The Small Towns in Belize that You Have to Visit

by Giulissa Hernandez

These small towns in Belize may not be on the cover of every travel magazine, but there’s a certain lure that keeps reeling us in. Venturing beyond the well-trodden tourist paths, discover four enchanting Belizean towns, each with its own magnetic pull. This small but mighty country has more to offer than just thrilling experiences. If you’re yearning for a captivating cultural experience, these homey towns welcome you. Get ready to explore Punta Gorda, Orange Walk, San Ignacio, and Dangriga. These charming towns promise adventures, flavors, and culture you won’t find anywhere else.

Orange Walk: Suga City’s Plethora of Hidden Gems

A small fruit market in Orange Walk Town. Photo by Javier Rejon on Unsplash

Let’s start the adventure with what may be the most beloved town in Northern Belize. Orange Walk, a quiet but bustling town situated along the banks of the New River, is your gateway to hidden gems galore. Enjoy everything from ancient Maya sites to historical museums, to a buzzing farmer’s market. You can stay on foot all day and discover all of the little hidden treasures this place has. Try out all the famous taco spots and choose your favorite! 

After, hop on a riverboat tour to explore the ancient Maya city of Lamanai, where you’ll encounter towering temples and jungle wildlife. As you navigate the river’s meandering waters, keep an eye out for crocodiles basking in the sun. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a howler monkey or two! Back in town, venture to the Banquitas House of Culture to immerse yourself in Orange Walk’s history and art scene. In just one day, you can learn all about the history of the Mayas from centuries ago as well as how we became the melting pot that is Belize today. 

San Ignacio: Eco-Adventure Aplenty

Photo by the Belize Tourism Board

Traveling further down Belize, you’ll find Cayo’s darling San Ignacio Town. Here, history, eco-adventure, and nature unite. This colorful community is a precious favorite among travelers from near and far. You can veer off in any direction and stumble upon an exhilarating and one-of-a-kind experience. Book a tour to conquer the Maya site of Cahal Pech. Or, venture deep into the jungle and map out Belize’s expansive underground cave system. Both these activities offer breathtaking views. 

For those craving a slower pace, the Green Iguana Conservation Project offers a close encounter with remarkable reptiles. At San Ignacio Resort Hotel you can interact with these amazing creatures and learn all about their way of life. Since you’re already there, make sure to grab a meal at the Running W Restaurant and truly savor Belizean cuisine. San Ignacio is sure to have you booked and busy!

Dangriga: Coastal & Cultural Wonder


This next town sits quaintly on the shores of Belize’s southern coast. Lively Dangriga town is brimming with culture and vibrant Garifuna tradition. Entering this place is like walking into a warm embrace. Locals will greet you kindly, waiters chat enthusiastically, and merchants share life experiences casually. If you’re truly seeking cultural connection, this is where it’s at. Strike up a conversation with the locals and make sure to try authentic Garifuna cuisine.

Hudut, anyone? Discover how the blend of fish and coconut can become your new favorite meal. Dangriga is well-known for its more laid-back ambiance. Find a beach chair and kick your feet up. It doesn’t get any more relaxed than this! 

Aside from the lovely bond you can form with its residents, Dangriga offers a plethora of exciting activities just off the coast. Go to a nearby caye like South Water Caye, Thatch Caye, or Tobacco Caye for a snorkeling adventure in crystal clear waters. Spend all day making friends with the active marine life and retreat into a cozy accommodation for a relaxing rest. 

Punta Gorda: For Your Sweet Tooth

Photo Credit: Belize Tourism Board

Punta Gorda, or “PG” as Belizeans affectionately call it, is a haven for chocolate enthusiasts. Whether your sweet tooth demands it or not, this town is not to be skipped! Here, you can indulge in a chocolate lover’s fantasy. Join a chocolate-making tour. Starting with a cacao pod and end with mouthwatering truffles. Sip on traditional cacao tea, sample organic chocolate bars, and savor the rich, earthy flavors that make Belizean chocolate world-renowned.

Don’t forget to explore the town’s vibrant market, where you can chat with artisans and savor homemade treats. Even more importantly, see if you can make it to the annual Chocolate Festival of that year! You’ll go back home with your bags full of treats to remind you of your unforgettable trip.

Featured Photo by Pen Cayetano Studio Gallery in Dangriga 

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