Lonely Planet Lists Belize As Top Ten Travel Destinations In 2019
And we couldn’t agree more
What a nice way to start the year!
After earlier expressing our appreciation of Belize being named as one of National Geographic’s Top Ten Travel destinations for 2019, we’re very happy to be doing it again – this time for accolades from that other great travel authority, Lonely Planet.
Lonely Planet’s annual top destinations picks become a coveted list from which worldwide wanders select new and exciting places to visit. Let’s face it – if those savvy globetrotters at Lonely Planet (or LP, to those in the know) find that a place is worth visiting, chances are you will, too.
So, after years of checking out LP’s yearly recommendations, you can imagine our joy at seeing Belize listed among the planet’s top ten – and for all the right reasons. Check it out:
“Its Caribbean coast is fringed by the world’s second-largest barrier reef; its interior is riddled with some of the most extensive and accessible cave systems in Central America; and its people are an exotic mix of Maya, Mestizo, Garifuna, Creole, Mennonite and expats.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Having helped visitors explore Belize’s Great Barrier Reef, cayes and Caribbean coastal attractions for decades, having worked with archaeologists in opening Maya ceremonial caves such as Actun Tunichil Muknal to responsible tourism, and as Belize’s leading one-stop-shop for cultural tourism, we like LP’s priorities.
For example, Chaa Creek’s Rainforest to Reef all-inclusive Belize vacation packages are the way to combine an eco-luxe jungle adventure with a postcard-perfect Caribbean holiday. And in addition to a swag of cultural tours and village visits, Chaa Creek’s Belize Cultural Grand Tour takes guests on a fascinating tour across Belize with fun visits and immersion in Maya, Creole, Mestizo, Mennonite and Garifuna communities.
We also took note of the rest of LP’s Belize description.
“Yet many travellers struggle to place Belize on the map. However, the tide is turning. The government is moving to fully protect its unique marine environment, new eco-resorts are taking advantage of the country’s stunning cayes and jungle hideaways, and travellers are discovering a slice of Central America that’s relatively untouristed, safe and tantalisingly easy to reach. Get here before the inevitable crowds do.”
Tell us about it.
It wasn’t so long ago that telling people you were from Belize elicited blank or confused looks, with many people asking, “Isn’t that in Africa someplace?”
When they found out Belize is an English-speaking former British Crown Colony just a couple hours by air from the US, they’d become interested. And then they’d come visit and return to tell their friends about this amazing little country chock-a-block with natural beauty, exotic wildlife and colourful cultures. And suddenly, driven by positive word of mouth, Belize became a hot travel destination.
And now, not all that many years later (we’re not that old. Are we?) airlines are adding more flights and services each year to keep up with demand, and the little former backwater of Belize is enjoying a steady annual increase in tourist arrivals.
As the LP piece also pointed out, the government and private sector are working together to protect Belize’s stunning natural environment. And it’s not only “new eco-resorts…” helping travellers discover this slice of Central America.
Chaa Creek has been around since the late 1970s, when two young, environmentally aware travellers turned an overgrown citrus orchard into a working farm that later – just as Belize achieved independence, became the new nation’s first true eco-resort.
First as Chaa Creek Cottages, and then as The Lodge at Chaa Creek, and now known far and wide simply as Chaa Creek, the little farm, just like the little country it’s part of, has seen fairly phenomenal growth while keeping up a commitment to protecting Belize’s environment and supporting communities.
And while we agree wholeheartedly that Belize is “untouristed, safe and tantalisingly easy to reach”, we’re not worried about the “inevitable crowds”.
With about a quarter of the country under some form of official wilderness protection, and Chaa Creek itself surrounded by a 400-acre private nature reserve, there’s plenty of room to go around.
So – our travel tip for 2019 is in sync with Lonely Planet, National Geographic and other in-the-know authorities:
C’mon down (or up, or however) to Belize!
Chances are excellent you’ll love it.