Costa Rica

Belize vs Costa Rica: Where Should You Travel First?

If you can’t decide between travel to Belize or Costa Rica, we’re here to shed some light and help you make up your mind. Read our guide.

“Tropical paradise” is the narrative many holidaymakers look for when planning the ultimate reviving getaway, and Belize and Costa Rica match the description to a tee. You can’t be faulted for thinking that it’s impossible to make a decision between the two exotic destinations for your next tour, so we’re here to unveil a little more about each one to help you make up your mind.

Are you ready to go touring? Take look at the most popular tours to Belize and the most popular tours to Costa Rica

Costa Rica
Costa Rica
BelizeCosta Rica
Capital cityBelmopanSan José
Most popular destinationBelize CityTamarindo
Natural attractionBelize Barrier ReefArenal Volcano National Park
Nightlife destinationSan PedroJacó



Belize is located in Central America, bordered by Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea. The borders that aren’t azure blue sea are made up of dense, tropical jungle, making Belize the perfect playground for tropical living. The Belize Barrier Reef is a major drawcard for scuba divers and snorkelling fans as it runs down the entire length of the country.

Tourists also flock to the Blue Hole National Park – a natural indent in the ocean where the roof of an underground cave collapsed, leaving a large expanse of deep, blue sea! Teeming with sea life and intricate corals and reefs, the underwater life in Belize is as popular as any land-based attractions. These include the Mayan ruins all over the country, the wildlife and natural grandeur of the Bacab Eco-Park, and a multitude of exquisite caves.

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In terms of nightlife, the scene in Belize is very much laid back with beach bars and clubs making up the majority of the attractions. San Pedro is especially popular as it is home to a strip of beach bars, restaurants and nightclubs all offering great entertainment, drink specials and delicious food.

Belize is an amazing place to visit! No matter your interest, there is something for you to enjoy and fall in love with! We highly recommend Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave, visiting a chocolate farm, snorkeling alongside sharks and other sea animals in the second largest coral reef in the world, and taking a helicopter ride over the Blue Hole. We’ve been to Belize twice already, and each time we went we found a new reason to fall in love with the country that is often overlooked by travelers. From the amazing attractions to the beautiful vibes of the people, we loved it all! Our advice would be to hangout with the locals, they are amazing people and they will make your Belize experience “unbelizable” 🙂

There wasn’t one aspect that made our trip amazing, but rather the experience in its entirety! Belize holds a special place in our hearts and it’s one of our favorite countries in the world! – Ben & Jazzy, Road Affair

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is another haven of natural beauty, a rich and diverse landscape of picture-perfect mountains, tropical rainforests, idyllic beaches and turquoise waters. Known for a surf lifestyle, beach living, healthy living and wellness, Costa Rica has a lot to offer those who thrive in the outdoors and enjoy a relaxed manner of seeing out each and every day.

Costa Rica’s natural attractions include the Arenal Volcano National Park, the mountain rainforest and wildlife of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Cahuita National Park, which is a reserve protecting the only coral reef off the coast, as well as pristine beaches and rainforests.

For a small country, Costa Rica has a vibrant nightlife that’s not sectioned off to one or two cities. Jacó is a well-known surf town and party spot that is well favoured by groups of young travellers. Tamarindo, Santa Teresa and San José also offer a colourful and vivacious nightlife, while still maintaining the laidback appeal that is so prominent in Costa Rica.

Monte Verde, Costa Rica

Food And Drinks


When it comes to food in Belize, the Central American flavour is evident and it has a tropical undertone. A firm local favourite is rice and beans, cooked in coconut milk and served with a choice of meats. Fresh seafood is also in abundance and you’ll find many restaurants offering a variety of ceviche, which is made from either conch or shrimp soaked in lime juice, served with diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, Habanero pepper and corn tortillas. Cashew wine is made locally from the fermented fruit of the cashew tree. If you’re a beer lover, you’ll have to sample their local Belikin beer range.

Here’s a short list of the most delicious dishes and drinks from Belize:

  • Ceviche, a course made of conch or shrimp or combined in a mixed dish
  • Fruit cake, a cake with caramel, usually served with a glass of authentic Caribbean rum
  • Belikin, a beer made in the style of a German pilsner that has won many international awards

Try to time your visit with lobster season. We had lobster omelets, lobster burritos, and grilled lobsters for ridiculously low prices. We had grilled lobster for $10/person at Enjoy Bar in Caye Caulker.
Snorkeling trips are a must – we had the pleasure of snorkeling with a manatee, rays, and nurse sharks. Our snorkel trip was amazing… feeding super sized seagulls and wrestling with a giant ray to recover the bait tube were incredible experiences. – Jeremy & Winnie, Go Curry Cracker

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is home to rich, indulgent coffees and their coffee beans are world renowned as some of the best! Their version of lemonade, known as agua de sapo, is made with ginger and brown sugar and is a refreshing cool drink enjoyed on the beach, while the craft beer movement has also had a significant impact on the country.

Costa Rican food is bursting with flavour and a few staples include gallo pinto, made from rice, beans, onions, celery and spices – often served as breakfast, casado, a savoury dish of rice, black beans, vegetables and protein, ceviche, fresh seafood and loads of fresh fruit.

Here’s a list of the most famous dishes of Costa Rica:

  • Gallo Pinto, a breakfast dish with rice and beans
  • Casado, a dish of rice, black beans, vegetables, ceviche, fresh seafood and loads of fruits
  • Tamale, a dish of seasoned meat rolled in cornmeal dough and wrapped in banana leaves
Should I visit Costa Rica
Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica

Getting Around


Here some tips for getting around Belize in the most time-effective way:

  1. Multiple flights are reaching different cities in the country every day.
  2. Several competing bus companies operate on the main road in the north-south direction from Punta Gorda to Belmopan and Belize City. There are bus stations in the main towns, but you can also simply stand on the side of the highway and wave at an approaching bus for getting in.
  3. For those wanting a truly Belizean experience, take the water taxis from city to city. The San Pedro Belize Express has a plenty of daily runs.
  4. If you want to make your own itinerary when traveling around Belize, car hire is an option. There are several car hire companies based at the Philip S.W. Goldson Airport (BZE), including major international companies as well as local companies.
  5. Taxis can be a very good way to explore the local area you are staying in – but long distance trips can get expensive. Ask to the personnel of your accommodation to put you in contact with a reliable driver.
  6. On an organized tour is one of the easiest ways to explore the country if you’re unsure of where to go, unsure of what to do, or most importantly; ready to meet other like-minded travellers from around the world.

Costa Rica

Here some tips for getting around while in Costa Rica:

  1. If you are traveling alone or in couple and you need to keep an eye on your budget, Shared Shuttles are a great way to get around Costa Rica.
  2. Most major tourist destinations in Costa Rica are serviced by at least two daily buses from and to San José, the capital city. The advantage of public transportation in Costa Rica are that tickets are cheap (rarely more than USD7 per person).
  3. One great advantage of renting a car is that you can go in many of the secluded beaches and mountain areas, that definitely worth a visit.
  4. For about 420 US dollars a week (depending on the bike and the season) you can rent a dual sport bike or a cruiser. An average motorcycle rental company requires a 600 US dollars guarantee deposit during the rental period.
  5. Another easy way to get around is to use the services of mini-vans. At most of the hotels, the receptionist is able to assist travelers on that.
  6. Hitchhiking is more common in rural areas than in urban ones. If you choose to hitchhike, Costa Ricans are generally very friendly and helpful.
  7. There are two internal airlines – NatureAir and Sansa – that connect the major tourist towns.


Belize and Costa Rica are comparable in price and both very affordable. You can travel solo, on a multi-day group tour or a combination of both ot make this your adventure. You can enjoy a good meal for less than 15 US dollars and there are accommodations for every budget. Both countries have their own currency: the Belize dollar and the Costa Rican colon. Anyway Belize is slightly cheaper than Costa Rica.

Phrases and Words


Gud maanin!
Good morning!
All right
What on Earth!
Fu chroo?
“Really?” or “Is that right?”
Si yoo lata!
See you later!

Costa Rica

Pura vida
It literally means “pure life”, but can be translated as “full of life,” “this is real living,” “this is the life,” “awesome” or even a greeting
“hey” or “well,” or “obviously,” “what happened?” or “what can be done?” or even “there’s no explanation”
“Cool”, “nice”, “awesome”

So, which one is better?

Both countries are amazing. According to many travellers, Belize has better snorkelling and water activities. The country is outstanding also in terms of sights and food. Costa Rica is considerably stronger in terms of biodiversity and eco-tourism as well as inland adventures.

We know you’re going to love both destinations! Take look at the most popular tours to Belize and the most popular tours to Costa Rica

From his hometown of Sydney, Australia, Sebastian has turned travel into a profession. Starting out as a tour guide in Sydney, he then moved to Europe to lead tours across the continent, before returning home where he continues inspiring others to find their own adventures.

wat phra pan (wat phranon mee pukha), chiang mai, thailand
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