Belize On The Cheap

Yumas House Belize

If you’re used to traveling in Central America, when you enter Belize you may notice that you can’t stretch your money as much as you did in countries such as Guatemala or Honduras. This is because similarly to Costa Rica, Belize is a bit on the expensive side. But don’t give up yet, by smartly planning your vacation you can still do Belize on the cheap while maximizing a great travel experience.

Travel to Belize costs more than Central American counterparts because the country’s population is very small (approximately 350,000) and aside from a few local products, EVERYTHING is imported. For instance, the average price of gas is $6 USD per gallon while it’s $3.50 in the USA. Just imagine the effect that has on the economy.

However, there’s a positive side to everything, and for Belize, it is the unspoiled beauty of the place — since not many people visit (approximately 250,000 overnight tourists per year). The charm of the country is its uninhabited rainforests, the simple and friendly people, and the “quiet” towns. Below are three destinations that I recommend you add to your Belize itinerary in order to enjoy a budget vacation.

See: Backpacking guide to Belize or Top beaches in Belize

1. San Ignacio

macal river canoeing in San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize

Located in the western part of Belize, San Ignacio is a small bustling town perfect for arranging numerous adventures in the surrounding area. The town is locally known as Cayo, attributed to the district it is in. The Cayo District is recognized for ecotourism; here you can explore ruins, rivers, caves and jungles. In brief, three tours that you can’t miss are the ATM Cave, Cave Tubing and Xunantunich. For a longer guide of activities, check out top things to do in San Ignacio. If you haven’t been to Tikal as yet, many day trips are offered from here. Also, a good bang for your buck experience would be booking a day trip to Mountain Pine Ridge where you can see caves, rivers, and ruins.

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2. Caye Caulker

caye caulker beach swing

Of all the beautiful islands of Belize, Caye Caulker is probably the most popular for backpackers. Everyone seems to love the small size of the island (only five miles long), the Caribbean vibe, and the laidback style of the people — no one is ever in a hurry there. As for tours, due to the closeness of the Belize barrier reef, travelers can experience a wide array of adventures such as snorkeling, diving, fishing, and kayaking. Three tours that you can’t miss include snorkeling or diving at the Hol-Chan Marine Reserve, Manatee watching at Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary and overnight sailing with Raggamuffin Tours. If you’re an excellent diver, the Blue Hole should be on your bucket list. P.s. The Blue Hole can also be seen from an airplane and it’s an amazing experience.

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3. Placencia

Sunrise in Placencia

Placencia Village is located at the tip of Placencia, a 16-mile long peninsula in southern Belize that is also home to Maya Beach and the Garifuna village of Seine Bight. Although Placencia Village was once known as a sleepy fisherman village, it is now a vibrant town with a predominantly Creole culture. You will surely enjoy the relaxed vibe, the colorful houses, and the excellent restaurants and bars. Three tours that you must try if possible are swimming with Whale Sharks, visiting a nearby Caye for a snorkeling and beach BBQ tour, and taking the Monkey River tour. I personally believe the best beaches in Belize are located in Placencia.

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If you prefer upscale travel, check out these luxury hotels in Belize.

For Belize travel itineraries, check out 5 days or 10 days in Belize.




About Lorenzo Gonzalez

Lorenzo Gonzalez is the founder of, a resource for travel information on Belize. He enjoys traveling, social media and Paranda music. Contact him at lorenzo [at] Learn more...

31 Responses to Belize On The Cheap

  1. Red Hunt March 26, 2013 at 9:55 PM #

    Good old Caye Caulker…good memories from there. The overnight sailing sounds like a blast…something to do next time I visit!

    • Lorenzo Gonzalez March 28, 2013 at 1:23 PM #

      Yeah, the overnight sailing is the best. You get to camp at tiny, isolated Cayes.. eat fresh seafood and drink rum all night – pretty rad!

    • Larry Waight March 28, 2013 at 5:41 PM #

      Have you been to caye caulker red hunt?

  2. Cassie March 28, 2013 at 12:57 PM #

    Great ideas, we need to get on planning a trip down there, I’ve been to nearby Yucatan and Kevin’s been all around Guatemala, but hearing the cost of Belize has kept us from crossing over. I’m really intrigued by the cultures and history of the country, I had no idea there were creole culture down there!

    And what is this Blue Hole you keep mentioning? Do you have an earlier post you could link to from this one? I’ll google it now…

    • Lorenzo Gonzalez March 28, 2013 at 1:22 PM #

      The Blue Hole is on every serious diver’s bucket list. It is a massive underwater sinkhole that is even visible from outer space. I haven’t written about it but I plan to do so in the future. There is so much to share… lol
      You and Kevin need to get down there! I can help with recommendations when you’re ready… 🙂

      • Cassie March 29, 2013 at 3:29 PM #

        excellent, will do!

  3. Pennilessandfree April 3, 2013 at 2:14 PM #

    Cheers for the tips Lorenzo. Actually writing this from Caye Cualker…what a gem of a place! I’m heading to San Ignacio in a couple of days and quite keen on seeing the ATM cave and maybe doing some cave tubing. Do you have a recommendation for a good tour company?

    • Lorenzo Gonzalez April 7, 2013 at 7:17 PM #

      I hope my recommendations were great, let me know how San Ignacio was..

  4. Caro_PassportandaToothbrush May 27, 2013 at 7:37 AM #

    Uy, me encanta!! Thanks for the tip, we’re looking for budget destinations, closer to Canada, will keep this post in mind!

  5. Genesis September 28, 2013 at 10:58 PM #

    Thanks for all the tips

    • Lorenzo Gonzalez October 18, 2013 at 9:33 PM #

      No problem! Glad you find the information useful!

  6. sonnie November 11, 2013 at 5:25 PM #

    Any one would like to tell me please that “Which one is the most favorite tourist place in Belieze” ?

    • Lorenzo Gonzalez November 11, 2013 at 6:09 PM #

      From the 3 above? I’d say Caye Caulker. Snorkelling at Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley is probably the best experience in Belize!

  7. shauna November 16, 2013 at 7:06 PM #

    Anyone know of affordable place to stay in the San Ignacio area with a jungle vibe? Tree house or something similar would be awesome!

    • sara November 19, 2013 at 9:26 PM #

      parrot nest in bullet tree falls

    • Lorenzo Gonzalez November 19, 2013 at 9:49 PM #

      Yeah, what Sara said! Bullet Tree is a short distance from San Ignacio town.

  8. Michelle Williams December 3, 2013 at 12:54 PM #

    No hostels in placencia? I want to spend a week there at $15 or less a night if possible?

  9. Denis Maldonado October 31, 2014 at 2:22 AM #

    great blog Lou!
    Very informative and has a local's vibe to it.. def sharing man:)

  10. US Kingdoms March 9, 2015 at 5:01 PM #

    I am traveling to Placencia in June and am so excited about my trip. We did budget friendly planning we set the amount and worked within that and I think it's going to be a great trip. Love reading your blog. – J

  11. Usta Çiftçi December 14, 2015 at 8:42 PM #

    If you have a particular hotel in mind, calling the hotel directly can often result in better rates. Since you’re able to speak with someone in real time, the staff will often be privy to rates that aren’t advertised online. Have a nice travel..


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