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I know that spending a huge amount of time in each country you visit in order to see everything and anything is not always possible, especially if you only have a 2-week chunk of vacation from a full-time job back home. I’m often asked by people who only have a 2-week holiday from their jobs where we would prioritise in the given time.
So behold! Here is my 2 weeks Belize backpacking itinerary for anyone who is tight on time but still wants to soak up the best that this incredible country has to offer.
After this 2 weeks in Belize backpacking itinerary, you’ll also find these posts useful:
Luckily, I’d say Belize is one of the few countries in the Americas that doesn’t need months and months of travel to explore everything. You know what? 2 weeks in Belize backpacking is actually a pretty nice amount of time.
For this 2 weeks in Belize backpacking itinerary, I’m assuming you’re flying fresh into Belize City, but I know there are a lot of travellers who will be using this to plan their longer term trip as they cross the borders by bus from Mexico or Guatemala (and even Honduras if happy to go by boat!). If this is the case, don’t worry, with this being such a small country you can have a fair amount of flexibility in your route. Everything is connected, so just pick up the below loop wherever you plan to enter Belize.
A note on travel between destinations: it’s easy to get around Belize by local chicken bus (don’t forget to check out my survival guide to chicken buses in Belize), but when travelling on the mainland by public bus you have to be careful to avoid Sundays. The non-touristy parts of the country more or less shut down on this day, though direct tourist shuttles will still be available for a significantly higher price.
What not to miss in your 2 weeks in Belize backpacking itinerary
There’s a good reason you’ll be spending the largest chunk of your 2 weeks in Belize itinerary on Caye Caulker. This is a small island ~45 minutes boat ride from Belize City, with unfortunately not much in terms of sandy beaches but plenty of activities to keep you busy.
Spend your time on Caye Caulker snorkelling the world’s second largest coral reef (home to sharks, rays, turtles & manatees!), speedboating off to the paradise of Goff’s Caye, cycling or kayaking around the island and flying over the Great Blue Hole – a terrifyingly deep void out in the Caribbean Sea.
When you’re done seeing all the things, grab a box of street-grilled lobster and head to Iguana Reef to watch the sunset with a beer.
This is a teeny little place made famous by the underground tunnels and sacrificial burial sites of the nearby ATM cave, a must-do in Belize. There’s also Cahal Pech near the town, which is the ruins of what was once home to an elite Mayan family in ancient times. San Ignacio is situated right on the border with Guatemala, so is a perfect place to head over to Flores and Tikal, which you can do as a day trip from Belize.
However, if after this 2 weeks in Belize you intend to go to Guatemala as a whole stint of your trip, shift your stay in San Ignacio the very end of your Belize backpacking itinerary; it won’t cause any hassle to do so.
Hopkins is the place to learn about the deeply fascinating Garifuna culture. The Garifuna people are descendants of both the indigenous Arawaks and a group of African slaves who washed up on the shores of Central America following a shipwreck.
Hopkins is still a heartland for this community, so it’s a fantastic part of Belize backpacking itinerary to immerse yourself in the culture with lessons in Garifuna drumming, dancing and cooking. It’s also a great place from which to explore the Bocawina Forest, where you can rappel waterfalls and zipline through the rainforest.
It’s time in your Belize backpacking itinerary for some heavy relaxation! This is your beachy stint, so set up camp on the sands and sip from cocktails from a beach bar (such as the Tipsy Tuna!). You can take plenty of tours from here too, such as jungle river tubing and sailing to some of the islands.
In the evening, don’t miss rum tasting with some of the charismatic staff and friendly patrons at Big Titty Rum. If you’re heading to Honduras or the South-East of Guatemala (after your 2 weeks in Belize, you can take the boat from Placencia over to Puerto Cortes or Livingstón.
Though 2 weeks in Belize is definitely enough time to see the best bits of the country, no one is going to say no to a week or so extra!
Other destinations in Belize to consider are Cookscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can see rainforests, waterfalls and even jaguars, or head up to Caye Caulker’s bigger sister, Ambergris. This place is very popular with North American retirees and tourists on vacation, and for good reason.