5 of the Prettiest Rural Villages in Belize 

by Gisselle Hernandez

Belize on a whole is a country off the beaten path, but within the confines of its dense jungles and sandy beaches are virtually unexplored destinations. Many of these rural villages hold so much history, culture, and vibrant experiences most don’t know about in Belize. When venturing through Belize from north to south, here are some of the colorful villages that serve as the prettiest road-trip stops. 


Sarteneja retire

Sarteneja by Jessica Sawers

This gorgeous seaside fishing village is located in the Corozal District, north of Belize. Sarteneja possesses some of the most stunning sunrises in Belize, capturing the warm hues rising over the Caribbean Sea. The village is known for its talented artisan boatbuilders and thriving nearby ecosystems. Accommodations are moderately inexpensive and easily accessible upon reaching town. 

Blue Creek.

A culvert in Blue Creek village.

The Mennonite village of Blue Creek lies about an hour away from Orange Walk Town in the north. When driving into Blue Creek you’ll be transported back in time. Carts & horses are the preferred mode of transportation here, and green rolling pastures pass you by on either side of the road. There are also many small creeks, natural pools, and a dam perfect for a refreshing afternoon swim. 

Crooked Tree.

jabiru stork belize crooked tree

The Jabiru Stork is Crooked Tree’s most famed resident. Photo by Francis Canto Jr.

At the end of a 5-minute drive on a dirt road flanked by lagoon water on either side is Crooked Tree Village. Approximately one hour away from Belize City, the village is in the heart of the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, teeming with wildlife. The wetland is nationally protected and a popular place for birders to spot target species. The village has recorded over 300 species of birds, as well as aquatic animals, and a plethora of other curious creatures. 

 Monkey River.

Photo by Duarte Dellarole

This little town with only about 200 people is only accessible via boat and is surrounded by riverine forests in the Toledo District. There are umpteenth river tours available that give you the chance to explore the nearby jungles and wildlife. You’ll spot lounging green iguanas, swinging howler monkeys, and perhaps even a crocodile sunbathing near the banks of the river! 

San Jose Succotz.


Tucked between San Ignacio and Benque Viejo del Carmen in Cayo is the beautiful Maya village of San Jose Succotz. Home to Xunantunich, Succotz – as the residents call it – borders an emerald-green river meandering through the village. The culturally-rich food here is incredible, as most of Belize. Before boarding the ferry to explore the Maya site, make sure to stop by the artisan stands nearby and purchase a souvenir or two.

mennonite farmer sarteneja belize

A Mennonite farmer sells produce to a restaurant owner in Sarteneja, Belize © Margie Politzer / Getty Images

There are many more low-trafficked rural villages in Belize that provide that quaint and tranquil feel you may be looking for. By getting out of the usual hustle and bustle of life found in cities and big towns, your mind will be opened to many new perspectives. Most of them welcome and revitalize the soul. 

Header image of a dock in Sarteneja by Tom Hines.

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