Central American vacations are typically dominated by the ever-popular Mexico, its beaches and tequila, among other attractions. But there are many other countries in the bridge between North and South America for vacations.
With stunning beaches, some of the Caribbean’s best snorkeling (Belize is home to the world’s second-largest reef) and easy direct flights from the U.S., it’s no wonder that Belize’s beauty is no longer a secret. To take full advantage of the country and everything it has to offer, stay at one of the beach resorts in Belize. Bonus for English-speakers: English is the official language.
Here are the best Belize resorts on its islands and in its seaside towns.
Coco Plum Island Resort – Southern Belize
On its own island 30 minutes by boat from Dangriga, Coco Plum Island Resort is an adults-only, all-inclusive property with only 18 cabanas. There’s no charge to rent kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, and the barrier reef is only a five-minute boat ride away. At the end of 2017, two wellness perks were unveiled: a spa with an overwater deck and an outdoor yoga studio.
Cayo Espanto – Ambergris Caye
Cayo Espanto, a private-island resort southwest of Ambergris Caye, can only accommodate 18 guests. Each villa and overwater bungalow is staffed with a private butler and a personal chef. Snorkel at the nearby Belize Barrier Reef, or fly-fish directly from the property. Sailboats, stand-up paddleboards and kayaks are at guests’ disposal, too.
Itz’ana – Placencia
Itz’ana boasts super-cute suites, cottages, penthouses and villas, each decked out in modern beach house-like decor. With three bars and two restaurants (Garifuna specialties at Limilia’s and casual seafood eatery Harbour House) on property, plus a rotating menu of ceviche at the bar, there’s enough variety to keep palates happy. An organic garden, two pools and a spa create a Zen-like experience, making it one of the best Belize beach resorts
Almond Beach Resort & Spa – Hopkins
Of the 25 rooms at Almond Beach Resort & Spa in Southern Belize, opt for a thatched-roof, beachfront casita with a private porch and an outdoor shower. At the Butterflies Spa, book a warm-chocolate massage, which incorporates locally sourced Belizean chocolate. Use of kayaks, paddleboards and snorkeling gear is included in rates.
Las Terrazas Resort and Residences – Ambergris Caye
The 38 one-, two-, and three-bedroom townhomes at Las Terrazas Resort and Residences include kitchens and washers and dryers for a home-like vibe. Arrive via a 10-minute boat ride from San Pedro. At the rooftop O Restaurant, enjoy Belizean fry jacks and coconut water for breakfast and freshly caught fish for dinner. New classes teach Creole language and Belizean woodcarving, too.
Hatchet Caye Resort – Placencia
Hatchet Caye Resort, a private-island resort off the coast of Placencia, is deeply into sustainability, from lionfish dishes at Lionfish Grill that fund Belize Lionfish Project (including fish-your-own options) to a request that guests pack school supplies and other items for local kids in need. Oceanfront cabanas are just a few feet from the water and beach, making it one of the best Belize island resorts.
Victoria House Resort & Spa – Ambergris Caye
Victoria House is a spa lover’s utopia. Open since November 2017, the ,3500-square-foot spa is the island’s largest, featuring a couple’s treatment room and al fresco massages. Four pools (two with an infinity edge), the Palmilla Restaurant, a bar under a palapa and a dive shop are also onsite.
Belizean Dreams Resort – Hopkins
Belizean Dreams Resort is a family-friendly all-inclusive. Dine on traditional Belizean favorites (like tamales) overlooking the beach at Woven Palm Restaurant, or grab a colorful drink from the beachfront Tiki bar before hitting the infinity pool. Divers will love the resort’s Ultimate Dive Package, with excursions to the Southern Barrier Reef and the Blue Hole Lighthouse Atoll. (Aspiring divers can get their Open Water Dive certification on property).
Naïa Resort & Spa – Placencia
Tucked into the 200-acre Cocoplum master community, Naïa debuted last winter with 35 beach houses and tree-top villas. Accommodations range from studio to three-bedroom setups, and many come with private plunge pools. Dine at three restaurants, including 1981, which specializes in Belizean fare like shrimp and callaloo linguine and Mayan spiced fish. Don’t miss a guided kayaking tour through the nearby mangroves.