From the beach to the rainforest, Belize is a breath of fresh air

When Alaska Airways introduced a direct flight from Seattle to Belize City’s Goldson International Airport in November, I jumped at the opportunity to be on the inaugural flight. The direct flight from Seattle is seasonal, mirroring higher time in the Central American nation of Belize, commonly deemed November by means of April — the perfect time to trade Seattle’s clouds and rain for some warm weather conditions and sunshine.

But there are benefits to visiting Belize in the summer season, even if it indicates modifying planes in Los Angeles. Motels are more affordable and there are much less crowds, and daytime temperatures common in the mid-80s. (Do not forget about to pack sunscreen!)

Past its gorgeous Caribbean beaches and h2o routines, Belize has a loaded society and heritage. Belize’s formal language is English, so it is simple for travellers to connect and get close to, and dining establishments and shops are pretty cost-effective even through high season.

If you are on the lookout for a sunny Caribbean getaway that blends snorkeling with sharks and exploring ancient Mayan ruins, look no additional than Belize. Here’s what you need to know.

Acquiring there

Till direct flights from Seattle and Los Angeles released final November, having to Belize from Seattle was an ordeal that normally associated several connections. Despite the fact that the direct flight from Seattle to Belize City is seasonal, Alaska, United Airlines and American Airways continue to offer direct, calendar year-round flights from Los Angeles, so it is an uncomplicated layover.

Cayo: In which to continue to be

Right after landing in Belize City, begin by heading to Cayo, a district in western Belize acknowledged for its parks, ecological reserves and archaeological web pages. The drive is roughly 90 minutes. You can either set up a automobile rental or use a vehicle provider. I’m not a lover of driving, so I opted to use Yute Expeditions for transport from the airport to the Cayo District. A gain of Yute Expeditions: You can use their products and services throughout your stay in Cayo.

The motorists are prompt, pleasant and eager to share their information and insider tips so you can make the most of your time in the spot.

Found in the forest of Belize, Ka’ana Resort provides a mix of suites and personal villas. Ka’ana always has a wide variety of specials and deal discounts, which can be uncovered at kaanabelize.com.

For a day of leisure, stay on-web page and book a spa appointment, acquire a yoga course or unwind in the pool overlooking the jungle. Be confident to look at out Ka’ana’s Natural Garden, far too. Cooks at the resort’s on-web-site cafe, La Ceiba, use fresh new substances to get ready delectable Belizean fare.

What to do

A day lounging poolside and having fun with a spa appointment is certainly desirable, and it’s the best way to recharge soon after a day of journey.

But by Working day 2, you’ll want to investigate Cayo, which has so a great deal to offer. A must-see spot is Xunantunich Maya Web site I’d endorse a tour simply because the guides have so considerably understanding.

Xunantunich is located in the Belizean rainforest, the place a guidebook prospects you on a journey by way of plazas, palaces and temples close to the 1,400-yr-outdated settlement. A emphasize is the historic ball court, where warriors battled it out in a high-stakes natural environment — the two victors and losers were at chance of shedding their heads (practically). As you acquire in the natural beauty of the ancient ruins, your guidebook will tell you all about the society and beliefs of the Mayan individuals. Upon reaching the leading, you’ll be rewarded with a 360-diploma panoramic perspective of the ruins against the backdrop of the encompassing mountains.

If you’re being at Ka’ana, your transportation and pro guide can be booked directly by the resort. I opted to get to Xunantunich by motor vehicle for the 3-hour tour, but there is a different guided tour selection that brings you to the website on horseback. This can also be booked as a result of Ka’ana.

Soon after a early morning of discovering Xunantunich, you are going to get the job done up fairly an hunger. Our driver shared his preferred regional spot for lunch: Benny’s Kitchen. This relaxed, open up-air restaurant serves up low-priced, authentic Mayan dishes — and it is just one of the finest foods you will have in Belize. 

An additional fantastic action is a horseback riding tour at San Lorenzo Farms. A guideline potential customers the way at a leisurely tempo so you can admire the agriculture, crops and gardens, as nicely as the tropical birds and monkeys that connect with the farm property.

San Pedro: In which to remain

Checking out the record and rainforests of Belize is not to be skipped, but when you are in a coastal country, you’ll definitely be eager to delight in some seaside time and drinking water functions. San Pedro on Ambergris Caye is the great spot.

From Cayo, head back again to Goldson Worldwide Airport for a puddle jumper flight on Tropic Air to San Pedro.

Verify-in is just 30 minutes before departure and the flight time is a grand whole of 15 minutes. Conveniently, the plane lands just 20 minutes from numerous seaside inns and resorts. Leasing a car or truck is an option, but look at with your resort, simply because a lot of give transportation from the airport. A driver from Victoria Property Resort & Spa was waiting for us when we landed, and this resort is a real take care of.

Victoria Property is correct on the Caribbean Sea. For the reason that we’d be remaining there for the remainder of our excursion, just one of the very first issues we did was program our coronavirus tests for the working day prior to departure. (See notes on COVID-19 safety measures under.) Make tests preparations in advance to prevent disrupting your family vacation.

What to do

Like Ka’ana, actions can be booked immediately via Victoria House. Many thanks to its proximity to the sea, you really don’t have to travel far for most of these expeditions.

A terrific way to finish your initially working day in San Pedro is by getting a sunset cruise on a catamaran that departs from the hotel’s dock. The two-hour tour is a enjoyable and beautiful way to kick off your time in San Pedro. The guides are ready with appetizers like ceviche and chips with guacamole, as nicely as alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks.

Victoria House’s cafe, Palmilla, is excellent for a late supper soon after you return from the cruise. Even though you cannot go wrong, the seafood dishes are particularly awesome the cashew-crusted fillet and the stone crab ended up hugely advisable by restaurant team.

Yet another really don’t-pass up activity is a snorkeling tour, which also conveniently leaves from the resort dock. Belize is renowned for its diving waters. The boat brings you to the Hol Chan Maritime Reserve, where by you’re handled to lovely coral reefs. Following up was Shark Ray Alley, wherever you can knock “swimming with sharks” off your bucket listing. (They’re friendly nurse sharks.)

You’ll unquestionably want to check out downtown San Pedro, way too. While strolling is an alternative, golf carts are the most common process of transportation. Victoria Household lets attendees borrow golf carts to head downtown. There are a quantity of modest art galleries downtown to browse, and you will find exciting souvenirs at a lot of stores like Sea Turtle Gift Shop, The Belize Chocolate Business, Belizean Breezes Cleaning soap Co., and D & G Great Jewellery and Arts.

When it is time to bid goodbye to Belize, acquire a different fast Tropic Air flight back again to the Belize City, exactly where you’ll board your flight back again to The united states.

Lingering COVID steps

As of March 1, thoroughly vaccinated travelers are no extended demanded to existing a unfavorable coronavirus exam in order to enter Belize. As a substitute, you’ll existing your proof of vaccination when you arrive in Belize. If not able to supply proof of vaccination, you need to present possibly a negative PCR check taken in just 72 several hours of arrival or a destructive speedy examination taken within just 48 hours of arrival.

The place has also lifted its mask mandate but, non-public establishments are entitled to have to have masks, so have a mask on hand.

COVID-19 recommendations are usually matter to alter, so be certain to look at travelbelize.org for the most up-to-date information and facts as you approach your vacation.

It’s vital to remember that, as of publication, you will have to have a destructive test to reenter the United States, regardless of vaccination position. Ask your resort if screening is provided, or discover a list of screening websites approved by Belize’s Ministry of Overall health & Wellness at travelbelize.org.

If you go

Benny’s Kitchen area Off Church Street, San Jose Succotz, Belize 501-823-2541 st.news/Bennys

Hol Chan Marine Reserve South of Ambergris Caye, Belize holchanbelize.com

Ka’ana Resort Mile 69 1/4 George Selling price Freeway, San Ignacio, Belize 501-614-8185 kaanabelize.com

Palmilla 22 Coconut Drive, San Pedro, Belize 501-226-2067 victoria-home.com/eating/palmilla-cafe

San Lorenzo Farms Mile 71 George Price tag Freeway, San Jose Succotz 501-631-4112 fb.com/SanLorenzoFarmsBelize

Victoria Dwelling Vacation resort & Spa 22 Coconut Push, San Pedro, Belize 501-226-2067 victoria-residence.com

Xunantunich Maya Web-site Xunantunich Obtain Street, San Jose Succotz, Belize belize.com/xunantunich-maya-web page-belize

Yute Expeditions San Ignacio, Belize 501-824-2076 inlandbelize.com