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Belize

5 Great Beaches Near Belize City

Belize beach
Belize beach; credit: Demian Solano, Belize Tourist Board
Cruise and other visitors to Belize searching for long stretches of white sand beaches have been surprised to find that it possesses no such thing as most of the coastline is covered in mangroves.

However, though few, there are a number of small beaches that are of high standard and open to tourists. Here, we present five such beaches in the city.

1. Placencia Peninsula


The Placencia Peninsula is not quite within the centre of the city. In fact, it is all of 180 miles away. It was included here due to its amazing beauty as well as the availability of transportation from the city centre. It’s a fun little town that’s infused with tourists and expats as well as plenty of restaurants, hotels and shopping centres.

The 17-mile-long peninsula is home to a small unremarkable village, but tourists enjoy spending time here because of the availability of white sand and warm waters.

Popular activities here includes swimming, snorkelling and simply lounging on the beach. There are also great hotel accommodations choices for those who want to spend a little extra time in the area.

During the high season, this beach sees immense crowds, so you may need to plan ahead and make reservations. Placencia Peninsula is also the most common place to find actual beachfront hotels.

2. Ambergris Caye


Just off the coast of Belize City lies one of the country’s largest islands, Ambergris Caye. This particular beach island is one of the main destinations for vacationers.

The island is home to several small beaches that are among the best in the region for lounging in the sun and swimming in the clear blue Caribbean waters. The island also is home to the small city known as San Pedro. There are several options for overnight luxury accommodations. As such, visitors can have extended vacations on the island of Ambergris Caye alone.

Travellers can take boat rides from Belize to the island either via excursion agents or hotel workers. Ambergris Caye is a tourist hot spot for diving, snorkelling (as it borders the Belize Barrier Reef) and various water sports.

3. Caye Caulker


Belize beach
Belize beach; credit: Demian Solano, Belize Tourist Board
A smaller island that is a stopover on the way to or from the mainland and a little south of Ambergris and northwest of Belize City is the small Caye Caulker, one of the offshore islands in Belize.

Caye Caulker has a more intimate, small-town, laid-back feel and the beaches here are neither as large nor as particularly stunning as those of the more popular Caribbean destinations. But they are some of the best beaches close to Belize City.

Beyond the aesthetics are a wide range of activities available on the island. Of particular note is Caye Caulker’s popularity as a world-class snorkelling destination as the Belize barrier reef is partly located just off the coast. Beyond that, other activities include sailing, windsurfing, kayaking and of course swimming.

Water taxis are available for transportation to Caye Caulker, costing approximately BZ$35 to $40 for a round trip.

4. Coco Beach Resort


Coco Beach Resort is, as its name suggests, not a beach per se, but a beach resort. It was included here for its simplistic beauty and the breath-taking beach nearby, one of the best in Belize.

Forming a part of the Ambergris Caye group of beaches, the location is just about three miles from San Pedro. Visitors can enjoy a pristine white sand beach as well as the amenities of a luxury resort.

5. Cucumber Beach, Old Belize


Cucumber Beach is not a natural beach but more of a man-made salty pool. Old Belize is a tourist spot about 5 miles from central Belize City. It is relatively easy to get there by bus for about BZ$1 each way.

It’s a nice place to relax and sunbathe, with tasty food and a bar; however, the water is not as good as natural beaches. Moreover, the facility has suffered from the effects of various hurricanes and is just now putting itself back together again.

Visitors who envision their stay in Belize City to include lounging on a long stretch of white sandy beaches should do some careful research about where they are staying. While hotels and small resorts are common along the city's coast, only a few will have spectacular beaches available to guests.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category: Beaches   

January 20, 2014
Cruise visitors to Belize City may not find many beaches. But a few good options are nearby."/>

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