Where are we today? If you are just joining us, check out our last installment of TC Travel Diaries, which follows our team of experts and top travel professionals to the A-list island of St. Barths where they experienced a petite slice of Paris and some of the world’s most elite hotels and savory cuisine.
Today, our TC Travel Diaries brings us to Belize, a tiny nation nestled on the coast of Central America. With Central America’s lowest population density, it has quickly become one of the world’s authorities in adventure travel. From snorkeling in Ambergris Caye, to climbing a Mayan Temple and flying over the famous Blue Hole, the diverse country’s various cultures and distinctive biodiversity make it a bucket list must!
Since the land is so purposely undeveloped, the best way to get around is by scheduled flights that run multiple times a day, between key cities in Belize. Our favorite way to fly in Belize is with Tropic Air – flights are seamless and the pilots are always willing the share their vast knowledge on the landscape.
ID’s Insight: Tropic Air’s Blue Hole tour is a MUST. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will give you a bird’s eye view of one of the great wonders of the world, and for the best seat in the plane… Sit up front next to the pilot!
Our first stop was at the secluded Blancaneaux Lodge, located a few minutes from San Ignacio Cayo. In the early 1980s, Francis Ford Coppola fell in love with Belize and purchased the abandoned lodge, which was used as a family retreat before opening to the public in 1993. This 20-room resort is nestled in the foliage of the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, where waterfalls tumble into turquoise pools and guests can explore the ancient civilization of the Maya.
ID’s Insight: A horseback ride through the jungle is a must! The resort has an on-site stable offering guided tours of the surrounding rainforest and its kaleidoscope of colors. Afterwards, relax with an infused cocktail – 80% of the resort’s food is grown on property so the flavors are fantastic.
The next day we were off, headed to Ka’ana Resort – also in San Ignacio Cayo but more western than Blancaneaux and only a few minutes from the Guatemalan border. This upscale outpost for exploration offers modern amenities in the spacious suites and villas, while maintaining a relationship with the country’s culturally rich heritage.
ID’s Insight: A huge plus is the proximity to Guatemala and Mayan Ruins! We suggest a visit to Xunantunich, located only ten minutes from the resort. Your guide will explain the history of this ancient civilization, after which you will get a chance to climb the pyramid for stunning views from the top. Don’t forget your camera!
The next day, we hopped on a quick flight and were on the other side of the country in under an hour, headed to Las Terrazas Resort & Residences in Ambergris Caye. Ambergris Caye is Belize’s largest island at 36 miles long, and is located next to the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere so the snorkeling here is unmatched.
ID’s Insight: For a laid-back Belizean afternoon, we suggest a morning snorkel excursion to Mexico Rocks dive site. The resort conveniently has a PADI five-star dive shop on property and the wildlife is absolutely incredible! Afterwards, take a leisurely bike ride into town for a cold one at Truck Stop, a great local bar.
Following a short plane ride to Placencia (known locally as ‘barefoot perfect’) we arrived at our final destination in Belize, the idyllic Turtle Inn. Placencia Peninsula is sixteen miles of golden sand, (the only of its kind on Belize’s mainland) offering a traditionally charming fishing village with bars, dining and local artisan shops. Turtle Inn is another Coppola Family Resort, with casually rustic cottages and delectable cuisine.
ID’s Insight: Coral Cay is Turtle Inn’s private island, sheltered by the famous Belize Barrier Reef and only available for one lucky group of guests at a time. We suggest adding a night or two at this exquisitely serene private island, where your only neighbors will be your traveling companions, exotic birds and attentive caretakers.
That’s all for now… catch up with us tomorrow in the Bahamas!