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Best of the Belize Cayes 5-Day Itinerary

In five days, you can experience a few of Belize’s most beautiful islands. This itinerary includes self-guided activities, as well as some guided tours. Caye hopping can be a bit more costly than exploring overland, so feel free to use this itinerary as best fits your budget. One thing is certain: you won’t run out of islands to see or things to do!

Maps - Belize 11e - Northern Cayes
The Northern Cayes

Day 1

Arrive at Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City. Hop on your connecting Tropic Air domestic puddle-jumper flight and fly to laid-back Caye Caulker. After dropping off your bags at the hotel, schedule a snorkel trip to Caye Caulker Marine Reserve for the next day, then watch the sunset at The Split and Lazy Lizard Bar, the island’s social headquarters. Continue on with dinner alfresco at Rose’s Grill and Bar. Pick your preferred fresh catch of the day and relax under a giant palapa.

Day 2

Today you’ll head out on a half-day morning snorkel trip to Caye Caulker’s shark ray alley, before hopping over to San Pedro. Swim and snorkel alongside a dozen or more nurse sharks and stingrays, among other marinelife, and admire coral gardens. Back on the island, grab your things and catch the early afternoon water taxi to bustling San Pedro. Spend the rest of the day walking around San Pedro Town, with plenty of opportunities to shop, eat, swim, barhop, and be merry. Grab a memorable seafood dinner at Caramba Restaurant and Bar or Creole specialties at Elvi’s Kitchen and end the night with drinks at the beachfront Señor Marlin’s Sports Bar. If you’re a night owl, continue on to Jaguar’s Temple nightclub.

Nurse sharks at Shark Ray Alley, Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.
Nurse sharks at Shark Ray Alley, Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

Day 3

Catch the first water taxi back to Belize City, then head to Dangriga, in the Stann Creek District, by bus or car. Take in the spectacular scenery along the Hummingbird Highway. Once in Dangriga, settle in and then take an afternoon trip to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can hike through the jungle past fresh jaguar tracks and chill in waterfalls under a green canopy. End the night with a fancy dinner back in Dangriga at Pelican Beach Resort.

Days 4-5

Catch a water taxi to Tobacco Caye or South Water Caye for diving along steep walls and snorkeling the pristine southern Belize Barrier Reef. These islands are oh-so-stunning and romantic! Stay overnight at one of several resorts for the full experience, and don’t miss stargazing from your hammock. Catch your early boat transfer and flight back to Belize City’s international airport.

Extend Your Stay

If you have 2-3 more days to spend in Belize, catch the first bus or drive down to Placencia Village. Check into your hotel and make next-day arrangements with Splash Dive Center for a couple of snorkeling or dive trips or an all-day relaxing island escape to the Silk Cayes or Laughingbird Caye National Park. Back in the village, relax on the beach at Tipsy Tuna—swim, nap on lounge chairs, sip on local cocktails, and take in the slow vibe. Lunch on-site and join locals for a sunset beach volleyball game. Go to dinner at the local Wendy’s Creole Restaurant and Bar or head up the peninsula to Maya Beach Hotel Bistro for beachfront fine dining. Back in the village, look out for some Garífuna drumming or other live music on the beach, at Barefoot Bar or Tipsy Tuna.

Placencia Village Beach. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.
Placencia Village Beach. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

Spend the next day snorkeling, diving, fishing, beachcombing, and taking in a glorious, deserted island escape with an overnight on Ranguana Caye or Robert’s Caye. Avid divers and honeymooners should just head straight to Glover’s Reef for spectacular diving and utter seclusion.

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