OK, we know that those clever Canadian travellers have been coming to Belize for years. In fact, time was when it seemed like most North Americans we’d meet in The Jewel were Canucks, backpackers for the most part, with the Maple Leaf proudly displayed on tee-shirts or sewn on the back of rucksacks.
As fellow Commonwealth members, and with their country’s generous aid and other programs, Canadians seemed familiar with Belize even prior to independence and the beginnings of the home-grown tourism industry.
Getting to Belize was more of an effort back then. With just a few flights a week from Miami and New Orleans, the further north you started, the more waits, layovers and other hassles you had to endure before that magic moment of stepping off on the tarmac of a rather rustic little airport, breathing in that richly scented tropical air and thinking, “It’s already worth it!”
Then came Independence in 1981, the Belize tourism industry hit the ground running, and never looked back.
Flash forward to the beginning of 2018, and the Canada to Belize run can best be described as a hop, skip, and a jump.
Hop on a plane in Toronto or Calgary, skip the layovers and hassles, and jump right into the welcoming Caribbean or Chaa Creek’s refreshing infinity pool.
Yes, the last couple of years have seen some dramatic improvements in air travel to, from, and within Belize, with the most recent example being the touchdown of Air-Canada’s inaugural Toronto – Belize City flight.
The new weekly service began December 15, 2017, and is expected to continue to April 13, 2018, using the ever popular Airbus A319 to ferry visitors from one of the world’s colder destinations to one of the most pleasant – not too warm, not to cold, just right - with an average yearly temperature of 84F (29C). With cool sea breezes off the Caribbean and vast tracts of rainforest producing plenty of oxygen, Belize enjoys a near perfect setting on Mother Nature’s thermometer.
No wonder more and more Canadians are arriving each year.
Add in recent WestJet flights from Calgary and Toronto, and a raft of expanded routes from US airlines, combined with improvements in domestic air travel, Belize and Canada are moving closer together every year, which is great news not only for visitors, but for the many Belizeans residing in the north as well as the growing number of Canadians living here in Belize.
So, here at Chaa Creek we’re looking forward to seeing more and more Canadians in the coming years – in fact, our bartenders are brushing up on how the various ice hockey teams are doing, and learning the rules of Curling...