beach cabanas.

Fishing, diving and snorkeling are really good in the Placencia beach area of Belize, but the boat ride to the best sites is longer than further north. (Note:  many fly fishing anglers call Placencia the "Permit Capital of the World.")

Jungle and ruins trips are easier from Placencia than from Ambergris and Caye Caulker, because, unlike Ambergris and Caye Caulker, Placencia is a peninsula, rather than an island, so long boat rides are not involved in ruins and jungle trips.

Placencia, as a Belize beach vacation destination, has more of an "adventurous," "Indiana Jones" type feel to it than other beach locations in Belize. (Local Placencians claim to be descended from pirates, and they just might be.)

"Adventure with amenities" (such as good water, electricity, phones, restaurants, Internet service, wide variety of lodging) is an apt way to describe Placencia.

For more info, take a look at Placencia Tips and our selection of recommended Placencia hotels and resorts.

Vacation Planning for the Cayes (Islands) of Belize

gilliganAmbergris Caye and Caye Caulker are Belize's most well known islands.  However, many smaller Belize islands offer visitors a very unique vacation experience, from a rustic "Belize like it was 15 years ago"  vacation on Southwater Caye or Coral Caye, to upscale luxury and fantastic diving, snorkeling, fishing and sailing.

Choosing the best island for your Belize vacation depends on what you want to do, how much time you have, the dates of your vacation and whether you're after some pampering, or a more basic island experience -- or something in between.

For example, the more remote islands, such as Blackbird Caye and other islands in the Turneffe Atoll have a Wednesday to Saturday, Saturday to Wednesday or Saturday to Saturday boat schedule because of the distance to the islands from Belize City.  Other islands such as Southwater Caye can pick you up and drop you back on the mainland any day of the week you wish.

Also, some islands (such as Turneffe Flats and Whipray Caye) cater primarly to fishermen, others such as Southwater are very attractive to snorkelers and divers, while others, such as Cayo Espanto, offer the ultimate in personal service and luxury.

For more info, take a look at the information on our site at Belize Island Hotels and Resorts.


Vacation Planning for Hopkins/Sittee Belize Beaches

Hopkins Belize BeachThe beaches in this Belize vacation destination are near Southwater Marine Reserve, a marine protected area, and Hopkins Village, a small Garifuna coastal village that is interesting for a day tour, or for an evening out for authentic Garifuna cuisine.

Dangriga is the largest town in the Hopkins/ Sittee/Dangriga area and is about a 30-minute drive from Hopkins.

The roads in this Belize beach vacation area are in pretty good condition, with only small portions still unpaved.

Therefore, it's very easy to travel between the coast and western and southern attractions such as Xunantunich Mayan ruins, Blue Creek Cave, Cave's Branch, San Ignacio, the Belize Zoo, etc.  (The Hopkins/Dangriga/Sittee Belize beach vacation destination is the only coastal area where renting a car might make sense, especially for larger groups and families.)

Southwater Marine Reserve, a marine protected area, lies off the Hopkins/Dangriga/Sittee coast, providing very good snorkeling, and excellent fishing, particularly fly fishing for permit.  Plus, a few small islands, such as Southwater Caye and Thatch Caye give travelers the opportunity to experience Belize Caye life with very good snorkeling right off the beach.

Resorts in this area also provide the most all-inclusive beach vacations in Belize. 

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