People we meet along the way are my favorite aspect of travel. Last year we spent Christmas in paradise camping in the jungle at the Macal River Camp. With our sons at the ages of 18 and 21, we weren’t sure how many more family vacations we would have with them. We wanted to make it a special Christmas and felt our best gift to them would be a greater sense of this big blue planet. So we chose Belize and specifically Chaa Creek.
The breathtaking natural beauty of the pristine rain forest nestled in the foothills of the Mayan Mountains, the exotic birds and animals, and historical Mayan presence created the perfect backdrop for our adventure. We came to see the spectacular sights and experience the luscious landscape, but what we received was a far greater gift.
Between horseback-riding, bird-watching, zip-lining, and visits to the Medicine Trail, Hilltop Spa, Xunantunich, and Actun Tunichil Muknal, we experienced delightful encounters with some of the most engaging people we have ever met.
William Zinsser wrote, it is the people – the memorable people along the way – who make certain places stickk in our minds forever. Look for those people, wherever you go. How do their stories intersect with yours? People along the way made our trip to paradise heavenly. We sang O Holy Night into the twinkling sky around a campfire with adventuresome travelers from India, the Netherlands, and America. From the drivers and tour guides to the service staff and the River Camp caretakers, Chaa Creek impressed us with their professionalism and accommodating spirit. The Belizean people are a diverse and fascinating lot who love their country and are proud to share it. It was indeed the people along the way who made our Christmas in paradise a gift we shall never forget.