Adventurous 9-Day Belize Itinerary (Family-Friendly!)

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Advisor - Maggie Mange
Curated By

Maggie Mange

  • Belize

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Beaches

  • International Travel

  • Family Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Outdoors

  • Coastal

  • Local Culture

a staple of any belize itinerary: beautiful beach with palm trees next to a colorful building
Curator’s statement

Belize is one of those places that stays with you long after you've gone home. It is truly an authentic and, at times, seemingly untouched secret. From the beaches to the jungles, there's so much to explore and the experiences of each are like two trips in one. It is a wonderful place to explore with children and the pace can be as slow or as fast-paced as you wish. The Belizeans are very proud of their culture and despite the influx of regular tourists, you still feel like you are in another world that welcomes you with open arms. Uncover what this beautiful coastal country has to offer with this 9-day Belize itinerary.

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Day 1: Arrive in Belize City

colorful sign on building next to palm trees

To kick off this Belize itinerary, arrive in Belize City and meet your pre-arranged driver to transport you to your hotel in the jungle. Stop along with the way to explore a local grocery store for snacks and have lunch at a local restaurant. Upon arriving in the jungle, enjoy your resort that afternoon and evening. Most jungle resorts have a restaurant as they are a little outside of the town of San Ignacio. We were traveling with two families of two, and two of the children were turning 8, so we ended the night with a surprise birthday party put together by the wonderful staff and complete with homemade cakes for each!

Day 2: Barton Creek Cave

aerial view of green landscape

After breakfast, we visited our resort's farm for some time with chickens, goats, sheep and pigs. Our children loved it! The local guide we hired, who picked us up at the airport, picked us up at our resort mid to late morning for a trip to Barton Creek Cave. It was wonderful having the same guide with us throughout our time in the jungle. Upon arriving to Barton Creek, we had a picnic table lunch with our guide, enjoying food his mother had cooked for us. It was a special start to the afternoon. Once in canoes and in the cave, our guide taught us everything from Mayan culture and their connection to caves, to the evolution of the earth and how that played a part in the creation of the cave. It was incredible and everyone learned much more than they expected!

Day 3: Chocolate-making class

ancient ruins on a hill during daytime

Our guide took us to the town of San Ignacio for a chocolate-making class. It's less making and more learning but children do have the opportunity to participate at times. It was a short, informative experience. From there we were taken to a local family's farm for a horseback riding adventure. They were little children running around which our children loved! We rode for two hours through the jungle, with the owners educating us on the plants and trees we passed. A rainstorm hit towards the end, but it didn't damper the fun. We rode into the small town of San Jose Succotz where we met back up with our guide and had lunch at Benny's. From there, our guide drove us to Xunantunich to explore the Mayan ruins. He educated us and guided us to the top of the tallest structure where we saw the Guatemalan border very close by. After returning to the resort, pool and relaxation were in order before dinner at the resort.

Day 4: Zip-lining and Ambergris Caye (a must for any Belize itinerary!)

buildings next to palm trees during daytime

Our stay was cut short due to arriving two days late from flight complications, so we departed the jungle after three nights. Our guide arranged a zip-lining adventure for us about halfway between our resort and Belize City, so we stopped for an hour or so and it was well worth it. Everyone had a blast. Our next stop was Ambergris Caye. There are two ways to reach the island - the ferry or a short 15 min flight. We chose to do the ferry going and flight coming back to experience both. Our guide dropped us at the ferry terminal and we boarded the San Pedro express for an hour and half ferry ride which we enjoyed. Make sure you have snacks, drinks, etc as nothing is offered on board.

Once we arrived in San Pedro, we picked up our pre-booked golf cart to head to our resort. Our resort sent someone to get us so they took our luggage and we enjoyed the fun golf cart ride! We spent the rest of the day swimming in the pool and jumping off the dock before having dinner across the street at a southern American food cafe.

Day 5: Secret Beach

large red sign on beach with palm trees

Our mission for day five was to spend time at Secret Beach - a Belize itinerary isn't complete without a day at this gorgeous beach! The golf cart ride takes about an hour through the town of San Pedro and to the east side of the island. Secret Beach is no longer a secret but it was fun to spend some time there. Since you can't swim off the beach on most of the west side of Ambergris Caye, we enjoyed the sand and clear, calm waters but beware of the Sea Roaches! We rented a floating cabana to have a reprieve from them. After leaving Secret Beach, we stopped at a truck stop for games and dinner. It's not so much local and authentic, but the food choice and quality were great and everyone had a blast!

Day 6: Snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve

fish in the water during daytime

For day 6 of our Belize itinerary, our concierge set up a snorkel and shark swimming activity for us so we were picked up on our dock and whisked away to Hol Chan Marine Reserve for snorkeling. Afterward, we went to Shark Ray Alley where some people in our group chose to jump in and swim! Dinner that night was at The Jungle - a local restaurant recommended by the bartender/jack-of-all-trades at our condo.

Day 7: Trip to Caye Caulker

boat in the water next to sandy beach

Caye Caulker, Ambergris Caye's little sister, was hosting their annual Lobterfest, so we boarded the ferry for the quick 20 min ride over. Once there, we headed straight The Lazy Lizard for food, drinks and swimming. We also spent time wandering the streets and came across our chef from our jungle resort! We, of course, bought our lobster lunch from him. Such a fun treat! The kids played carnival games and bought some souvenirs from local artisans.

Days 8 & 9: Swim and explore the town before heading home

two chairs in the sand next to beach

The last day was spent leisurely swimming, exploring the town, etc. My son and I had brunch at Estel's by the Sea and it is not to be missed!

The next day, we opted for the Tropic Air flight from Ambergris Caye to Belize City and were so glad we experienced both the ferry and flight.

Need to Know

Inspired by this Belize itinerary? For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Morgan Pesce's A Romantic Getaway at the Coppola Estate in Placencia, Belize.

Advisor - Maggie Mange

Travel Advisor

Maggie Mange

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Belize and our larger series on family travel.