While thinking of tropical vacations, travel bug usually bites one’s mind with the same old school destinations of The Virgin Islands, Bora Bora, The Bahamas, Maldives, Mexico, Aitutaki, to name a few. No doubt, these exotic locations are perfect to chase away the blues, unwind and escape in the heart-captivating sites and suck in the warm sunshine; for the true travel addicts, their travel diaries are incomplete if memories of BELIZE aren’t captured.
Despite its lowest population densities in Central America, Belize has abundant marine and land animals, natural bliss, crystal clear waters, ample of adventures and ancient Mayan ruins for globetrotters who want something different from those all-inclusive hotels, lounges and nightclubs that rock until the break of dawn.
On that note, let’s catch up with some of the best things one can do during their visit to this magnetizing country, which punches much more above its weight.
For a scuba diver by heart, not diving at this spot is a serious offense. A perfect circle, Blue Hole is about 1,000 feet across and 400 feet deep. Surrounded by reefs, this popular point is undeniably meant for an incredible snorkeling experience for the skilled divers. Travelers can dive down to 130 feet; however, stalactites and various other rock formations can be seen at 120 feet. Diving into the blue abyss and recounting the unforgettable sights are simply irresistible.
This marvelous attraction is made up of 185 miles of elegant cays, corals and islands. Turquoise waters, white sandy beaches and untouched beauty make up for some of the compelling reasons to dive into the gorgeous waters. Beauty of the reef lies in the fact that one can witness a variety of sea fans, shellfish, hard corals, spotted eagle ray, Caribbean reef shark, gorgonians, stingray, hammerhead shark, oceanic white tip shark and manta ray at the closest proximity.
Fondly considered as the epicenter of the ancient Mayan world, Belize has some very known Maya sites in its kitty. Xunantunich, the most impressive ruins, Altun Ha, Lubaantun and Caracol (the tallest Mayan building in Belize in the country) are the best sites that give a flashback of the gone-by era. Extensive concentrations of temple, underground ritual chambers and repositories of art in stone carvings, pottery, obsidian, gold, jade and paintings…what else to ask?
Exploring the best of love life, singing the love saga and reconnecting with the soul mate, everything that intensifies the bond between a couple can be felt to the core at the Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge. Keeping privacy at its best, there are romantic suites that overlook the pleasing landscapes. Huge indoor/outdoor showers and thick canopy make the place a heaven on earth where lovebirds can forget all the hustle and bustle of life. The gratifying sounds of the forest turn even melodious when gazing the star-studded sky from the outdoor Jacuzzi.
Drop, that’s not meant for the faint hearts but for the adrenaline freaks. The hole begins with an energetic hike to the mouth of Actun Loch Tunish, the “Mother of all caves”. Landing here is followed by heading to the edge of a jumbo sink hole that is 300 feet above the basin below and 200 feet above the rainforest canopy. Keeping a contradictory behavior with its name, the hole isn’t black; however, it appears like that from where one stands, which is exactly the point they will be dropping at. Better keep that fear of heights at home!
Shamanism is a term used for spiritual practices and involves prayers, rituals and healing. A shaman, a messenger is the connecting link between the human world and the spirits. In Mayan history, shaman holds a prestigious role of a doctor, community advisor, priest and spiritual healer. Mr. Jovencio Canto, a Mayan Shaman conducts the ceremonial practices and helps people pay homage to a deceased family member, pray for relationships, health, prosperity or anything that’s desired.
Is there anyone who says no to waterfalls? All that efforts and love of Mother Nature to create the waterfalls could be seen in Belize. For the lover of nature, not getting awed by their charm is so not possible. Spend time in extreme closeness to the waterfalls and go hiking through a cave that’s filled with these magnificent water bodies. Travelers can conquer six unique waterfalls and then make the choice of either jumping down off the waterfalls in the clear pools or being lowered down on a belay.
The ATM, meaning "Cave of the Stone Sepulcher" wins love of the visitors with its 2.5 hour drive, followed by a 45 minutes hike through the tropical rainforest and three steams that bring them to the hourglass-shaped entrance of the cave. With approximately 1500 artifacts, ATM Cave is known as a ‘Natural Museum’. Remains of Maya skeletal, awing pottery, stalagmite and stalactite formations add more to the fervor.
Rain forest is of course out of the world but what about experiencing the jungle canopy from above the ground? Daring travelers not afraid of heights and looking for some real adrenaline rush must feed their courageous side with tempting taste of zip lining. Flying high above the jungle, applauding nature’s real beauty and soaring from tree to tree is a great rush of fun no other activity can offer.