Placencia, a true beach-holiday strip on the mainland, is enduringly popular with North American expats and tourists. Perched at the southern tip of a long, narrow, sandy peninsula, the village has long enjoyed a reputation as 'the cay you can drive to' – a fully-paved 27-mile road heads off the Southern Hwy via Maya Beach and Seine Bight to the tip of the peninsula.
The undisputed superstar of Belize's tourism industry, 'La Isla Bonita' is an enigma that continues to defy the odds by somehow balancing large-scale tourism development with a fun, laid-back atmosphere. Ambergris Caye remains for many visitors the archetypal tropical paradise where sun-drenched days are filled with fruity drinks and water sports.
The friendly, slightly scruffy, coastal village of Hopkins attracts travelers looking to soak up sea breezes and Garifuna culture. It's an unpretentious place to meet other travelers and makes a good base for explorations to the cays, reefs and islands to the east, and the jungles, mountains and parks to the west.
Belize's newest protected marine area, Turneffe Atoll, is the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Americas. At 30 miles long and 10 miles wide, Turneffe Atoll is alive with coral, fish and large rays, making it a prime destination for diving, snorkeling and catch-and-release sport fishing.