These Seven things will make Belize the next country on your bucket-list
I don’t really need an excuse to travel and explore. I just suffer from a very bad case of wanderlust and the only cure is visiting more and more places. It would be easier for me to make a list of countries and places I don’t have a particular interest in seeing because pretty much any country catches my attention for some reason – whether it is fabulous nature, incredible beaches, interesting cities, millenary cultures, tasty food and kind people. Yet, Belize never was on my bucket list. That’s until I visited it on a work trip, and I fell so completely in love with it that I wish to go back as soon as possible.
Belize is a tiny country. Imagine that only 350,000 people live there; the biggest city, Belize City, has less than 60,000 inhabitants and the capital Belmopan around 16,000. But, for as small as it is, Belize has literally everything to make it a special place to visit, perfect for any kind of traveller.
So, here are seven things that will make Belize the next country on your bucket-list:
1. Beautiful nature
Tropical rainforest, mountains, lush countryside with fertile subtropical hills, rivers, jungle. Belize is a Caribbean country but well set in Central America. It has the best of both and enough to attract animal lovers, bird watchers, adventure junkies and full on sport-addicts.
2. Impressive archeological sites
If you are into Mayan archeology like I am, Belize has enough archeological sites to impress you. Caracol, Xunantunich, and Altun Ha are all amazing and I found them well worth visiting.
3. Superb beaches and coral reef
Belize is a paradise for divers, snorkelers, and sport-fishing. Just pick your caye (small island, the most famous ones are Ambergris Caye and St. George’s Caye) and go relax under the sun and then dip in the crystal clear waters to explore its amazing marine life. Belize has nothing to envy to other more famous tourist destinations in the Caribbean, such as Cuba or Santo Domingo. Did you know that Belize is home to the Blue Hole, one of the world’s best dives? I definitely plan to go to Belize again once I am a fully certified diver.
4. Tasty food
Fine, it may not be as varied as Mexican cuisine, but food in Belize is tasty and I challenge everybody to have one bad meal. The national staples are rice and beans, which usually accompany the tastiest stews of pork, beef or chicken. Seafood and fish are from another world fresh from the sea to the plate; fruit is sweet. And did you know that here you can find the best burritos in Central America?
5. Kind people
Yes, for as little as Belize is, its population is an incredible mixture of ethnicities, languages, and culture. The population is made up of Creoles, West Indians, Mayans, Chinese, and Garifunas. The official language of the country is English (which means travelling here is so much easier for those who don’t master Spanish), but other languages spoken are Spanish, Creole, and Mayan. What really is impressive is that people in Belize are truly joyful and friendly, so kind to visitors that always feel welcome.
6. Good climate
Anytime is a good time to visit Belize, but you may as well go there when it is winter and cold in your home country. Belize knows no cold temperatures. It simply is pleasant and if it gets too hot, you have that gorgeous sea to jump into. Sure, there are some heavy rains at times, but the sun appears back in no time.
Chaa Creek Eco Lodge and the Macal River Camp
Would you consider visiting a country just to stay at a resort? If you knew about Chaa Creek, you would. It simply is fabulous, so much so that I found it hard to leave. It is a lodge completely immersed in the rain forest, at about 20 minutes drive from San Ignacio (Belize second largest city). The rooms are amazing. Some actually look more like villas.
There are many things to do in Belize around Chaa Creek visiting the archeological site of Xunantunich, for example, or the market of San Ignacio and the amazing staff will organise anything for you. I also took full advantage of the many activities offered tubing, kayaking, birdwatching among them. And when I was just in the mood to relax, I would lay in the sun, by the beautiful infinity pool, with a delicious cocktail to sip.
Have you ever been to Belize? What did you love about it? Let us know in the comments below!
Blog by Claudia Tavani
Claudia is from Cagliari (Sardinia) and is obsessed with travelling. A former human rights lawyer and academic, after devoting her life to the protection of cultural identity, in November 2013 Claudia decided to give in to her biggest passion and started travelling around Latin America, and she has hardly stopped since. Blogging came as a natural consequence, for Claudia wanted to let her family and friends be updated with her adventures.