Best Places To Visit in Belize (That Aren’t Ambergris Caye)

by Gisselle Hernandez
aerial hopkins bay muyono resorts

Belize is one country that truly does cater to every taste. Considered part of both Central America and the Caribbean, the small nation is adept at intriguing both beach bummers and jungle lovers. However, many first-time visitors to Belize make a beeline to the pop-song-inspiring La Isla Bonita, a.k.a Ambergris Caye. Though we do recommend venturing to the island for the beautiful beaches, warm people and fulfilling nightlife, there are other destinations in Belize that deserve the same hype. Whether you want to go somewhere more low-key, or you’ve had your fair share of San Pedro, here are other spots in Belize worth exploring.

Orange Walk Town.

The gem of the north, Orange Walk Town is a laid-back, friendly town with a great culinary focus. About an hour away from the international airport, Orange Walk is a great place to kick-start your Belize vacation because it gives you a little taste of what all Belize entails. The Maya site of Lamanai is right in this district, an hour’s drive away from town. Top-notch authentic Belizean food can be found in almost every corner, with the street food scene arguably trumping every other districts’. Their small museum and hour-long heritage trail are great options if you want to learn more about the town’s history. The Maya and Mestizo cultures can be found here, as this region is closest to the neighboring country of Mexico. 

San Ignacio Town.

Navigating a little more inland is San Ignacio Town in the Cayo District. Half of the twin towns including Santa Elena, San Ignacio is the central hub for all things adventure in Belize. Nearby you’ll find forest reserves, caves, rivers and of course, the sought-after Maya sites. While the town is not near a beach, per se, you can still cool off by kayaking in the Macal River or spending the morning cave tubing. And if luxury is what you are looking for, the town is chock-full of award-winning resorts such as Ka’ana Resort and San Ignacio Resort Hotel. These places also have great pools – either outdoor or private plunge ones – that allow you to still have that tropical vacation you’ve been craving. By staying in San Ignacio, you can visit nearby Xunantunich or venture to Caracol which is a couple of hours away. Spend the rest of your days ziplining or horseback riding before relaxing at your resort’s spa. 

Hopkins Village.

Tucked on the southeast coast, this sleepy fishing village is now getting it’s time in the limelight. Here, you’ll find many excursions easily accessible and close by, with cayes for snorkeling just an hour’s boat ride away. Mayan King Waterfall is also only a half hour away, and so is the bustling expat beach town of Placencia. We recommend you try the enriching cultural tours such as the drummaking experience and the Garifuna cooking class. If you’re pressed for time and can’t drive the Hummingbird Highway on your way back, an airstrip is available at either Dangriga or Placencia.

These places may not have all the beaches that everyone knows Belize for, but it surely contains the same caliber of hype and experiences all travelers seek when traveling somewhere new. 

Header image courtesy Muy’Ono Resorts

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