Some of the Most Colorful Places in Belize, From North to South

by Khaila Gentle

Did you know? When traveling, we tend to be a lot more aware of the colors that surround us. The orange hues of a sunset, the soft greens of a lush forest, the shimmering turquoises of the sea – it all stands out more when you’re in someplace new.  As Conde Nast Traveler put it in a 2019 article on how color affects you when you travel, “travel provides a unique way to look at color…a break from places you’re so used to seeing that you might, by now, overlook.” In many ways, says Conde Nast, color could also be considered an entry point to travel. If you’re looking  for new ways to enjoy your favorite hues, then here are some of the most colorful places in Belize, from north to south.

Calming Blues

Ambergris Caye

One of Travel + Leisure’s picks for places with the bluest water in the world, Ambergris Caye is Belize’s largest and most popular island. People visit for the beaches, the offshore activities, the bars, and more. But regardless of what your itinerary looks like, it’s hard to miss the beautiful turquoises and sapphires that surround the island. Enjoy it from above, upon your arrival via puddle jumper. Marvel at what lies below while snorkeling or diving offshore. Or, bask in the various shades of blue while lounging in an inner tube at an overwater bar.

Where to go: Secret beach on Ambergris Caye is the perfect place for lounging around, enjoying some ice cold Belikins and local food, and, of course, getting that perfect shot of the sparkling blue water.

The Great Blue Hole

© Duarte Dellarole Photography

You’ve likely already heard of this colorful spot. The Great Blue Hole grants anyone on a flyover tour a memorable view of striking, deep cobalt against a much lighter turquoise. That deep blue is thanks to the almost 400 feet drop that sits surrounded by much shallower water.

Where to go: The Blue Hole is located 60 miles off the coast of Belize inside the Lighthouse Reef Atoll.  It makes for a great day trip from San Pedro or Caye Caulker.

Natural Greens

The Hummingbird Highway

Where Belize’s islands are renowned for shades of blue, its rolling Maya Mountains are famous for seemingly endless greens. one of the best ways to experience this restorative color is with a road trip down the Hummingbird Highway. Try your luck at spotting the famous Sleeping Giant Mountain Range.

Where to go: Snap a photo of the Maya Mountains while on the Hummingbird Highway. Or, enjoy the verdant vistas over lunch at the Lodge at Sleeping Giant.

The Rio Grande River

Photo by Copal Tree Lodge

In Belize, meandering rivers abound, but the Rio Grande in the southernmost district of Toledo feels like an entirely different world on its own. Flanked by lush forests, this winding river emerges out of the southern Maya Mountains and eventually empties out into the Caribbean Sea.

Where to go: Enjoy a tranquil and rejuvenating trip down this colorful river when you stay at Muy’Ono Resorts’ Copal Tree Lodge, where luxury and nature meet.

Fiery Reds

Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve

You’ll need an all-wheel vehicle for Mountain Pine Ridge’s terrain. Image courtesy Roeming Belize

Take a trip into the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reseve – which is teeming with caves, waterfalls, and swimming spots – and you’re bound to be greeted by its unmistakeable brick red road. Follow it to some of Belize’s most gorgeous and off the beaten path sites, like the majestic Caracol Maya site, Thousand Foot Falls, Rio Frio Caves, and Rio On Pools.

Where to go: For an added bonus, a stay at Gaia Riverlodge inside Mountain Pine Ridge will have you basking the the colorful hues of a Belizean sunset.

The Belize Zoo

scarlet macaw

Scarlet Macaws are just one of the hundreds of species of colorful birds that can be spotted in Belize. Find these feathered friends at the Belize Zoo. Or, for a chance to see them in the wild, visit the quiet Maya village of Red Bank, found in the Stann Creek District.

Where to go: If you’re planning on visiting Red Bank for a hike through the rainforest and some birdwatching, the height of Scarlet Macaw season in Belize is in February and March.

Vibrant Purples and Magentas

September Carnival

Photo courtesy of Belize Tourism Board

Belizeans take their carnival pretty seriously. And if you do too, then you’re in for a serious treat in the month of September. Watch on as colors, including vibrant purples, flood the streets during carnival season. It’s one of the country’s many festivals that make for memorable trips.

Where to go: Belize City, Placencia, and Orange Walk each have a carnival parade on different dates throughout the month of September. San Pedro Town also has their own Carnaval before the start of the Lenten Season.

Belize Spice Farm

These popular flowers grow in all colors, including Pantone’s 2023 Color of the Year: Viva Magenta. Featured in the country’s most renowned novel, Beka Lamb, bougainvilleas are a flowering vine plant that can grow up to 40 feet.

Where to go: Find bougainvilleas in colorful gardens, on lattices around Belize’s towns and cities, or at the Belize Spice Farm and Botanical Gardens in Toledo.

Featured Photo: Vivid Blues at Matachica Resort on Ambergris Caye by ROEming Belize


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