This is the final installment of your literary tour of Belize, and we've only scratched the surface. This is why travel is a thing! This is why Christopher Columbus and dozens before and since were compelled to set sail in search of "what's out there". Because as telling as the written word can be, pictures (and one's own experiences) are worth a thousand words, and more.
Okay, let's dive in. See what I did there?
Some have speculated that Madonna’s ballad “La Isla Bonita” was inspired by the popular Ambergris Caye island. While that may or may not be true, any of Belize’s idyllic isles could serve as muse to an enamored songwriter. The Royal Belize private island resort can host 15 of your nearest and dearest across five opulent suites spanning three villas. It’s a paradise for water sports, given that the resort abuts the Belize Barrier Reef, the world’s second largest.
At Cayo Espanto, another private-island hideaway, guests can arrive via helicopter, getting a bird’s-eye view of the reef en route – as well as the Great Blue Hole, the biggest marine sinkhole in the world. The four-acre island’s seven villas are situated for utmost privacy, out of sight from other vacationers, each with its own private beach, dock, and pool.
Ambergris Caye is Belize’s largest island and a favorite destination, thanks in part to its proximity to the Blue Hole and the reef. The sophisticated 34-room Las Terrazas resort might be another reason. While the 70-foot infinity pool and Caribbean Sea views are compelling enough to keep you on the property, there’s a whole world to explore just offshore. From the resort’s dock, take a snorkeling excursion to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley with instructors to guide your way. The unbelievably clear water makes for an unforgettable experience.
A visit to one of Belize's coastal islands completes your luxurious vacation in this tiny English-speaking Central American country. Nearly half of Belize is protected wilderness of mist-shrouded jungle, remote mountains, and the world’s second-largest barrier reef. It's an ecotourism paradise. Hikers, snorkelers, divers, kayakers, photographers, birders, beach combers and sunbathers alike can partake of the pleasures, and know that local lodges have sustainable tourism initiatives in place, from eco-design and water conservation to renewable energy.
In this series you've glimpsed the rain forest, and the coastal towns and the islands, which is the same route that Francis Ford Coppola took. For him, what started at a small inland jungle cottage, “where I could have a quiet place to write,” grew into his first ecolodge, the 20-dwelling, riverfront Blancaneaux in central Belize’s Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. That was followed byTurtle Inn, a collection of 25 beachfront dwellings with Maya Mountain views just outside Placencia, and now at Coral Caye, the tiny hideaway a 25-minutes boat ride thee inn. And like Coppola you are undoubtedly mesmerized by Belize's beauty and variety. You'll have to come back for more.
'til next week.
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