View from the back of a water taxi with the sun going down behind a dock extending into the water.

Taking a water taxi from Caye Caulker. Photo © CarlosVanVegas, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

A week and a half provides just enough time to see a few of Belize’s major destinations and get a taste for just how much more there is to discover. This trip includes plenty of self-guided activities, as well as some guided tours. One thing is certain: you won’t run out of things to do and see!

Day 1

Arrive in Belize City. After dropping off your bags at the hotel, head out for lunch at Deep Sea Marlin’s Restaurant & Bar. Walk off your meal by exploring the city on foot: cross the Swing Bridge and stop at the Image Factory before making your way to the historic Fort George area. Stop for coffee at Le Petit Café, then walk up to the Fort George Lighthouse for some photo ops. In the evening, catch a taxi to Bird’s Isle Restaurant to dine alfresco.

Day 2

Stash your bags at the San Pedro Belize Express water taxi terminal and buy an open ticket to the Caribbean fishing village on Caye Caulker. Spend the morning at the Museum of Belize, then hop on the water taxi, arriving in Caye Caulker in time for a swim. Schedule a dive or snorkel trip for the next day, then watch the sunset at The Split. Grab a fresh seafood dinner at Rose’s Grill and Bar.

Day 3

Today you’ll dive 135 feet into the Blue Hole on Lighthouse Reef, formerly explored by Jacques Cousteau. Or head instead to San Pedro for a snorkel trip at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Belize’s most popular snorkel and dive site. Spend the rest of the day exploring San Pedro, with plenty of opportunities to shop, eat, swim, bar hop, and be merry.

Day 4

Catch the first water taxi to Belize City, then head to the Cayo District by bus, shuttle, or car. At you travel along the Western Highway, visit the Belize Zoo or stop for a hike at Guanacaste National Park, near Belmopan. Arrive in downtown San Ignacio and settle into your guesthouse or stay in Cahal Pech Village, with stunning views and access to nearby ruins. For more solitude, opt for Black Rock Lodge, one of the areas’ charming jungle lodges. Spend the evening strolling the mellow town, then grab food at Flayva’s or Mr. Greedy’s on cobblestoned Burns Avenue.

Days 5-6

Rise early and visit the Mayan ruins of Xunantunich or El Pilar, either on foot, mountain bike, or horseback. Or opt instead for a canoe trip up the Macal River. Depending on the water level, you might make it to duPlooy’s Jungle Lodge, where you can tour the Belize Botanic Gardens. Fill the remaining day with an exhilarating cave trip to Actun Tunichil Muknal in the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve.

The next day, enjoy a ride along the Mountain Pine Ridge to the Mayan ruins of Caracol. Along the way, take a dip at Río on Pools. Stop at Calico Jack’s for a unique zip line experience or for a photo op at Thousand Foot Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in Central America.

Day 7

Catch the morning bus down the Hummingbird Highway to Dangriga. Get off at St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park for a delightful swim. Settle in at Dangriga, then take an afternoon trip to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can hike through the jungle past fresh jaguar tracks and chill in waterfalls under a green canopy. End the night with a fancy dinner back in Dangriga at Pelican Beach Resort.

Days 8-9

Catch a water taxi to Tobacco Caye or South Water Caye for diving and snorkeling along the pristine southern Barrier Reef. These islands are oh-so-stunning and romantic! Back in Dangriga, spend the next morning at the Gulisi Garífuna Museum, tour the Marie Sharp Store and Factory, then ride south to Hopkins for a Garífuna drumming lesson at Lebeha Drumming Center.

Day 10

Return to Dangriga, then take two quick Tropic Air puddle jumper flights back to Belize City.

Excerpted from the Tenth Edition of Moon Belize.