What to do and where to eat in Belize
Belize is getting more and more popular with travelers from all over the world and I understand why: it has a lot to offer! I’m sharing my Belize tips with you on this page, I’ll tell you where to go, what to do and of course: where to eat!
You’re first port of call will probably Belize City. Although it’s not the capital, it is the biggest city of Belize and most international flights arrive here. We also arrived in Belize city when we traveled to Belize from Mexico.
I’m going to be honest with you: Belize City is not a place where you want to stay longer than necessary. The city doesn’t have much to offer and has a high poverty and crime rate.
From Belize city you can take the ferry to one of the islands though, and I highly recommend that. You can also hire a car and explore more of the inland of Belize.
We went to San Ignacio, a town near the border with Guatemala. We stayed at the Rainforest Haven Inn, this hotel has regular rooms in their hotel building, but they also have a Cabana around the corner. It was such a nice experience to have our own little house!
San Ignacio is a small town that’s not only known for the Maya temple Xunantunich and it’s closeness to beautiful nature. It’s also a great starting point to explore Tikal in Guatemala. From San Ignacio there are several tour operators offering day tours to Tikal. They all offer pretty much the same: transportation, guide, entrance fee, border fee and a lunch. Prices vary, we went with Pacz Tours as they had a lower price than most other companies. You can read all about our day trip to Tikal here.
Having dinner in San Ignacio? You should check out Crave house of flavors by chef Alejandro Mendez. This small restaurant has a great menu. And as you can see, you should definitely leave room for dessert! Pictured is their egg nog cheesecake they had around Christmas time.
Now, the real reason you should put Belize on top of your bucket list isn’t the mainland. It’s the islands. Belize has quite a few islands of which two are best accessible and well-known with travlers: Caye Caulker and San Pedro. San Pedro is actually the name of the city on the island called Ambergris Caye. From Belize City two water taxi companies offer transportation to these two islands. They first stop at Caye Caulker and continue to San Pedro (you’ll have Madonna’s La Isla bonita stuck in your head for your whole stay). We went to Caye Caulker as it’s closer to Belize City, it’ll only take you around 40 minutes to get there.
The accommodation on Caye Caulker isn’t always as you’ve dreamed off (cold showers, old buildings etc) so I recommend you stay at Dream Cabanas where you do feel like you’re in paradise. You can read more about Dream Cabanas in Caye Caulker here.
Caye Caulker is small enough to feel like an authentic island but big enough to have enough things to keep you busy. One of the things you can do is go on a half or full day snorkeling tour. There are several companies on the island offering snorkeling tours and they all offer pretty much the same package. We went with Caye Caulker native tours. No need to book in advance, you can just walk be the day before or even on the morning itself. Pretty much all tours leave at 10:30 am.
There are also some great food options on Caye Caulker. For breakfast I recommend Caribbean Colors art cafe. This restaurant meets local art gallery has a great menu with several healthy options, and (quite unique in Caye Caulker) many vegan and gluten free options too! They have a vegan continental breakfast, vegan rancheros, gluten free breakfast nachos and gluten free Chilaquillas for example.
Click here for an easy, vegetarian huevos rancheros recipe.
Another nice breakfast option is Amor Y Cafe. Their classic dish is yogurt, fruit and granola, but they also have delicious waffles with fruit. They also have whole grain toasts with all kinds of toppings like Nutella, peanut butter and banana or scrambled eggs. They also have many different grilled cheese sandwiches, for example with cheese, tomato, red onion and sweet pepper.
For dinner you should go to Maggie’s Sunset Kitchen. Davide and Claudia, the owners of Dream Cabanas recommended this restaurant to us and I understand why. You’ll have dinner outside with the chef preparing everything on big barbecues on the street! You choose your skewer (they also have a vegetarian one) and two side dishes from the menu. And just enjoy the sunset (if you’re early) or a nice cold beer.