Travelers often wonder what’s the ideal length of stay when visiting a new destination. For mass touristic places, choosing a certain itinerary could very well have you missing out on a lot the rest of the country has to offer. In Belize, there is the frequent recommendation that 5-7 days is the sweet spot to get the most out of the destination. But what about when you only have one day? Many business travelers and backpackers usually only have one or two days to spend in Belize before leaving or moving on to another nearby destination. Thankfully, the country’s smaller size still lets you have an enriched itinerary for a short 24 hours.
An Early Start at Sea
For your short stay in Belize, head to Hopkins since it bodes well as a central hub. To maximize the short length of your vacation, it stands to reason that getting an early start to your day is a good idea. After resting the night before your arrival, it’s now time to see the best of Belize. Wake up early and hop on a boat to go snorkeling at South Water Caye. A resort, like Jaguar Reef Lodge, would be a great option since it has a dock right on the beach. Spend the morning seeing sea turtles, corals, and exotic fish up close. Have lunch at the palm-studded island before heading back to the mainland.
Mid-afternoon waterfall chasing
After grabbing some lunch at Jaguar Reef’s The Paddle House, make your way to the nearby Maya King waterfall about half an hour away. Drive up to the site and spend an hour or two perfecting your cannonballs into the icy water. Sit directly under the cascades or lounge at the convenient picnic tables nearby. The waterfall is surrounded by lush jungles, so seclusion and privacy are a bonus. No hiking is required to get to this waterfall so it’s easily accessible. When you’ve had enough of lazing around the gushing falls, return to Hopkins village for an evening of entertainment.
A Taste of Culture
Hopkins is known to be the cultural capital of Belize, so there’s no way you can stay there without immersing yourself in the Garifuna way of life. Book a cultural experience complete with a cooking class to get a taste of this culture. A drumming lesson paired with hudut making is Warasa Garifuna School’s specialty. You’ll spend the evening learning how to make the delicious spice-ridden soup before being entertained by historical dances and rhythmic drumming.
Some may think it ambitious to base your entire Belize itinerary on one day — but with a day like this it’s hard to go wrong. This itinerary serves as a teaser so when you revisit you know exactly what other activities you could expand on. You’ve got your bases covered with both the off-shore and inland attractions, with a side of cultural authenticity. What more could you need?
Feature Image: Duarte Dellarole