5 days in Belize is a good amount of time to check some of the highlights off your list and enjoy the country's beaches

Belize Itinerary: How to spend 5 to 10 days in Belize (2023)

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Planning an epic Belize itinerary? Whether you are planning 5 days in Belize, 7 or 10, I wrote this guide for you.

Belize is the second smallest country in Central America that’s famous for its scuba diving. While some think Belize has only beaches, it’s’ not true! Belize boasts lush jungles, diverse cultures, and some of the best Mayan ruins in Central America.

Check out where to stay in Belize


5 days in Belize is not a lot of time, so stick to just one destination and making the most of it. Depending on what your plans and budget look like, you could also take a day trip to see more of the country.

What language do they speak in Belize?

My suggested places for 5 days in Belize are Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and Placencia – the most popular coastal towns where you can find some of the best beaches in Belize, enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving, and try the traditional Belizean food. 

Make sure to inclide Placencia, San Ignacio and Ambergris Cate on your 5 days Belize itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Belize City 

Arrive at Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE), the only international airport in Belize. From here you will have a choice to go to several destinations in Belize like Ambergris Caye, Placencia, and San Ignacio.

If you are visiting Belize for the first time, start with Ambergris Caye, the largest island in Belize that’s popular for diving and water sports.

How to get from Belize City to Ambergris Caye

The fastest way to get from Belize City to Ambergris Caye is by taking a flight with Tropic Air to San Pedro, the capital of Ambergris Caye and the second largest city in Belize.

Another way to get from Belize City to Ambergris Caye is via boat. You need to take a taxi to the Belize Water Taxi Terminal and catch a boat to Ambergris Caye which takes about 50 minutes and costs $25 USD.

PRO TIP: Flying to San Pedro from Belize City will save at least 2 hours. A boat is only slightly cheaper than a flight, but taking a flight from Belize City to San Pedro will help you to save a lot of time.

Belize is home to some of the best diving in the Caribbean.

Caye Caulker 

Alternatively, you can also choose Caye Caulker instead of Ambergris Caye. These two islands are located about 25 minutes apart by boat taxi but offer a different experience. Ambergris Caye has resorts and more upscale restaurants and is more popular with people who want to splurge on their vacation.

Check my guide to the best things to do in Belize

Caye Caulker caters to budget travelers and backpackers and you can find a better variety of cheaper hostels and hostels in Caye Caulker. It’s also smaller than Ambergris Caye and offers a more relaxing experience for your itinerary.

Where to stay on Caye Caulker: Sea Dreams Hotel

The island is divided into two parts by a narrow channel called the Split. The north part of the Split is filled with thick mangroves and is home to diverse wildlife. Part of the area is a protected area referred to as the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve.

Best Caye Caulker tours

The lower half of the island is where you’ll find the island’s only town – Caye Caulker Village. 


Rent a kayak or paddleboard to get around the coast of the island. You can also book a tour that will allow you to snorkel manatees, but keep in mind that it’s never a guarantee. 

Day 2: Snorkel or scuba dive

Ambergris Caye is the largest island in Belize that sits at the doorstep of the Great Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest barrier reef in the world.

Best scuba diving tours in Belize

So grab your gear and explore the incredible Caribbean waters! There are several companies on the island where you can book a tour like Belize Pro Dive Center, where you can book your diving session. 

Check my guide to the best things to do on Ambergris Caye

Best snorkeling tours of Ambergris Caye

If you are not a diver, book a snorkeling tour of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the protected area where you can observe the incredible wildlife and swim with whale sharks.

This is one of the must-dos during your 5 days in Belize! 


Where to eat on Ambergris Caye

Ambergris Caye boasts a good selection of restaurants. Head to Iguana Juan’s for some healthy food or stop at Elvi’s Kitchen, one of the most popular restaurants on Ambergris Caye. 

To end your day, grab a bottle of Belikin, a Belizean beer, and head to the pier to watch the gorgeous Caribbean sunset. 

➡️ Read my guide to the best resorts in San Pedro, one of the most popular places to visit in Belize

Day 3: Fly over the Great Blue Hole 

For your third day, you have a few options.

You can catch a boat to Caye Caulker, Caye Caulker’s smaller cousin if you want a change of scenery. Take a flight over the Big Blue Hole or do a diving session there. 

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Blue Hole is in an offshore atoll called Lighthouse Reef.


What’s so special about the Blue Hole in Belize?

The Great Blue Hole is over 400 feet deep and is one of the best diving spots in the world. It was formed thousands of years ago when the rising sea level flooded a vast network of caves that have stalactites and stalagmites. 

You can take a scenic flyover of the Blue Hole from the San Pedro Airport with Tropic Air or Maya Island Air, which lasts about 1 hour. It’s a wonderful experience and is one of the best things to do in Belize, in my opinion! 

Can you walk at night in San Pedro, Belize?


Besides being a travel blogger, I also create itineraries for my readers 😃 If you want me to plan your trip to Belize, provide insider tips and do all the research for you, fill out the form below. 

My custom itineraries include information on popular landmarks, restaurants, and hidden corners that most tourists miss. As part of my services, I also offer suggestions on flights, hotels and activities.

Can’t wait to hear from you! 💛

Spend your afternoon enjoying San Pedro’s beaches

You can rent a golf cart, and go to Secret Beach or simply jump in the water from one of the docks along the main drag in San Pedro.


Palapa Bar in the heart of San Pedro has a great beach club where you can sip a drink and enjoy the bright Caribbean waters. 

In the evening, head to Truck Stop, about 1 mile north of downtown San Pedro. This venue is a bunch of shipping containers, converted into small restaurants that offer cuisines from many parts of the world.

It has frequent social events and games, so you will not get bored there!

Ambergris Caye is one of the best places to put on your Belize itinerary

Day 4: Take a day trip from Ambergris Caye

For your fourth day, take a day trip to mainland Belize. You can choose from many options including a tour of Mayan ruins, a fun tubing adventure in the Belizean jungle, or caving where you will swim and wade through the water. 

Best guided tours from Ambergris Caye

Day 5: Take transportation from Ambergris Caye to Belize City

Take a flight to Belize City Airport to maximize your time. This way, you don’t have to spend a few hours on the boat ride. 


One week is enough to enjoy one of the main destinations in Belize along the coast and venture into the jungle. While it’s still very little time, you can make the most of it by maximizing your time. 

➡️ Read about the best Belize resorts for any taste and budget

Since I’ve already covered the San Pedro activities in my 5 days in Belize, I will focus on a different destination for my 7 days in Belize, so you could choose from several options. 

Day 1: Arrive in Belize City 

After arriving at Belize City International Airport, take a flight or private shuttle to Placencia, a beach town located along the coast of Belize. If you are on a budget, catch a bus from Novelo Bus Terminal in Belize for about 10 BZD. 

How to get from Belize City to Placencia

Private shuttle from Belize City to Placencia

Where to stay in Placencia: Casa Del Hut

Placencia is a fishing village with colorful houses along the main street. It’s a perfect alternative to Ambergris Caye if you want to be closer to mainland Belize and some of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. 


You will be hungry after you arrive in Placencia following a few hour journey! One of the best restaurants in town is Rumfish y Vino, which has plenty of options made with locally sourced ingredients. 

Day 2: Spend a day exploring Placencia 

Placencia is popular with ex-pats, digital nomads, and travelers who come to do snorkeling and diving. Whether you want to spend your day on the beach or grab your camera and walk around the main drag of Placencia lined with colorful houses, you will have a blast. 

➡️ Read my guide to where to stay in Placencia

Day 3: Take a snorkeling or diving lesson

Placencia offers perfect conditions for diving and snorkeling in Placencia with pristine coral reefs and spectacular wildlife. You can spend the rest of the day on the beach or walk around town to meet locals and enjoy the local flair.


Day 4: Explore the Laughing Bird Caye Park

The Laughing Bird Caye Park is a paradisiacal island in the middle of the Caribbean that’s an absolute must for anybody who comes to Placencia. A tour takes most of the day and can book your adventure online for a hassle-free experience. 

Day 5: Take a day trip to Hopkins

Hopkins is a village near Placencia that’s home to the Garifuna culture in Belize one of the most interesting cultures of the Caribbean. The best way to learn about this culture is by taking one of Garifuna’s drumming classes, shopping art from local vendors, and trying traditional Garifuna dishes in the area’s restaurants. 

Another option for your fifth day in Belize is to take a trip to the Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary that’s home to jaguars. While these felines are notoriously hard to spot during the day, you can still enjoy a hike or two in this place.

Day 6: Spend the last day enjoying Placencia

For your last day in Placencia, take a day trip to the famous Actun Tunichil Muknal Caves (ATM caves).

Profiled by National Geographic, ATM caves offer the Indiana Jones kind of experience. Here you get to swim and wade through the water and learn about ancient Mayan rituals that took place thousands of years ago.

Best Placencia tours

Visiting ATM caves was one of my favorite experiences in Belize, and you definitely shouldn’t miss out on this experience during your 7 days in Belize. 

Best restaurants in San Pedro, Belize


10 days in Belize is a good amount of time to explore some of the most popular islands in Belize like Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye and venture into the mainland.

If you are visiting the country for the first time, I don’t recommend less than 10 days, simply because there’s so much to do here, despite many people coming to do a couple of dives or snorkel. 

Day 1: Arrive in Belize City

Arrive in Belize via Felipe Goldson International Airport. Take private transportation to Placencia, catch a flight to Ambergris Caye, or a boat ride to Caye Caulker.

Placencia is a small beachside town that's a perfect stop on your Belize itinerary

Day 2-4: Relax on best Belize beaches

Just like with my itineraries for 5 and 7 days in Belize, you can spend the first few days in popular places like Ambergris Caye, Placencia, or Caye Caulker. Four to 5 days in Belize is enough time to do snorkeling, or diving and enjoy the slow pace of Belize’s islands and beach towns.

Day 5: Travel to mainland Belize

It’s time to venture to mainland Belize! You can begin your trip by booking a tour of the Lamanai ruins in the heart of the Belizean jungle near Orange Walk Town or head straight to San Ignacio, a backpacker hub in western Belize near the Guatemala border. 

Best guided tours of Lamanai ruins

How to get from Belize City to San Ignacio 

The easiest way to get from Belize City to San Ignacio is by taking private transportation which can be arranged online ahead of your trip. 

Another option is to take a chicken bus from the Novelo bus terminal in Belize City. This is a preferred mode of transportation among locals which will be significantly cheaper, but longer. Chicken buses in Belize are safe but they don’t have air conditioning and don’t have any room to store your luggage. 

If you are traveling with a lot of luggage, booking private transportation to San Ignacio is the best option.

Private shuttle from Belize City to San Ignacio

If you are a backpacker or budget traveler, catching a bus from Belize City to San Ignacio is a great alternative.

Read my guide to where to stay in San Ignacio, Belize

Remember that you need to pay in cash and keep an eye on your belongings, as chicken buses in Belize can be crammed with people. You will need to buy your tickets at the bus terminal with cash. The ticket costs about 8 Belizean dollars ($4 USD).

Is Belize City safe?

Belize City has a bad reputation due to the high crime in crime-plagued parts of the city. As long as you keep a low profile and don’t stay out at night, you should be fine. If you are staying in Belize City, the best way to get around is by taxi. 

Day 5: San Ignacio 

San Ignacio is a gateway to adventure and is one of my favorite destinations in Belize. It’s a great budget destination with many activities in the area like kayaking, zip-lining, hiking, and visiting Mayan ruins.

Where to stay in San Ignacio: Mariposa Jungle Lodge

After you arrive in San Ignacio, head to Xunantunich, an impressive Mayan ruin site near the Guatemala border. You can reach the entrance of Xunantunich by catching a taxi from downtown San Ignacio if you are on a budget, but you can also book a guided tour of Xunantunich online if you have more money to spend. 

Check the best tours of Xunantunich from San Ignacio

➡️ Check my guide to the best things to do in San Ignacio

After arriving back in town, grab some food in one of the local restaurants in downtown San Ignacio. I recommend Martha’s Kitchen. 

Day 6: Take a day trip from San Ignacio to ATM caves

ATM Caves are a must stop in Belize. You can book a tour of ATV caves from San Ignacio online.

Day 7: Visit Caracol Mayan ruins

Book a tour of Caracol, a remote Mayan ruin site that’s about 1,5 hours away from San Ignacio. Many tours of Caracol from San Ignacio include a stop in the refuge, where you can see the tallest waterfall in Central America camp and swim in the gorgeous Rio Frio Cave Pools. 

Best things to do in San Ignacio, Belize

Day 8: Explore San Ignacio Belize

Your day 8 is a perfect opportunity to take a break and chill after a few days of adventure.

Find out how to get from Belize City to San Ignacio

You can spend your day in town, book a kayaking tour of the Macal River that flows through the heart of San Ignacio or visit Cahal Pech, an archaeological site within walking distance from downtown San Ignacio. 

Day 9: Go cave tubing

Cave tubing is one of the most fun things to do in Belize and is an unmissable activity on your 10 days in Belize itinerary that basically involves floating on the river.

Book a cave tubing tour or go to the jungle to do some zip-lining. 

Day 10: Head back to the airport in Belize City

Stop in Belize Zoo on your way back to Belize City from San Ignacio. The name zoo is a bit misleading because this is a refuge for the orphaned or injured animals that are native to Belize but can’t survive on their own in the wild. 

The Belize Zoo operates as a non-profit, and your money goes a long way to help the animals that live here. You can spot tapirs, jaguars, macaws, and other animals native to this part of the world. 

It’s a great stop for your Belize itinerary, if you have a car rental but you can also get there by Chien bus from San Ignacio to Belize City, and ask your driver to stop at the entrance of the zoo, which is along the highway. 

Belize Backpacking itinerary 

If are traveling as a backpacker, you will need between 10 and 14 days in Belize. Many backpackers arrive in Belize by border crossing with Mexico or Guatemala, so depending on where you come from, plan accordingly.

If you arrive in Belize from Guatemala, stay in San Ignacio for 3-5 days before going to other places. If you are crossing the border between Mexico and Belize, you might want to check out Corozal and Orange Walk town, two hidden gems of Belize in the northern part of the country.

Spend 3-5 days on Belize beaches and take a couple of day trips depending on your budget. If you have slightly more time, get a PADI scuba diving certification in Belize, which is a one-of-a-kind experience.

Finally, don’t forget to put Punta Gorda on your backpacking itinerary in Belize. This small town is located in the southern part of the country and is perfect if you want to save money and get off the beaten track. 

Do I need to rent a car in Belize? 

Generally, you don’t need a car rental in Belize. It’s a small country with still developing infrastructure, and you can mostly get around by public transportation or private shuttles. But renting a car in Belize is an option if you want to skip guided tours and have more freedom to travel the country on your own.


Where to rent a car in Belize?

The best place to rent a car in Belize is Belize City International Airport. You can find several car rental companies here. You can look for available vehicles on DiscoverCars, one of the best online platforms for finding rental cars in Belize. 

Belize itinerary: FAQ

San Ignacio is the best place to stay in Belize if you want to be close to the Mayan ruins and adventure cavities like kayaking and zip-lining.

Do I need a passport to go to Belize? 

Yes, you need a passport to go to Belize. Depending on your country, you might need a visa and other documents. Always check travel requirements for Belize before making your travel plans. 

Find out if you can use US dollars in Belize

How many days do you need for Belize?

If you want to see some of the most popular places in Belize like Ambergris Caye or Placencia and visit Mayan ruins or explore some of the caves in Belize, a week in Belize is enough. But if you want to get off the beaten track and see some hidden gems in Belize, plan between 10 to 14 days in Belize.

Is 5 days enough in Belize? 

5 days is not enough to see Belize. While it’s enough to see a few major destinations like Ambergris Caye, Placencia, or Caye Caulker, 5 days in Belize is a short amount of time, which will not allow you to see most of the country. 

Is a trip to Belize worth it?

A trip to Belize is well worth it. This Central American country is famous for its lush jungles, diverse wildlife, and the world-famous Great Blue Hole. If you enjoy water sports and like a combination of adventure and history, you will love Belize.

Is Belize safe for tourists?

While Belize has high crime statistics due to the high violence rate in certain parts of town, it’s mostly safe for tourists. As a visitor, you need to be vigilant, as you are more likely to be affected by scams and petty crime than anything else.

Exercise increased caution in busy places, and keep an eye on your belongings. Don’t accept gifts, food, or drinks from strangers, and don’t share your personal information or travel plans with people you don’t know. 

What is the best month to visit Belize? 

The best months to visit Belize are April and November. It’s a perfect time to save money before the high season kicks in and enjoy mild sunny weather and uncrowded Belize beaches in places like Ambergris Caye, Placencia, and Caye Caulker. 

Belize itinerary: the final word

Whether you spend 5, 7, or 10 days in Belize, you will love this hidden gem of Central America. Belize is less discovered compared to many of its neighbors and offers a great alternative to popular places if you want to try something new.