If You Think A Caribbean Vacation is Only About Beaches, Bikinis, Beers And Barbecues, You Haven’t Been To Belize
Close your eyes, think “Caribbean” and what comes to mind?
Most likely it’s something like turquoise waters lapping white sand beaches with gently swaying palms under clear blue skies and a nearby thatched roofed bar serving piña coladas.
But for more and more travellers, especially those lucky enough to have discovered Belize, that’s just one version of tropical paradise.
In fact, for many visitors to this little Caribbean Central American nation, it’s not even the best version.
“A few years back we came to Belize and, like a lot of people, went straight out to the Cayes. But the weather reports said we were facing a few days of wind and rain, and someone suggested we head inland and check out the rainforests, Maya ruins and other attractions.
“Turned out the weather wasn’t so bad, but going inland was one of the best decisions we ever made,” Jon, a visitor from California recalled over a Mojito at Chaa Creek’s Jungle Lounge.
“We’ve been coming back every year since then. You never run out of new things to see and do,” his companion Kaye added.
Jon and Kaye are just two of the many visitors to Belize who choose to spend their vacations inland, and it’s easy to see why.
The vast tracts of lush jungles filled with colourful birds, wildlife and the surprisingly well preserved remnants of the ancient Maya civilisation that flourished here are just a few of the many attractions awaiting inland visitors. And with so many more experiences to be had, it would take years to explore everything Western Belize has to offer.
As an example, let’s start with a day at Chaa Creek.
After checking in, enjoying a cool welcoming drink, a swim in the infinity pool and dinner at the Mariposa Restaurant, Jon and Kaye would probably have an early night, lolled to sleep by the soft jungle sounds.
The next day could start with a complimentary early morning bird identification walk with a local naturalist guide. Appetites enhanced, the couple’s biggest decision would be what to have for breakfast, followed by how much or how little to do today.
Even though Belize is a short hop from the US, they’ve had enough travel yesterday, so they decide to spend the day enjoying more of the complementary activities that come with their room. Guided tours of the onsite Belize Natural History Museum and Butterfly Farm introduce them to the history, nature and cultures of Belize, followed by learning about traditional healing with a walk along the Maya Medicinal Plant Trail.
After lunch, more decisions await. Enjoy an afternoon canoe paddle down the Macal River to San Ignacio Town, or just become acclimatised by more swimming and lounging around the pool, followed by some more quality time in the hammocks slung on their private verandas?
When was the last time you watched the sun go down while swinging in a hammock with that book you’ve been meaning to read?
After an excellent farm-to-table dinner (tomorrow maybe they’ll explore the traditional Maya Organic Farm that supplies the kitchen) and some convivial conversation in the Jungle Lounge, another decision – join the Creatures of the Night guided nocturnal nature walk, or enjoy another early night.
With canoeing, horseback riding or hiking the miles of secure jungle trails running through Chaa Creek’s 400-acre private nature reserve, all-terrain vehicle jungle safaris, cooking classes that bring Belize’s colourful cultures alive at the Open Hearth kitchen, and perhaps a couples massage at the Hilltop Spa, the next days are full and relaxing – all without leaving Chaa Creek.
But then again, a wealth of tours, expeditions and all-inclusive Belize vacation packages make exploring the rest of Belize a breeze.
Ancient Maya cities like Caracol and Tikal, breathtaking views from the temple of neighbouring Xunantunich, exploring fascinating Maya ceremonial caves such as Actun Tunichil Muknal, zip lining through rainforest canopies and much, much more take day tripping to a whole new level.
Oh – and let’s not forget the Caribbean.
With the world’s second largest barrier reef, scores of little islands known as Cayes, the Isla Bonita of Ambergris Caye and its more laid back neighbour Caye Caulker, and a long, beautiful Caribbean coastline only some 70 miles away, Chaa Creek guests can have their cake and eat it too when it comes to enjoying Belize’s interior and seacoast in one seamless vacation.
With Chaa Creek’s trusted network of partner resorts and Unique Hotels of Belize members, you can rest assured of similar quality and a likeminded commitment to Green, sustainable travel wherever you are in Belize.
Speaking of which…did you know that one dollar out of every ten you spend on accommodations at Chaa Creek goes directly into environmental and community projects under the Chaa Creek Cares initiative?
People like Jon and Kaye say that knowing their stay actually benefits the land and people of Belize helps them sleep better.
Of course, those soft jungle sounds, all the fun activities and one or two of the Jungle Lounge’s famous mojitos also help – just ask a certain well-known member of England’s Royal Family who said how much he appreciated that tasty cocktail during his Chaa Creek sojourn.
In fact, with him having enjoyed his stay, as well as the meals, canoes, ambience and libations, we can say that a vacation in Belize’s interior is fit for a….well, you get the idea.
For a holiday adventure that redefines notions of what a Caribbean vacation is, contact your favourite travel agent or Chaa Creek directly, and get ready for a combination of exhilarating adventure and exquisite relaxation that can only be described as Wildly Civilised.