Ten reasons to be in Belize this winter
I’m admittedly a serious fan of holidays in Belize, and once again my friends are asking me what’s so great about it, especially with winter on the way. So once again, I’m giving ten good reasons why I’m returning there with my family this year.
1. The weather is simply the best
We’ve been lucky enough to travel the world, and I’ve yet to find another place with such perfect weather.
Check it out – you have the Caribbean Sea cooling the coast and as Belize is only about 70 mi wide, most of the country as well. In addition, the huge living rainforest covering most of the country supplies an abundance of clean fresh air, shade and a delightful ambience. There is no doubt that Belize has one of the best climates in the world, warm all year round, with temperatures averaging around 81°F (27°C) along the coast and about 69°F (21°C) in the hills of the interior.
Even in winter the temperatures remain in the 80°F (27°C) range interspersed with cooling rains before the dry season begins in February. Now, that’s my idea of winter weather.
2. It is still uncrowded
I don’t know about you, but I go on vacation to get away from crowds, and I can’t think of another place that is so stunning and has so much to offer that isn’t overrun with tourists. This makes for a very relaxed atmosphere and you feel genuinely welcomed without the hustle and bustle of other places. Even the impressive Maya temples and other archaeological sites are surprisingly easy to walk around in, the beaches are uncrowded and you just have a wonderful feeling of space and tranquillity. This is a real plus.
3. There is plenty to do for the entire family
With snorkelling, scuba diving, swimming, fly fishing, deep sea fishing and general angling, kayaking, boating, chartering, sunbathing, birding and any almost any water sports you can think of, there is certainly something for everyone, even a rambunctious eight year old, a teenager easily bored, and parents looking to relax and spend some quality adventure time together.
Inland there’s exploring Maya temple, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, river kayaking, caving, birding and more.
And of course there are bars, restaurants, clubs, resorts and lodges throughout offering a huge variety of food, beverages, music and entertainment. You won’t be bored.
4. Surf and Turf
To be able to go from a tropical rainforest and Maya temples to white sand Caribbean beaches and sparkling turquoise water in one day is a major plus, especially in winter. I can’t think of another place on the planet that packs so much into such a small country.
5. It is still very affordable
Compared to other winter holiday options, Belize is definitely a bargain. With no need to buy or rent expensive ski equipment or extra clothing, the come-as-you-are casual ambience of Belize makes for an affordable holiday, and the many all-inclusive vacation packages on offer provide real value for money and a welcome relief from excessive planning.
6. It’s relaxing because it’s easy
I want a relaxing winter holiday- that’s why we get away. With English the national language and the money pegged to the US dollar (Two Belize dollars for one US) and greenbacks gladly accepted everywhere, there is no problem communicating, figuring out prices or dealing with exchange rates. It’s the little things that make a winter holiday enjoyable.
7. The weather is warm and so are Belizeans
When I get away from the cold north I want smiles, laid back but efficient service, and generally the feeling of being welcomed. And that would be Belize.
The multicultural mix of Creole, Mestizo, Maya, Garifuna, Asians, Mid-eastern, Indian, Pakistani and more share a common trait of hospitality, politeness and general warmth that definitely lifts the spirits and makes for a truly enjoyable holiday.
8. Winter is a perfect time to visit the best Maya archaeological sites in the world
With most of the major Maya temples, ancient cities and sacred cave systems set in lush jungle, the cooler winter months are perfect for getting adventurous and spending entire days exploring.
Xunantunich, Cahal Pech or the ancient metropolises of Caracol and Tikal, or caves such as the justly famous Actun Tunichil Muknal, and the many other remnants of Maya civilisation are all very accessible and enjoyable in the winter months. These are great months for hiking, climbing and just ambling around these stunning archaeological sites without working up a sweat.
9. Belize is uncrowded and easy to get to and from
Although Belize is becoming more popular every year, it is still off the beaten track, which means travel is easy compared to trendier Caribbean vacation spots. With direct flights to and from the US and Canada, easy connections and swift ground transfers, getting to and from this little paradise is hassle and headache free.
We also found family vacation packages that make it all even easier and provide good value. For example, The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s new Affordable Family Vacation Packages and Surf and Turf deals are perfectly designed to accommodate a range of ages and interests and suited us perfectly.
10. You can swim the great Belize barrier Reef
I’ve come to love swimming in the winter, and get a perverse feeling of satisfaction floating in warm water knowing that my neighbours and co-workers are shivering up north. Belize’s Barrier reef is the second largest in the world, often called the longest living barrier reef in the world, and you don’t need to go all the way to Australia to experience it. Of course there are also some 180 little islands, or cayes, and lovely coastal beaches, as well as pristine rivers and swimming holes. For my money, there is no better way to chase the winter blues and stay in shape than frolicking in the warm Caribbean or inland rivers.
This is not an exhaustive list, but you get the picture. We spent a Christmas at the Lodge at Chaa Creek with one of their Surf and Turf all inclusive vacation packages, and it was everything a tropical Christmas holiday should be and more – excellent food and drink with a real Christmas dinner, a very festive atmosphere, gift giving and singing. Combined with swimming, diving and boating around Belize’s Caribbean coast, it was pure magic.
And that’s why we’re going back this year…