If you’re considering a family vacation to Belize, hear me out, you’ve come to the right place. I have a niece and nephew and the first thing I realized when traveling with kids is that picking the right destination is key. You need to take them somewhere that has the wow factor (somewhere that will keep them entertained and keep you sane). Of course, a major part of making a family trip a success is making sure that the adults also have a great time, and Belize has plenty to keep kids and parents happy (and in my case, the uncle, happy).
Below I will list the best family-friendly tours and activities, the best time to visit, health and safety concerns, and some of the best resorts that cater to families with children.
Top 10 family-friendly activities
1. Horseback riding
Kids love horses, now imagine going on an adventure through the jungle, learning about medicinal plants and hearing stories about the ancient Maya who once called the region home. This can be even more fun if you pair it with tip #7 and visit a Mayan ruin. P.s. My favorite temple to visit is Xunantunich in Western Belize.
2. Visit Butterfly farms
Going to a butterfly farm can be a great learning experience. Visitors are able to learn (by seeing) the entire butterfly life cycle and check out the various colorful types of butterflies that exist in Belize. To find out more about butterflies that exist in Belize, read my post on the top butterfly farms in Belize.
3. Get up close to Belizean wildlife
I consider the Belize Zoo to be the best tour in Belize. You see, the Belize Zoo is far from your ordinary zoo, there animals roam in large enclosures that mimic their natural habitat and they are only rescued Belizean wildlife. Make sure you see the mighty Jaguar as it sunbathes near a pond.
4. Beach time
It goes without saying that the beach is always fun. You can either relax and soak up the sun or spend the day swimming. Just remember to wear a lot of sunblock!
Swimming with tons of marine wildlife is an adventure of a lifetime and Belize doesn’t disappoint in this category. I recommend Hol Chan Marine Reserve as the best place to do this – here you will be able to see beautiful coral gardens and swim with colorful fishes, sea turtles and Manta Rays.
6. Go boating
Choose a boat (canoe, kayak or an actual boat) and go on an adventure. Check out wildlife on the river bank as you canoe with your kids on the Macal river, go kayaking on the Caribbean sea or if you have young fishermen, try deep sea fishing.
7. Learn about the Maya
Visiting the majestic Maya ruins is a good way to let your children’s imagination go wild. These impressive structures were built hundreds of years ago by individuals who are smarter than people consider them. They were mathematicians, astronomers, and had elaborate trade routes. Here’s a list of best Mayan ruins in Belize and read up on a few interesting facts about the Maya.
8. Hiking trips
Take in the jungle by going on adventure expeditions. An amazing place to see is Mountain Pine Ridge, this full day tour involves visiting a mountainous nature reserve filled with roaring rivers, cool Mayan caves and refreshing waterfalls.
9. Take in the culture
This can be done by simply visiting a farmers’ market on a Saturday and interacting with the locals, however, for a tour, take a day trip to a modern Maya village, where you’ll get invited to their humble home and have traditional foods with them. If you want to learn about the Garifuna culture, where you can eat delicious food like hudut and take drumming lessons, I recommend that you visit Hopkins village.
10. Zip-lining and Cave-tubing
Zooming across tree canopies is one sure way to feel like you’re flying and for adventurous kids, ziplining is a must! Pair that adventure with exploring Mayan caves in a floating tube and you have the perfect day trip. And if tubing isn’t your thing, how about cave canoeing? Check out Barton Creek Cave.
Best time to go to Belize with kids?
If you live in North America, you’re lucky to have four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Belize, however, only has two seasons, the dry season (December – May), which is also known as the high tourism season, and the rainy season (June – November), which is also known as the low or offseason. I personally prefer the dry season, since its always sunny and skies are blue but the offseason has its advantages such as cheaper prices and contrary to what is expected, plenty of times the weather is great. Find out more here: belizeadventure.ca/when-is-the-best-time-to-visit-belize
How safe is Belize for children?
Your child’s safety shouldn’t be a concern when in Belize, however, some common sense should always be used. I have previously written a few tips about health belizeadventure.ca/healthcare and safety belizeadventure.ca/is-belize-safe.
Where to stay in Belize with kids?
Resorts that cater to families are the best option for a guaranteed a good time. These hotels typically have a mix of 60 percent families and 40 percent couples. As you can imagine, if you’re traveling with your family and you’re staying at a place that mostly has couples, the experience won’t be as great for your kids.
In Western Belize, try The Lodge at Chaa Creek for tons of onsite activities, Duplooys Jungle Lodge has a world-famous Belize botanic gardens, and Caves Branch Adventure Lodge has onsite caving adventures.
2. Stann Creek and Toledo
In Southern Belize, in the dense jungle you can find Bocawina Rainforest Resort and Belcampo Lodge.
The southern coastal village of Placencia has amazing beach resorts like the world famous Roberts Grove Beach Resort and the award-winning Chabil Mar Villas (recommended if you want a resort that is nearest to the village). And if you want to make your family experience the Garifuna culture of Belize, skip Placencia and stay in Hopkins – Hamanasi Dive Resort and Hopkins Bay Resort are great options.
3. Ambergris Caye
If you’re interested in visiting the Cayes, the family resorts in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye are a must! Go fishing at El Pescador, enjoy condo-style comfort at Pelican Reef Villas or stay at Ramon’s Village and experience one of the island’s oldest resorts.