Escape to Belize for a week of island hopping and snorkeling around some of the finest dive sites in the world. Spend most of your time on the coral island of Ambergris Caye, where you'll enjoy resort-style relaxation and snorkel at famous sites like Shark Ray Alley and the Blue Hole. Cap the journey with a jungle excursion to discover the ruins at Xunantunich, an ancient Maya city dating to 300 CE.


  • Visit conservation centers and cultural cooperatives in Belize City
  • Swim with sharks, rays, and manatees on snorkeling tours
  • Sail to remote coral islands and enjoy a beach barbecue

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Belize City, Visit Butterfly Farm Belize City
Day 2 Maya Cooking Class at Women's Cooperative Belize City
Day 3 Transfer to San Pedro & Ambergris Caye, Manatee Tour San Pedro
Day 4 Blue Hole Diving Tour San Pedro
Day 5 Full-Day Sailing Cruise & Beach Picnic San Pedro
Day 6 Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley Snorkeling Tour San Pedro
Day 7 Day Trip to Xunantunich, Depart San Pedro  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Belize City, Visit Butterfly Farm

Blue Butterfly
The blue morpho butterfly, known as the "Belizean blue"

Welcome to Belize! Though it sits right below Mexico's wildly popular Yucatán Peninsula, this small Central American country claims the lion's share of Caribbean wonders. Most notable is the famous Belize Barrier Reef, the largest reef system outside of Australia, home to the best dive sites in the Western Hemisphere. But there's also plenty of exotic wildlife and rich Garifuna (Afro-Caribbean) culture here—and this weeklong itinerary covers it all.

You'll arrive on the coast at Belize City, which will be your base. At the airport, a driver will pick you up for the ride inland to San Ignacio, located near the border with Guatemala. This town sits on the Macal River and is surrounded by jungle, which allows for some great nature tours and visits to archaeological sites.

Here, you'll visit the famous Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm. This conservation area raises various butterfly species, most prominently the famous blue morpho, known in the country as the Belizean blue. This rare specimen is one of the world's largest butterflies, with wings that span up to 8 inches (20 cm). Their signature blue color derives from microscopic scales on the wings that reflect light. You'll learn all this, plus see these exotic critters on a one-hour tour of the farm. Afterward, you'll transfer back to Belize City and your hotel.

Day 2: Maya Cooking Class at Women's Cooperative

There are few things tastier than a fresh-baked corn tortilla

The San Antonio Women's Cooperative was founded in 2001 to help promote and conserve Indigenous Maya heritage, culture, and tradition within the community. It also offers local women, who otherwise would be relegated to the home, a vital trade and sustainable source of income. In the morning, you'll transfer back toward San Ignacio and the village of San Antonio.

During a visit to the co-op, which is run by local women, you'll participate in a cooking class in a traditional Maya kitchen. Highlights include a demonstration of making traditional corn tortillas by hand and cooking these delicious staples on a wood-burning stove. When they're ready, enjoy your fresh, hot tortillas with a mug of sweet corn porridge. You'll return to Belize City at the end of the day.

Day 3: Transfer to San Pedro & Ambergris Caye, Manatee Tour

Go on a boat tour to spot Belize's famous manatees

In the morning, you'll transfer to the harbor and board a water taxi to the country's largest island, Ambergris Caye. The ride takes about 1.5 hours, and during the trip, you'll be treated to views of some of Belize's more than 400 cayes (islands) with their lush mangroves and white-sand beaches. You'll arrive at the main town of San Pedro and transfer to the resort, where you'll spend the remainder of the trip.

Later, hit the water again, this time on a 20-minute boat ride to the neighboring island of Caye Caulker. Continue to the shallows behind the island, where your guide will point out the manatees that congregate in the area. After snapping pics of these friendly "sea cows," there will be a brief snorkeling stop before returning to Ambergris Caye.

Day 4: Blue Hole Diving Tour

Blue Hole
The Blue Hole is a bucket-list destination for avid divers
Plan your trip to Belize
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

No tour of Belize is complete without a trip to the country's most iconic dive site. Before the sun rises, you'll board a boat at Caye Caulker and ride 2.5 hours out to the famous Blue Hole, which is part of Lighthouse Reef. This giant marine sinkhole and popular dive spot formed as a limestone cavern during the last ice age and can even be seen from space. It's unique due to its almost perfectly circular shape, which measures 1,043 feet (318 m) across and 407 feet (124 m) deep.

The early start is well worth it, which you'll quickly discover once you plunge into the Blue Hole and swim beneath its shimmering surface. As you break through the thermocline layer into the deeper, motionless waters below, you'll enjoy visibility of up to 200 (60 m) feet. In this environment, you'll see everything from giant underwater stalactites to reef sharks, parrotfish, and turtles cruising past.

Day 5: Full-Day Sailing Cruise & Beach Picnic

Sail to remote islands and enjoy a beach barbecue
All aboard, as this morning you hop on a sailboat for a full-day cruise around Belize's grand Caribbean coast. The route you'll follow is the same one taken by coconut traders in the 1600s and includes stops for snorkeling. There are also hundreds of coral islands in this country, and around midday, you'll stop at one of the most beautiful for a beach barbecue. Dine on fresh grilled lobster and conch with white sands between your toes, and afterward, take a dip in the crystalline waters. After some more cruising along the coast, you'll return to San Pedro in the late afternoon.

Day 6: Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley Snorkeling Tour

Swim with rays and harmless nurse sharks at the best spots in Belize

Get ready for another full day of snorkeling! Board a boat in the early morning and transfer to Hol Chan, Belize's first-ever marine reserve. This UNESCO World Heritage Site protects 7 square miles (18 sq km) of coral reefs and mangrove lagoons. It's a top dive (one of the best in Belize), and you'll spend about 2.5 hours here swimming with schools of exotic fish and marine life like turtles, moray eels, and the gorgeous spotted eagle ray.

The next stop is at nearby Shark Ray Alley, a 30-foot (9 m) deep channel where you'll swim with stingrays and harmless nurse sharks. After that, you'll return to San Pedro and can spend the rest of the day relaxing at the resort. Perhaps hit a beach bar or two in town.

Day 7: Day Trip to Xunantunich, Transfer to Belize City, Depart

Hike around the ruins at Xunantunich before catching your departing flight

Pack as much adventure as possible into this weeklong itinerary with one more excursion before you depart. You'll leave early on a transfer by water taxi back to Belize City. There, meet your driver for the 2.5-hour drive inland to the border with Guatemala and Xunantunich. Here, located on a ridge above the shimmering Mopan River, are the ruins of an ancient Maya city.

On a half-day tour, you'll hike around the remains of a city that reached its height of power during the seventh century CE but was abandoned around 750 CE. It covers 1 square mile (2.6 sq km), and you'll explore the main area's six plazas and 26 temples and palaces. After marveling at the ruins (and snapping plenty of pics), you'll transfer back to Belize City and the airport to catch your flight home. Safe travels!

More Great Belize Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Belize? Check out these other Belize itineraries, explore more ways to spend a week in Belize, or learn about the best time to visit Belize.


Map of Belize Beach Escape: Snorkeling, Diving & Sailing at Ambergris Caye - 7 Days
Map of Belize Beach Escape: Snorkeling, Diving & Sailing at Ambergris Caye - 7 Days