Amazing off-the-beaten-path destinations in Belize

Snake Cayes in Southern Belize
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Amazing off-the-beaten-path destinations in Belize exist, however, many visitors prefer to stick to the typical tourist destinations since they are easy to get to and extremely fun. These popular spots include LamanaiATM Cave, Monkey River, and even the Great Blue Hole

With the following off-the-beaten-path spots in Belize, getting there really is half the adventure.  If you consider yourself an intrepid traveler and can endure long, bumpy dirt road trips and a ride into the open sea, these places are well worth the effort.

Top 3 Off-The-Beaten-Path Spots in Belize

1. Sarteneja Village

Sarteneja Village Belize

A quiet fishing village in Corozal, getting to Sarteneja requires a two-hour road trip from Orange Walk on some of the worst roads you can find, as well as crossing bridge-less waters on two hand-cranked ferries. Once you get there, grab a snack and sit on the seawall, taking in the crystal clear water and colorful fishing boats.

Sarteneja is also home to Belize’s only manatee rescue shelter, Wildtracks, which accepts volunteers to help with the care and rehabilitation of these peaceful and adorable mammals.

2. Mountain Pine Ridge

Dirt Road to Mountain Pine Ridge

Endure a bumpy ride deep back-a-bush in Cayo district, and you will find red dirt and twisted pine trees of Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve that looks like nothing else in Belize.  Hidden in the Martian landscape are pocket valleys of lush jungle and secret waterfalls with the most refreshing water you’ll ever discover.

My favourite waterfalls are Big Rock Falls and Butterfly Falls. If caving is more your thing, there are several to explore, such as the Rio Frio Caves. Another great aspect of this area is that you can visit Caracol, Belize’s largest Mayan temple.

3. The Snake Cayes

Hermit crab Belize

This destination is the longest journey, but the pristine island is so worth it.  The Snake Cayes lie in protected waters off the coast of Toledo in Southern Belize.  It is about a seven-hour drive from Belize City to Punta Gorda Town. Then, to get to the Cayes, you must charter a speedboat and hire a TIDE tour guide (the local coast guard).  This is surprisingly affordable with a group.  An hour or so boat ride brings you to the result – your own private castaway island.

Hang up a hammock and watch the wild hermit crabs scavenge for coconuts, or scavenge yourself for coral and shells that have washed up on the perfect white sandy beach.  Or climb the observation tower to get a breathtaking view of the mangroves and turquoise waters. And if you’re wondering why the name, it is inherited from an abundance of boa constrictors that once lived on one of the islands.

Have I convinced you to visit any of these off-the-beaten-path locations? I’d love to hear which is your favourite?



Reader Interactions


  1. Brandy says

    What is life like in Belize? How do you make a living? We have 3 children 5 and under. We have been researching different places to live. :Loking at things like safety, making a living and school.

    • Lorenzo Gonzalez says

      Most expats own or work in tourism businesses. I also know a few that are college or university teachers. Western Belize is probably best for raising a family. The cost of living is cheaper than the coast/ cayes and has good schools.

  2. Laura Howard says

    Another location is Indian Church and San Carlos Villages, both off the beaten path yet near the large archaeological site of Lamanai, there is large fresh water lagoon, ruins, people, birds, howler monkeys, so fun!!!

  3. Andrew says

    The Snake Cayes keep coming up on forums. I need to make it there.