A millennia ago, a special young priest defied a law outlawing marriage for young soldiers in Rome. The priest – a romantic at heart – made the risky decision to continue marrying lovers in secret instead. This led to him being arrested and eventually executed by the Roman Emperor Claudius II. Before his untimely death, the priest penned a letter to his jailer’s daughter, signing off with words, “from your Valentine” that would be mimicked centuries thereafter.
A young man willing to quite literally die for love? The passionate St. Valentine.
Or that’s how one of the legends goes, anyway. While there are different accounts of who St. Valentine truly was, one thing is for sure. The saint believed in love, and no emperor would withhold that belief from him. Millions of people now pencil in his legendary “from your Valentine” signature on cards across the globe every February 14th. There may be many different ways to celebrate the time that has been dubbed the month of love. In Belize, the romanticism shrouding Valentine’s Day envelops the entirety of Chaa Creek.
So much so that here at the Lodge we’ve evolved past using only honeymoons as a yardstick for measuring love. Guests need only step foot on our 400-acre nature reserve to understand every traveler’s infatuation with the destination. Be it for buddy moons, babymoons, or just plain star-studded-skies moons, your stay is bound to be bewitched by Belize. And what better way to become spellbound than falling for the surrounding nature spooning your room? Embark on your very own nature-moon in Belize this Valentine’s Day with a few amorous activities.
Sonnets have been written on water being a symbol of love. So why not flex your poetry skills at the water’s edge in Belize? When staying at Chaa Creek, you can walk down to the river bank and write poems inspired by surrounding wildlife. If you’re looking for something less literary and more adventurous, hop on a canoe and paddle to your heart’s content. The winding Macal River is only one of the muses in Belize for a water-based nature-moon in Belize.
For romance a little more on the traditional side, hunt down a waterfall in the expansive Cayo District. Take your pick from the behemoth that is Big Rock Falls in Mountain Pine Ridge or one on Vaca Lake. The latter lies a few miles upstream from our Lodge, with stunning cascades enjoyed during a pontoon ride.
While the art of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) was introduced long ago in Japan, the act comes easily when in Belize. The mindfulness practice serves as a gateway to completely immersing oneself in nature. This eco-antidote to a world racing along on a tread-mill, stirs not only the soul but the heart. Forest bathing can claim its definition by simply walking amongst the bamboo cathedral trails at Chaa Creek. Or meditating beneath broadleaf trees in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. Belize’s rich biodiversity only adds to the experience, with more than 500 species of birds accompanying you on your walk. This Valentine’s Day, gift yourself magical moments that take your breath away when forest bathing. Whether that’s perching atop the Maya Mountains in Belize or hiking a jungle trail peppered with medicinal plants on Chaa Creek’s reserve.
Speaking of birds, our feathered friends don’t need reminding that serenading is one of the most romantic traits for the month of love. When staying at the Lodge, you’ll be woken up by nature’s alarm clock a.k.a. the cacophony of Chachalacas greeting the dawn. If you want a closer look at the culprits ruining your beauty sleep, let our naturalist guide take you birdwatching in western Belize. Don your binoculars and set off around the expansive property in search of elusive species like the iridescent Blue Crowned Mot-Mot and enchanting Squirrel Cuckoo.
Keep your eyes trained upward for Belize’s national bird, the Keel-Billed toucan, perching on the very tip of the trees. Their frog-like crooning is enough to have you besotted with the sounds of nature only made better by their riotously colorful plumage. For birds a little more on the Valentine aesthetic, head to Red Bank Village in Southern Belize. This is the home of the Scarlet Macaws, whose feathers are painted in a vibrant smattering of red, yellow, and blue.
Gaze upon Orion’s Belt and other white-hot constellations when sitting beneath a blanket of stars in Belize. When it comes to romance, stargazing is the name of the game. Belize knows nothing of light pollution due to its lack of industrialization and modest size. A fact even more illustrated when staying in the jungle. Out here at night, the sky’s punctured surface shines through via a bright Milky Way. With no skyscrapers and no bustling cities to distract from galactic beauty, the activity takes on another level. You don’t have to be a star-crossed lover (pun intended) to enjoy stargazing in Belize. The only requirement is an appreciation for celestial bodies to maximize your love affair with the night sky.
St. Valentine may have inspired generations of romantics to wear their hearts proudly on their sleeves. But you needn’t wear a badge to fall in love with Belize. Especially, when visiting during Cupid’s month, just take on any of these activities for a nature-moon that will fill your heart, unlike any other trip.
To get you started, reach out to friends at Chaa Creek to help you start planning.