Belize seems to be a hot destination right now. And having just returned from there, I can understand why…
The people are the friendliest I have ever met in another country. The seafood is beautifully prepared. The general vibe of Belize is to slow down and enjoy life.
If Belize is not on your radar by now, start researching.
I had a wonderful time there, experiencing everything from jungles to beaches. Sometimes I sat around and did nothing, sometimes I went on adventures. Belize is perfect for doing both.
Win/win. Plus the country is small enough that in 10 days you can see and do quite a lot.
When I first started planning this trip, I almost gave up because I thought 10 days was a pathetic amount of time to visit a country.
I know that sounds obnoxious. I’ve just spend a lot of time living out of my backpack, eating bread and cheese for a week, to save money and travel. For long periods of time. Now that I am trying to adult more often, 10 days is all I can afford.
And really, I should be so lucky to have 10 days to travel. And Belize was perfect for that!
If you only have a limited time, but are looking for the most bang for your buck, these are the places I would not miss in Belize. (Plus a few that probably aren’t worth your time)
The Best (and “Meh”) Of Belize
Best Things You Should Not Miss:
The Belize Zoo
You should know I was super resistant to the idea of visiting the zoo at first. I hate zoos. Life in a cage is not a life.
But the Belize Zoo is different. All the animals are native to Belize and most were orphaned or rescued before finding a permanent home there. The enclosures are large and basically look like someone threw up some chicken wire in the jungle.
Plus the zoo is dedicated to conservation and education. For an extra cost, you can have a “Jaguar Experience” where you can touch the cat’s paws and tail. It will even lick your forehead (if you don’t have a lot of hair). All proceeds help support the zoo and their efforts.
There are more “experiences” you can have in the zoo with other types of animals. Plus, It’s only about 45 minutes from Belize City, so it’s easy to add to the itinerary!
There is a lot of debate that goes back and forth on which caye is best, and to be honest with you, I didn’t make it to Ambergris Caye. But based on what I heard from other travelers, Caye Caulker is better 🙂
Most of the people I met heading to San Pedro were retirees, looking for a resort scene. Which is awesome, if that’s your thing.
Caye Caulker has a more laid-back island vibe. There are no cars on the entire Caye, only golf carts and signs posted everywhere that say “Go Slow”. Driving instructions and a life attitude. Plus there are some awesome places to watch the sunset and have a cheap cocktail.
The reef of Belize is incredible and the second largest in the world. And while maybe overhyped, diving or snorkeling the Blue Hole should definitely be on your list. It’s cheaper (and faster) from Caye Caulker as it’s closer!
Belize does not get enough credit for having good beaches. That’s probably because the best ones are not near Belize City, but much further south.
Placencia still has the feel of a sleepy fishing village at the moment. There is a lot of construction and building going on though because people are starting to notice how lovely the area is. Go now!
It’s perfect for walking around on their long boardwalk or pushing your toes in the sand. You can look through trinkets or watch the fishermen come in with their catch of the day. And then eat it.
If you like to fish, Placencia is a great place to book a trip. It’s cheaper than other major tourists destinations. I went for my first time and managed to catch a barracuda! Most of the local restaurants will cook your catch for you, for a reasonable fee.
Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM Cave)
This was one of the coolest, off beat things I’ve ever done in a country.
And I don’t have any pictures of it because you aren’t allowed to bring cameras with you on this adventure. A tourist dropped their camera on an ancient skull and left a hole in the forehead. Always one joker that ruins it for the rest of us…
You have to book a tour, but it’s worth every penny. They tell you to plan on getting wet, and almost immediately you have to swim across a river. It’s not difficult, but you are soaked.
The cave itself involves climbing up and around all types of rocks, plus trekking and swimming through the river. Eventually you reach the cave chamber where there are amazingly preserved Mayan artifacts, including an entire human skeleton. It’s a unique experience. Or creepy. You decide.
Most people stay in San Ignacio for their jungle excursions. If that’s the case, you are super close to the ruins of Xunantunich (say that three times fast). On a clear day, you can see Guatemala from the top of El Castillo, one of the tallest structures in Belize.
“Meh” Things You Can Miss:
There’s not a lot to do here. Plus it can be dangerous. If you’re up for it, and your flight doesn’t land at 2 in the morning, just head immediately to your next destination. That’s the advantage of traveling in a smaller country.
The Split on Caye Caulker
Remember, Caye Caulker is amazing. But when you start to research this place, everyone mentions the Split at the northern tip as being this outstanding place. Currently, it’s under construction, so it’s not super interesting. I enjoyed hanging out on the dock outside our hotel more to catch sun.
This is a national park located near Placencia. While it was a lovely jungle where you can see animals, I enjoyed visiting the zoo more. Plus, you’ll get plenty of jungle time if you do the ATM cave tour. It’s tricky to get to and can be expensive to visit, so I’d save your money for other adventures.
The Blue Hole (Inland)
Not to be confused with the one in the ocean, this blue hole is a sinkhole located near Belmopan. It’s pretty, but definitely not worth going out of your way for- especially if you have limited time. The reef is easily more amazing.
Now you have a better idea of how to spend 10 days in Belize. If you’re curious about my exact 10 day itinerary, just ask!
Hopefully you can visit and enjoy this incredible country. I wish I could have stayed longer; there were many places in the north I didn’t have time for.
If you have more time in Belize, let me know what other places you had a chance to visit!
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