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Pack your bags and use this 7 day Belize itinerary to plan your next vacation.
Ohhhhh, Belize. You stole our hearts from just about the moment we landed. Somewhere between a Caribbean and Central American nation with the world’s friendliest people, Belize is all everyone says and more. This country makes the perfect trip for those wanting to maximize their time off between adventure and relaxation. The 7 day Belize itinerary outlined below mixes beach days with heart pumping excursions. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to experience Belize’s culture but never enough to not warrant a trip back!
Just do me a favor and eat lots of fried plantain, stewed chicken, beans, and coconut rice for me. Better yet, just pack me in your suitcase, ok!?
PTO days needed: 5 (assuming you don’t work weekends)
Before you go
Some important things to note before packing your bags… Belize is a Central American country south of Mexico, west and north of Guatemala. The capital is Belmopan, which was relocated from Belize City in the 80s due to a couple hurricanes wiping out Belize City. The Caribbean sea surrounds the country with hundreds of islands, or cayes, off the coast. Contrary to popular belief, Belize is actually more of a Caribbean nation rather than Central American when considering their culture and influence.
The official language of Belize is English, as the country gained their independence from England in 1981. However, most of the natives speak Kriol. The official currency is the Belizean dollar but the US dollar is widely accepted; the exchange ratio is 2 BZE: 1 USD.
The climate is typically consistent with temperatures being between 70-90 most days. It’s a humid tropical climate with a dry season and rainy season. Dry season runs from approximately February to May with rainy season beginning in June. Despite the name, rainy season typically brings short afternoon storms.
Close to the western border and most of the inland is covered in beautiful green vegetation and the Maya mountain range. On the coast, you’ll find palm trees and beautiful clear blue water. This itinerary divides half of your time inland and half of your time on the beach or island so you get a good mix of everything Belize has to offer!
Let’s dive into to this 7 day Belize itinerary.
Days 1-4: Inland
Day 1: Getting to Belize
Lucky for us Americans, getting to Belize is pretty simple from most major airports. It’s about a 2 hour flight from Miami and Dallas! You’ll fly into Belize International Airport (the only international airport in the country) which is in Belize City. From there, you’ll want to head to your jungle oasis.
Belize is a pretty small country–you can drive from the coast to the border straight across in about 2.5 hours. However, you’ll be doing some excursions on the jungle half of your trip so keep that in mind when booking your accommodation. I would recommend Laru Beya, Sleeping Giant Rainforest, or Belizean Dreams. All have amazing reviews and are located near some of the excursions.
PS- buckle up for the first few days of your trip because it’s A LOT of exploring. Keep in mind you can cut one of these days out and relax, or extend your trip to have more rest time in between. You can also park it on an island and take a little bit longer excursions every other day if you’d like. However, I wrote this itinerary with the busy professional in mind. You have a limited number of PTO days and you want to see as much as you can in a limited amount of time! With that in mind, let’s jump in.
The first night, just relax! You made it to Belize! Talk to the locals (who are all SO friendly), ask for recommendations and hidden gems, and try the local food. These conversations are always my favorite part of traveling internationally.
Day 2: Visit a Mayan ruin site
Belize is home to hundreds of Mayan ruin sites, but some are more popular and allow for tourism more than others. We went to Xunantunich on the western border of Belize near Guatemala and had a great experience. Other popular sites include Caracol, Lamanai, and Altun Ha.
I truly recommend going with a certified tour guide. Our guides, Simon and Eric, were so knowledgable and really helped us understand the rich history and magnitude of Xunantunich even more. As you can imagine, Mayan history goes back thousands and thousands of years so it’s a lot to unpack. It’s also important to understand what you are seeing and place it in the proper context.
Make sure you pack a hat, sunscreen, bug spray, and lots of water!
Day 3: Zip lining
Who doesn’t want to zip line through the jungle?! Belize is known for having wonderful jungles to zip over and through if you’re an adventure junkie. Many tours also offer other excursions along with zip lining such as cave tubing. Belize has an extensive cave system with rivers running through them, so you can hop in a tube and float away! This company has the best reviews with this one in a close second.
If you’re looking more a liiiiiittle more adventure, I’d recommend heading over the black hole. The black hole is a giant sinkhole about 300 feet deep that has a full forest growing on its floor. At the black hole, you can strap into your harness and rappel down the side of of the sink hole. Sounds insane but incredible.
Day 4: ATM cave
On our last day inland, we are spending more time and adventure with the Maya culture. Close to San Ignacio is the ATM cave, short for Actun Tunichil Muknal cave. This cave is known to be a sacred site for the Mayans. It was discovered somewhere between 300 and 600 AD but didn’t become an important spiritual site until somewhere between 700 and 900 AD. Upon discovery of the cave in the late 1980s, several bodies believed to be human sacrifices were found including the “Crystal Maiden,” a well preserved body resting in the cave.
To get to the cave, you’ll have to hike about 30 minutes through thick vegetation and cross rivers that can get up to chest height. The cave itself goes down 4 miles but due to safety, visitors are only allowed about 2/3 of the way down. There is a limit of 6 visitors per tour guide and 125 visitors per day. Only 13 guides in the entire country are certified to guide you to these caves, so make sure you book your visit early!
Days 5-7: Island
Cap off the end of your Belizean adventure by parking it on the beach or exploring the sea for a few days. There are hundreds of islands, or cayes, off the coast of Belize and several coastal towns worth exploring. After our experience with Coco Plum Island Resort, we HIGHLY recommend a stay here. They also have sister resorts on the mainland at Belizean Dreams or right on the Belize barrier reef at Manta Island Resort. All of these resorts are based out of the town of Dangriga. If you are looking to stay on the mainland, I would recommend Dangriga/Hopkins or Placencia.
Some of the more popular islands are Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. They are tons of resorts from all price ranges and plenty of organized tours from these more popular areas. However, I truly recommend booking an all inclusive resort off the coast of Dangriga. There are plenty of options and it’s just extremely convenient. Many of these resorts offer inland tours but you’ll have most of those done once you get there so you can just relax.
No 7 day Belize itinerary would be complete without a visit to the Caribbean sea. Use the morning to transfer from the jungle to the beach. Depending on where you decide to stay, you may have just enough time to grab some lunch and soak up the sun for the rest of the afternoon. Either way, you finally made it to the island! You should relax. Make sure you wander to the shore and stargaze once nightfall comes.
You are just a 10 minute boat ride away from the world’s largest living barrier reef. Take a second to soak that in, then grab your gear and head out to the reef! Whether you snorkel or dive, there’s SO MUCH to see. Before going to Belize, I thought the “barrier reef” was just one long line of reef and you could just jump in and swim straight for miles and miles. Partly, you can… but it’s also broken up to many different sections of reefs and channels. Any experienced guide will be able to navigate you to the best snorkel spot in the area. If you stay around the Coco Plum Range or the Tobacco Range, I recommend Tobacco Caye, the Aquarium, and Salt Water Caye. We saw sooo much wildlife: barracuda, snapper, tarpon, many smaller reef fish, and the biggest rays I have EVER seen.
There are also several dive companies and tours in the area, too. I don’t scuba dive (yet!) so I don’t have any firsthand recommendations. However, everyone I talked to at our resort that had dived (dove?) had nothing but good things to say. Hopefully next time in Belize, Michael and I will both be scuba certified.
Most snorkel and dive trips only take about a half day or less, so you still have time to soak up the sun!
For dinner, how about eat some snapper? Belize has both red tail and yellow tail snapper. Each are equally delicious 😉
For your last day in paradise, I recommend relaxing the island and enjoying the beautiful Caribbean waters. Maybe you take a short snorkel trip in the AM, maybe you drink a handful of pina coladas. Either way, it’s your vacay! You do you. Soak up the sun (with lots of sunscreen!), swim, take a nap in a palapa. This is where the benefit of staying in an all-inclusive comes in because you can have all your meals and drinks prepared while you truly relax and soak up paradise.
A week has come and gone and now it’s time to head home. But I hope you saved up plenty of ideas for your next visit back to Belize. This is a country you truly can’t visit just once, but hopefully this 7 day Belize itinerary will give you a good taste of what they have to offer!
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