Resorts are just about everywhere in Belize — and while the all-amenities approach does have its appeals, a condo allows a level of independence and privacy that’s especially well-suited to a tropical escape. And in many cases, rental condos come with the same amenities and front desk services that you’d expect from a resort. But before you can pick a condo, you need to pick where you want to stay. There are destinations for every taste if you know what you’re looking for.
The coastal village of Hopkins is the rare popular vacation spot that’s still managed to fully retain its charm and culture. That may be in part due to the fact that it still only has about a thousand residents. It also happens to be the heart of Garifuna culture in Belize. Experiencing Garifuna music and food can be one of the best ways to get immersed in the community — and it’s a cuisine that draws heavily from fresh and delicious seafood pulled straight from the sea. But Hopkins is just as precious for its proximity to adventures both on the water and further inland. Some of the country’s most impressive Maya ruins are but a day trip away, and Hopkins is ideally located for a visit out to the Barrier Reef.
Placencia also has a population of only about a thousand people, but the unique geography of the Placencia Peninsula makes this village truly unique. Nearly 20 miles long but only a half mile wide, it offers a remarkable square footage of beachfront property. Still, the vibe and community are similar to Hopkins. Placencia is often a popular choice for day trips into the Caribbean, and a number of the more popular but less populated cayes are within 20 miles or less. Inland sights close to Placencia include the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, which has the unique status of being the only jaguar sanctuary in the world. And while Placencia Village is small, its downtown strip is cute and filled with shops and restaurants worth exploring.
San Ignacio Town may not have access to the beach, but it’s widely considered the gateway for Western Belize’s Cayo District. With its vast expanses of rain forests, mountains, and jungle caves, it offers some of the most stunning natural beauty within Central America. San Ignacio is the perfect base camp for exploring sites like Mountain Pine Ridge, the ATM Cave, or the inland Blue Hole. But the town itself offers a lot for visitors looking for something to do at night. It’s western Belize’s most bustling hub, and the downtown boasts some of the best restaurants and nightlife in the entire country. If you rent a condo in the Cayo District, you owe it to yourself to check out the vibrant and culturally expressive murals painted throughout downtown San Ignacio Town.
There are hundreds of islands off the coast of Belize, but none of them are as large or as famous as Ambergris Caye. It’s an island so beautiful that Madonna wrote a song about it, and that makes it the top island destination in Belize for both tourists and expats. And that’s because it’s pretty much perfectly located. It’s a mere 20 miles from the shore, and you can reach the interior by a simple ferry. But the 15 mile island is especially known for offering truly stunning diving and snorkeling opportunities. That’s partly because of how close it is to the Belize Barrier Reef. And while being the number one tourist destination has its advantages and disadvantages, the settlement of San Pedro Town is one of the most vibrant and exciting on the island. Best of all, you can get around entirely on golf carts or bikes.
Ambergris Caye is an experience, but it can also be pricey. If you want something less expensive and less crowded, Caye Caulker is a smaller island with a more low key vibe. Tourism is a popular industry here, but it’s still second to the fishing. Mainland tours are a perfectly feasible choice, but you’ll find all the interesting excursions and water sports that you’d find on the larger island of Ambergris Caye as well. Caye Caulker’s town is much smaller than San Pedro Town too — but it’s lively and enriched by the delicious fresh seafood served out of street carts.
No matter where you’re looking to stay, you can count on Vacasa to provide you with the best properties. All of their properties are managed by locals, and many offer a more authentic and local experience than what you’d find on a luxury resort. Best of all, they offer variety so you can find a spot that matches the unique vibe you want to capture with your vacation.