20 Belize Beaches

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Belize is the ‘Jewel in the heart of the Caribbean basin’, a Central American country on the eastern coast. Bordered by Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is covered in lush tropical forests, and the beaches in Belize are beautiful. Belizeans are laid back and enjoy socialising locally, making its small towns and villages incredibly welcoming.

As the only Central American country without a coastline on the North Pacific Ocean, Belize has a Caribbean climate and beaches to match. Its coastline is dotted with warm white sands, shady palm trees and cabanas. Its coastal location is a scuba diver’s dream, with the second-largest barrier reef system in the world. There are many beautiful islands (cayes) off the coast of Belize with beaches to rival other Caribbean islands.

As well as incredible marine life, Belize holds the only jaguar reserve in the world. The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary cares for and protects these majestic creatures. Belize’s beaches are its biggest attraction, both on the mainland and its cayes, and they are national treasures.

Despite the tourist allure, Belize’s beaches are tranquil, with sections of the sands protected by environmentalists who have given these regions protected status as national parks or wildlife refuges. So, if Belize is on your travel list, here are 20 beaches that will have you wanting to return for more.

Belize Beaches

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beaches in belize
Aerial photo over the Blue Hole.

20 Beaches In Belize

1- Placencia Peninsula

belize city beaches
The beach in Placencia in Belize, Central America.

Punta Placencia translates from Spanish to ‘Pleasant Point’, an apt name for this Belizean beach.

The 16-mile (25.7 kilometres) stretch of sand winds down the southeastern coast.

Punta Placencia is one of the most visited beaches in Belize.

It is a typical Caribbean beach with welcoming soft white sands and alluring waters.

The beach is becoming popular with visitors however, due to its size, it is still relatively easy to find a quiet spot.

Placencia Peninsula is at Placencia Road, Belize.

2- Ambergris Caye

best beaches in belize
Ambergris Caye is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Belize.

La Isla Bonita, or Ambergris Caye as it is more commonly known, is a small island off the coast with a pristine beach and warm waters.

It is one of the best diving sites in Belize and is highly popular for water sports.

The best dive spots are to the island’s north, where the Great Mayan Reef is within swimming distance from the shore.

The beach stretches for 25 miles (40 kilometres), making it the ideal spot to find somewhere quiet to lay back and enjoy the sun.

The coastline is protected by Belize’s barrier reef, which keeps the waters calm and teeming with marine life.

Ambergris Caye is in San Pedro, Belize.

3- South Water Caye

belize beaches south water caye
Pull up a beach lounge and relax on a beach in Belize’s South Water Caye.

South Water Caye is a nature lover’s dream, a pristine beach surrounded by a nature reserve.

Spend your day relaxing on the sands or dip into the sea to explore the marine reserve.

South Water Caye has the largest marine reserve in Belize and is part of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage Site.

So, pack your snorkel to see the coral reef teaming with wildlife.

South Water Caye also has a thick mangrove forest surrounding it, which creates a sheltered paradise for both tourists to relax in, and for its marine residents.

South Water Caye is in Hopkins, Belize.

4- Hopkins Village Beach

belize beaches woman in orange bikini lying on a timber beach lounge with hat and bag on the sand
Pick one of these beaches in Belize and enjoy sun, sand and sea.

Hopkins Village has been named the friendliest village in Belize, and it is easy to see why, as this traditional Garifuna village has its natural vibe intact.

The friendly locals are warm and welcoming, and the beaches are unlike any other.

The beach is laid-back and natural, with plenty of sand to relax on and palm trees to get some cooling shade.

There are no paved paths or high rises here, making it truly the ideal location for a getaway from everyday stresses and distractions.

Within walking distance of the beach are numerous breathtaking waterfalls, mountains overlooking areas of mangrove and rainforest, and reefs teaming with corals and tropical fish.

Hopkins Village Beach is also close to the Bocawina National Park and Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve, both are worth a visit.

Hopkins Village Beach is in Hopkins, Belize. Explore Belize’s Barrier Reef on a half-day snorkel cruise from Hopkins. Find out more here.

5- Half Moon Caye

belize beaches Half Moon Caye
Look for sharks in Half Moon Caye.

Half Moon Caye is another of Belize’s spectacular dive locations and is considered one of Central America’s best dive sites.

Once underwater, there is a spectacular site to dive to, with a steep drop-off known as a wall and a deep, dark abyss with schools of fish swimming serenely by.

When diving, look out for snappers, hogfish and stingrays.

After making the most of the water, head to Half Moon Caye’s crescent-shaped patch of sand for peace and quiet.

With many coming simply to dive, the beaches are rarely busy and often empty, creating your own private paradise.

6- Southwest Caye

Southwest Caye is on Glover’s Reef and a must-visit not only in Belize but also in Central America.

Southwest Caye is the location of the largest marine reserve in Belize.

Like many of Belize’s other cayes, it is a prime location for scuba diving and snorkelling.

The reef is shallow and is swimmable from shore.

Sea turtles, a range of tropical fish, and dolphins can be seen swimming around the reef.

It is best reached by yacht as beach space is limited, so a private yacht creates the perfect place to rest after your dive during busy diving periods.

Southwest Caye is at Glover’s Reef, Belize.

7- Caye Caulker

best beaches belize
Caye Caulker is home to one of the loveliest Belize beaches.

Caye Caulker is a true Caribbean paradise, a quiet caye that is only accessible via water taxi or on a 35-minute boat trip (with rum punch).

The island is completely car-free and everything is within walking or cycling distance. Bicycles can be hired from beach huts.

Caye Caulker’s motto is ‘living slow and peacefully’.

This is certainly true across its hamlets and the pristine beach.

The best way to experience Caye Caulker’s vibe is by relaxing on the beach in a hammock.

For more adventure, visit several cayes on a snorkelling day cruise where the waters are perfect for snorkelling, and cave tubing is also available with local guides.

8- Silk Caye

beaches and dreams belize
Looking for relaxing beaches in Belize? Check out our list of top 20.

22 miles (35 kilometres) from Placencia, Silk Caye is another of Belize’s marine reserve islands and a popular beach location for day trips from the mainland.

Make the most of its vast coastline and calm waters, and bring your snorkelling kit to look for whale sharks, hawksbill turtles, rays and colourful fish. Or join this snorkelling tour from Placencia (snorkelling equipment and lunch included).

You cannot stay overnight on Silk Caye, however, it is the perfect place for a day trip as you tick off Belize’s most spectacular beaches.

9- Glover’s Reef Atoll

best belize beaches Glover's Reef Atoll aerial
Glover’s Reef Atoll has one of the more secluded beaches in Belize.

World Heritage-listed Glover’s Reef Atoll is a marine reserve named after English pirates John and Roger Glover.

A must-visit when in Belize, the interior lagoon is filled with around 850 rings of coral reefs inhabited by thousands of colourful fish.

Pack your snorkel to see these incredible creatures up close in their natural habitat.

Camping at Glover’s Reef Atoll is possible, and cabins are available to rent.

Glover’s reef is quiet and lesser visited than other Belize beaches, so head to this serine atoll for some much-needed rest and relaxation.

Glover’s Reef Atoll is at South Glover’s Reef Atoll, Glover’s Reef, Belize.

10- Sapodilla Caye

nude beaches belize
A Belize beach and turquoise ocean.

Sapodilla Caye is one of the most beautiful and picturesque cayes in Belize.

The southernmost caye in Belize is a marine reserve and World Heritage Site, with soft white sands and crystal clear waters teaming with wildlife.

This landscape has more than 14 protected mangroves teaming with wildlife.

The waters around Sapodilla Caye are crystal clear, making it the ideal place for diving, snorkelling and fishing.

Within the waters are dolphins, sea turtles, whale sharks and manta rays.

11- Laughing Bird Caye

Belize established Laughing Bird Caye as a national park in 1991.

This pristine caye is a prime location for kayaking, snorkelling and scuba diving.

The caye gets its unusual name from a bird who used to inhabit the island. The laughing gulls lived there for many decades before dying out.

Today the island is filled with a wide range of birds, such as pelicans, green herons and blackbirds, which are rare within Central America.

Laughing Bird Caye’s waters are teaming with stingrays, lobster, crabs and barracudas.

It is easy to understand why these clear waters are so popular with divers. You can visit the island on a snorkelling tour with a skilled guide.

12- Punta Ycacos

nude beaches in belize
Palm trees line the shore of a small tropical island off the coast of Belize.

Punta Ycacos is a staggeringly beautiful beach surrounded by lush natural jungle.

This beach in Belize is remote, pristine, and visited by few, so you’ll likely have this golden stretch of sand to yourself.

However, many developers are exploring the area, and building hotels and resorts.

While this opens up accessibility to the beach, some sections are becoming private and exclusively for guests of certain hotels.

The waters are teaming with incredible wildlife and when visiting Punta Ycacos, make the most of a diving tour to see whale sharks up close.

Punta Ycacos is in New Haven, Belize.

13- Turneffe Atoll

belize beaches pictures
Lone mangrove in Turneffe Atoll, Belize.

Southwest of both Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye, Turneffe Atoll is the largest coral islet in Belize.

The area is a protected marine reserve, gaining its status in 2012.

The atoll has an extensive protected mangrove home to several endangered marine species.

Stingrays, large tropical fish and corals can be found in its waters.

Like many of Belize’s atolls, Turneffe is a popular diving location due to its wildlife and clear waters.

After making the most of the waters, head back to the powdery white sands to relax in the sun.

14- Parranda Beach

The waters surrounding Parranda Beach are warm and the waves are calm, making Parranda an excellent location for swimming.

The biggest lure to Parranda Beach is its annual international music festival held on the beach, which celebrates Belize’s indigenous music and food.

Parranda Beach is in Hopkins, Belize.

15- Tranquility Bay

Tranquillity Bay Resort is a hidden gem with beachfront access to Belize’s Barrier Reef north of Ambergris Caye.

As the area is relatively unknown to international travellers, it is the perfect location to escape from the more popular areas and practice the art of doing nothing.

The newly opened resort has beautiful rooms, excellent restaurants and private pools.

There is an onsite spa if relaxing on the private beach is not enough.

Tranquillity Bayis at Ambergris Caye, Belize.

16- Maya Beach

Maya Beach is utterly pristine and considered ‘barefoot perfect’ by locals.

This stunning beach is 16 miles (25.7 kilometres) from the main coastline of Belize and is well worth the short trip.

Its soft white sands are welcoming and lined with shady palm trees.

Like many beaches in Belize, the warm Caribbean waters are perfect for snorkelling.

Maya Beach is the perfect place to dive with whale sharks and a popular sailing destination.

Maya Beach is at Seine Bight, Belize.

17- Ranguana Caye

Ranguana Caye is a small private island that must be booked in advance.

This small two-acre patch of land surrounded by the Caribbean Sea is truly a paradise.

Paddle boarding is popular in its waters, and paddle boards are available to hire from huts on the beach.

Hammocks are tied up along the sands waiting for you to climb in with a fruity cocktail from Bully’s Beach Bar and a good book.

When at Bully’s, try the conch ceviche or garlic butter shrimp. These two dishes are the bar’s signatures and cannot be missed.

If you’re visiting Ranguana Caye between August and October, look for nesting sea turtles. Check out this cruise.

18- Goff’s Caye

Goff's Caye beach in belize
Goff’s Caye has a tiny white-sand beach in Belize for an island escape.

Goff’s Caye is a small sandy island off the coast of Belize City.

This tiny slice of paradise is known for its pearly white sandy beaches and calm turquoise waters.

The waters off Goff’s Caye are perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

Giant sea turtles have been spotted off the island’s coast.

The island is close to the Belize Reef and therefore has an abundance of colourful tropical fish in its waters.

Equipment for diving and snorkelling can be rented close to the beach however it can be expensive. A less costly option would be to join a Kukumba Beach and city tour.

19- Tobacco Caye

beaches in belize tobacco caye
Tobacco Caye is home to charming local beaches in Belize.

Tobacco Caye is a three-acre stretch of sandy shores, scattered palms and peaceful waters.

Six lodges fitted with hammocks on the beach are a great place to seek shade.

As the caye is so tiny, a popular pastime is to swim around the entire island and enjoy well-deserved relaxation.

Read, snorkel, kayak or fish, wherever the mood takes you; Tobacco Caye is the best location for it in Belize.

There are local restaurants to dine in either at lunch or at the end of your day.

20- Long Caye Beach

belize beaches Person Holding Visiting Card for Summertime Holiday Message Love Belize and Sailboat at Sea in Background.
Looking for a summer vacation on the beach in Belize? Here are 20 of the best Belize beaches.

Long Caye Beach is a remote 710-acre caye off the coast of Belize, with soft white beaches that appeal to beach lovers and sun worshippers.

Long Caye is also a popular diving spot and the reef atoll is swimmable from the beaches, but for regular rests between dives, hire a boat and anchor it close to the reef.

Long Beach Caye is a typical Caribbean beach with warm turquoise waters, powdery white sands and large palm trees.

It is incredibly pretty and well worth spending a day on its shores.

For more beaches around the world read:

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sarah holmes travel writer
Sarah Holmes is a travel and fashion writer living in the heart of England. From family adventures in numerous parts of the UK and Europe to exploring cities as an adult, Sarah has a wide knowledge of the best areas, sights and local tips that the UK and the neighbouring continent can offer. Sarah grew up in the North East of England, with incredible sights and landmarks only a short drive away. Her favourite places to visit include Seaham Beach, the Lake District and Alnwick Castle. Sarah has written for a range of fashion and travel blogs and print publications.