Belize is a small country, about the size of Massachusetts, so in five days, you can hit all the highlights: the beach, Maya ruins, and jungle. Mix it up with time at the Maya Lamanai ruins, zipline through the jungle, and relax on Southwest Caye, or spend more time discovering Maya ruins, exploring the jungle, and checking out underground cave systems. Alternatively, you could spend most of your time on an island like Tobacco Caye or Southwest Caye, snorkeling and diving the Belizean Barrier Reef and lying out under the sun.

Itinerary #1: Adventure, Nature & Culture in Belize

On this five-day Belize adventure, you'll dive into the country's nature and culture in and around Belize City with a night in Southwest Caye. Explore the Maya ruins at Lamanai, swim, snorkel, and soak up the sun of Glover's Reef, and rev up your adrenaline on a zipline.

Lamanai Ruins in Belize
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Belize City, Visit Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm Belize City
Day 2 Lamanai Ruins, Wildlife Tour Belize City
Day 3 Transfer to Southwest Caye, Paddle, Snorkel & Relax at Glover's Reef Southwest Caye
Day 4 Transfer to Belize City, Zipline at Calico Jack's Village Belize City
Day 5 Depart Belize City  

Your adventure begins in sunny Belize City, where you'll be whisked off to marvel at the iridescent winged blue morpho butterfly at Chaa Creek. Day Two is spent exploring the Lamanai Ruins, an important Maya site tucked in the middle of the jungle. You'll be transported back in time as your guide leads you around the temples, plazas, and palaces before climbing to enjoy the breathtaking views atop the High Temple. After lunch, you'll board a riverboat and cruise through the Belizean jungle to seek tropical birds like parrots and toucans and wildlife like iguanas and Morelet's crocodiles. 

The following day, you'll head to Glover's Reef Basecamp on Southwest Caye. Here the day is yours—you can relax on the beach, kayak, snorkel, or scuba dive. The horseshoe-shaped reef ensures plenty of undersea sights and sheltered conditions for paddling. After transferring to the mainland the next morning, you'll head into the treetops on a zipline through the jungle at Calico Jack's Village. On your last night, make sure to savor some Belizean cuisine: a delicious mixture of seafood, fresh fruit, and Caribbean and Creole eats. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Highlights of Belize: Maya Ruins, Glover's Reef & More

Adding San Ignacio to the mix, you'll cover Belize's cultural and natural highlights. Explore the Che Chem Ha cave system of the Cayo jungle and the ancient Maya ruins of Xunantunich. You'll have a day to relax in the sun on Southwest Caye and another one to sail over treetops on a zipline and see one of the world's largest butterflies, endemic to Belize.

Spend a day snorkeling and lying out on the sand on Southwest Caye
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Belize City, Transfer to San Ignacio San Ignacio
Day 2  Che Chem Ha Cave & Xunantunich Tours San Ignacio
Day 3 Transfer to Glover's Reef, Paddle, Snorkel & Relax  Southwest Caye
Day 4 Transfer to Belize City, Zip Line Adventure & Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm Belize City
Day 5 Depart Belize City  

Your trip commences in San Ignacio in Belize's Cayo District, the heart of the Belizean Maya world. Here you can explore Cahal Pech, the Maya ruin of a royal acropolis-palace of an elite Maya ruling family. More ancient ruins await on Day 2, this time you'll head underground. Prepare to get wet as you embark on a guided trek through the jungle and into the subterranean cave system of Che Chem Ha, with geological formations, Maya artifacts, and ancient ceremonial altars. Relax with a lunch overlooking the Macal River Valley before checking out the historic ruins of Xunantunich

You'll transfer by motorboat to the crystal clear waters of Glover's Reef Marine Reserve for a day of fun in the sun on Day 3. Here you have your choice of activities: snorkeling the inner and outer walls of the rich reef system, windsurfing, sea kayaking, or simply relaxing on the beach. Your last full day includes ziplining through the Calico Jack's Village treetops and learning about the "Belizean Blue" butterflies at the Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm. Lastly, transfer back to the airport by water taxi for your voyage home. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Belize for Nature Lovers

Focusing on the mainland, this itinerary is designed with the nature lover in mind. You'll join a guided tour of the expansive Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve to see waterfalls, trek amid pines and fertile river valleys, then hop in an innertube to cruise the Caves Branch River and see the stalactites and stalagmites of caves as you pass through. Last, you'll fly over the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, popularly known as the Great Maya Reef, to see Belize from a new perspective.

Belize - Discover nature reserves and natural wonders in Belize
Discover nature reserves and natural wonders in Belize
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Belize City Belize City
Day 2 Transfer to Cayo District & Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve Cayo District
Day 3 Tubing on Caves Branch River San Ignacio
Day 4 Return to Belize City, Fly Over the Blue Hole, Lunch on Ambergris Caye Belize City
Day 5 Depart Belize City  

After spending a day exploring coastal Belize City and possibly checking out the Maya ruins of Altun-Ha, you'll transfer inland to the Cayo District, the country's former Maya Kingdom hub. Spend time with your guide covering the highlights of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, like the Hidden Valley Falls, which plunges 1,500 feet (457 m) over mountain cliffs into a lagoon, and enjoy a dip in the Rio On Pools. On Day 3, get ready for more watery fun as you offroad to the Caves Branch River site to begin your short trek along a jungle trail to your destination.

Gear up, and hop in your inner tube, floating downstream through caverns and beneath stalactites. There'll be time to stop for proper swims and to have a bite to eat, heading to your hotel in San Ignacio afterward. On your last full day, you'll return to Belize City to board a charter plane to fly over the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System and see sights like the iconic Great Blue Hole. Enjoy a traditional Afro-Caribbean lunch at a restaurant on Ambergris Caye as you take in the performance of Garifuna singers, dancers, and musicians. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Belize Scuba Diving Adventure

Attention divers! On this scuba diving adventure, spend five days among the sharks, rays, sea turtles, and tropical fish. You'll explore the pristine waters off Tobacco Caye and discover the marine life along the Belize Barrier Reef—you might even spot threatened species like manatees and crocodiles—and visit the Carrie Bow Caye Field Station.

Scuba diving in Belize
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Belize City Belize City
Day 2  Transfer to Tobacco Caye, Afternoon Dive Tobacco Caye
Day 3 Dive the Belize Barrier Reef Tobacco Caye
Day 4 Dive South Water Caye, Visit Marine Research Field Station Tobacco Caye
Day 5 Transfer to Belize City & Depart   

Plunge into your diving adventure in Belize City. You'll spend your first day enjoying tasty Belizean cuisine, exploring the vibrant markets, or perhaps taking a stroll along Haulover Creek or to Baron Bliss lighthouse. The following day you'll catch a boat to your overwater bungalow on the remote Tobacco Caye, admiring the mangrove estuaries and islands along the way. Get the lay of the land with a paddleboat excursion or a jaunt around the island before your first dive at a pristine site near the caye in the afternoon. Expect to see tropical fish, stingrays, eagle rays, sharks, and turtles in the clear azure waters. 

The next day brings a dive of the UNESCO-listed Belize Barrier Reef system, the second-largest barrier reef in the world and a significant habitat for threatened species like manatees and sea turtles. You'll then head out to the "off-the-beaten-reef" South Water Caye, where you can dive into the plunging outer reef wall before a picnic lunch on the sandbar. Later, you'll visit Carrie Bow Caye Field Station to learn more about coral, where Smithsonian researchers study reef ecosystems. A dive in the afternoon gives you a last taste of the magnificent reef. Transfer to Belize City for your onward flight. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Southwest Caye Belize Beach Escape

The perfect itinerary for beach lovers, this escape lets you take advantage of the 84°F (29°C) average temperatures of Belize and explore the lesser-known Southwest Caye for snorkeling, sea kayaking, or just whiling away the day on the sand.

Kayak, swim, and snorkel the clear waters off of Belize's Southwest Caye
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Belize City Belize City
Day 2 Boat to Southwest Caye, Paddle the Reef Southwest Caye
Day 3 Snorkel & Relax at Glover's Reef Southwest Caye
Day 4 Paddle & Explore Glover's Reef Southwest Caye
Day 5 Free Morning, Depart Southwest Caye  

You'll start your vacation on the Caribbean Sea, in the former British colonial port of Belize City. Enjoy the historic buildings and lively markets, or perhaps stop by the Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm to view and learn about the fluttering beauties. On Day 2, hop on a boat for your transfer to the Belize Barrier Reef island of Southwest Caye, where you'll stay in a beachside tented cabana. Paddle to a nearby reef and explore the crystal clear waters and rich underwater marine life. Day 3 starts with sunrise yoga or a morning swim before learning about Belize's culture and biodiversity from local experts.

The rest of your day is yours to decide. Relax the day away in a hammock or try out a sea kayak. Spend the afternoon spotting marine life like sea turtles, eagle rays, and marlins. The next day brings more beach fun. Try out Belizean handline fishing with the help of guides, or be transported to another world as you snorkel amid the unbelievable coral with schools of bright fish. Your last morning is on Glover's Reef, named for the pirates who landed here in 1750, before your motorboat transport to the airport. Learn more

More Great Belize Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Belize? Check out these other Belize itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of 5 Days in Belize - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 5 Days in Belize - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas