10 Best Guidebooks to Belize

# 1 Rough Guide to Belize, by Peter Eltringham, Rough Guides/Penguin, 1999

Solid, reliable research and especially good coverage of less-expensive options mark this guidebook, one in a wonderful series put out by self-described “English eccentrics.” Peter Eltringham first came to Belize with the Royal Air Force and has lived in Guatemala and Belize.

# 2 Belize Handbook, by Chicki Mallan, 4th ed., Moon Publications, 1998

This Moon guide, with updating by Patti Lange, is, like most in the terrific Moon series, well organized, thoughtfully designed and absolutely packed with valuable information.

# 3 Belize, Adventures in Nature, by Richard Mahler, 2nd ed., John Muir, 1999

Excellent on the natural side of Belize. Refreshingly different from other guides.

# 4 The EcoTraveller’s Wildlife Guide to Belize and Northern Guatemala, by Les Beletsky, Academic Press, 1999

New guide for birders and visitors interested in nature has incredible color plates of Belize birds, reptiles, mammals and fish.

# 5 Explore Belize, by Harry Pariser, 4th ed., Hunter Publications, 1998

New edition of what was Adventure Guide to Belize. Lots of detail, eco-oriented.

# 6 Insight Guides Belize, Tony Perrottet, (editor), 2nd ed., Houghton-Mifflin, 1997-2001

Gorgeous, unbeatable photos and good historical information. It’s best for background reading.

# 7 Fodor’s Belize & Guatemala, Christine Cipriani (editor), Fodor’s Travel Publications, 1998

The Belize section is thin but well-informed. Easy-to-use format.

# 8 Destination Belize, Ulrich Communications for BTIA

Technically an annual magazine rather than a guidebook, “the official visitor magazine of the Belize Tourism Industry Association” provides a good overview for the first-time visitor to Belize, though nary a negative word is heard.

# 9 Guatemala, Belize & Yucatán, La Ruta Maya, by Tom Brosnahan and Nancy Keller, 3rd ed., Lonely Planet, 1997-2001

Superb information on Maya sites; the update is spotty.

# 10 Diving & Snorkeling Belize, by Franz O. Meyer, 2nd. ed., Lonely Planet, 1998

The best guide to snorkel and dive sites in and around the atolls and northern cayes and reef; weak on coverage of everything else, and little on the southern cayes and reef.

Honorable Mention:

Guide to Belize, by Alex Bradbury, 2nd ed., Bradt/Globe Pequot 1996

Belize, by Carlos Soldevila, Ulysses Travel Publications, 1998

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