What to do and Where to stay in
Caribbean Coast & Cayes

Stretching for 240 miles from north to south, Belize’s Caribbean coastline offers travellers sandy beaches, colourful cities and a real taste of adventure. The star of the show is the spectacular Barrier Reef, which runs the entire length of the coastline, between 15 and 40km from the mainland. The longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, it offers a range of watersports options and is home to a dazzling variety of underwater life and a string of “cayes” (islands).

Itineraries you might like

Experiences in Caribbean Coast & Cayes

Ambergris Caye is the most northerly – and the largest – of the cayes. At its heart is San Pedro, a former fishing village at the island’s southern tip which is now a relaxed town with seafood restaurants and bars with live music. Active broods can be kept busy with a range of water activities on offer, such as windsurfing, sailing, fishing.

Ambergris Caye and its smaller sister island of Caye Caulker offer access to excellent diving, and snorkelling. The Belize Barrier Reef is home to dozens of snorkel sites where you might see turtles and rays along with tropical fish and incredible coral formations. Shark Ray Alley, just off Caye Caulker, is the place to head for nurse sharks and stingrays. Another highlight is Hol Chan Marine Reserve while for experienced divers The Great Blue Hole is sure to be a must. This is the world’s largest underwater sinkhole and considered one of the best scuba diving sites in the world!

Heading south down the coast, you’ll hit Belize City, the country’s largest city (though not the capital). Admire its handsome colonial houses, stretch your legs at its seaside parks and watch boats glide by in the Haulover Creek, which splits the city into northern and southern halves. Don’t miss the Swing Bridge, which was made in Liverpool and is the only manually operated swing bridge left in the Americas. North of the bridge, you’ll find the swankier part of town, while south of the bridge lies the city’s commercial hub.

Further down the coast, Dangriga is the next major coastal town. It’s a bustling place, home to some of the country’s most popular artists – including drum-makers and painters – and the departure point for boats headed out to the South Water Caye Marine Reserve.

Continue south and you’ll reach the Placencia peninsula, which boasts some of Belize’s best beaches and is the jumping-off point for the south’s tranquil cayes. You can reach Placencia, the village set at the southern tip of the narrow sandy peninsula, by car – a road connects it to the Southern Highway. With its laid-back atmosphere, excellent restaurants and palm-fringed beaches, this coastal village is just the spot to kick back and relax. It’s also a great place for snorkelling and diving trips, with whale sharks drawn to nearby waters for feeding during the full moons of May and June.

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