If you've visited the Mexican Caribbean and enjoy its beaches and discovering the Mayan culture, you will absolutely love Belize! Although Belize is less than two hours from Miami, Houston and Charlotte, it remains virtually undiscovered. I have amazing colleagues in Belize to help arrange the best ways for you to explore this special paradise.
Excerpt below from 2/1/2021 article produced by Virtuoso with Belize Tourism Board can be found here.
The Caribbean country welcomes outdoor adventurers with jungle retreats and the world’s second-largest barrier reef. Belize packs a punch for a country that commands just a tiny sliver of Central American real estate. From ancient jungle temples to ivory beaches scalloping the coast to dozens of unspoiled Caribbean islands scattered just offshore, Belize is blessed with an outsize proportion of natural splendor. As travelers increasingly look to adventure and nature-inspired getaways, Belize welcomes mindful vacationers with a gorgeous coastline that it shares with Cancún and Tulum to the north – even as it manages to stay blissfully free of crowds.
The country doesn’t merely show off its scenic landscapes – a commitment to preserving them is ingrained in the national ethos. Organic farms found at many hotels fill their menus with fresh vegetables grown on-site. True luxury in Belize comes from keeping its ecology at the center of experiences.
Here’s a primer for enjoying an eco-friendly reset in Belize, whether you prefer a jungle, coastline, or island escape.
While neighboring Mexico is home to well-known temples, the Mayan Empire’s reach extended deep into the Yucatán Peninsula; today, you’ll find vestiges of their power scattered across the jungles of Belize’s interior. Perhaps the finest example lies 70 miles west of the capital (Belmopan), where more than two dozen palaces, plazas, and temples cluster on a ridge overlooking the Mopan River. When you set out to explore the Xunantunich archaeological site, you won’t find yourself jostling with selfie sticks at monuments such as its ancient El Castillo pyramid. The climb to the top of El Castillo might be taxing for some, but you’ll be rewarded with views over the emerald expanse that extend across the border with Guatemala.
Nestled in the 107,000-acre Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, 90 minutes east of the temples,
Blancaneaux Lodge’s 20 wood-and-thatch villas on the banks of Privassion Creek share the dense tropical rain forest with a legion of birds, butterflies, howler monkeys, and iguanas. Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola famously fell in love with this verdant swath in the Belizean mountains nearly four decades ago, which led to the opening of the first of three Family Coppola Hideaways resorts he owns in the country. And while Blancaneaux certainly channels the wild, a rustic communion with nature it isn’t: Think private plunge pools, “shell phones” (a conch shell intercom system), and an Italian tree house-style restaurant complete with a wood-fired brick oven.
Placencia means “pleasant point” in Spanish, and this charming coastal village at the tip of a 16-mile-long peninsula – flanked by a lagoon woven with mangrove forests on one side and azure Caribbean waters lapping at the other – outshines its given name. When Coppola set his sights on the area in 2001, Placencia was still a bucolic fishing hamlet; since then, it’s become a vibrant holiday destination. At his plush Turtle Inn, seaside living translates to salty breezes slinking through the shutters of 25 Balinese-inspired cottages and an open-air spa specializing in Thai massages.
Farther up the coast, the unassuming village of Hopkins is the cultural center of Belize’s Afro-Indigenous Garifuna community. Visitors can sample dishes such as hudut (a coconut, plantain, and fish soup), bundiga (fresh snapper soup with coconut and green bananas), and wangla (melted sugar hardened with toasted sesame seeds), and learn about Garifuna music and culture while taking drumming lessons at Lebeha Drumming Center.
Some have speculated that Madonna’s ballad “La Isla Bonita” was inspired by the popular Ambergris Caye island. While that may or may not be true, any of Belize’s idyllic isles could serve as muse to an enamored songwriter. The Royal Belize private island resort can host 15 of your nearest and dearest across five opulent suites spanning three villas. The resort abuts the Belize Barrier Reef, the world’s second largest.
At Cayo Espanto, another private-island hideaway, guests can arrive via helicopter, getting a bird’s-eye view of the reef en route – as well as the Great Blue Hole, the biggest marine sinkhole in the world. The four-acre island’s seven villas are situated for utmost privacy, out of sight from other vacationers.
Ambergris Caye is Belize’s largest island and a favorite destination, thanks in part to its proximity to the Blue Hole and the reef. The sophisticated 34-room Las Terrazas resort might be another reason. While the 70-foot infinity pool and Caribbean Sea views are compelling enough to keep you on the property, there’s a whole world to explore just offshore.
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