Belize is a nature lover’s fantasy, overflowing with bountiful wildlife, sandy Caribbean islands, ancient Mayan ruins, spectacular scuba diving and snorkeling, and dense rain-forested mountains. Plus, there are many opportunities for enriching cultural experiences! Follow this Belize itinerary for 1 to 2 weeks and find yourself under the spell of this charming land!
Take it from me, I accidentally overstayed my visa and had to force myself to leave after a month and a half!
What to expect from this ultimate Belize itinerary?
You’ll scuba dive the bursting Belize Barrier Reef and snorkel with sea turtles in the Caribbean Sea. Hike amongst monkeys in the rainforest and explore Mayan mysteries in the famous ATM Cave. Kick back with a Belikin at a chilled-out beach bar and recount your epic tales to bring back home.
Ready to lose track of time in Central America’s smallest country? You’ve come to the right place.
Let’s dive in!
The Best 1-2 Week Belize Travel Itinerary
In this Belize Itinerary (for 1-2 weeks), you’ll find everything you need to know for a successful trip to Belize – from where to go, what to do, what to budget, the best months to visit, how to get around, and much more!
Feel free to use this table of contents to jump to specific sections – or simply read on.
Table of Contents
- The Best 1-2 Week Belize Travel Itinerary
- Belize 1-2 Week Itinerary Overview
- How to Get to Belize
- How to Get Around Belize
- 1-2 Week Belize Itinerary for Adventure Lovers
- Costs of a Vacation in Belize
- The Best Time to Visit Belize
- Belize Packing Must-Haves
- Ultimate Belize Itinerary (For 1 or 2 Weeks)
- Belize Travel Itinerary: FAQs
- Did you know…
Belize 1-2 Week Itinerary Overview
- Day 1-4: “Go slow” on the dreamy Caribbean island of Caye Caulker
- Day 5-8: Discover lush jungles, wildlife, Belizean food, and ancient ruins in San Ignacio
- Day 8-11: Kick back in the friendly, traditional Garifuna fishing village of Hopkins
- Day 12-14: Relax, snorkel, and drink from a coconut on Tobacco Caye, a pristine, white-sand private island
Before we dive into this Belize itinerary, let’s go over some key background information about this incredible country!
On the eastern coast of Central America lies Belize, a tiny country with large character.
North of Belize is Mexico, and Guatemala lies to the west. Belize is a great country for travel because there’s tons to see and do, and multiple landscapes to suit your fancy!
White-sand beaches, sea creatures, and coral reefs characterize the Caribbean island life off of the east coast. Swamplands, mangroves, and lagoons line the coastline. On the interior of Belize are flourishing hills, mountains, rainforests, and jungle ecosystems home to diverse vegetation and wildlife.
All over the county are a range of cultures and nationalities to learn about, however you may be pleased to learn that Belize’s national language is English!
These are some of the highlights you’ll discover as you travel through Belize.
The Belize Barrier Reef System
The Belize Barrier Reef System is the largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the crowning jewel of the country. If you’re hoping for amazing ocean adventures like snorkeling, scuba, boating, kayaking, or swimming, you’ll be in heaven on the Belize Barrier Reef (home of the Great Blue Hole and Hol Chan Marine Reserve).
Nature Reserves and National Parks
Inland Belize is home to a vast collection of pristine forest reserves and national parks. I’m talking about moss-covered Mayan ruins oozing ancient history, electric green jungle canopies teeming with monkeys, birds, and medicinal vines, and gushing waterfalls that feed into crisp, clean waters.
The Mountain Forest Pine Ridge Reserve, Mayflower Bocawina National Park, and Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary are must-visits while traveling Belize. Rest assured they will definitely be included on this Belize trip itinerary.
From Maya, Mestizo, and Garifuna, to Creole, Spanish, Chinese, and East Indian – Belize is a melting pot of cultures. Notice the Creole spoken in Belize City. In Hopkins, become familiar with Garifuna culture: music, food, and dance. In the Cayo District, take in the ancient traditions of the Maya way of life. There is much to learn while traveling through Belize!
Other Must-Know Facts about Belize
- Belize has the lowest population density of any Central American country
- Belize has the largest cave system in Central America
- Belize is known for rich biodiversity, from the black orchid to the elusive jaguar, bear-like tapir, and colorful toucan
- The national tree of Belize is the mahogany tree, featured in the Belize Coat of Arms
- In 1500 BC, the Maya were the first people to establish settlements in Belize
How to Get to Belize
Arriving in Belize by plane is as easy as saying, “One Belikin, please!” Simply fly into Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport, and voila! You’ve arrived!
Now you’re just a quick ferry or plane ride from Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye, and just a couple hours driving from the jungles of San Ignacio.
After you land, these private transportation and shuttle options will help you arrive at your destination with ease!
- Water Taxi from Belize International Airport to Belize City
- Shared Shuttle from Belize Airport to San Ignacio Town
- Private Shuttle from Belize Airport to San Ignacio Town
- Private Shuttle from Belize International Airport to Hopkins Village
- Private Transfer from Belize City and Airport to Placencia
Land Crossing (From Mexico or Guatemala)
Planning to visit Belize from Mexico or Guatemala? No worries, here’s what you need to know for a seamless entry.
If you’re making a land crossing into Belize, you’ll do so at the Santa Elena border between Mexico and Belize.
Mexico’s border city is Chetumal, located in the state of Quintana Roo. The most hassle-free route is to hire a shuttle company to take you from Mexico to Belize City. They will take you to the border, and have a driver on the other side to pick you up.
If you’re traveling by land, grab a taxi to the “new border” from Chetumal. You can also buy a bus ticket which will take you from Chetumal, through the border, directly to Corozal, Belize. Either way you will arrive at immigration, pay your tourist tax (usually $35 USD), and get a stamp for exit.
When you arrive in the Corozal District of Belize, complete Belize’s requirements for entry, and from there, take a bus, taxi, or shuttle to Belize City.
Belize City is the main transportation hub for traveling to all of Belize’s destinations.
P.S. Check out this informative article on the Santa Elena border crossing for more details!
Ferry From Mexico
There is a ferry via Water Jets International from Chetumal to San Pedro or Caye Caulker, Belize. (Okay, maybe this is the most hassle-free way.) Just note that this ferry only runs Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
The land border crossing at the Guatemala – Belize frontier is called Melchor de Mencos. After crossing, you’ll arrive in Benque Viejo del Carmen, Belize.
There is no direct bus from Guatemala to Belize City, but there are bus and shuttle combination tickets for purchase.
Getaway Travels, a travel agency in Flores, Guatemala, is a reliable company to book your transfer from Flores to Belize City with. There is also a GuateGo shuttle from Tikal to Belize City. Shuttles normally stop in San Ignacio, then arrange a bus to take you the rest of the way.
When you hire a shuttle company, you’re provided with the necessary information and forms required to enter a country, and you don’t have to worry about being scammed by a “taxi” on the other end. In my experience, booking a transfer with a shuttle company is worth the cost.
Just note, if you’re coming from Guatemala City, your journey could be more than 14 hours! (Probably best to fly, as bus/shuttle trips through Guatemala are known to take far longer than they should!)
How to Get Around Belize
- Rental Car: Renting a car in Belize is a great way to move about the country, especially if you’re following this 1 & 2 week Belize itinerary. Except for the road to Caracol Mayan Ruins, Belize’s roads are mostly smooth. However, I suggest renting a 4X4 no matter what!
Here’s my favorite website for finding the best deals on rental cars. Free cancellation is usually included, so you can book in advance with confidence. Make sure to set your pick-up and drop-off location as Belize City!
- Private & Shared Shuttles: Private shuttles in Belize are affordable, convenient, and safe. If you’d rather not rent a car and drive yourself, shuttles are the next best option! This website offers plenty of affordable private and shared shuttle routes!
- Buses: It’s easy and cheap to move around Belize by bus, but it takes quite a bit longer than traveling by car or shuttle! There is a network of nationwide yellow school buses (AKA local “chicken buses” sometimes painted in spirited Rasta colors), and modern diesel buses operated by Floriala. Buses travel to/from Belize City, Hopkins, San Ignacio, and even down to Placencia and Punta Gorda, just to name a few towns.
- Domestic Flights: There are many domestic flights throughout Belize, and airports such as Dangriga Airport and Caulker Airport offer quick flights around the country. The small “puddle jumper” planes that fly to the cayes offer spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea from above!
- Ferries: Ferries are a scenic and simple way to travel to and from the cayes (islands). Ocean Ferry, Caribbean Sprinter, Belize Express Water Taxi, and other small ferries move about the main cayes, such as Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. To smaller cayes, like Tobacco Caye and Glover’s Reef, you’ll take a ferry from Dangriga instead. The lodges and hotels are always happy to arrange transport for you, and in the case of Glover’s Reef, they have their own private ferry.
1-2 Week Belize Itinerary for Adventure Lovers
Now that all of the need-to-know facts are out of the way, let’s dive into the nitty gritty of our Belize itinerary for 1-2 weeks.
From the turquoise waters and teeming reefs of the Caribbean Sea to the hiking trails, waterfalls, and swimming holes deep in the jungles, this itinerary will take you on the adventure of a lifetime!
Days 1-4: Caye Caulker
A Belize itinerary must include a visit to Caye Caulker. Yes, it’s true that this little island can get a bit rowdy with party-goers, but I can understand why they’re celebrating.
Caye Caulker is a quintessential Caribbean island. Sip something sweet under the shade of palm fronds and contemplate whether you’ll see a manatee, nurse shark, or sea turtle on your snorkel trip tomorrow. Maybe all three?
Let your thoughts of past and future come to the here and now; you’re in paradise!
Hot tip: If you prefer luxurious vibes, you can swap out Caye Caulker for Ambergris Caye’s San Pedro. San Pedro’s resorts offer romantic villas and high-end dining experiences that may be just what you’re looking for. You’ll still have incredible snorkeling spots and delicious restaurants at your fingertips. Wondering where to stay? Check out PUR Boutique Cabanas, Pelican Reef Villas Resort, and Victoria House Resort & Spa.
How to Get to Caye Caulker
Choose between ferry and puddle-jumper plane to arrive on car-free Caye Caulker, either from the port of Belize or Belize airport (respectively). The ferry is the eco-friendlier option; plus, it’s a blissful 45-minute ride on the Caribbean Sea.
What to Do in Caye Caulker
- Hang out at The Split
- Embark on this Hol Chan Full-Day Bucket List Snorkeling and Marine Life Tour
- Eat BBQ on the sand
- Watch the sunset at Northside Beach Club
- Go kayaking on the west side of the island
- Ride a bike around the island
- Take an Aerial Tour of the Great Blue Hole
Where to Stay on Caye Caulker
- Caye Reef Condos ($$$): Super livable sea-view condos with rooftop hammocks, pool, and jacuzzi, just a short walk to The Split! Click here to book it!
- Sea Dreams Hotel ($$$): Stay right at The Split in this colorful boutique hotel with a wrap-around rooftop deck and complimentary breakfast. Click here to book it!
- Hummingbirds Cabins ($$): Rustic-cute cabins (with air conditioning!) surrounded by palm trees; plus, a pool, free bikes, and the perfect location. Click here to book it!
- Sea n Sun Guesthouse ($): I adored my little cabin at Sea n Sun. Take the complimentary kayak for a spin right out back and rest easy in a quieter part of town! Click here to book it!
Where to Eat on Caye Caulker
- Maggie’s Sunset Kitchen: Fresh fish and sweet service at local and traveler favorite – Maggie’s!
- Chef Kareem’s Unbelizeable Lunch: Order a whole lobster and watch it be grilled to perfection before your eyes. Eat it right on the beach!
- Vegan Kitchen: For your veg-head delights, I suggest the vegan curry! Yum.
- Pasta per Caso: If you’re craving Italian comfort food, head to Pasta per Caso.
Ready to book your Belize trip now? These are my go-to sites to snag the best deals!
Days 5-8: San Ignacio
Day five of this Belize Itinerary begins in San Ignacio, in the lush Cayo District of Belize!
I suggest staying four nights in the Cayo District, but make it two or three nights if you only have one week in Belize.
San Ignacio is my favorite city in the country (though that is not an easy or necessary list to make). However if you’re anything like me and yearn for intimate experiences in nature, glimpses into local life, and exploration of sacred Mayan ruins I think you’ll feel the same.
How to Get to San Ignacio
From Caye Caulker, just hop back on the ferry and find yourself in Belize City. Take the bus, hire a taxi, or rent a car and head west on the aptly named, “Western Highway” for about two hours.
You’ll know you’ve reached San Ignacio when you see the huge letters spelling out SAN IGNACIO just on the other side of the Macal River.
What to Do in San Ignacio
- Walk up to the Cahal Pech ruins
- Discover the sacred and mysterious Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave and enjoy a traditional Belizean picnic lunch. Seeing the ATM Cave is one of the top things to do in all of Belize, so don’t miss it. Click here to book it!
- Spend a morning at the San Ignacio Market, especially if your visit falls on a Saturday!
- Go to the Green Iguana Conservation Project, located on the grounds of the San Ignacio Resort Hotel
- Go on this epic Xunantunich and Cave Tubing Combo Tour. Maya ruins and tubing in one day, yes please. Click here to book it!
- Take an adventurous day trip to the Caracol Mayan Ruins, Rio on Pools, and the Rio Frio Cave. Click here to book it!
- Feed a raptor at the Belize Raptor Center
- Wander around the Belize Botanic Gardens
Where to Stay in San Ignacio
- The Lodge At Chaa Creek ($$$): Experience extreme luxury in the wild jungle; watch howler monkeys and toucans from the pool and fall asleep to the sounds of frogs ribbitting! Click here to book it!
- San Ignacio Resort Hotel ($$): A beautiful resort with pool and restaurant just below the Cahal Pech ruins and a short walk to downtown. You couldn’t ask for a better location. Click here to book it!
- The Old House Hostel ($): The best hostel in all of Belize! The private room is fabulous and the view from the back deck is incredible! Your only regret will be having to leave. Click here to book it!
Where to Eat in San Ignacio
- Erva’s Restaurant: Erva’s is always a reliable spot for great Belizean food and kind service. Try the stew chicken!
- Crave House of Flavour: This is the chicest spot to enjoy a glass of wine (or house sangria) and a bite (like coconut shrimp!) in San Ignacio.
- Goodness Me! Health & Wellness: Not only can you get a delicious smoothie and strong wifi here, but you can also get handmade wellness products like essential oils and shea butter soap!
Days 9-11: Hopkins Village
Start the second week of this Belize itinerary in the tranquil fishing village of Hopkins in the Stann Creek District. Hopkins was voted “The Friendliest Village in Belize” by Belize First Magazine! This town is known as the cultural heart of Belize.
Come to Hopkins for the beach, but stay for the incredible Garifuna heritage experience, nearby ecological reserve adventures, snorkeling and fishing trips, and chill atmosphere.
How to Get to Hopkins
To reach the coastal village of Hopkins from San Ignacio, you’ll head back to the east coast via bus, taxi, or car. The first city you’ll come upon is Belmopan in the center of Belize, then Dangriga closer to the coast.
If you’re on the bus, you’ll switch buses in Belmopan to go to Dangriga, then stop in Dangriga to get on the bus heading south. Be sure to get off in Hopkins! (There’s just two daily, so if you miss one, you can take a taxi).
What to Do in Hopkins
- Hike the Antelope Falls trail in Mayflower Bocawina National Park (one of my favorite memories from Belize!)
- Venture out on this Jungle Canopy Zipline & Bocawina Falls Rappelling Tour (perfect for families or light-adventure lovers. If you’re looking for even more of an adrenaline rush, then choose this Extreme Waterfall Rappelling at Bocawina Rainforest Tour or this Zipline Adventure at Bocawina Rainforest Tour.
- Hopkins is the perfect jumping-off point to snorkel the southern part of the Belize Barrier Reef. Get your snorkel fix on this amazing Half-Day Barrier Reef Snorkeling Trip. Click here to book it!
- Immerse yourself in Garifuna tradition with this Garifuna Culture and Culinary Immersion or this “Cook Your Catch” Private Island Picnic
- Discover the magnificent Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary – and keep your eyes peeled for jaguars! If you don’t have a car, or prefer your own nature guide, then book this Hiking & Inner Tubing Tour of Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Where to Stay in Hopkins
- The Lodge at Jaguar Reef ($$$): Jaguar Reef is the high-end beach resort that reins supreme in Hopkins. Complete with a magnificent bar on the pier of their private beach. Click here to book it!
- Hopkins Bay Belize a Muy’Ono Resort ($$): Stay in your own villa right on the beach. The pool, restaurant, and beach make you never want to leave. Click here to book it!
- Cabañas at Latitude Adjustment ($): These cabañas are in a quiet part of town, but still close to the main drag in Hopkins. Enjoy the pool, bikes, and relaxed setting! Click here to book it!
Where to Eat in Hopkins
- Ella’s Cool Spot: This is the cool spot to see and be seen in Hopkins. By that, I mean be seen by the horses tied to palm trees while you eat a whole fried fish!
- Chef Rob’s Gourmet Cafe: From savory breakfast to decadent dessert, Rob’s Gourmet has you squared away with fuel for an adventurous day!
- Maxim’s Bar and Grill: Maxim’s is the hole-in-the-wall, fresh-off-the-hook seafood joint you’ve been looking for in Hopkins.
Days 12-14: Tobacco Caye
This ultimate Belize itinerary concludes in a relaxing way. Soak up the sun and partake in as many ocean activities as you please on Tobacco Caye – “Belize’s best kept secret.” Tobacco Caye is off-grid (but there is wifi), and is a great place to slow down, decompress, and become entranced by Caribbean island wildlife.
How to Get to Tobacco Caye
From Hopkins, head to Dangriga and take a short boat ride (just 35 minutes) to Tobacco Caye, the charming 5-acre yam-shaped island off the coast of Belize.
What to Do in Tobacco Caye
Snorkeling, scuba diving, sea kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing are the main activities.
There’s an official Padi center for diving on the island, offering all the rental gear you’ll need to venture out into the open blue.
Eagle rays, nurse sharks, plenty of fish, and sea birds will grace your remote island getaway. Sip on a fresh coconut and let your worries slip away.
Where to Stay in Tobacco Caye
Tobacco Caye is privately owned by a family from Dangriga, Belize. On this vibrant island, there are six sought-after cabanas, and just a few guest rooms for lodging. The dining hall in the lodge offers Belizean food for family-style breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All freshly caught and hand-prepared with love!
Ready to book your Belize trip now? These are my go-to sites to snag the best deals!
Costs of a Vacation in Belize
Belize is not an over-the-top expensive country to vacation to, though admittedly, it’s not the cheapest. Especially for Central America.
Belize offers luxury lodging: all-inclusive resort packages, fancy eco-lodges, and five-star hotels. On the other hand, backpackers get on well in Belize because of the cheap street food (hello, fry jacks and pupusas!), the bus system, and the cute hostels in each town.
It’s a wonderful place to travel for all budgets!
I’d recommend budgeting about $1,500 per week in Belize. For a solo traveler, this includes lodging, food, transportation, activities, and souvenir goodies or drinks. Traveling with others is cheaper, as you can split the costs of lodging and private transportation (ah, one of the few downfalls of solo travel).
The Best Time to Visit Belize
Like every Central American country, Belize is hot. The average annual temperature is 84 degrees!
There are just two seasons here: the wet season and the dry season. The dry months of December through April are typically considered the best time to visit Belize. Expect sunny days capped by cool breezes.
As nature would have it, there were a number of rainy days and plenty of rainy afternoons in January when I was in the inland areas (like Mayflower Bocawina National Park and the Cayo District where San Ignacio is).
The wet season runs from May through November. May, June, July, and August are still great months to travel to Belize – you’ll score cheaper prices and less crowds, but you will see a bit of rain! The hottest month of the year in Belize is August, and the wettest month is October, so I’d steer clear of these months when planning your travels. By November, the rain is mostly gone (though the mosquitoes and sandflies are still very much around).
Belize Packing Must-Haves
- Quick-dry Turkish beach towel
- Natural, reef-safe sunscreen
- Eco-friendly, natural bug repellant
- Rain jacket or poncho
- Waterproof hiking boots
- Waterproof dry bag for outdoor adventures
- Sun hat
- Flip flops
- Travel insurance: If you’re a digital nomad or frequent traveler, we recommend going with SafetyWing.
Ultimate Belize Itinerary (For 1 or 2 Weeks)
This Belize itinerary is curated to provide you with unforgettable experiences in the thick of Belize’s jungles and rainforests, as well as under the bright blue bubbles of the Caribbean Sea.
Using this Belize itinerary will ensure you experience the refreshing contrast of Belize’s wild interior and its white-sand beaches and palm trees on the east coast. Your Belize trip is sure to satisfy your craving for a legendary adventure in Central America. Come and become a Belizer!
MORE BELIZE TRAVEL INSPIRATION:
Belize Travel Itinerary: FAQs
You need seven to 10 days in Belize to enjoy the Caribbean islands, seaside towns, and ecological jungle reserves of the country. You could spend as little as five days in Belize (though you’ll be pressed for time!) but up to three or four weeks to fully experience everything this marvelous county has to offer. This Belize Itinerary includes guidance for one week or two weeks in Belize.
The best month to go to Belize is February, once the crowds and peak prices of late-December/early-January have disappeared. However, anytime between late November and early May should provide good weather and even better times!
With just five days in Belize, you should go to Caye Caulker and San Ignacio, Belize. This way, you can get a taste of the Caribbean islands and the jungle.
Two weeks is not too long in Belize. With two weeks in Belize, you can get a comprehensive experience of the country. If you have even more time in Belize, it will be well spent; dive deeper by adding Ambergris Caye and Placencia to your list of Belize destinations to explore. You could easily stay three weeks in Belize and never get bored!
Yes, Belize is pretty safe. Though Belize has a high crime rate on paper, these dangers mostly stay within the confines of Belize City. As a traveler, this will not be an issue, as once you arrive in Belize City, you will travel to tourist-friendly gems like San Ignacio, Hopkins, and Caye Caulker. These destinations are known for being safe and welcoming for all travelers – solo travelers and groups alike!
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