Belize is blessed with an abundance of glorious beaches to relax on, swim in, and visit, with over 380 km of coastline along the Caribbean Sea and boasting numerous offshore Cayes. From powdery white and golden sand; to palm tree-shaded; to clear blue water, Belize literally has a beach for everyone! While the country is more famously renowned as a diver’s paradise thanks to the largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere, even if you don’t dive, you can still enjoy these pristine and vibrant beaches.
This narrow, 22 km long peninsula is home to the longest stretch of beach on the mainland of Belize. The “barefoot perfect,” white-sand beach, stretches across three villages, with clear blue water, palm trees swaying in the wind, and pristine powdery sand. Placencia is also home to one of the longest boardwalks in the world, lined with a number of shops and restaurants. From April to June, you will have the chance to spot and even swim with, the incredible whale sharks.
This once-secluded beach on Ambergris Caye no longer lives up toits name of being “secret”, however it is understandable why so many people now visit this beautiful beach. To get there, take a golf cart about 30 minutes out of San Pedro town, down a dirt road. Then prepare yourself to enjoy the sun, sea and sand, as well as a handful of restaurants and palapas for shade. There are also a few paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes for rent for the more active people amongst us.
Hopkins is home to almost 10 kilometres of uninterrupted beach that’s decorated with coconut trees, hammocks, colourful homes, guesthouses, and a few local eateries. Hopkins Village is a great place to experience the Garifuna culture. Try “hudut” and other Garifuna dishes at Queen Bean on the beach, take a drumming class at Lebeha Drumming Centre, or go on a Garifuna tour to learn more about this fascinating culture
This mind-blowingly, spectacular crescent-shaped beach is blessed with sparkling white sand and clear turquoise water, and is actually a Natural Monument. The south part of the caye, is a protected site where turtles nest, for both loggerhead and hawksbill sea turtles. The west side of the caye is a protected red-footed booby sanctuary and is also home to the frigate bird as well as many other bird species. Visitors can climb an observation tower to bird watch above the tree canopy for a different perspective.
Caye Caulker is about 30 km off the coast of Belize City. The Split is a narrow channel between the two halves of the island, which was created by Hurricane Hattie in 1961 and then purposely made larger to accommodate the bigger boats. The beach at the Split offers bright, clean water, making it an ideal spot for swimming. There is also a sea wall creating a shallow water pool, and the sand is lined with picnic tables, bars, and restaurants.
Turneffe Atoll is a protected marine reserve, found just outside of Belize City. It is the largest coral atoll in Belize. Turneffe Atoll, Lighthouse Reef, and Glover's Reef make up the Belize Barrier Reef. The beaches on Turneffe's main island are protected by long docks, making them perfect for swimming.
You will have to take a boat from Placencia to reach these two small, uninhabited islands. They are sometimes called the Queen Cayes. Once there, the ocean surrounds you, like a salty comfort blanket and is perfect for scuba diving. This protected zone offers some of the best diving in Belize.
A wonderful day trip from Placencia, this remote island is a national park and has white sandy beaches, palm trees, and turquoise water, stereotypical of Belize. Most guided boat tours offer snorkelling trips or scuba diving along the way, and the island is also a great spot for bird watching. It is named after the bird that used to inhabit the island.
Remote and virtually untouched, Long Caye is about 60km off the mainland and houses part of a nature reserve. The pristine beach is protected from the wind and shaded by palm trees and mangroves. It has some of the best snorkelling from shore in Belize and is about 12 km from the Blue Hole dive site, a giant sinkhole that is not found anywhere else in the world.
Known for its incredible diving and snorkelling activities, South Water Caye is about 20 km from Dangriga and forms part of a marine reserve. Most spectacular of all, the reef can be reached swimming from the shore, via a short swim. The island boasts soft, powdery white sand and coconut palms. Whether you want to visit on a day trip from Dangriga or Hopkins, or spend a few days on the island, make sure you visit this caye if you are a water-babe, for unparalleled sub-aquatic viewing.