There aren’t many summer vacations in life that can outrival one in Belize, but while you may want to be living your best life around these tropical parts, there’s a matter of whether you can afford it. Luckily, while Belize may be on the higher end when it comes to overall spending, there are destinations that are definitely within reach of your budget. Come summer, you will get to enjoy the world-renowned barrier reef, the talked-about sandy beaches, and the to-die-for cuisine, all while remaining frugal.
Orange Walk Town
The gem in the north, Orange Walk bases itself on reasonable prices all the time. With not many tourists overcrowding the town, there are no jacked-up prices when it comes to food, stays and tours. This allows for a decently packed day without blowing up your budget. Reputable street food vendors offer plates starting as little as a couple of dollars (tacos, anyone?) while the well-known restaurants range from $10–$20BZD. Enriched with history, you can visit the Banquitas House of Culture, national monuments, and galleries all free of charge. If you happen to have a car, drive up to nearby Honeycamp and enjoy the lagoon locals frequent. Got half a day to kill? Hop on a boat to the nearby Maya site of Lamanai and see the Temple of the Mask in person, all for $10BZD per person.
If you think walking barefooted in the sand, whizzing by on golf carts and waking up to killer sunrises are unattainable because Ambergris Caye is expensive, look no further than Caye Caulker. You will get all of the above but with a more affordable outlook. More low-key than its popularized neighbor, Caye Caulker island is only about an hour away from Belize City via water taxi. At merely six miles long, there is surprisingly plenty to do at the “Isla cariñosa,” a.k.a. ‘charming island.’ Spend your first evening at the infamous Split while nursing the crowd favorite: “lizard juice.”
There’s no cost to lounge at the north end of the island, where the views of the Caribbean Sea – both for sunrise and sunset – are unparalleled. Pay a visit to the island’s endearing humane society and brighten up the animals’ day. Most hotels and Airbnb’s here offer bicycles you can borrow to tour the entirety of the island. Snap photos at the colorful “Caye Caulker” and “Lazy Lizard” lettered monuments. For a cheap yet delectable breakfast, visit Errolyn’s House of Fry jacks and see for yourself what the hype is all about.
Another destination often overshadowed by its pricier and popular neighbor, Hopkins is the go-to place when you want the Placencia experience with none of the price tags (or crowds). Located on the southeast coast, most of its highly praised hotels are right on the beach for easy access to the ocean. Marine-related tours are also easily accessible as many snorkeling islands are about an hour away via boat ride. Opt for Belizean-owned eateries to get all of the flavors without dropping major banks. Don’t let the rustic establishments fool you, the dishes in Hopkins are the depiction of a cultural Mecca you can’t find anywhere else. If you’re wanting to get out and explore a little, the rainforest is only a half-hour drive away where you can explore waterfalls, try zip lining or caving at low-tier price points.
Summer is considered Belize’s low season since most tourists come during the wintertime to escape the cold. Hence, spending a summer vacation in Belize gives you a wide advantage when it comes to discounted tours, lots of hotel deals, and destinations like these that thrive on a shoestring budget. Find all the Belize travel deals, including on stays at Hopkins favorites like The Lodge at Jaguar Reef or Hamanasi Resort, here.