By Pamela Jacobs
Belize is a truly unique country in Central America that is fast becoming a favorite vacation spot for Americans. It’s a tropical, naturally beautiful country whose abundance of wildlife, unspoiled beaches, and diverse culture make it an ideal choice for a getaway that is at once relaxing, adventurous, and different. Visit one of these amazing destinations in Belize, and you just might have the best vacation of your lifetime.
Kanantik Reef and Jungle Resort
In the Mayan language, Kanantik means “to take care,” and it’s immediately clear, upon arriving at this all-inclusive resort, that that is exactly what they do, and they do it well. Kanantik Reef and Jungle Resort is located on the southern coast of Belize, and sits on 300 acres of untouched, wildlife-filled land that represents the true nature of Belize. Ultra private, eco-sensitive, and splendidly beautiful, this resort, which boasts a private 1,300 foot beach, is the perfect rare combination of pampering luxury and natural harmony.
Guests at Kanantik stay in one of only 25 private, thatched-roof cabanas that are large, well-appointed, and extremely comfortable. Each cabana is designed to reflect both the ancient Mayan aesthetic and a contemporary Belizean quality, featuring hand-made furnishings, large comfortable beds, and enough modern amenities to ensure total comfort. Large outdoor decks and tropical rain showers bring nature into the guests’ cabanas, and intimate accommodations remind visitors that this is not a cold resort, but a tropical home away from home.
Kanantik’s guests are never bored: take a guided forest tour, visit the Mayan ruins, canoe through jungle rivers, spot manatee at the Sapodilla Lagoon, or experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure at Cockscomb Basin, a 120,000 acre Jaguar preserve, the likes of which exist nowhere else. It’s really impossible not to be impressed each day at the bounty of nature that shares the land with Kanantik.
While there, you’ll enjoy fantastic Creole-Mediterranean cuisine and authentic Mayan/Belizean entertainment, once again ensuring that no one can be bored there. Of course, if you just want to sit back, relax, and sip pina coladas while observing the paradise surrounding you, that’s okay too—simple pleasures are what it’s all about at Kanantik. www.kanantik.com
Maruba Resort Jungle Spa Belize
This boutique spa resort is located in the heart of the Mayan jungle, and after a short time there, any city-dweller will feel like a natural-born jungle dweller. The style of the resort is described as “neo-primitive” and “tribal chic,” making Tarzans and Janes out of each guest. Enjoy jungle views from the rooms, hot tubs in the suites, eclectic and peaceful lounge areas, and casual comfort that welcomes guests and eases them into the Belizean liefestyle.
Of course if relaxation is what you seek, look no further than the award-winning, magnificent spa that serves as a truly unique, rejuvenating oasis that can make any stressed New Yorker feel years younger. The Spa at Maruba is known among enthusiasts for its signature Mood Mud treatments, each of which bring the mysticism and healing properties of ancient Mayan culture to guests who enjoy the spa services. Choose from a variety of massages, body wraps, body scrubs, facials, and beauty treatments, all of which restore and enhance the body, and make for unparalleled bliss. A day at Maruba’s spa is guaranteed to transform anyone.
Exploring Belize is something encouraged here, and there is no shortage of activities. Excursions from the resort include horseback riding, a medicinal safari hike, a boat trip to the pyramids of Lamanai, a Baboon Sanctuary, cave tubing, and so much more. Upon visiting Maruba, expect to become one with nature, and expect to see things you won’t see anywhere else in the world. www.maruba-belize.com
Blue Marlin Lodge
Guests at Blue Marlin Lodge are assured of this: expect to experience the best diving and fishing imaginable, all in the amazing barrier reef off of Blue Marlin’s private island oasis. This resort is a true sanctuary for water lovers and those looking to escape from it all.
Located on Southwater Caye, Blue Marlin Lodge is rustic, casual, and charming, and sits directly on the reefline. Guests can easily swim out to the crest of the barrier reef, and in no time start exploring the magnificence of the underwater world. On the other side of the resort sits a gentle, emerald colored lagoon that is simply heavenly. Anyone who enjoys the water can’t help but be mesmerized by the whole scene the Blue Marlin Lodge presents to its guests.
All of the accommodations offer pure comfort and simple island charm, from the nine cozy guest rooms to the domed cabins to the tropical beach cottages that sit perched on posts at the edge of the sea. Guests can also enjoy the open-air, thatched-roof clubhouse with a fun, funky bar complete with tropical drinks and a pool table, and the casual, yet delicious Charlie’s restaurant which serves the freshest seafood imaginable.
It’s all about comfort, simplicity, and tropical paradise at the Blue Marlin. Whether you choose to interact with the sea life, the friendly staff, or the resort’s most popular residents, two friendly pelicans, you’ll feel worlds away from the hustle and bustle you’ve left behind in the city. www.bluemarlinlodge.com
Belize Sea and Explore
If you want to visit Belize but just can’t decide where it is you want to stay, or what it is you want to do, then do yourself a favor and seek the guidance of native Belizeans Sue and Tony Castillo, who run Belize Sea and Explore, and know the country in and out. Since 1990, the Castillo’s have been helping vacationers discover Belize and plan the absolute perfect vacation. They’ve traveled extensively throughout the country, seen and discovered all of its treasures, and Sue used to work for the Belize Ministry of Tourism, so she has true insider information.
Sea and Explore will help you determine which Belizean destination is right for you—the amazing Atolls, the cayes, Ambergris Caye, Belize City, Placencia, or the northern, western, and southern parts of the country—each offers something different and unique, and while you might not know which one suits your vacation needs, Sea and Explore knows them all so well and can help you narrow down your search. The Castillos also know all there is to know about Belize’s resorts, and can help you make the right decision (we have a feeling they might point you in the direction of some of our resort picks).
While on vacation, you should worry about nothing. Planning it shouldn’t be stressful either, and trusting Sea and Explore can help ensure that your Belize vacation is all you had hoped for, and more. www.seaexplore.com