Escape to the private and remote paradise, Belize! Located in the heart of Central America, and is bordered by Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south. Breathtaking Belize consists of a land area of 8,867 square miles and is known for having the longest living Barrier Reef in the world that stretches out along the Eastern Coast of Belize.
One of Belize’s main must-see attractions is The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary dedicated to the preservation of the native Jaguar. This spectacular sanctuary consists of forests, fauna and watersheds approximately 400 square kilometers located at the eastern slopes of the Maya mountains. Established in 1990, there is over 128,000 acres of lush jungle ringed by the spectacular Cockscomb Mountains.
A true once in a lifetime memorable experience is visiting Sanctuary Belize. The 14,000 acres of unspoiled natural beauty is found in the heart of Belize’s stunning southern region of Stann Creek. You’ll find yourself surrounded in a 360 panoramic dream with 111,000 acres of wildlife reserves. Sanctuary Belize takes unprecedented pride and effort in preserving the area’s ecological diversity and natural resources.
Belize certainly is the destination for beautiful jungle nature and encourages you to answer your inner call of the wild! Friendly guides will escort you on a magical all day mystery tour to Xunantunich Mayan Ruins. First, you’ll take a scenic 2.5 hour drive on the Hummingbird Highway, past the Citrus Valley, the lush forest at the foot of the Mayan Mountains, and the capital of Belize, Belmopan.
Next, as you approach the exquisite border with Guatemala, you board a small fantasy ferry, which takes you across the Mopan River. This is where you’ll discover the magnificent and majestic Mayan Ruins of Xunantunich (the Maiden Rock), surrounded by more than 25 spiritual temples and palaces, Xunantunich is historical ceremonial center, located on a natural limestone ridge, rising 125 feet.
Want to monkey around on your Belize vacay? Get up-close and personal with the Howler Monkeys locally known as “baboons”. Hike through the jungle just on the outskirts of the Bermuda Landing Village and find this monkey-see, monkey-do sanctuary, home to more baboons than resident humans! Howler monkeys get their “howling” name from their loud, guttural calls that can be heard up to five miles away and are biggest animal in Latin America, growing to four feet tall.
Visit the best little zoo in the world … The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center was started in 1983, and originally provided a home for wild animals used in making documentary films about tropical forests. Today, this sweet zoo is settled upon 29 acres of tropical savanna and exhibits over 150 animals, representing over 45 species. The zoo keeps animals which were orphaned, rescued, born at the zoo, rehabilitated animals, or sent to The Belize Zoo as donations from other zoological institutions. The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center welcomes over 10,000 school children every year as part of their progressive education programs, and popular zoo events!
If sun, sand, and scuba diving are your passion, the Belize Barrier Reef is home to a large diversity of plants and animals, and is one of the most diverse ecosystems including; 70 hard coral species, 36 soft coral species, 500 species of fish and hundreds of invertebrate species. And with only 90% of the reef still needing to be researched, it is estimated that only 10% of all species have been discovered.
If you’re looking to see a rare breed of the human kind, you never know which A-list celebrity sighting might happen; Tiger Woods, Charlize Theron, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lennox Lewis, and Harrison Ford have all either visited or bought property in Belize. Royal Prince Harry made media headline news when he stopped over in Belize and exhibited some hot dance moves last year as part of his Diamond Jubilee tour of Central American and the Caribbean.
Prince Harry said of Belize, “Her Majesty has asked me to send her good wishes to you all. She remembers so fondly her visits to this beautiful realm and speaks of the warmth of welcome she received on her most recent visit in 1994. I’m only sorry she can’t make it and you’re stuck with me.”
Academy Award winning director, Francis Ford Coppola fell in love with Belize while filming Apocalypse Now in 1979. Coppola created the Turtle Inn, a highly recommended getaway spot admired for Bali-inspired architecture and décor, plus intimacy without exorbitant expense. Turtle Inn boasts three restaurants, a pavilion, eight villas and 17 cottages that are a stone’s throw from the beach. The Turtle Inn is a quick jaunt from the charming town of Plancencia, known for friendly cafés, guesthouses, and the “world’s smallest mainstreet” by Guinness Book of World Records.
Francis Ford Coppola himself may serve you a slice of his signature pizza at the Turtle Creek Inn!
Francis and Eleanor Coppola pride themselves as conservators and protectors of Belize’s pristine environment and are strongly dedicated to ecotourism and continue to explore new technologies and practices that minimize the negative impact on the beautiful paradise. Alexandra Cousteau, the granddaughter of renowned environmentalist Jacques-Yves Cousteau, joined forces with Francis Ford Coppola Resorts last spring and launched an exciting eight-day ‘Alexandra Cousteau Discovery Experience with Coppola Resorts’ in Belize. Alexandra gathered information for her upcoming documentary, Expedition Blue Planet: Belize, a film created to raise awareness about Belize’s crucial freshwater and marine environments.
Robert’s Grove is a featured Hacienda-style Belize beach resort neatly situated on 22 acres of white sand beach in Placencia Belize. This strategically placed location provides all welcomed visitors close proximity to the Barrier Reef, Tropical Rainforest & Mayan Ruins. The Inn at Robert’s Grove is the leading resort for Belize fishing in the southern part of the country. Serious fishermen can enjoy amenities such as on-site fly fishing center, proximity to the best fishing spots, abundance of game fish, and highly experienced fishing guides. Robert’s Grove also provides a tranquil boating tour down the Monkey River, where sightseers search for manatees and Howler Monkeys (and listen for the loud Howlers)!
One of the Grove’s main attractions is their Dive Center, spectacular diving that promises sights of beautiful sea corals, reef sharks, green moray eels, rays, turtles, crabs, lobsters and a variety of colorful reef fish such as spotted drums, creole wrasse, squirrel fish and a host of others swimming along the reef edge feasting away. The Inner Reef dive sites are the Laughing Bird Caye National Park and Robert’s Caye (Robert’s Cove), displaying sea creatures like the spotted drums, blue tangs, wrasse, goby’s and much more. Once you surface for air, you’ll think you have fins of your own after one of these colorful underwater adventures.
Kanantik Reef & Jungle Resort, an eco-sensitive, luxurious resort secluded on 300 acres in scenic Southern Belize. This spectacular resort displays a beautiful 1,300 foot private, palm-fringed sandy beach. The Kanantik hosts 25 exclusive, spacious, thatched-roof cabanas replicating the ancient Maya culture with luxurious touches.
Kanantik Reef Jungle Resort
The Zen inspiring Kanantik’s surrounding tropical nature and amazing variety of wildlife creates the sensation that you’re living in the wild, sans the busy modern mainstay technology. Jungle myth has it that two crocodiles roam the Kanantik canal named – Baby and Lucky (kidding!), actually the crocs are nameless but very present. This resort might not be the most pet-friendly (crocs deem dogs a delicacy), but don’t let that scare you.
Located in Southern Belize a few miles from the Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve, Kanantik Reef & Jungle Resort offers the best of the both worlds: the deep forest with wildlife habitat and the Caribbean Sea with 180 miles Barrier reef ideal for diving and snorkeling. After a day at the beach consider dining on delicious meals including tropical fresh fruits and vegetables grown on Kanantik’s organic farm, and be entertained by the traditional Garifuna Dancers and Singers.
Belize jaguar taking a refreshing drink.
The Mayan culture and cuisine is everywhere to be found in Belize! From the Belizean bartenders and staff at the resorts to the wonderful and friendly locals, the Mayan sensibility and ancestry permeates this esthetically gorgeous, untouched, wild, and historically rich country. Don’t wait and plan your next escape – with ease to Belize!
To see more fabulous photos from Wendy’s Trip to Belize click here!