We’ve often advocated that a week or two in Belize is the Goldilocks-perfect amount of time to explore the wide-eyed wonders of the country. But Belize’s petite size means it’s possible a mere few days in the country still yield immeasurable memories. With Memorial Day weekend coming up on the last Monday in May, now’s the ideal time for a bite-sized trip to sun-drenched Belize.
Sure, the official start of summer may be June 21, but Memorial Day rounds off the first long weekend of the summer. Vestiges of barbecue smoke, mineral sunscreen, and chlorine promise to cling to the air.
With Belize being only a few hours away from most major airport hubs in the U.S., you can bid adieu to your stuffy office on Thursday evening and already be setting foot in Belize by Friday morning. What’s more, you won’t find your average Memorial Day weekend here in Belize.
Be prepared to explore Belize’s wild side, where adventures go beyond the fundamental sun-and-sand activities associated with summer. To help you celebrate America’s heroes in the most memorable fashion, here’s a Memorial Day-approved itinerary for a long weekend in Belize.
Day 1: Arrive in Belize and discover new wildlife
With one foot in Central America and another in the Caribbean, it’s no surprise Belize is brimming with exotic wildlife unbeknownst to newcomers. Luckily, you have a chance to have a meet-and-greet with local celebrities – err, native wildlife – on your very first day in country. Charmingly dubbed the world’s “best little zoo,” the Belize Zoo is on the way to Belize’s intrepid Cayo district.
The zoo is home to elusive jaguars, intimidating jabiru storks, and devil-may-care spider monkeys. Unlike other zoos around the world, many of the Belize zoo’s residents have either been rescued or are being rehabilitated. Stop by on your way to your stay at the Lodge at Chaa Creek for some rad selfies bound to make your social media friends jealous.
Day 2: Venture into the unknown at the ATM Cave
After waking up amongst the hugging branches in your treehouse villa, it’s time to explore the mystifying depths of the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave. The famed ATM Cave – considered one of the most sacred in the world by NatGeo – sits 1.5 hour’s drive from Chaa Creek. Another 45-minute walk later and you’ll find yourself before the gaping opening yawning into the underworld beyond. Part the jungle plants curtaining the cave’s entrance before wading into the cavern.
While no photos are allowed inside the sacred chambers, your mind’s eye will undoubtedly memorize every crack hair-lining ancient pottery and every twinkle glistening off crystallized skeletons. Take a mental snapshot of the looming cathedral ceilings and dagger-like stalactite formations. Trust us, you’ll be flipping through that imaginative album when spending the rest of your Saturday lounging at our pool.
Day 3: Leap back in time by visiting ancient Maya Ruins
Sunday calls for a visit to another sacred site, but this time you’ll be able to take an entire Facebook album’s worth of photos. As the penultimate day of your Memorial Day weekend getaway, the itinerary consists of summiting Xunantunich. The history-buff-magnet lies a short drive away from Chaa Creek in the quaint village of San Jose Succotz.
The ceremonial center is accessible via an old-school hand-cranked ferry that drifts atop lovely rapids from the Mopan River. This makes for an Indiana Jones-esque adventure the likes of which seem straight out of a movie set. Summit the El Castillo (“the castle”) temple to relish panoramic views of the river valley. Share lunch with the spiritual dwellers of Xunantunich before heading back to Chaa Creek for an afternoon of nature trail hiking.
Day 4: Relax and rejuvenate at a premier eco-lodge
Mondays don’t always have to be gloomy, a fact reflected in the myriad options you have at your disposal when looking to relax on Memorial Day. The last day of your Memorial Day weekend should paint a picture of holistic wellness before getting back to the daily grind. Take your leave at Belize’s first-ever eco-lodge shrouded by mist-kissed broadleaf trees. The Lodge at Chaa Creek boasts a hilltop spa ideal for bookending an exceptional long weekend in Belize. Opt for a massage expertly delivered by our skilled therapists, all while admiring the view of the Macal River snaking between rolling valleys.
For something a little more active yet still therapeutic, trudge through Chaa Creek’s vast 400-acre reserve by horseback. Ride through trails peppered with ancient Maya mounds and listen to the calming choruses of birds. After an hour of harmonizing with rustling trees and insect murmurings, return to the lodge with plenty of time to have an alfresco afternoon snack.
While a four-day weekend shows a capable smorgasbord of experiences Belize offers, you don’t have to seek it only on special holidays. Chaa Creek’s Inland Expedition Vacation Package allows travelers to sample a vivid taste of Belize at any time of the year. You can take your pick from three, four, or five nights at the wildly civilized ecoresort. Memorial Day Weekend may be a great way to kickstart that much-deserved Belize vacation, but Chaa Creek has exclusive offers all summer long. Find them here, or call us toll-free at +1-877-709-8708 to learn more.