Belize: More than beautiful beaches

Sheryl Nance-Nash | 2/20/2020, 12:38 p.m.
When you think of Belize, images of beautiful beaches likely come to mind. And rightly so.

Thrill seekers will find their sweet spot at Calico Jack’s Ziplining. Get your heart pumping gliding through jungle rainforest. There are nine runs, 15 platforms, a jungle lift, and 2,700 feet of ziplining.

If you dare, there’s also the canopy at Actun Loch Tunich. Hike the Maya Mountains to what locals call, “the monster of all caves.” The aerial views of the rainforests are worth the trip and your boldness will be rewarded when you leap off the ledge of a cliff for a 300-feet high repelling ride.

Another benefit of staying at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel is the attractions right on the property. The Green Iguana Conservation Project is an interactive exhibit that might change your view of iguanas. Up close and personal you realize they are as nervous about you as you may be about them. You’ll be encouraged to hold one. Go ahead, give it a try. It’s an IG moment for sure. You’ll also learn about the lifecycle and importance of the iguana to the ecosystem.

The hotel’s 17-acre private estate is home to all sorts of medicinal plants and herbs which you can hear about on the Medicinal Trails tour. There’s a remedy for what ails you, as well as herbs that just may keep the doctor away in the first place.

Birding fans will enjoy the 6 a.m. birdwatching tour. Wake up with some coffee, then off you go with a guide to explore the abundance of birds in the resort’s backyard. There are dozens of species, including the national bird, the Keel-Billed Toucan, Woodpeckers, and Blue Tanager among others.

There’s plenty of other nature in Belize. See some of the best of it at the Belize Botanical Gardens and the Green Hill Butterfly Farm. Green Hill is home to the largest butterfly display in the country. It’s 3,300 square feet of fluttering color.

Your trip won’t be complete if you don’t spend time at the San Antonio Maya Community. Spend several hours hearing stories from folks in this second-generation Maya village. You’ll get a chance to make corn tortillas, enjoy a lunch and to try your hand at making ceramic pottery. Hint, it’s not as easy as you might think. It is truly an art and big fun too. The stories you’ll hear with stick with you.

And yes, of course, while the beach may not be the centerpiece of this trip, if you find it too hard to resist, go ahead, take a dip. No one will hold it against you.