If you’re looking for an alternative to wildly popular Caribbean destinations like Cancún or the Dominican Republic, the Central American country of Belize is a formidable choice. On a vacation here, you have the opportunity to get in touch with nature in jungles teeming with wildlife. History buffs can visit Mayan ruins across the country, while sun worshippers relax on white sand beaches at coastal destinations like Placencia or the chilled-out island of Caye Caulker.
As with many other Caribbean destinations, the busiest time of year in Belize is around winter and early spring, from about December to April. Prices will typically be more expensive in this period, particularly compared to the wet season from June to October. Getting here is fairly straightforward, too: The country’s main airport in Belize City welcomes direct flights from numerous major U.S. cities, including Houston, Dallas, Miami, New York and Atlanta.
Belize may not be your typical all-inclusive vacation, as you won’t find the large chain resorts that are popular elsewhere in the Caribbean. But you can still simplify your trip by choosing one of Belize’s unique all-inclusive resorts or vacation packages, where meals, drinks and some activities are included with the cost of your accommodations. Here are some of the best resort choices for an all-inclusive vacation in Belize.
(Courtesy of Cayo Espanto)
If you’re looking for an exclusive vacation option, then this resort on a private island with only seven private beach villas should deliver. After taking a boat from the nearby city of San Pedro (or a private helicopter from Belize City’s international airport, if you’re willing to splurge), you can check into your secluded villa or bungalow. Each has its own private plunge pool, dock and beach access. That’s far from the only luxury here – you’ll dine on chef-prepared meals that mix European and Caribbean influences with plenty of local produce, particularly seafood; personalized menus are created for you based on a questionnaire you’ll complete before arriving.
If you want to get away from your villa, plenty of aquatic activities are available, such as snorkeling and fishing trips, as well as all manner of spa treatments. The hospitality is stellar too, according to past guests, who describe their experience at Cayo Espanto as wonderful and suggest it’s an ideal destination for special trips like a honeymoon. The rates at this luxury all-inclusive resort include three daily meals, personalized butler service, snacks and drinks, nonmotorized water sports, and more.
Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort, Belize
(Courtesy of Hamanasi Belize Resort)
This resort is located right on the Caribbean Sea, accessible by a 2.5-hour drive from Belize City or a short domestic flight to nearby Dangriga Airport. This isn’t your standard all-inclusive: An intimate, lower-key spot with its own nature reserve, Hamanasi Belize Resort has just 30 rooms, including colorful treehouse rooms perched above mangroves and tiled beachfront suites. The rooms are styled with furniture made by hand on-site, and there are no TVs, making it a great option for those looking to get a little off the grid.
The resort boasts an infinity pool with hammocks and beach access for relaxation. Those looking for something more active can embark on a jungle trek or go diving (a specialty of the resort). Past guests can’t praise the resort enough, highlighting its friendly staff, environmental protection policies and fresh local food. To make your stay here all-inclusive, opt for one of the “Reef & Rainforest Packages,” which include three meals, a variety of activities and more.
You won’t have to worry about sleeping in a cramped hotel room at this resort near the beach town of Placencia – all of its accommodations are villas. The various villa types come with one or two bedrooms, private verandas, and even hammocks. With around 20 villas at Chabil Mar, you won’t be sharing the pools and other amenities with masses of other guests. Those who want something louder can always take a complimentary bike, kayak or shuttle to Placencia for bars and shopping.
Dine anywhere in the resort that you like – the beach, the pier or your room – and the staff will bring the resort’s tropical Belizean food to you. Visitors highlight the resort’s beautiful grounds as well as the helpful employees, who can arrange all sorts of excursions from fishing to diving to jungle tours. Chabil Mar offers all-inclusive packages to cover tours, meals, nonalcoholic drinks and other amenities, but alcohol packages cost extra.
This resort near the Guatemalan border is owned by famed film director Francis Ford Coppola, who bought it as a vacation home before opening it to the public in 1993. Nowadays it offers 20 rooms nestled in the heart of a forest reserve known for scenic ravines, waterfalls and rivers. There’s a mix of cabanas, villas and a cottage for you to rest your head. The Luxury Cabanas offer private plunge pools, while the top-shelf Francis Ford Coppola Villa is a stunning elevated building with a thatched roof and all sorts of luxuries included, from monogrammed bathrobes to a full-time attendant.
Spa treatments and jungle hikes are just a couple of ways you can spend your days here. Past guests also recommend a trip to the famed Mayan ruins of Tikal, if you can spare the full day required for the excursion. Blancaneaux Lodge is also a family-friendly option for a Belize vacation: The property recommends booking its two-bedroom villas if you’re traveling with the little ones. Deals such as the “Mountain & Beach” or “Deluxe Honeymoon” packages include all meals, some transportation costs and more with the price of your accommodations.
Head less than 10 miles out of the city of San Ignacio, and the dense Belizean jungle gives way to this ecolodge, which has been in the business for more than 40 years. Chaa Creek offers a range of rooms in airy, thatched-roof villas and cottages, appointed with bright, tropical-chic furnishings and decor. If you’re willing to pay a premium, consider the Tree Top Villas, perched in the jungle canopy with private plunge pools.
Guests rave about the variety of intriguing activities that are available on-site or close by, including horseback riding, sunset canoe rides, rainforest safari tours and even cooking classes in a Belizean bush kitchen. Note that you’ll need to choose one of the resort’s vacation packages in order to have all meals, airport transfers and some additional activities included. There are also combined packages that include nights at a property on the Belizean coast.
Coco Plum Island Resort
Couples and honeymooners can have a romantic time at this adults-only all-inclusive resort located off the coast. Intimacy and serenity are practically guaranteed, as the resort has just 18 cabanas sleeping no more than 42 guests. The spacious cabanas feature king-size beds and air conditioning, as well as private decks and hammocks – for extra luxury, consider booking an overwater villa on stilts over the sea.
Previous guests brim with praise for Coco Plum Island, particularly the dining, noting the five-star food quality and the willingness to accommodate everything from allergies to picky eaters. All sorts of tours can be booked via the resort, from fishing trips to visiting Mayan ruins. To get here, you’ll need to fly from Belize City to Dangriga and take a boat, but the resort will take care of booking these segments. With one of the resort’s all-inclusive packages, your meals, drinks, local transportation and more will be included; depending on the package you choose, some tours and activities may be included, while others you’ll have to book a la carte.
Copal Tree Lodge
(Courtesy of Copal Tree Lodge)
Situated on the Rio Grande in southern Belize, this laid-back eco-resort has its own affiliated farm growing coffee, sugarcane, tropical fruits and more. Wild foods such as fruit are foraged from the lush rainforest, so you know the meals at the in-house restaurant are bound to be fresh. Don’t skip the rum bar – Copal Tree also has its own distillery. When the rum kicks in and you’re feeling drowsy, rest your head in a suite among the foliage with airy high-beamed ceilings and a king bed. Opt for the Canopy Suites and you’ll have access to a semi-private infinity pool (shared with three other suites).
With the food focus here, you can embark on agritourism trips organized by the resort. Head into the jungle or snorkel in the nearby Caribbean Sea for a more classic Belize experience. If you’re hoping to split your time between the jungle and the beach, Copal Tree Lodge is part of a larger company, Muy’Ono Resorts, and offers packages that allow you to stay in two different locations during your vacation.
Past travelers rave about the luxurious relaxation and unforgettable experiences they found at Copal Tree. To get the most out of your stay, opt for the “Farm-to-Table All-Inclusive” package, which bundles all meals, drinks, round-trip transport from the airstrip and exclusive amenities with your accommodations.
(Courtesy of Matachica Resort)
You’ll need to access this adults-only resort on sandy Ambergris Caye by plane or boat, as there’s no road connection to the rest of Belize here – but you won’t be totally off the grid, as the town of San Pedro sits nearby. Lodging choices at Matachica Resort range from cozy thatched-roof cabanas to spacious villas. King-sized beds and air conditioning are standard, and at the higher end of accommodations, you can get a private hot tub.
You’ll dine alfresco on French-influenced Belizean cuisine at Matachica’s seafront restaurant. Activities here run the gamut from relaxing spa treatments to snorkeling and diving trips in the nearby barrier reef. Recent visitors enthused about everything from the wonderful hospitality to the beauty of the resort. For a truly all-inclusive experience, you’ll need to book a package that includes all meals and other amenities, such as “Waves and Waterfalls.” Note, though, that most packages offered only include a full breakfast rather than all three daily meals.
Sirenian Bay Resort & Villas
(Courtesy of Sirenian Bay Resort & Villas)
This resort, located near the beach town of Placencia, is all about waterfront relaxation – past guests rave about how much they could relax here, especially because of the friendly staff. Choose between an array of all-inclusive bungalows: beachfront, poolside or with beach views. All of them come with king beds and capacity for two to six guests. The fancier Pelican Bungalow also includes a plunge pool. There are also larger villas for groups, but these are not all-inclusive unless you opt for it as an add-on.
All sorts of resort-style amenities are on offer here, such as a pool with a swim-up bar, tennis court and mini-golf. Kayaks, paddleboards and bikes are all free to rent. There’s a range of dining and drinking options from a martini bar to a grill restaurant that are included with your unlimited dining. If you’re looking to get out, consider wildlife tours to spot crocodiles and manatees or trips to Mayan ruins.
Belizean Dreams Resort
Belizean Dreams offers nine villas and seven rooms that blend seamlessly into their beachy and tropical surroundings. With hardwood floors, stone features, and mahogany and cedar furniture, the accommodations are full of character while offering comfort in the form of canopied king-size beds and air conditioning. Families and groups can also opt for a two-bedroom suite or three-bedroom villa. For activities, Belizean Dreams provides an array of ways to explore the region’s natural wonders, such as snorkeling in vibrant coral reefs, embarking on exhilarating jungle tours, and simply lounging by the resort’s infinity pool or at the on-site tiki bar.
Previous visitors have loved the resort’s culinary offerings at the beachfront Woven Palms Restaurant, which offers a mix of Central American and Belizean cuisine; they praise the fresh food and notable willingness to accommodate dietary restrictions. Belizean Dreams’ two all-inclusive packages include daily meals, unlimited beverages, airport transfers and tours.
Nestled on the coast just outside the town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, Alaia is a larger property than many top all-inclusive resorts in Belize, with 150-plus rooms. You’ll have choice when it comes to amenities like pools, dining and drinking, although you may be sharing the property with more guests. Dining options span sushi and bar food by the pool to an upscale chef’s table restaurant. For places to imbibe, there’s a vibe for everyone, from a rustic beach bar to an upscale piano lounge. Add “The Ultimate All-inclusive Experience” to your reservation for complimentary meals, drinks, activities, airstrip transfers and other all-inclusive amenities.
Guests love the resort’s rooftop pool, which offers gorgeous 360-degree views (particularly at sunset). There’s also a rooftop bar and lounge for those looking to stay dry. Accommodation choices include studios up to three-bedroom villas and suites, the best of which is equipped with a private plunge pool. All include necessary comforts like a balcony or patio, central air conditioning, and smart TVs. If you’re hoping to explore Belize, sign up for excursions to see Mayan ruins or go cave tubing, or take a relaxed tour through beachy San Pedro, among other choices.
Why Trust U.S. News Travel
Timothy Forster has traveled across five continents and lived on three, so he has experience booking and staying in all kinds of accommodations from hostels and campsites to chic hotels and vacation rentals. Forster used his extensive traveling background along with research expertise to curate this article.
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