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Coral Gardens, Caves, Jaguars, Ancient Civilizations – and Chocolate: You Better Belize It!

beautiful belize

Enjoy paddling around on a hot sunny day in gin clear water above brightly colored gardens made of coral?  Maybe swooping through a river cave on an inner tube or canoe is more your style?  How about swimming under a jungle waterfall?  Or, maybe you’d prefer following the scat and paw prints of the magnificent Jaguar in the only Jaguar preserve in the world?

Then again, perhaps you’d rather marvel at the remains of the Maya, a civilization that was more familiar with the astronomy than most people alive today.  Or, could it be you’d rather spend a few hours eating chocolate prepared by the people who discovered it – also the Maya?

If any or all of these adventures sound appealing, they are ALL (and more) waiting for you in Belize, the small Central American country formerly known as British Honduras, located just south of Mexico and just north of Guatemala.

Have at least a week?  Split your time between the jungle and the beach –  a few days of jungle adventures, then wake up in the jungle in the morning, and be at the beach by mid-afternoon.  Or, if your time is limited (or you just want to spend all of your time at the beach), you can still experience the beauty and magic of the jungle with jungle day tours from the beach.

And what do in the jungle?  How about jungle hiking or horseback riding, cave tubing, caving at ATM cave (a world class caving experience), jungle river canoeing or kayaking, ziplining, rappelling, waterfalls, and birding?

And what about the beach?  Well, take your pick of scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, kayaking and fishing – on the fly, reef, or deep sea.  Or, just do nothing at all – clocking hammock time is the unofficial Belize national pastime.

What to wear?  Don’t worry about spending vacation savings on your wardrobe.  “No shoes, no shirt, no problem” could be Belize’s national mantra.

No hablas espanol?  Relax, the national language of Belize is English, although Spanish is widely spoken throughout the country.

Money?  Pretty easy.  The Belize dollar is pegged to the US dollar at the exchange rate of 2 Belize Dollars to 1 US Dollar, and no need to exchange money – just use your US – and get your change in Belize.

How to get to Belize?  Most direct international flights to Belize originate in Miami, Dallas or Houston, although some direct flights are now available from Panama City, Panama, and Los Angeles, New York and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in the US.  (Direct flights from Canada have been available in the past but haven’t resumed yet after the primary Covid outbreaks.)

Once you’re in Belize, getting around is pretty easy, too.  Local domestic airlines fly to all beach destinations, and private ground transfers are available to all jungle sites – or, live like a local and take the bus – make some new friends and maybe learn to speak Belize Creole – a mixture of English, Spanish, Maya – even a smattering of French, Portuguese, Chinese, Hindi and German.

So visit Belize, take your shoes off, set a spell.  Belize awaits – no shoes, no shirt, no problem.