Belize has it all — beaches, caves, jungle, islands, and a fascinating culture and history. Because of it’s small size, one week in Belize is the perfect amount of time to get a good taste for what the country has to offer — and to decide if you want to come back! If you have just one week in Belize, find out what to do and see in this pocket-sized paradise.
Day 1: Arrive in Belize and take a boat to Caye Caulker
The Belize International airport is located about 30 minutes outside of Belize City. There’s not much to do in Belize City and it’s a little sketchy so I would recommend heading straight to Caye Caulker when you arrive. You’ll need to take a taxi ride to the ferry dock which goes for around $25 USD. The ferry to Caye Caulker also costs $25 but includes the return ticket.
Once you arrive on the island check in to your hotel and grab some dinner. Take the night to relax and decompress from your long day of travel.
Day 2: Explore the island
Caye Caulker is a small and extremely walkable island. Explore on foot or rent a golf cart and check out everything the island has to offer. Wake up early and watch the sunrise and then head back to your hotel and sip on some coffee while the rest of the island wakes up.
I recommend starting your day with the 10am donation-based yoga class at RandOM. The instructor, Jess, is incredible. I felt so comfortable even though I hadn’t taken a regular yoga class in a couple years. After class, check out her unique gift shop downstairs. She sells natural lip balms and skincare, Belizean spices, handicrafts, and plenty more.
After yoga, grab some coffee at Ice and Beans on the front road. They serve up a delicious almond milk latte for a reasonable price (about $4.5USD). Sit outside on the swings next door and enjoy the warm ocean breeze.
Spend the rest of your day doing what Caye Caulker does best – going slow. The Split is a slice of paradise. It’s a sandy area on the northern tip of the island with a bar, a swimming area, and even a deck to jump off of. The two halves of the island were once connected but separated when a hurricane tore through several years ago. The Split is also where everyone gathers in the evening to grab a Belikin – the famous Belizean beer – and watch the sun set.
If you’re looking for night life there are two main bars that are sure to have something going on – the Sports Bar and the reggae bar I&I’s. Usually people spend sunset at the Split, head to the Sports bar, and then stumble over to I&I’s to end the night.
Day 3: Get your snorkel on
My favorite activity on the island was the Hol Chan marine reserve snorkeling tour. The tour leaves around 10am so you have time to grab breakfast and stretch your legs before getting on the boat. If you want to read more about this incredible tour make sure to check out this post.
After a full day of sharks, coral, and rum punch it’s time to head back to the island. I recommend making your way over to Koko King. This is a beach club on the North side of Caye Caulker. There are free boats running there every half hour or so. They have a full bar, pool, restaurant, beach chairs, and inner tubes for their paying customers to enjoy. Watch the sun go down from the coolest spot on the island.
Day 4: Caye Caulker to San Ignacio
Get up early, grab some Belizean fry jacks for breakfast, and hop on the boat back to Belize City. Make sure you get on the right boat otherwise your return ticket may not be valid.
Take a short taxi ride or a 10-minute walk over to the Belize City bus station and find the bus headed to San Ignacio. The bus takes 2-3 hours and makes for some good people-watching.
San Ignacio is the adventure-travel destination of Belize. If you have more than one week in Belize I would recommend spending a few days here. If not, don’t worry, there is still plenty you can see with two nights. When you arrive take a quick walk over to Cahal Pech, some incredible Mayan ruins right in San Ignacio. On your way back, beat the heat with some vegan ice cream at Cayo Twist.
Day 5: ATM Tour
The ATM cave tour is the top-rated adventure activity in Belize. I visited San Ignacio just to go on this tour. I highly recommend adding it to your Belize Itinerary. If you want to know more about my experiences on this tour check out this post.
Day 6: San Ignacio to Placencia
Today is another travel day. If you want to get to the beach ASAP, you can arrange a transfer service. This will get you there comfortably in under 3 hours but can be really expensive — especially for solo travelers. If you’re cheap like me you’ll take the bus.
Get on the bus in the center of San Ignacio that has a “Belize City” sign in the front window. These buses will make a stop in Belmopan which is where you will change buses. San Ignacio to Belmopan takes 30 to 45 minutes. In Belmopan, you will take a 45 to 60 minute bus ride to Dangriga. Get off in Dangriga and grab a bus heading to Placencia. This bus ride will take about 2 hours but will be really scenic and pleasant.
*Disclaimer: I did not visit Placencia on my trip to Belize. I opted for Hopkins instead and I really would not recommend it for a solo traveler. There is not much to do and the streets are very dark at night, which makes it a little unnerving to walk around alone.
Day 7: Placencia
This was taken from my hotel in Hopkins but the beaches in Placencia are really similar
RELAX. You’ve had a busy couple of days and you’re surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches in Central America.
If you’ve had enough R&R, head to the Cockscomb Wildlife Reserve. It’s a huge jaguar reserve and also home to waterfalls, mountain views, nature trails, and plenty of other animals.
If you can’t get enough marine life, grab a snorkel and head back to the barrier reef. During the months of March, April, May and June around the full moon, whale sharks can be spotted near the Placencia Peninsula.
Day 8: Placencia to Belize City
Yes, you CAN save some cash and take a bus back to Belize City. But I recommend taking the quick 30-minute plane ride back from Dangriga. You will be sitting in a tiny 4-passenger airplane and you’ll get some incredible views of Belize’s landscape. If you’re lucky you’ll get to sit in the copilot seat but be aware your pilot may be storing his personal belongings there and tell you you can’t sit with him and crush all your dreams. You can take this plane directly to the international airport which is really convenient for flying home.
So there you have it folks, one week in Belize and I’m exhausted just from typing this. There’s so much to do and see in one week in Belize that you will never get bored. Because Belize is a pint-sized country, this itinerary is super adjustable, however, I highly recommend ending your time on the beach especially if you live in Wisconsin like me and have to go back to frigid temperatures.