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1. Best beaches
Tough question; Belize has some lovely beaches and offshore islands. My top two favorites are South Water Caye (on the Pelican Beach Resort side), and Hopkins Village’s beach.
2. Best food and drink
Best drink is a cold Belikin beer.
Best food: Another tough one. Fry jacks for breakfast, conch ceviche, and stew chicken with rice and beans.
3. Best place for an all-night party
San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, followed by Caye Caulker and San Ignacio in the Cayo District (on the weekends).
4. Best place to catch a sunset
On the Northern Cayes; Caye Caulker first, then Ambergris Caye. And if you want off the beaten path, then in Sarteneja — a beautiful fishing village in northern Belize.
5. Best place to fall in love
Anywhere! Belize is magical. I would either pick one of the secluded cayes (islands), or go inland — by waterfalls deep in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, at Billy Barquedier National Park, or Rio Blanco National Park.
6. Best place for people watching
The “Split” on Caye Caulker.
7. Best place to get a glimpse of “authentic” Belize
The “deep south” or Punta Gorda, Belize.
8. Best festival
It’s a national and cultural event, but I would say Garifuna Settlement Day and eve in Dangriga (November 18 and 19). It’s a blast and an unforgettable display of culture, with all-night drumming, concerts, and parades.
9. Best accommodation: Luxury, moderate, and flat broke
Belize is a big country, believe it or not, with six districts, plus offshore islands. There are tons of wonderful accommodations to suit all budgets. I’ll just mention a few favorites:
- High end: Sea Dreams Hotel or Rainbow Hotel on Caye Caulker, Pelican Beach Resort on South Water Caye, Laru Beya or Miramar Apartments in Placencia, Hidden Valley Inn in Cayo, or Chan Chich Lodge in the north.
Moderate: Tipple Tree Beya in Hopkins, Spindrift on Ambergris, or Caye Caulker Plaza Hotel.
Budget: Lydia’s Guesthouse in Placencia, Dirty McNasties on Caye Caulker, Ruby’s on Ambergris Caye, or Tobacco Caye Lodge.
10. Best music
Paranda (for instance, music by Paul Nabor), followed closely by Punta Rock. If you’ve never heard of these, check out The music of Belize.