Belize Highlights - Orlando / Florida Guide
Florida Guide > Travelling
I have been to Belize a few times both for work and as a holiday. I would recommend it as a place that can offer either a Resort style experience or a budget break, which combines world-class snorkelling and indigenous culture.
Whichever you do there are a few things you should not miss. I have tried to cover them below with some suggestions on costs and places to stay.
The Barrier Reef is special and a day or two exploring it will never be forgotten. Even for inexperienced divers, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is not to be missed. Calm waters, good light, sublime coral activity and lots of shallow sections make even snorkelling great fun.
Hopkins way is peaceful, affordable and pretty. It is a scruffy kind of authentic village and is how much of the Caribbean coast must have looked and felt before the yachting crowd and the chain hotels bought up the islands.
The whole of the Toledo area. Garifuna communities make this mix of Mayan and southern region fascinating. There’s some good wildlife watching in the uplands too.
The Lodge at Big Falls is one of the less exorbitant luxury resorts. If you want a great place to unwind after an overland trip or before heading south to Guatemala and Honduras this is it.
There are no direct UK-Belize flights but American Airlines flies London to Belize City via Miami or Dallas. This means that passengers must overnight in the US on the way out. James Bus Line operates a frequent service, aboard former American school buses, between Belize City and Punta Gorda with a one-way fare costing from around £10. It stops in towns en route and also makes request stops along the main road. Ritchie’s Bus Service operates a slightly less frequent service and only goes as far south as Placencia. Local boats and scheduled services offer transfers to the northern cayes.
Cost of travel Central America is generally cheap for travellers but Belize, while poor, is expensive. Food and drink prices are reasonably low with it typically costing about £10 for lunch, a little more for dinner and a bottle of beer about £2. Travelling by public transport is very cheap and ultra-budget travellers can find cheap homestays. Budget hostels and dormitories can cost as little as £15 per night.
The Spindrift Hotel is a good value option for a stay in San Pedro with doubles from US$60pn. The accommodation is bright, clean and spacious, bedrooms have balconies, Wi-Fi and a big veranda overlooking the beach.
At Jungle Jeanie by the Sea in Hopkin what’s on offer is a collection of brightly painted shacks-on-stilts right on the beach. It offers free bicycle hire and doubles from US$120pn.
The Lodge at Big Falls is near Punta Gorda and is a well-run expat-owned lodge comprising six stylish wooden chalets, a good-sized pool and a restaurant. High thatched ceilings and large corner windows make for a pleasing design. Doubles start from US$200pn.
This area has a lot to offer no matter what your taste so check it out and include it in your future plans.
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