Where do you recommend eating in Belize?

Ambergris Caye has the reputation for being more "touristy" than other parts of Belize, but it also has the best restaurants and most delicious food options in the country. From Ruby's Deli (where locals line up every morning to grab fresh-baked, stuffed johnny cakes) to Latin specialties like pupusas grilled by street vendors, from Elvi's Kitchen serving the best shrimp curry I've ever had in the Caribbean to fresh seafood eateries like Caramba, San Pedro is a foodie's paradise. Throw in upscale, intimate fine dining spots like Casa Picasso or the beachfront Blue Water Grill, and it's no exaggeration to say that San Pedro is Belize's best all-around food destination. The Cayo District is a close second, with the best farmers market in the country and easy access to fresh vegetables, fruits, and cheeses.

Which activities should travelers be sure to try in Belize?

Belize may seem small, but it offers an incredible variety of activities that range from culture to adventure. A memorable trip would blend one cultural experience, one outdoor experience, and one island or Barrier Reef experience. Spend the day in Hopkins, a Garifuna beach village, to learn about an endangered culture—beat the drums and sample cassava-based meals. Hop on a river safari to Lamanai Archeological Site, which includes wildlife spotting, hiking in the rainforest, and climbing up Maya temples. Snorkel or dive off the Belize Barrier Reef at Hol Chan Marine Reserve if short on time, or off one of the three atolls.

Which beach would you recommend for the overall best beach experience in Belize?

If you’re looking for a great beach with entertainment, Placencia Beach is definitely the best pick. In addition to 16 miles of golden sand that stretches across three areas or neighborhoods, there are numerous bars, restaurants, and boutique hotels lining its shores—and therefore plenty of all-around entertainment. And while Belize's offshore cayes or islands are my favorites and have stunning white sand beaches surrounded by gorgeous Caribbean turquoise waters, they're often isolated or restricted to on-site resort visitors only. If you want to experience a secluded white sand beach and turquoise waters straight out of a dreamy postcard, then take a day trip or stay on one of the offshore islands, like South Water Caye or Ranguana Caye.

Belizean Restaurants & Cuisine in Belize City

Belize City is packed with traditional Creole eateries. From jam rolls and flaky pastries to traditional Belizean fare like stew chicken, fish fillets, and meat pies, there are plenty of food options to choose from in this roundup of the city’s best restaurants.

What are a few tips for visiting Belize during peak season?

My one big tip would be to book your tours in advance of your trip if you already know what interests you, whether it’s a snorkeling trip or an inland excursion. Tours are usually priced lower when you reserve your spot ahead of time and higher for walk-ins. I also recommend that visitors check a hotel or tour operator's social media site for any discounts or package specials, which are sometimes posted a month ahead of peak season. My final tip would be to reserve your rooms in advance, as it's quite common for the best resorts to be full during the months of December and January in particular.

Visiting Belize: Where and When to Go

Belize expert Lily Girma helps you plan your trip with suggestions for when to visit and an overview of the different areas in the country—from the beautiful turquoise waters of the Cayes to the archaeological wonders of the western interior.

The 10-Day Best of Belize

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. Author Lily Girma shares a 10-day itinerary packed with things to do and see.

Understanding the Social Climate of Belize

Considering Belize for an extended vacation or for a permanent home? Author Victoria Day-Wilson gives an overview of the social climate of the country, highlighting its multicultural roots and giving tips on how to successfully make friends and socialize when adapting to a new culture.

Building and Restoring Homes in Belize

Living abroad doesn’t always mean renting a home. If you’re planning to build your dream house in Belize, author Victoria Day-Wilson gives you a head start with an overview on budgeting and building materials.