Known for its dual identity as a Caribbean and Latin American nation, Belize holds a world of wonders that will delight even the littlest of travelers.
Hundreds of offshore islands, vast expanses of rainforest and tons of biodiversity combine to ignite a sense of adventure and curiosity in visitors regardless of age or taste. If you’re planning to bring the kids, here’s how to make Belize one of your most memorable family vacations.
Is Belize good with kids?
Though not without its challenges, Belize is a family-friendly destination. Thanks to the slew of activities and attractions found throughout the country, it’s easy to plan a multi-generational trip that’s exciting and engaging for everyone (including the family TikTok fiend).
Here, nature is your backyard. Navigating ancient Maya sites, meandering down rivers and streams and enjoying close encounters with wildlife – this is what dream vacations are made of. Plus, even your pickiest eater might find joy in the country’s lack of chain restaurants and abundance of delicious, farm-fresh meals.
One of the biggest issues you’ll encounter when visiting Belize with kids is finding stroller-friendly areas. Uneven footpaths in cities and towns, along with steep hills in places like Cayo make getting around a lot tougher for families with babies or toddlers. Baby changing stations in restrooms are also few and far between, so be sure to invest in a travel changing mat.
Nevertheless, thanks to Belize’s family-oriented culture, little ones are met with welcoming attitudes. Quite a few resorts in the country offer discounted rates for children under 12 and many have accommodations designed with families in mind.
Where is best in Belize with kids?
The Cayo district is home to one of the most renowned family-friendly resorts, the Lodge at Chaa Creek. Eco-adventures and experiences like the butterfly farm, archaeological sites and even an on-site organic garden will keep the kids active.
In more remote destinations, like the Toledo District – you’ll have a harder time finding activities to keep everyone occupied the longer your stay. Still, the district is one of the best places for cultural tours and more off-the-beaten-path sites.
Best things to do in Belize with babies and toddlers
Visit the “best little zoo in the world”
One of Belize’s first-ever fully accessible attractions, the Belize Zoo is both stroller and wheelchair friendly. It offers a unique experience that forgoes concrete cages for natural enclosures that mimic real wildlife habitats. Fit for all ages, it’s perfect for getting up close and personal with tapirs, jaguars, scarlet macaws and spider monkeys.
Indulge in some gelato on the Placencia Peninsula
Home to quite a few all-inclusive resorts that make travel with toddlers much easier, the Placencia Peninsula has some of the country's best beaches, and the best ice cream too. Tutti Frutti Gelato is found right in the heart of Placencia village and is a popular stop for visitors. For BZ$4 (US$2) per scoop, choose from crowd favorites like coconut and salted caramel, or go the adventurous route with some soursop.
Best things to do in Belize with younger children
Go from bean to bar with a chocolate-making tour
Show the little ones how their favorite sweet treat is made. AJAW Chocolate & Crafts in San Ignacio has an interactive Maya chocolate-making experience that includes grinding down cacao beans and sampling unique hot chocolate flavors. The hour-long class, which costs BZ$28 (US$14) per person, is held every hour from 9am to 6pm every day except Sundays, though there is a minimum age limit of 8 years.
Check in at the San Iggy Hotel and get to know its friendly residents
Perched on a hill overlooking the town, the San Ignacio Resort Hotel is home to the Green Iguana Conservation Project. For BZ$24 (US$12) per person, get to enjoy a guided tour and interactive exhibits featuring rescued and rehabilitated green iguanas.
Take a Garifuna drumming class in Hopkins
The Lebeha Drumming School, found on the northern end of Hopkins is a safe space for locals and tourists of all ages to immerse themselves in Belize’s Garifuna culture. This is a great way to encourage the kids to welcome new experiences with an open mind. Contact the school through their website to book a class for around BZ$75 ($US37), though most resorts in the village can arrange one for you. Otherwise, feel free to drop by and listen or dance along to the beat of the Garifuna drums.
Best things to do in Belize with teenagers and tweens
Say hi to howler monkeys at the Baboon Sanctuary
Get up close and personal with the world's loudest land mammals. Inside the village of Bermudian Landing in the Belize River Valley, the Community Baboon Sanctuary allows visitors to reconnect with nature while learning more about Belize’s diverse wildlife, particularly its black howler monkeys.Open from Monday to Sunday (from 8am to 5pm) the sanctuary offers guided hikes that start at BZ$20 (US$10) per person and include a tour of the community museum.
Meander down rivers in an inner tube
Cave tubing is one of the go-to adventures for families with kids in Belize. It’s a fun and thrilling way to experience Belize’s underworld and usually comes with a refreshing dip in a river or natural pool at the end. There are a number of locations and tour companies to choose from, but Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch boasts one of the longest cave tubing floats in the country. Recommended for kids ages 10 and up, this tour costs BZ$190 (US$95) per person and comes with an optional zipline add-on.
Go snorkeling at the cayes
Southern Belize’s claim to fame is having some of the best snorkeling spots in the country. Resorts like Ray Caye off the coast of Placencia were practically designed to keep families entertained and are perfect for offshore activities. Hundred-year-old turtles, spotted eagle rays and, of course, coral formations will leave your eager adventurer in awe. Even better though, is the fact that most resorts along Belize’s coast offer snorkeling tours, with rates starting at BZ$80 (US$40) per person.
- No matter when (and where) you’re headed to Belize, remember it’s a tropical destination. Mosquitoes, doctor flies and sand flies are common in the rainy season, so pack bug spray and protective clothing.
- When getting around with kids, the most comfortable and convenient option is utilizing transport services provided by resorts. And since puddle jumper flight tickets do add up, using public water-taxis to get to the cayes is cost-efficient and pretty fun, too.
- While a few resorts offer babysitting services, this isn’t the norm. If it’s an amenity you’d like be sure to check before you book or ask what arrangements are possible.