“Belize has a government modeled after the British system, somewhat similar to the Canadian and Australian systems. In most people’s opinions it was the best thing the British left behind when it gave Belize its independence in 1981. Before that, Belize was known as the British Honduras. In the past 10 years, the population has doubled to approximately 320,000 residents. The official language is English making it easy for anyone traveling into the country to manage day to day operations. However, many of the locals speak Creole to one another while Spanish plays a small role as well. Aside from farming pineapples, bananas and citrus fruits, tourism plays a large role in Belize’s economy, with one in four people working in the tourism trade. The Belize Tourism Board ensures that those working in the tourism industry meet a certain standard and go through testing and re-training on a regular basis. Belize is also the home of the hemisphere’s largest barrier reef, the second largest in the world (next to Australia) and acres of jungle with a plethora of wildlife and flora that is constantly studied by scientists and enthusiasts alike.
An enjoyable ride through one of the four major highways will take you to Chaa Creek, a true jungle escape, located along the Macal River and spanning over 365 acres of jungle. The rooms are simple, the landscape stunning, and the wildlife rampant. It’s home to the Blue Morpho Butterfly and hundreds of bird species, some only found in this part of the world. Although based in the jungle there are many amenities available to visitors: mountain biking, horseback riding, a spa, and canoe trips are just a few worth mentioning. For the more adventurous there is a “Creatures of the Night” tour that will give you an appreciation of what you don’t see while walking to your room, which, if you didn’t guess already, means bugs and the lizards that eat them. I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary in my room, but I am sure there must have been something there! This is true nature, but for those too squeamish, it would be best to stay at the beach. The adventure seeker, on the other hand, will appreciate the fun that can be had galloping through the jungle on horseback, or canoeing up the swift current of the Macal River. Although there are cottages on site, there is a campsite available for the purist. From monkeys to butterflies, snakes to insects, you cannot help but appreciate the accomplishment that is Chaa Creek.”