Chaa Creek in Belize:
The Ultimate Early Christmas Present!
We’ve worked hard all year, and the last thing we want to do is continue the pace over the holidays and end the year frazzled and worn. It would be nice to start 2015 refreshed, relaxed and recharged for a change.
So this year we decided to give the gift of time and space – time to just kick back, time to spend with each other, time to slow the world down and reflect and appreciate. And then have the space to do that in, as well as the space to be together and the space to be alone with a good book or our own thoughts for a change.
Sound familiar? Sounds ambitious?
Well, yes and no. Yes to the former, since friends, family and colleagues all seem to feel the same way, and no, because once we looked into it, it’s no more ambitious than the previous holidays we’ve knocked ourselves out to pull off.
And here’s why.
We have five people in our immediate family alone to buy gifts for, and with the kids getting older, that only gets more complicated (an expensive) each year. By the time we decide, shop around, purchase, wrap and hide them…you get the idea.
And then, after the presents are bought and the tree organized, there’s the rest of the planning and shopping. All those meals making sure everyone’s favourites are covered, the refreshments, family activities, outings, visits to relatives and friends, hosting same…just thinking about it is exhausting. And with so much going on, we never get as much quality time together as we’d like.
Gotta be a better way. That’s what we said last January when we returned to work overspent, tired and vaguely unsatisfied, and that’s what we said this summer when we were already thinking about Christmas.
You should be looking forward to the holidays with joyful anticipation, not as a major logistical operation. So we thought we’d do something different this year. And that thought was quickly followed by, “Let’s get out of Dodge!”
The more we talked, the more appealing it sounded. Rather than do our annual vacation in the summer when everyone else is doing it, with the crowds, the heat, the traffic jams and everything else, why not do our big vacation over the Christmas holidays? Instantly, two birds were taken down with one stone. We had the ideal Christmas solution as well as a different, more relaxing kind of holiday both winter and summer. We presented the idea over dinner, and the response was enthusiastic.
And, as luck would have it, when we told our travel agent about out plans, she told us that The Lodge at Chaa Creek, an eco-resort in Belize, had just announced a new all-inclusive vacation package that fit the bill perfectly. It’s called the Jungle Bells all-inclusive Belize Vacation.
Check it out:
Our big present to each other will be a dream vacation in Belize, with something for everyone, and everything taken care of. We’ve timed it so we’ll have a week away, and get home two days before Christmas – just in time to trim the tree, put a couple of small gifts under it, stuff the stockings, roast a turkey and kick back and relax, regaling our visitors with photos and stories of what a great time we just had.
We’re pretty confident that it will be a great time. The accommodations look wonderful. The kids like the thatched roofs and tropical style and we appreciate the lush gardens, artistic decor and creature comforts. The travel agent said the restaurant has an excellent reputation with many of the ingredients grown in the resort’s traditional Maya organic garden and coming from the nearby Caribbean.
And then there’s the something for everyone bit.
Horseback riding and mountain biking along miles of secure trails throughout Chaa Creek’s 365 acre nature reserve where it sounds like we’ll see toucans, parrots, monkeys and all sorts of wildlife. There’s canoeing down the Macal River – all the way into the nearest town for lunch, if we like. With an infinity pool, butterfly farm, the Natural History Centre, which looks like a nice little museum, Maya medicinal plant trails and the organic farm where things are grown the way the local Maya have done for thousands of years, and a full range of guided and self guided nature walks, tours and excursions to ancient Maya temples and cities, no one is going to be bored.
In the midst of all this nature there’s even a full service professional Spa and amenities such as a climate controlled wine cellar.
It sounds like the perfect combination of getting out and doing and learning things together with lots of opportunities for chilling out. I’m already dreaming of swinging in the hammock on our private veranda with a good book and a cold beverage or just working on a tan by the pool, and our daughter is finally going to have an introduction to horseback riding. We’re told they have mounts appropriate to all level of experience or inexperience and patient wrangler/guides.
And then when we saw the price and added up everything we’re getting, it’s actually a great deal and a very affordable Christmas. With everything – accommodation, all meals, activities, transfers, tours, even the staff gratuities and taxes for one surprisingly low set price, it makes for a very reasonable and worry free holiday. We looked carefully and there’s no hidden charges or surprises. Except for alcohol and soft drinks, we really don’t have to spend another dime. Not facing the new year with extra debts we didn’t plan on is a huge plus.
The more we heard, the better it sounded, so we’re doing five days at Chaa Creek and a few days out on one of the little islands they call cayes on Belize’s famous great barrier reef – the second largest in the world. Chaa Creek even organised that part of the vacation, with all the transfers, rooms and everything. All we have to do is hop a flight from the nearby airstrip and we go from breakfast in the rainforest to lunch on a white sandy beach with hardly lifting a finger.
How good is that?
Then, when we fly back home, we’ll spend Christmas relaxed and relaxing for once. Starting the new year refreshed and fit is going to be an experience we’re all looking forward to.
We’re so happy with the whole idea that we just had to share it, and this year’s family Christmas card and annual letter is going to be full of interesting news and good cheer. We’re excited – and the kids already have a new carol they’re singing in the background.