It’s Guess the Destination pop quiz time!
“Some nations are blessed with natural wonders, historic riches and vibrant local culture.”
Ring a bell?
“Barely the size of Wales but its geographical position, rugged mountain scenery, awe-inspiring beaches and marine life, wildlife-rich rainforest and Maya sites make it a veritable playground for adventure-seeking travellers”?
OK – last clue…
“Bordered to the north by Mexico, to the south-west by Guatemala, and to the east by the Caribbean Sea, XXXX is gaining a reputation as one of the world’s best adventure travel destinations”
If you‘re an astute traveller, or a reader of England’s newspaper of record, you’ve probably guessed that the answer is that hot cultural melting pot by the Caribbean Sea…
Starting with Belize’s sparkling Caribbean Coast, the travelogue meanders through the country before finishing up with, for our money, the most fascinating and rewarding place to visit in Belize – The Chaa Creek catchment area.
We admit that we may be a tad biased here, but we wholeheartedly agree with the author’s view that:
“Immersion in Belize’s lush rainforest is rewarded with jaw-dropping natural beauty and soul-stirring wildlife encounters. As well as Maya sites in the Chaa Creek catchment – a temple complex thought to be a satellite of Xunantunich – the area is renowned for birdwatching, with some 300 bird species calling this jungle home. Spider monkey, iguana, tapir and puma sightings are also on the cards.”
Coming from such a highly regarded source as The Telegraph, this is music to our ears. In fact, we’ve been sending the same message over The Coconut Telegraph for nearly 40 years.
When Belize was still primarily known as a divers’ paradise, Mick and Lucy Fleming were saying, “Sure, but did you know there’s pristine rainforests filled with beautiful birds, exotic wildlife, ancient Maya temples, lovely tropical rivers, ceremonial caves…”
Bit by bit, the word got out.
Starting with wandering backpackers, serious birders, Maya archaeology aficionados and other intrepid travellers, more and more visitors began arriving in the Cayo District, drawn by the stunning scenery and Mick and Lucy’s growing reputation for hospitality and local knowledge.
Over time, the Fleming’s battered pickup truck was replaced with newer vehicles, the dependable old dugout with a fleet of canoes, and the rustic cabins became Chaa Creek Cottages before evolving into Belize’s most varied selection of cottages, suites and villas.
More recently, the Macal River Camp has been revitalised as The Belize Rainforest Retreat ecological learning centre to accommodate the growing number of groups, researchers and various organisations looking to meet in a pristine rainforest setting.
Now, travellers can discover the “jaw-dropping natural beauty and soul-stirring wildlife encounters” in whatever level of comfort they choose.
Self-guided or professionally guided nature walks through the reserve, horseback riding along miles of jungle trails, canoeing down the tranquil Macal River, enjoying a jungle safari aboard rugged all-terrain vehicles or river excursions on a traditional Belize john-boat, exploring ancient Maya temples and city remnants such as nearby Xunantunich…all these adventures and many more are on offer.
And after a day of excitement, what better way to relax than with refreshments at the Jungle Lounge, fine dining at The Mariposa Restaurant, a swim in the infinity pool, or a professional massage at the internationally recognised Hilltop Spa? Of course, there’s a lot to be said for just lounging around the pool or swinging in a hammock on one’s own veranda.
So, while we still have great affection for Belize’s Coconut Telegraph, we do appreciate the wider reach and larger audience of England’s The Telegraph.
And don’t worry about Belize’s growing popularity – with a quarter of the country’s land and water designated as protected wilderness, there’s plenty of room for soul-stirring encounters.
Just choose your adventure, and Chaa Creek will make it happen.
That’s a promise the Fleming Family has been making for decades, and they’re not about to stop now.
One more quiz – which Belize eco-resort dedicates ten per cent of all room revenue directly into programs and projects that benefit Belize’s environment and communities under its Chaa Creek Cares initiative?