Flag of Belize

Belize Travel Guide

Belize is located in eastern Central America and is bordered by Mexico and Guatemala. To the east, Belize has 240 miles (386 km) of coastline. Belize’s biggest draws are its islands and incredible dive sites, which include an expansive coral reef. The Belize Barrier Reef system spans the entire length of the country, and is part of the second-largest barrier reef system in the world. Inland, visitors can explore the ruins of Maya cities that once rivaled their Guatemalan neighbors.


About Belize

The abundant and diverse marine life of Belize brings in divers, snorkelers, and fishermen from all over the world. Deep sea fishing off of Ambergris Caye, swimming with whale sharks in the Gladden Spit and Silk Caye Marine Reserve, or relaxing on white sand beaches in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve — these are just a few of ways you can spend your time in this idyllic Caribbean paradise.

Visiting Belize

The mainland coast of Belize also has a number of attractive beaches to choose from. Placencia Village, Hopkins, and Maya Beach are some of the most popular. In addition to the offshore attractions, these small beach towns also provide easy access to ancient Mayan sites, national parks, and wildlife preserves.

Moving farther inland is the heart of the Maya Mountains, Belize’s top destination for adventure vacations. Thick, healthy rainforest, abundant wildlife, hundreds of bird species, dozens of Mayan ruins, and an extensive cave systems all provide nature-loving travelers with a long list of things to do and see. Hiking, horseback riding, zip lining, birding, and cave tubing are some of the most popular activities.

The northern lowlands are the least-visited areas of the country. While tourist amenities are few, the ancient Mayan site of Lamanai is one of the most unique in the country. Visitors also travel through this region en route to Mexico.

Most travelers arrive via the international airport in Belize City. The airport is located on the outskirts of town. Dozens of daily domestic flights leave from Belize City’s municipal airport, making it quick to get to the different regions in the country. Since Belize is so small, driving is also possible. The main highways in Belize are well-maintained, although not marked or well lit at night.

Eating and Drinking Safely

Unlike other Central American countries, clean tap water can generally be found throughout the country and in most tourist destinations. Additionally, most visitors find that they are free to enjoy the local food without serious digestive repercussions.

Geographical Snapshot

The country’s total size is 8,864 square miles (22,960 sq km), just slightly smaller than the state of New Hampshire. It is the second smallest country in Central America next to El Salvador. Belize’s landscape includes a thick, healthy jungle, agricultural land, the Maya Mountains, beautiful beaches, and countless offshore island atolls.

Since winning independence in 1981, the government has taken a proactive approach to conserving its natural resources through a variety of protective measures. Nearly 100 different protected areas have been established, including avian reserves, archaeological sites, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and marine reserves. In total, including land and marine resources, over 10 million acres are under some form of conservation management, totaling approximately 26 percent of the nation’s territory.

Climate and Seasonal Weather Patterns

Belize’s climate is generally described as tropical or sub-tropical, with average temperatures fluctuating very little throughout the year. November to January tends to be the coolest months with an average high along the coast of 75° Fahrenheit (24° C), while the warmest months of May to September typically experience highs of 81° Fahrenheit (28° C). Thanks to the ocean breeze, the climate on the islands and along the coastline is considered comfortable year round. The hills of the Maya Mountains, with a high point sits of 3,688 feet (1,124 m) above sea level, often experience cooler temperatures, especially in the evenings.

Traditionally, the driest season lasts from January to May, while the wettest period occurs from June to December. However, changes in global weather patterns have uprooted these trends in recent years, making the weather more difficult to predict. The rainy season is generally characterized by increased humidity and periodic rain showers, with the southern part of Belize receiving significantly more rainfall.

Historical Overview

The 2012 census reported that Belize has a population of 324,000. Almost half of the residents live in urban areas including Belize City, San Ignacio, Belmopan, Orange Walk, and San Pedro. The rest of the population resides in rural towns, remote islands, and small communities scattered throughout the countryside.

Belize was once dominated by the Maya civilization, with as many as 2 million Maya living throughout the country. While populations began to dwindle in 900 AD, the Maya persisted well into the late 16th and 17th centuries when European settlers arrived, bringing with them an onslaught of new diseases. The indigenous Mayan communities that still exist today are the Mopan, Yucatec, and Q’eqchi’ Maya who primarily live in southern Belize and engage in subsistence farming.

The official language of Belize is English, although throughout the country you will hear Spanish, as well as Kriol, an English based dialect stemming from various African languages.

SOCIETY & Culture

Today, the Mestizo population, people of any Spanish and Maya descent, makes up more than 50% of Belize’s total population. The Mestizo are predominately Spanish speaking and live in northern Belize, including Corozal and Orange Walk. A large Mestizo population also lives on Ambergris Caye and in the Maya Mountain region around Belmopan and San Ignacio.

Belize also has a large Creole (21 percent) and a smaller Garífuna (4.6 percent) population. The Garífuna people, who are of any African and Caribbean descent, primarily live along the southern Caribbean coast in the communities of Hopkins, Placencia Village, and Punta Gorda. They are proud of their heritage and are known for their traditional drumming.

Finally, Belize is home to approximately 10,000 German speaking Mennonites who live throughout the northern lowlands. Belize Mennonites are seen in these areas wearing traditional clothing and driving horse-drawn buggies. The Mennonites have developed some of the most advanced agricultural techniques used in Belize and produce a large portion of the country’s agriculture.

Economic Snapshot

Belize’s economy depends primarily on agriculture and tourism. Primary exports include cane sugar, bananas, and citrus, but there is a growing trade deficit. To compensate for this, there have been recent moves to develop the country’s oil deposits. In light of this, the government has enacted conservation policies in an effort to balance preservation of natural resources, sustainable development, and industry, but a growing tourism sector will help ensure that the country’s valuable natural ecosystems remain intact.

Great trip and made it so easy
We just had a lovely trip to Belize and thanks to Anywhere it was so easy! I usually like planning my own vacation, but ...Nov 23, 2019


Exceeded All Expectations
Exceeded All Expectations My family and I definitely had our concerns prior to this trip, as we had never gone through ...Oct 16, 2019

Davidge F.

DIY versus Letting Someone Else Plan
DIY versus letting others plan We normally research, book, and pay for excursions on our own. Part of the fun is making ...Jun 28, 2019


Enrico Estrada of Anywhere.com planned…Great Trip!!
Enrico Estrada of Anywhere.com planned an amazing trip for my husband and me to Belize, Guatemala and Costa Rica. The tr...Jun 24, 2019


Mother’s Day mom and son Belize trip
This is the third time I have used Anywhere for a trip. Seamless experience, everything flowed perfectly as usual. The e...Jun 06, 2019


Justin and Lisa's Belize trip
This is the third time I have used Anywhere to plan trips. The first two were to Costa Rica; the third my son and I just...May 31, 2019


Book with Anywhere! Easiest decision you'll have to make
Booking with Anywhere was the best decision we made. Our trip was absolutely amazing, everything we wanted, plus everyth...Apr 26, 2019


Great company
Great company! They’re more than helpful and they make your trip a time to remember. The customer service is in a class ...Apr 26, 2019


Exceeded our expectations
Exceeded our expectations! The entire trip went smoothly, no worries! Every tour was exceptional! Every accommodation be...Apr 11, 2019


The trip was a once in a lifetime…
The trip was a once in a lifetime experience. Anywhere.com did an exceptional job of planning this trip. It couldn't h...Mar 30, 2019

Vickie B.

This service is outstanding
This service is outstanding. We had changes to be made, and they were done so with ease. All of the excursions and dri...Mar 23, 2019

Linda A

This was our third time using Anywhere…
This was our third time using Anywhere to help us create an adventure (Costa Rica, Belize, Cuba). As with our first two ...Mar 15, 2019

Brent Pat.

awesome company to deal with
awesome company to deal with. Everything they planned, including hotels and sightseeing tours, was wonderful. Every ve...Mar 06, 2019

Happy tra.

The Hidden Treasure of Travel Agency ( that shouldn't be anymore )!
Super pleasant, helpful, and knowledgeable staff! We plan to have them coordinate our next trips to the areas they ser...Feb 15, 2019


I would recommend anywhere to anyone…
I would recommend anywhere to anyone traveling anywhere. I was treated exceptionally well with professionalism and kindn...Feb 14, 2019


Anywhere.com is the best.
I would recommend Anywhere.com to anyone who is looking to travel to the destinations that they coordinate. I have been ...Dec 17, 2018


Sylvia was excellent and accommodating
Sylvia was excellent and accommodating. All of the reservations were rock solid and occurred with essentially no hitches...Jan 15, 2018


Anywhere is a Great Service. I recommend it highly.
We have used Anywhere twice to help us plan trips to Belize and Costa Rica. Both were great. Our drivers were always on...Jan 11, 2018

Nancy Jac.

15 characters minimum

"A company that truly meets the expectations of the traveler. They provide a great travel experience, with a lot less worries."

- Sandy T.

Trustpilot 5-star rated