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Relax, Recharge, and Reset in Belize - Part 1

Each bungalow at Blancaneaux Lodge features a hand-woven thatched roof and antique colonial furnishings.

We're off to beautiful Belize today. By 'we', I mean you by way of this week's article. This is part one of a three-part series I'm writing to whisk you away in your imagination, and inspire you to be whisked away in reality. There are many aspects to Belize and each article will explore something different for you to enjoy.

A Jungle Adventure

Belize packs a punch for a country that commands just a tiny sliver of Central American real estate. From ancient jungle temples to ivory beaches scalloping the coast to dozens of unspoiled Caribbean islands scattered just offshore, Belize is blessed with an outsize proportion of natural splendor. As travelers increasingly look to adventure and nature-inspired getaways as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Belize welcomes mindful vacationers with a gorgeous coastline that it shares with Cancún and Tulum to the north – even as it manages to stay blissfully free of crowds.

While neighboring Mexico is home to well-known temples, the Mayan Empire’s reach extended deep into the Yucatán Peninsula; today, you’ll find vestiges of their power scattered across the jungles of Belize’s interior. Perhaps the finest example lies 70 miles west of the capital (Belmopan), where more than two dozen palaces, plazas, and temples cluster on a ridge overlooking the Mopan River. When you set out to explore the Xunantunich archaeological site, you won’t find yourself jostling with selfie sticks at monuments such as its ancient El Castillo pyramid. Here you have the sensation of having the ruins just for yourself. No crowds, no lines. The climb to the top of El Castillo might be taxing for some, but you’ll be rewarded with views that extend across the border with Guatemala.

Nestled in the 107,000-acre Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, 90 minutes east of the temples, Blancaneaux Lodge’s 20 wood-and-thatch villas on the banks of Privassion Creek share the dense tropical rain forest with a legion of birds, butterflies, howler monkeys, and iguanas. The lodge is pictured above; see more about it here.

Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola famously fell in love with this verdant swath in the Belizean mountains nearly four decades ago, which led to the opening of the first of three Family Coppola Hideaways resorts he owns in the country. And while Blancaneaux certainly channels the wild, a rustic communion with nature it isn’t: Think private plunge pools, “shell phones” (a conch shell intercom system), and an Italian tree house-style restaurant complete with a wood-fired brick oven.

Stay as active as you wish with horseback riding to hidden falls, cave exploration, and jungle hikes; or relax with a treatment from the spa menu, or a dip in the pool, or hot tub. Enjoy gourmet cuisine in either of the restaurants, Montagna and Guatemaltecqua.

When you choose to stay in a luxury cabana, you'll be surrounded by lush vegetation, deep pools and tumbling waterfalls overlooking Privassion Creek.

Your coastal adventure is up next. Make sure you come back to enjoy the rest of your Belize vacation.

'til next week.


Did you miss any of my articles? They are all here.

I create indulgent, transformative vacations for people who crave immersive travel. If you’re too busy to take time to plan the details of your own well-deserved escape, don't know where to begin, or are longing to make unforgettable memories with those you love, then don’t wait another day. Let's talk.

-Juliet Weller, Founder

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