Belize Travel – How to Visit Islands on a Budget

Belize was an unbelievable country to visit. It was an amazing trip for many reasons, but mostly because the locals are so kind and it is extremely easy to navigate the country. We only spent a day in Belize city, and stayed on the Cayes (Islands) for the majority of our trip. The main language spoken is English although they do speak Creole as well. As a tourist I never felt unsafe and only felt an overwhelming amount of love from everyone we met! 

Scoring Cheap Tickets

We used American airline miles to book our tickets into Belize City. Because of the small amount of travel with COVID cases still happening, we spent 15,000 miles and only $80 in taxes. This flight was from SLC to Dallas to Belize City. A Covid test is required to enter the country so we tested 72 hours before our flight at Family Health Services. We also had to test to renter the USA and tested on San Pedro Island at their verified clinic near the airport. 

How to Plan and pack for belize

We researched the best islands to stay on via Youtube and Pinterest and decided on Caye Caulker and San Pedro.  Packing light is a breeze when you’re headed somewhere tropical. I packed 3 swimming suits, 3 shorts, 1 skirt, 2 dresses and a romper. A variety of tank tops and t-shirts. I do recommend wearing a cardigan on the airplane so you have one long shirt to cover up if needed. (Especially if you sunburn easily!) There are a lot of super markets on the two islands we stayed at, so you can get things you forgot. However, make sure to bring your own sunscreen, tooth paste, toiletries, etc because it is much more expensive there. 

Staying on Caye Caulker

The first Island we stayed on is called Caye Caulker. Caye Caulker is a small island and cheaper than San Pedro. We stayed in the Colinda Cabanas which provided free bikes, kayaks, and snorkel gear. To get to this island we took a water taxi from Belize City to Caye Caulker. This cost about $30 per person. The boat ride was about an hour long. We then walked from the water taxi to the Colinda Cabanas. The entire island is very small so it’s easy to walk or bike everywhere! The nightly rates were shockingly under $100.

Foodie Guide

The Island was actually split after a hurricane, and left a beautiful trail of vibrant blue water. This is called The Split! There is a tourist restaurant here but I would recommend visiting a local restaurant! Cafe de Amor was a delicious breakfast stop, I highly recommend trying their home made fry jacks, a Belizian sweet bread. Tropical Paradise Resturant had such delicious vegetarian options it was heaven for me! We ate at a couple restaurants near the water taxi location, they all have a lot of options to choose from. Lastly, our favorite restaurant on the entire island was Pelican Sunset! Here you can meet Captain Ron who can take you snorkling!!! It was around $100 to snorkle with him at a few different spots. We had the best day ever with him and his family. 

Where to go Snorkling

There are generally a handful of great snorkling tours to take, but while we visited almost all of the snorkle companies were closed. Check with your accommodation to find one for you if you don’t find Captain Ron at Pelican Sunset. The places we visited were Ship Wreck, The Barrier Reef, Shark & Manta Ray off the barrier reef. We saw sharks, sting rays, turtles, sea horses, eels, a variety of vibrant fish, manatees, and a dolphin! It was a dream come true. If you get a place on with a beach you can snorkle right there and see wildlife! We saw sting rays come right up to our dock at Colinda Cabanas!

Getting to San Pedro

The same place you loaded the water taxi is where you’ll get on once again to cruise to San Pedro. The boat ride is about 40 minutes! It’s a beautiful ride over vibrant blue water!!!!! Look for sharks, sting rays, turtles and dolphins because they sometimes can be spotted from the boat!

Right where you dock you will get asked if you need a golf cart or taxi. I highly recommend getting a golf cart. We rented from Rocks Golf Cart. They will run $20-$25 a day. We rented one to drive to our resort and one of the most incredible places in the world that is located pretty far away from San Pedro. The really amazing resorts are a little out of town, so I also recommend getting out there! We didn’t spend any nights in the city and were very happy with that choice. 

Portofino Beach Resort is where we stayed and I highly recommend! It is 6 miles north of town. The resort was discounted due to covid and we paid about $150 a night. The place was absolutely beautiful. A hammock on our porch, that lead to hammocks over the water and plenty of chairs along the beach. We loved this place so much! The rooms were designed beautifully and cam with great towels and soaps. The restaurant was delicious, they even had a separate menu for vegetarians! The waiter was so kind and lovely.

One of the most incredible places on earth is about 4 miles from our resort, called Secret Beach. It is surrounded by gorgeous blue water and colorful fish. There are bars and restaurants you can check out. Most have seating like sun tanning chairs and tables. The really unique bar we loved was called The Swing. It’s locally owned, unlike the one next to it. They both have tables out on the water! It’s so beautiful there. We ended up going there every single night!!!!! FYI: the ride here is rough! The golf card is pretty heavy duty, but prepare for lots of bumps with not too much suspension. Honestly, it was really fun because it felt as though we were on a safari on the back roads of Belize! From Portofino to Secret beach the ride takes about 20 minutes.  

Staying Near the Airport

We didn’t have that early of a flight, but we like being not rushed the day we leave to eliminate stress. The boat ride back from San Pedro to Belize City was around 2 hours, and the airport can take a little while to get through security. This is why we stayed in Ladyville; a small ocean town only a 7 minute drive to the airport! We stayed at the Bamboleo Inn which was a fantastic choice. I can’t even express how lucky we got with this trip to interact with locals, but maybe that’s just normal for Belizeans to be amazing! We ate at Rustic Corner Bar and Grill where we sang Karaoke and chatted with a bunch of locals! We ended our trip actually going for a sunrise canoe ride with a generous local man. We saw a monkey on the Belize River and paddled through the enchanted forest. It was magical.

In total we stayed in Caye Caulker for 4 nights and San Pedro for 3 nights, and one night in Belize City near the airport for our morning flight. I don’t think I can put into words how amazing this country is. The people are so nice. We left with friends and incredible memories we will never forget. Have more questions? Message me on Instagram and take a look at more photos from this trip: @earthtosarahr ♥️

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