From the reef to the rainforest, swanky offshore islands to rustic hillside retreats, Belize combines its Caribbean and Central American assets into a “one-stop” vacation package that has something for every traveler. It’s the kind of destination that draws an eclectic mix of travel aficionados, including passionate beach-seekers, trekkers and top divers from around the world. But many are just looking for those signature Belize resorts, the places to stay that you can’t find anywhere else. So whether you want to laze on a beach; tour ancient Mayan ruins; or see jaguars and other jungle wildlife up close and personal, Belize definitely merits a spot on your 2017 must-see list. Here are the top 10 Belize resorts for every kind of getaway.
Cayo Espanto This four-acre private-island resort three miles offshore from San Pedro has six one- and two-bedroom beachfront villas, each with its own private dock. All-inclusive rates include butler service and a customized menu of three meals daily, so your palate will be as pampered as you are.
Turtle Inn Film director Francis Ford Coppola is the mastermind behind this intimate luxury Belize resort not far from Placencia, where 25 Bali-meets-Belize-style cottages and villas are secreted within lush landscape, and peace and privacy are guaranteed with the price.
El Secreto From Miami, you’ll need a jet, puddle-jumper, golf cart and water taxi to get here, but this rustic-luxe clutch Ambergris Caye retreat is worth the effort for its relaxed but refined vibe; 13 comfy beachfront casitas and mouthwatering frozen mojitos.
Blancaneaux Lodge On the edge of the mainland’s Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, Coppola’s other hotel offers the same intimate vibe and privacy, this time at a hillside location. Guests in 20 cabanas (some with plunge pools) enjoy two restaurants and a bar, a small spa area and a pool, as well as the natural beauty of the creek and waterfall.
Matachica Resort & Spa With 31 boho-chic villas in sun-washed hues set on a stunning sweep of white sand, this Ambergris Caye oasis is exactly the kind place we think of when we imagine Belize resorts on the beach. And the adults-only policy is the icing on the cake.
Ka’ana Boutique Resort If you’re more of a jungle lover than a beach bum you’ll appreciate this remote but luxe mainland Belize resort near San Ignacio, where guests in just 17 rooms rave about the friendly staff, flavorful local cuisine, and impressive selection of local tours.
Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort This resort on the south-coast of Belize gets an enthusiastic thumbs-up from divers (it’s a PADI five-star facility near to the Southern Barrier Reef and atolls) and nature-lovers, who find it hard to leave the comfort of Hamanasi’s popular treehouse suites.
The Lodge at Chaa Creek A ‘wildly civilized” experience is what this secluded 400-acre nature reserve in the Cayo District promises its eco-sensitive guests, and that’s exactly what they get. The highlights: rustic-luxe cottages, villas, and suites; a hillside spa; a working farm; and an infinity pool, all topped off with superb service that create one of the ultimate Belize resorts.
Naïa Resort and Spa Belize The newest of the top Belize resorts is a boutique with 35 “beach houses” on the increasingly popular (but still wonderfully untouched) Placencia peninsula of Belize. The rooms are superb, with everything from large soaking tubs to outdoor showers.
Las Terrazas Resort & Residences This condo-style Belize resort on Ambergris Caye is a solid choice for families or groups, who’ll have plenty of space to spread out in impressive one- to three-bedroom suites and “sea houses,” all with full kitchens and some with private hot tubs and plunge pools. An ocean-view pool, dive shop, spa, and a stellar beach will keep everyone entertained when they’re not in residence.