The 5 Best Beaches in Belize
In Belize, Life’s a Beach!
Are you looking for the best beaches of Belize? When deciding where to go for your Belize vacation, consider this. Are you looking for adventure or a specific sport like scuba diving, fishing, or surfing? Or maybe you are trying to choose between a rental with a full kitchen or an all-inclusive resort package. Do you want to spend time in the jungle for the caving and Mayan ruins, or do you just want to hang out on the beach? If you are searching for the best beaches in Belize, you really need to do your homework, because oddly enough, in a country with 300 miles of coastline and over 200 islands, there really aren’t very many great beaches in Belize.
[photo credit at top of page: Lucy Wallingford]
The reasons for this are many. First of all, more than half of the islands and much of the Belize coast are lined with mangroves, which means there’s no beach at all. Many of the edges of islands and coast are rocky rather than sandy. Also, at 10-mile long Ambergris Caye and 5-mile long Caye Caulker, the most popular island destinations in the country, most of the beaches on both islands are choked with structures, docks, and boat traffic, and the best sections of beach are private. Some islands are so tiny, that the lodging structures take up all the beach there is.
So what’s a beach bum to do? If you want to do your own exploring digitally, by far the best tool is Google Earth. Even if the resolution is poor, as it is in some areas, you can still spot a beach easily. If the green of beach brush goes up to the edge of the water, you know there’s no beach.
Of course, you might want to do more than take the satellite view of the situation, and for that we are here to help…
Free Belize Map
The Five Best Beaches in Belize
A definitive list
The Placencia Peninsula boasts the best beach in Belize, hands down. It is huge, extending for miles. Placencia, or “Pleasant Point,” is a long spit of sand extending finger-like into the calm, protected waters inside of the Belize Barrier Reef. If you are a snorkeler, however, be forewarned. The reef is 20 miles away. You will have to take a boat that far to snorkel.
Long Caye Beach at Glover’s Reef
Glover’s Reef is one of three atolls outside of the Belize Barrier Reef. Located on the reef ring of the atoll is Long Caye, the jewel of Belize’s islands. On the rocky side of the island ocean swells crash on the shore, but on the lee side of the island lies one of the best beaches in Belize. This 800 foot long beach is shaded by palms with only 2 docks and almost no boat traffic breaking the beauty of this fabulous idyll. There are multiple snorkels you can swim to from this island, and there are even more if you choose to kayak a few minutes.
South Water Caye Beaches
One of the few private islands with multiple facilities but still possessing a wonderful beach, the 2 resorts at either end of the island each have fabulous beaches: Pelican Beach and Blue Marlin Lodge. These beaches are on the ‘rough’ or ‘wave breaking’ side of the island. You can swim to snorkel from this island from the calm or “lagoon” side.
Ranguana Caye is all beach
Located on the outer edge of the Belize Barrier Reef eco-system, Ranguana is a tiny island (about 2 acres) that is basically all beach. There is a down-side, however. Because of the new cruise ship port in Placencia, Ranguana is now seeing a lot of day-trippers, which undoubtedly impacts those staying for several days. Ranguana is accessed from Placencia, Belize.
Punta Ycacos, Belize
No “best beaches” list would be complete without a remote beach almost impossible to get to. Punta Ycacos is a fabulous, deserted beach located just north of Punta Gorda, the southernmost town in Belize. To get there take a private boat from Punta Gorda. Bring your camping gear and stay for days! Just make sure you don’t pay in advance for your pick-up so you are not left stranded!