where to stay
Belize is a small nation. For Americans, think New Hampshire. For Brits, think Wales. For Aussies, think Sydney and Melbourne combined.
The northern cayes are Belize's #1 tourist attraction. Hundreds of beautiful islands lie between the mainland and the Meso-American Reef. The reef, which can be seen from many of the cayes, offers some of the world's best water sports including: snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing. The most populated cayes, Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, have numerous hotels, small resorts, bars, and restaurants.
In the western part of Belize is the Cayo District. It is mountainous and near the Guatemalan border. It is now Belize's second most popular destination. It is the home to what many people consider to be Belize's most beautiful land. It also includes many interesting sights. In this region the limestone geology is replete with numerous caves, underground rivers, and waterfalls. There are many rivers here that are great for swimming and canoeing. This area many unexplored forests, full of wild animals and a myriad of bird species. Nature lovers of all kind will definitely want to visit the Cayo District. It is also home to Belize's most impressive Mayan ruins.
Located on Ambergris Caye, San Pedro Town is the center of life for people living on, or visiting, this beautiful part of Belize. Visitors will have decisions to make when considering where to stay. The first thing to consider is what activities you have planned and do you need to be in proximity to your vendors. Next thing to consider is whether you plan on renting a golf cart to get around, for part, or all, of your stay.
Most visitors will consider three main locations: south of town, in-town, or north of town. Each of those options are good choices, but different. Each geography has plenty of things to do, with restaurants, bars, dive shops, and tour operators nearby. Wherever you choose to stay there are many accommodation options, from budget rooms to boutique and resort hotels. There are also many charming rental properties to choose. For the backpackers, you’ll find the hostels are generally located in the in-town area.
In-town offers the most choices of all those things and you can walk everywhere. However, in-town is also the busiest (noisiest?) place of the three. The south and north of town choices are very similar to each other. South of town is a little more eclectic as it began development before the north of town area. Because it is older, it also has more choices than the north. The north of town area still has plenty of bars, and restaurants, and is closer to Secret Beach if that’s on your to-do list!
Just a caution…far south or far north is far! It won’t look like it on a map or by miles. When you’re traveling by golf cart, or bicycle, on roads which may or may not be paved, it’s a long commute into town. So, when you see a hotel or VRBO that’s 8-10 miles away, be forewarned it can be a 60-minute (or more) ride to town for dinner or supplies.
Caye Caulker offers an endless array of accommodation options. There are two main areas for you to consider: the central and south of town areas.
The majority of the budget-friendly options are in the central area along Front Street. You’ll find places stretching from the water taxi docks all the way up to the Split. There are also midrange options and backpacker options on the less-busy, west side of the Caye.
South of town means south of the cemetery. This area is much quieter. You’ll find fewer people here and plenty of midrange hotel and rental options. The back side on the south is known as “Gringo Heights”. This is where many expats have built houses, some of which are available for rent.
WHERE IS BELIZE
Belize is northern most country in Central America. Its neighbor to the north is Mexico, Guatemala lies to its west and south. It is the only Central American nation that does not border the Pacific Ocean, bordering only the Caribbean Sea. It is a small nation, only about 9,000 square miles in size. It is the western-most nation in the Caribbean with approximately 240 miles of coastline. One of the attractions of visitors to Belize is its proximity to the Meso-American Reef. Belize shares more coastline with the reef than any other nation.