CNN’s recent acknowledgment of the “World of the Maya” as one of the top nine travel destinations for 2012 is one more indication that Belize’s year of the Maya 2012 celebrations are set to be a big hit with international visitors, Belize’s premier eco resort Chaa Creek reports.[pullquote]The Maya World was number two in CNN’s list, and along with a similar inclusion in the Lonely Planet World’s Top Ten Destination list for 2012 cements the region’s standing as a premier destination for next year.[/pullquote]
“While we always expected that there would be a certain amount of interest in Belize’s Heartland of the Maya 2012 celebrations, the worldwide attention we’re receiving is unprecedented,” Chaa Creek proprietor and GM Lucy Fleming said. “And while we’ll still be able to provide a more intimate, relaxed Maya experience than some of the better known locations, the increased interest means that we can be a bit more ambitious in hosting some really exciting, authentic Maya experiences throughout 2012, and especially around the December 21 Winter Solstice,” she added.
CNN’s post-Christmas announcement of the world top destinations, based on recommendations from the world’s top travel writers and editors, begins with the question:
“But where exactly should you go in 2012? As always, some places will stand out above the rest when it comes to unforgettable things to do and see.”
The Maya World, which CNN listed as Belize, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras was highlighted with the advice that, “If you want to see incredible ruins, (Lonely Planet travel editor Robert) Reid recommended skipping the tourist hordes at Tulum and Chichen Itza in Mexico and instead head to places such as Tikal, Guatemala (which George Lucas used as a location in the original ‘Star Wars’)…”
Ms Fleming pointed that while Chaa Creek offers tours to nearby Tikal, Belize’s own sites and Maya temples such a Xunantunich, reached by a hand cranked ferry across the Mopan River, the royal palace of Cahal Pech and the ancient metropolis of Caracol offer visitors an even more intimate experience in a relaxed Caribbean-flavoured setting.
“This year Belize is also providing exclusive Maya Passports to our archaeological sites and Maya temples, which are stamped at each site and we’re sure will become highly sought-after collector’s items. For years Chaa Creek has sponsored archaeological research within our own 365 acre private nature reserve and its over 70 ancient sites and temples, and throughout 2012 we’ll be hosting a series of interesting workshops, seminars and hands-on Maya events and activities.
“We want families and individuals as well as researchers and scholars to explore our Maya heartland, and we’re also putting an emphasis on romance with unique Maya weddings, honeymoons and other experiences geared towards couples who want to experience this amazing civilisation together,” she said.
The Maya World was number two in CNN’s list, and along with a similar inclusion in the Lonely Planet World’s Top Ten Destination list for 2012 cements the region’s standing as a premier destination for next year, Ms Fleming said.