How to Experience Belize Islands the Adventurer’s Way

best belize islands

Itching to head out on an unBELIZEable trip to some of the most beautiful islands around? Adventure-packed Belize is home to the world’s second largest barrier reef, unique cultural roots, and all the adrenaline a gal needs.

We’ll take you through everything an Explorer Chick needs to know before heading south. From what to do in Belize to how the heck to even get there, we’ve got your back. Vacay-planning mode: engaged.

Where Is Belize Located?

Nestled just under Mexico along Guatemala’s eastern border, Belize sits right on the Caribbean Sea in Central America. Opposite the Pacific Ocean and EC destination, Baja, it’s ideal for resort lovers and island adventurers alike.

American travelers can easily access this coastal country — where English is the official language — through direct flights on many major airlines. Non-stop USA to Belize flights are available year-round from:

  • Los Angeles
  • Seattle
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Atlanta
  • Newark
  • Miami

Other American hubs offer flights during peak season too!

Top Belize Islands for the Adventure Seeker

Top Belize Islands for the Adventure Seeker

It’s impossible to pick just one island to visit in Belize. So, instead, we’ve narrowed it down to the five best islands for adventure-lovin’ Explorer Chicks. Hop across other islands by day, then party it up resort-style at night.

Glover’s Reef (And Its 5 Cayes)

glover's reef snorkeling trip
Snorkeling with Explorer Chicks in Glover’s Reef, Belize

Listen up, water bugs! Quiet yet action-packed Glover’s Reef Atoll in Southern Belize is the perfect island destination for kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, and more. In fact, Glover’s Reef is so good that it’s where our off-the-grid, private island is located for our Belize trip. Glover’s Reef is a part of the Belize Barrier Reef (a UNESCO protected site), the largest (and most pristine!) barrier reef outside of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. We have access to 850 patch reefs in the Glover’s Reef lagoon! While there, we have the opportunity to visit the Wildlife Conservation Society Research Station on Middle Cay.  Since its opening in 1997, the station has hosted more than 200 scientific and research expeditions.

Rumor has it the infamous pirate John Glover hid his treasure in what’s now the marine reserve.

Want to to visit Glover’s Reef on your own?

Start your swashbuckling fun at the reef’s five cayes: Northeast Caye, Middle Caye, Long Caye, Southwest Caye, and Manta Island.

Lighthouse Reef

Find it here: On Google Maps
How to get there: San Pedro to Lighthouse Reef

Immerse yourself in an IRL Nat Geo documentary on Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Home to Central America’s first marine conservation area, Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, you’ll spot rare species exclusive to the Belize islands. Then, dive into the world-famous Great Blue Hole or down the 6,000 foot Half Moon Caye Wall drop-off.

Ambergris Caye

Find it here: On Google Maps
How to get there: Ferries to Ambergris Caye

Balance adventure and luxury in Ambergris Caye, the nation’s largest island and home of San Pedro Town. The diverse landscape makes Ambergris Caye ideal for caving, ziplining, and archeological exploration. Enjoy incredible island eats and nightlife fit for an Explorer Chick.

Tobacco Caye

Find it here: On Google Maps
How to get there: Ferries to Tobacco Caye

Small island getaway, Tobacco Caye, is a welcome excursion from the busier Caye Caulker and San Pedro. You’ll meet the resident stingrays, snorkel pristine water, and chat with the island locals. Head to nearby South Water Caye or Glover’s Reef for an epic day trip.

Laughingbird Caye

Find it here: On Google Maps
How to get there: Puerto Cortés to Laughing Bird Caye

Make a day trip to Laughingbird Caye, named for the laughing gulls native to the small island. No overnight stays allowed here! Break from Belize’s eastern coast to go fishing, relax on sandy white beaches, and discover every way to use a coconut. Hashtag island life.

top belize islands

Top Belize Islands

Like this map? Save our 🏝️ Top Belize Islands 🏝️ Google Maps list to your favorites so you can find them easily while you’re planning.

Things to Do in Belize

Things to Do in Belize

Home to lush rainforests, stunning turquoise waters, and ancient Mayan ruins, there’s never a dull moment for Explorer Chicks in this tropical paradise. Conquer the sea, sky, and land as you go diving with marine life, soar above palm trees, and hike through history.

  • Navigate through the world-famous caves. Grab an inner tube and let the river guide you back in time through Nohoch Che’en, or wade through shallow waters and tight crevices of the Actun Tunichil (ATM) cave. UnBELIZEable sites guaranteed: sacrificial skeleton remains included!
  • Snorkel through Belize Barrier Reef. Pro scuba divers and rookie snorkeling fans alike LOVE getting up close with sea turtles, adorable fish species, and rare marine life in the Belize Barrier Reef. This UNESCO world heritage site runs along the nation’s eastern coast and is the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere. Don’t miss the Great Blue Hole and Hol Chan Marine Reserve!
  • Zipline above Mayflower Bocawina National Park. Cue up Nelly Furtado’s “I’m Like a Bird” as you fly high on the country’s longest zipline!
  • Search for the Stone Woman at the Xunantunich Ruins. Any history buffs here? Venture near San Ignacio to the Mayan Xunantunich Ruins and explore the country’s second-tallest temple. Feel the site’s folklore guide you through shrines, tombs, and sacred ceremonial sites.
  • Immerse yourself in the local culture. Learn how to cast a fishing line and cook your catch, then prepare to shake your bod all night in true Garifuna fashion. If you find yourself dreaming of fresh island coconuts, cassava, and wild dance parties once you return, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Best Time to Visit Belize

Best Time to Visit Belize

There’s never a bad time to visit the beautiful Belize Islands. A better question is: when are you most in need of an all-girls getaway?

Peak tourist time runs from December to April. And if you’re from a chilly North American region, these winter months are especially perfect for sunny Caribbean travel. December through February is slightly cooler (read: still frickin’ hot) than March and April and draws the most tourists.

Dry season’s balmy weather pairs perfectly with outdoor SHEnanigans. Predictable temps make every day on the coast a good one. Expect crowded sites, but more travelers equal more fun at late-night island parties, right?

Or, save some serious dough and skip the busy Belize City buzz by booking in the wet season: May through November. The beautiful islands quiet down, tourist spots settle, and chill seas offer the best diving, snorkeling, and jet skiing. But wet cave treks, scuba diving, and snorkeling are big no-nos when the waters are high during hurricane season.

MonthAvg High (F)Avg Low (F)Days of Precip.

Belize, According to Explorer Chicks

Belize, According to Explorer Chicks

Not sold on the beautiful Belize islands yet? Then take it from Explorer Chicks themselves!

Theresa proudly flexes her repel down a 250 ft waterfall and ziplining expeditions, and Gale couldn’t get enough of Tobacco Caye. You’ll never forget sunrise yoga on the beach, navigating ancient Mayan caves by candlelight, and the new lifelong friendships.

Explorer Chick Christina loved her time in the Caribbean: “Excellent trip! I went last month. It was perfect. DO NOT FORGET BUG DETERRENTS! I highly recommend trying to cover up as much as possible during the waterfall hike and repel.” Pack US cash and shoes you don’t mind getting wet too!

And it’s never too late to take on Belize. Shelly, 57, has kicked ass tackling adventures in Belize, Iceland, DR, Galapagos, and more. She says, “Mentally – this group is all about challenging yourself with VERY supportive women surrounding you.” Yup. Sounds like the Explorer Chicks we know.

Ready to Get Hiking?

Ready to Get Hiking

Swimsuit up and dive on down to Belize the Explorer Chick way — AKA with the most incredible group of women adventurers you’ve ever met. UnBELIZEable island times guaranteed. 

Meet the Writer

megan wray writer

Megan Wray

Megan Wray is a queer, mixed-race Japanese-Canadian freelance writer based on Treaty 1 Territory. Passionate about pleasure, identity, and anti-oppression, Megan’s fuelled by meaningful chats about topics that aren’t “appropriate” for dinner table conversation. When she’s not writing, you can find Megan cooking vegan food, singing to live music, and trying to understand astrology.

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