I have never been very familiar with eco-tourism, but have always yearned to know more of what it is. What would be the best representation of this newfound eco-friendly concept of tourism? My curiosity finally got answered after a visit to the Belize booth, during the Adventures in Travel Expo that happened recently at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City. Their highlight on The Lodge at Chaa Creek is the epitome of eco-tourism. It is nestled “between the forested slopes of the Macal River valley in Cayo District, and features 365 acres of rainforest reserve that are on the foothills of the Maya Mountains” (Chaa Creek brochure).
From the beautiful and vibrant pictures that the Chaa Creek brochure had shown, I was already imagining myself enveloped in the lush greenery, hiking on the Mountain Pine Ridge, exploring the El Pilar Maya temple, venturing into Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave, and jungle trekking through the 220 square mile Tikal National Park. It would be both an ideal venue for a romantic rendezvous as well as a family getaway. Not forgetting the many outdoorsy activities available for the nature lovers, like horseback riding, canoeing, mountain biking, bird watching, Ruta Maya trail walks, the natural history center, and the butterfly farm. My most favorite part of the trip would be to unwind to the pampering sessions of massage, aromatherapy, and detoxifying treatments at The Spa which overlooks the Macal River Valley.
The booth and representative reflected the understated beauty and hospitality the country had to offer. Suddenly, the warm representative offered me this competition form to fill out. With a sincere smile, like she had never said it before, she said, “Here try this out, you never know you just might win. You stand more of a chance, because it takes skill.” True enough, after reading the flyer mentioning the Nature Quest Sweepstakes to win a trip to The Lodge at Chaa Creek, in the Cayo District of Belize; I could not help but think, no wonder it takes more skill than most competitions, because the trip is so worth the effort!
With that, I am trying my luck at it, and (fingers and toes crossed) hope that I will win. I have never been to Central America, and the experiencing the Chaa Creek would definitely be a good reason to start going there more often.