How important are itineraries? Really important, say travel experts who insist that the right itinerary is as important as choosing the right place to visit. If you’ve already identified Belize as your next destination, having an itinerary will maximize your time, help you manage expenditures, get you to and from places efficiently and you can better manage your priorities.
This 10-day guide includes the best Belize has to offer.
Day #1: Start in Belize City, the former capital of Belize before Mother Nature’s interventions impressed upon government officials the wisdom of moving the capital to Belmopan. Why see this city first? Because the airport is located in close proximity and you must take a selfie at the Belize Sign Monument and stroll around landmarks to set the tone for your time in Belize.
Day #2: Take the ferry to Caye Caulker, check into your accommodation and grab a nap. We recommend San Pedro Belize Express! Refreshed, take a long walk around the island to get the lay of the land. By exploring this small island on your own or by hiring a tour guide, you’ll fully unwind and get ready for a pub crawl that evening. Caye Caulker’s bar and restaurant scene is fun and the best way to end the night is by showing off your dance moves to the beat of punta and rock tunes.
Day #3: If you’re not staying at an all-inclusive resort, wander around until you find a café that serves an authentic Belize breakfast of eggs, fry jacks, fresh fruit and use the bottle of Marie Sharp’s Hot Sauce on your eggs (if Marie’s isn’t on hand, move to another eatery). You’ll be fired up and ready to go on an official, guide-driven snorkeling tour. Make it a full or half day. You’ll be exhausted but blissfully content.
Day #4: Make your time on Caye Caulker memorable by devoting the day to the Belize Barrier Reef. It’s the second largest reef system on Planet Earth and depending upon your energy level, you can swim with manatees, spot dolphins and visit Shark Ray Alley for the ultimate aquatic treat: swimming with stingrays and nurse sharks. Dinner? That depends upon how you feel about the creatures you spent the day with!
Day #5: Have your resort arrange transport back to Belize City so you can move on to San Ignacio. That’s the beauty of Belize: You move from place to place fast because the nation is so small. Stow your bags at your pre-booked accommodation and — depending upon your mood — arrange a Belize cave tour for a full immersion into this ancient culture. You could fit in an ATM Cave Tour if your stamina remains high followed by a meal at your resort before turning in early for the next days’ adventures.
Day #6: Sort out an early morning trip to Xunantunich in the morning to wrap up your Maya immersion. Fit in an early walk by traversing the Mopan River before following the trail to the visitor’s center. Enjoy the contrast between the ATM cave and this magnificent complex where you’ll marvel at the complexity of this ancient city. Dare to climb El Castillo so you’re privy to a view of the city that will leave you spellbound.
Day #7: Having seen enough Maya buildings, artifacts and heard enough lore about Belize’s first people, opt for a tamer experience in San Ignacio by strolling the town’s market, booking a cave tubing river ride that never disappoints and go horseback riding through jungle paths that could bring you into contact with some of the area’s wildlife. You will have seen and done most everything in the San Ignacio area in just a few days!
Day #8: Having sampled San Ignacio’s activity and amusement buffet, follow the crowd to the Placencia peninsula, a lush finger of land boasting the best beaches in the country. Take the entire day to sunbathe, swim or kayak on either the Caribbean Sea side or the lagoon side where you may encounter more manatee pods. Count on your hotel or resort host to recommend a dining venue but be prepared to weigh myriad choices because Placencia is a culinary mecca.
Day #9: Haven’t yet had your fill of diving and snorkeling? Hook up with a Placencia dive shop for a full day of fun. As the most popular destination in Belize for new and experienced divers, Placencia gives you access to the Silk Cayes, primitive, tiny islands where thrilling aquatic experiences are the order of the day. Expect to add to your list of fascinating aquatic creatures that hang around the coral reef. Turn in early so you can maximize your last day in Belize before catching your plane.
Day #10: Treat yourself to a full Belize breakfast before picking up souvenirs for friends and family. Get in a last kayaking trip to stretch your legs and exercise your body followed by a final lunch at one of Placencia’s favorite dining spots. Don’t miss your airport shuttle. After all, Belize is just a few hours by plane from Belize City so you can return any time you like to see more!