Archive for Belize Sights to See

Placencia, Belize # 39 – Travel & Leisure Best Top Places to Travel in 2016

 

Belize_South_Water_Caye

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently Travel & Leisure published their top 50 destinations to travel to around the world in 2016. Placencia Belize came up on their radar as number #39.

If you have not ever been to Belize, it’s a small country that became independent located in Central America, south of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, and bordered by Guatemala to the west and south. Formally known as British Honduras, Belize has a stable parliamentary democracy and is a member of the British Commonwealth. Belize is the only Central American country were English is the official language. A valid passport is required to enter Belize. You won’t find 1500 of your favorite U.S. all-inclusive resort travelers sharing the beach, pool or dining rooms at your resort.

In Belize the average cottage, hotel or resort has around 20 rooms, travelers experience an intimate causal atmosphere of the country and it’s people. Belize is a destinations that offers a variety of accommodations from moderate to luxury getaway with amazing soft adventure activities from snorkeling, diving, fishing and historical ancient ruins.

In the small town of Placencia located in the Southern shores of Belize, travelers can still find a great retreats that are suitable from backpackers looking for a small bungalows up to 5-Star retreats. One of the recognized elegant retreats for the well traveled is Turtle Inn, a Francis Ford Coppola property. Turtle Inn is a small quaint luxury property that is for anyone who wants a romantic atmosphere, great food, beautifully decorated individual Belizean style thatched cottage on the beach. Ideal for honeymoon or couples get-away.

turtle-inn-beach-casita-belize

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The property is designed in a native Polynesian style dark wood with thatched villas/cottages in a dark native wood theme. There are 2 swimming pools set back with 1 facing the ocean. Both are small but and inviting however the large pool (the ocean) is also inviting with easy access and no waves. There are 25 individual sea front luxury cottages beautifully decorated, no air conditioning. Cottages are cooled by the natural sea breeze, very peaceful and relaxing. The large patio at the steps of each cottage offers an expansive view of the ocean and surrounding area. The area is surrounded by lush manicured landscaping grounds. The main dining room offers a variety of dishes along with great thin crusted pizza. There are two restaurants and a spa.

Another luxury resort that is suppose to open in March of 2017 is Itz’ana Resort.  Itz’ana Belize Resort & Residences with 39 upscale villas—all within day trips to the world’s second-largest coral reef system. This new resort is just down the road from Turtle Inn. The resort Great House is the hub for guest to gather, eat, drink and watch the sunset.

Belize_South_water_caye_kayak
Itz’ana has a world class restaurant called Limilia, the menus changes seasonally with organic vegetables to fresh fish caught daily. There is a full service Spa/Yoga, Marina and a Private Island Club to relax with the barrier reef at your door step.  The resort is a mixture of residence and guest. There are 1 bedroom lofts and cottages, 2-bedroom villas and 3-5 bedroom luxury house retreats.

If you are after a little adventure and relaxation day excursions are a highlight every guest can enjoy from Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Fishing, Swimming, Sunset Cruises and a short bicycling ride into Placencia. Other day tours include the Mayan Ruin near Punta Gorda Nim Li Punit and Blue Creek Cave Adventure. Hiking in the Cockscomb Basis and the Monkey River wild.  The unspoiled terrain of Belize has something for everyone. The interior of the country is home to those seeking the thrill of touring the ancient Mayan ruins and wandering the canopied jungles; while on the coast, you’ll witness tranquil views of our crystal oceans and pristine beaches.

 

MEET OUR BELIZE EXPERT:

P James

 

Patsy James has great insider’s knowledge in the history, culture and geography of BelizeCosta Rica, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama and Peru.  Having travel to these destinations she has firsthand knowledge of Central America from remote outposts to cosmopolitan centers, Patsy can create unique travel experiences for you, dream vacation, honeymoons, multi-generation family get-aways. Familiar with most common tourist attractions, Patsy also knows many “off the beaten track” secrets. Anyone interested in travelling from Belize to Guatmala or Mexico to Belize?

Patsy’s experience with destination weddings, eco-adventure & nature tours, group tours, spa experiences and jungle adventures makes her a wonderful partner to have while planning your next trip to Central America.

CALL TODAY:  1-800-626-3483 FREE
EMAIL:  INFO@BELIZETRAVELPOINTS.COM
WEBSITE:  www.belizetravelpoints.com

Belize- Fun Activities To Do On Vacation

Tikal_ruins_guatemala

Tikal_ruins_guatemala

Seeking something different on your vacation, snorkeling, fishing,sightseeing, adventure, culture, romance or family fun. Belize has the sights to see and places to visit that are full of activities and amazing experiences for you to discover. Belize is your Central American destination full of incredible activities from  Mayan Ruins, Caving, snorkeling, birding, fishing, hiking, sailing and relaxing, there is plenty to see and do while you relax on vacation.

Most travelers seek activities that they are interested in seeing or doing.  Here are some of our top 5 fun activities to experience with your family or spouse or friend in Belize.
Belize – 5 fun activities to do on vacation in Belize

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Cockscomb Basin & Jaguar Preserve – Walk with a guide who will interpret the flora and fauna that make this national treasure such an amazing place.  The Cockscomb basin is one of the world’s first jaguar preserve and national park with trail leading to waterfalls, home to large variety of birds, reptiles and mammals.  The Jaguar Preserve is a sanctuary for the large wild cat, it’s unlikely you will see one however.  Your guide will show you possible Jaguar tracks along with the possibility of seeing a tapir and other wildlife.  Cockscomb Basin is also home to one of Belize’s highest points — Victoria Peak.

Caye Caulker & Shark Ray Alley
Caye Caulker & Shark Ray Alley – Enjoy an up close encounter with sting rays and nurse sharks while snorkeling this in shallow water.  Your excursion starts out on a Catamaran from Ambergris Caye to Caye Caulker, then a brief stop and lunch and back out for sailing and snorkeling with the Rays & Shark.

Tikal Guatemala

Tikal Guatemala.  The ancient Mayan Ruins of Tikal, Caracol are one of many sites it Belize and Guatemala.  Spend a full day exploring the incredible ruins of Tikal in Guatemala in the midst of a rainforest teeming with woldlife.  This ceremonial city, built by the ancient Mayans and abandoned over 1,000 years ago, boasts several magnificent structures.  Only a small portion of the city has been unearthed, and in the process over 3,000 separate building have been revealed, temples, shrines, ceremonial platforms, residences, ball courts, terraces walkways and plazas.

Tikal Guatemala

Tikal Temple Guatemala

Barton Creek Cave Excursion
Barton Creek Cave Excursion is a 1/2 day excursion cave tour by canoe or by inter-tube.  On the way to the cave, you will drive through the traditional Mennonite village of Upper Barton Creek.  Upon arrival you will board a canoe and had almost tow miles into this remote cave, once used by the ancient Mayans as a burial site and for ceremonial purposes.  The cave is adorned with stalactites and stalagmites.  Observe pottery shards and bones with the help of your guides spotlight.  Return to the lodge.

Lobsterfest in Placencia

If you plans take you to the small town of Placencia in the month of June, plan on attending the Placencia Lobsterfest, celebration of the opening of the lobster season in Belize. This year, the festival is scheduled from June 27-29, 2014 and is organized by the Placencia Village Council and the Placencia Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association. Thousands of local and international visitors are expected to attend.

Whale Shark Diving

Whale Shark Diving is an incredible experience for beginner and seasoned diving enthusiasts.  Around the time of the full moon in the spring, whale sharks congregate in the southern Belizean reef system near Gladden Split to feed on the spawn (eggs) of red snapper other fish.  These giant members of the shark family are wildly considered to be docile and harmless, despite the fact they can grow up to 50 feet in length.

Meet Our Belize Expert

Patsy-Belize-tree

Patsy James has great insider’s knowledge in the history, culture and geography of Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama and Peru.  Having travel to these destinations she has firsthand knowledge of Central America from remote outposts to cosmopolitan centers, Patsy can create unique travel experiences for you, dream vacation, honeymoons, multi-generation family get-aways. Familiar with most common tourist attractions, Patsy also knows many “off the beaten track” secrets. Anyone interested in travelling from Belize to Guatmala or Mexico to Belize?

Patsy’s experience with destination weddings, eco-adventure & nature tours, group tours, spa experiences and jungle adventures makes her a wonderful partner to have while planning your next trip to Central America.

Belize – Exclusive Luxury Retreats and Romantic Resorts

POOL PLACENICA BELIZE

POOL PLACENICA BELIZE

During the winter months, Americans, Canadians who live in or above the 40th parallel maybe getting tired of the freezing cold weather during the winter months along with short days and long nights, this  can lead to tropical deprivation.  The solution is a warm tropical destination with warm Caribbean beaches, crystal clear blue or turquoise water and a destination that is elusive.  Belize is a destination with exclusive luxury retreats and romantic resorts that are small, quaint and very service friendly.  You won’t find 2500 of your favorite fellow travelers sharing the beach, pool or dining rooms at your resort.   In Belize you will experience an intimate causal atmosphere of elegance, service and beauty.  Belize is one of destinations that offer luxury accommodations, amazing snorkeling, diving, fishing and historical ancient ruins to explore.  Belize is close enough to be affordable and within an easy day’s travel to/from any destination in the U.S.

Belize is located in Central America, south of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, and bordered by Guatemala to the west and south.  Formally known as British Honduras, Belize has a stable parliamentary democracy and is a member of the British Commonwealth.  Belize is the only Central American country were English is the official language.  A valid passport is required to enter Belize.  The currency is a stable exchange rate of $2BZ-$1 US, establishments accept US dollars, and it is recommended to use cash, credit cards are accepted however not all establishments accept credit cards because of high service fees.  The main staples are rice and beans, chicken, and fresh seafood.  It is very traveler friendly, with great array of activities to enjoy.

Belize has its coastal areas, with wonderful snorkeling, fishing, diving, wind surfing, sea kayaks, and much more.  Then you have the mainland, which is a combination of rainforest and pine ridge, beautiful mountains, ancient Mayan ruins, caving, rivers, horseback riding, wildlife, and jungle treks.

For those looking for a luxury comfortable tropical vacation without all the crowds, your own secluded beach then the perfect combination of beach and rain forest experience.  Your vacation can start out by visiting the luxurious resort, Turtle Inn, one of Francis Ford Coppola properties.  Its exquisite, Balinese-inspired cabanas feature spacious screened decks and are available with seafront, sea view options. The property has a nice pool, large thatched roof dining and bar area, very inviting and peaceful.

Turtle Inn Resort

Turtle Inn Resort

Turtle Inn Pool and Restaurant

Turtle Inn Pool and Restaurant

Placenica has some of the best beaches in Belize.  The 16-mile peninsula runs parallel to the mainland. Placencia has a diverse cultural heritage, today it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Belize.  There are many activities available in Placencia from fishing, Mayan Ruins, Manatee watching, Monkey River tour and of course diving and Snorkeling. After 4 or 5 nights at the Turtle Inn your Belizean journey should take you into the interior of Belize to another of Francis Ford Coppolal property, Blancaneaux Lodge.  Blancaneaux Lodge is one of the most beautiful full service luxury jungle lodges in Belize, a true get-a-way.   As you pull off the main dirt road into the sanctuary of Blancaneaux, you drive down a manicured landscaped entrance into a lush oasis.   The professionalism and attention to detail is what makes Blancaneaux a superb experience.

Blancaneaux Lodge Belize

Blancaneaux Lodge Belize

 

Blancaneaux Dining Room Belize

Blancaneaux Dining Room Belize

 

Blancaneaux Cottage Lodge Belize

Blancaneaux Cottage Lodge Belize

The main lodge is where you check-in, this is also the dining and lounge area with view of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve the largest protected area in Belize, boasting an immense Rain Forest and natural Wildlife Sanctuary. Approximately 1 hours drive off the Hummingbird Highway, up a bumpy dirt road, Blancaneaux is tucked away in the Maya Mountains.  There are 20 luxury rooms that over look the Privassion River where waterfalls and fresh water swimming pools are just steps from your door.  All of the individual cottages are large with native wood floors, thatched ceilings with tastefully decorated décor and a large patio to relax, read and soak in the sites of the surrounding area.  Blancaneaux offers a wide variety of day activities for guest including, Hiking, Horseback Riding Mountain Biking, Swimming plus a variety of day tours such as Caracol Mayan Ruins, Xunantunich & Cahal Pech, Tikal and the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve area.  Other attractions near by are the Calico Zipline, Barton Creek and ATM Cave experience.

This is full service resort that is very friendly and personal with its guest. Most guests spend 3 – 5 days before moving on.   This is the kind of hotel you would recommend and go back to over and over.  Service and food is consistently very good and the ambiance is part of the atmosphere character of the area. Excellent accommodations, high level of personal service and a variety of guest amenities, you will love this place, they set the standard for the area. Shortcoming:  Road up to Bancaneaux can be bumpy.

Hidden-Valley-Resort-Belize

Hidden-Valley-Resort-Belize

The interior of Belize offers Mayan history, endless rainforest, wildlife, caving, trekking, and jungle horseback riding.  Another unique jungle lodge located within the vicinity is Hidden Valley Lodge and resort, this property has 12- cottages surrounding a central lodge.  The resort facilities include miles of hiking trails and waterfalls located on the reserve, only for guests of Hidden Valley a treasure to see and experience. The lodge attention to detail makes your stay an incredibly private and personalized experience.  The property has a nice dinning room, bar, library lounge, WiFi, riverside spa, horse stables, organic garden and miles of trails for hiking and walking. This is the kind of place you can do as much as you would like or just relax and enjoy the scenery.  There are beautiful gardens, dense jungle, and ancient Mayan ruins of Caracol nearby for a day excursion. Visitors enjoy the view on the open veranda overlooking the mountain side.  Daily guided activities may include a journey to the different waterfalls located on the reserve. Other highlights of day activities include Mayan Ruins, Cave Tours, Bird watching, Horseback riding, River Canoeing and Kayaking, Zip lines and jungle excursions.

Hidden-Valley-Waterfalls-B

Hidden-Valley-Waterfalls-B

If these eco-adventures sound interesting and fun while enjoying a sense of adventure on vacation visit our web site at www.belizetravelpoints.com or call us to help arrange your vacation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hidden-Valley-Pool-Main_lodge-Belize

Hidden-Valley-Pool-Main_lodge-Belize

P James

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patsy James has great insider’s knowledge in the history, culture and geography of Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama and Peru.  Having travel to these destinations she has firsthand knowledge of Central America from remote outposts to cosmopolitan centers, Patsy can create unique travel experiences for you, dream vacation, honeymoons, multi-generation family get-aways. Familiar with most common tourist attractions, Patsy also knows many “off the beaten track” secrets. Anyone interested in travelling from Belize to Guatmala or Mexico to Belize?

Patsy’s experience with destination weddings, eco-adventure & nature tours, group tours, spa experiences and jungle adventures makes her a wonderful partner to have while planning your next trip to Central America.

Belize Family Adventure Vacations

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Belize Family Adventure Vacations are vacations full of activities and adventures that are not your typical beach vacation, your family will relish their memories to the wonders Belize has to offer.   Soft adventure activities are the norm for active travelers families, honeymooners and old active adults who want to see, explore and experience a destination with years of history, remarkable coastal waters for diving, fishing and snorkeling and some of the best small luxury Eco-jungle lodges anywhere in North America.

A weeks adventures maybe a include a visit to an historical Mayan ruins deep in the jungles of Belize, or a remote cave exploration with guide, a river excursions in search of rare tropical birds and wildlife, or a hike thought the jungles in Cockscomb basin (with guide) in search of the beautiful waterfalls and scenery of the area. On the islands or Caye snorkeling, diving, fishing, sea kayaking, paddle boarding or along the reef. These are some of the many excursions and activities available for travelers seeking an adventure you will remember for the rest of your life.

Belize is a place–and an experience– marked by excitement and adventure. In one week you can explored thousands of years of history, walk through caves and jungles of the enchanted ruins, and saw one of the world’s largest outdoor zoos. The mainland and coastal cays are remarkable wonders.

During our recent trip to Belize, we traveled on rivers, through jungles, over mountains and coral reefs, into expansive underground caves, and under glorious waterfalls. Through it all, there was an incredible collection of wildlife.  After hiking through the jungle and visiting Mayan ruins and the bat cave, we retired to a beautiful jungle lodge near the Cayo area to recap the day’s activities with our hosts and another guest.  After 2 nights at this Jungle Lodge and headed to one of the finest jungle lodges in Belize, Blancaneaux Lodge.  Located in the Mountain Pine Ridge area is the perfect home-base for Mayan explorations, jungle tours, caving and more.  The Privassion River tumbles trough the grounds.  The lodge features private villas and cabanas of all sizes.  Amenities include a restaurant, bar, pool, riverside spa, horse stables, organic garden and mountain bikes.  The next day we hiked down the trail along the Privassion river to Rock Falls, a 100-foot waterfall where large pools of smooth, clean water beckons swimmers to relax and cool off. The evening was spent under the dark crystal clear night under the stars enjoying a relaxing dinner and talking about the days adventure.

Our next destination was Ambergris Cay. (A “cay” is a small low island or reef of sand, rocks, etc.) The cay had white, sandy beaches and coconut palms. It was the perfect place to relax in a beautiful tropical atmosphere. There was also a touch of “civilization,” with seaside restaurants, waterfront bars, miles of beaches, superb resort hotels, and the reef.

Ambergris Cay is just a short hop from Belize City. We stayed at Ramo’s Village for a couple of nights and then spent 1-night at Cayo Espanto, a remote island with luxury villas.   Ramo’s Village is a quaint resort hotel with grass huts, a good restaurant, and a great location. Days were spent snorkeling and bone fishing. Evenings were spent taking a short walk into the town of San Pedro for dinner and limited shopping.

The Fishing in Belize is world class! A guide took us bone fishing and we had a very successful day. If you are a fly fisherman or just someone who enjoys fishing for Bone fish you will enjoy taking a half day with a guide to fish.  We started the morning meeting our guide on a flat skiff and headed to the flats.  Our guide took us to an area where schools of bone fish were moving about. We started out with a hermit crab fly pattern and fished without much luck until our guide ask us if wanted to catch and release some bone fish. Our guide tied on “real hermit crab” on the hook and BANG, we started catching bonefish.  Bonefish are a great game fish to catch and release because they put up a great fight and they range between 1 – 5 pounds, so they are not that big, it’s a fun day for everyone.

Snorkeling from Ambergris Caye is some of the best snorkeling anywhere in North American and is available within a short ride to the barrier reef.  The reef has over 70 species of hard coral, 38 species of soft coral, 500 species of fish. Belize offers world-class snorkeling virtually everywhere along the reef with warm water temperatures.  Some of the most popular snorkeling day excursions are to Mexico Rocks and Shark / Ray Alley. Both of these excursions offer an opportunity see an abundant of sea life and swim among the nurf sharks and stingrays.

After 2-days at Ramon’s  we were picked up and taken a short distance to Cayo Espanto, unveiled a romantic paradise. Individual huts have their own splash pools, private docks, and all of the amenities that are needed for a relaxing stay. Island guests can relax, take a paddle boat ride around the island, bonefish off of their private docks, and eat wonderful meals.  Cayo Espanto is a private Island 3 miles from San Pedro featuring 5-luxury unique villas.  Amenities include a personal houseman, transportation to/from San Pedro, pedal boats, sea kayaks, paddle boarding, sailboats and all meals and beverages, soaking pools and beach access plus full service spa.

This small island is for the water sports enthusiast’s. If you are a fly fisherman, you can bone fish right from your luxury cottage around the island.  For individuals who like to sea kayaking it’s available. If you are interested in paddle boarding, this is a perfect island to paddle board around, calm and shallow water and a beautiful island scenery.

Belize is a destination that provides a lot to see and do. If you are interested in learning more about these kinds of family adventures, or you would like to plan a trip like this for yourself or your family, e-mail our office at info@travelpoints.com or call at 1-800-626-3483.  Visit our web site www.belizetravelpoints.com

 

Meet Our Central America Destination Expert
Patsy James
P JamesPatsy James has great insider’s knowledge in the history, culture and geography of Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama and Peru.  Having travel to these destinations she has firsthand knowledge of Central America from remote outposts to cosmopolitan centers, Patsy can create unique travel experiences for you, dream vacation, honeymoons, multi-generation family get-aways. Familiar with most common tourist attractions, Patsy also knows many “off the beaten track” secrets. Anyone interested in travelling from Belize to Guatmala or Mexico to Belize?

Patsy’s experience with destination weddings, eco-adventure & nature tours, group tours, spa experiences and jungle adventures makes her a wonderful partner to have while planning your next trip to Central America.

Romantic Luxury Jungle & Beach Resorts in Belize

GAIA-Cabana-Rooms-belize

GAIA-Cabana-Rooms-belize

Planning a trip to Belize with a romantic jungle lodge experience mixed with a luxury beach resort, then consider GAIA Jungle Lodge and Matachica Luxury Beach Resort combination. Since most travelers to Belize like to be active and relax with some down time, we have come up with the perfect combination of a luxury jungle and beach, great for honeymoon couples or adult
couples. Four nights at the new renovated GAIA Lodge and 4-Nights at Matachic for diving & snorkeling.

GAIA located in Pine Ridge area offers a retreat filled with activities. It is for lovers and eco-tourists who like the proximity to the jungle and mountains.   The lodge is perched on the edge of a steep valley, featuring 19 cabanas of various sizes, something for every group size and budget.  All are beautifully furnished and comfortable.  Highlights of the area to see are the Mayan Ruins, Cave Tours, Horseback Riding, Canopy Zip Lines and Jungle Excursions.  After your Jungle stay, it’s time to relax on the beach At Matachica, located a short distance from the Center of San Pedro,

Matachic is a perfect location to relax and enjoy the amenities this resort has to offer.  The resort has a nice restaurant, swimming pool and unobstructed views of the Caribbean.   There are 24 air-conditioned guestrooms at Matachica Beach Resort including ceiling fans and windows that open.  Cabanas are spacious and beds are draped with pure lien mosquito net.  There is plenty to do with diving, fishing, surfing/boogie boarding and sailing or just relaxing with a treatment at the full-service spa.  it’s a great get-away.

GAIA-Cabana-Rooms2-belize

GAIA-Cabana-Rooms2-belize

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 01 USA to Belize International Airport to Mountain Pine Ridge, Cayo District, Belize, On arrival you will transfer to the Mountain Pine Ridge, Cayo District to GAIA. Enjoy four nights at Gaia in a Waterfall View Suite inclusive of breakfast.  Located on the top of a ridge overlooking the Five Sisters waterfalls, Gaïa River Lodge has 16 spacious appointed private cabanas.  Interior design features Belizean hardwoods, traditional bay leaf thatched roofs, varnished mahogany interiors, along with fully screened for comfort, Cabanas feature panoramic windows or a private veranda with hammock, ceiling fans, a bathroom decorated with hand-painted Mexican tiles

GAIA-dining-patio-belize

GAIA-dining-patio-belize

Day 02 Gaia Jungle & River Lodge
Today meet your guide and head off on a full day trip to explore Caracol. The day begins with a visit to the majestic Caracol Maya archaeological site, the largest Mayan site in Belize, located deep in the Chiquibul Forest.  Afternoon stop at Rio Frio Cave and the Rio On pools.  Stop at 1000K foot waterfall.

GAIA-River-view-belize

GAIA-River-view-belize

Caracol
Situated high on the Vaca Plateau deep in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, Caracol is the most extensive Mayan site in Belize and was only re-discovered in 1936. The site of Caracol covers over 80 square miles with 30,000 structures and at its peak supported a population of more than 150,000 people. Situated 1600 feet above sea level with no natural body of water nearby, it remains a mystery how such a huge population was able to survive there. At the heart of the site lies the massive pyramid of Caana (Sky Palace), which is now almost fully restored and reaches over 135 feet high. From the top you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views over the forest-clad mountains.  Although one of the most challenging Belize ruins to reach, the trip to Caracol leads you to the country’s grandest Maya sites. The area is home to “Canaa” (Sky Place), the largest pyramid or man made structure in Belize at 140 feet tall. A large part of Caracol is still being discovered, but visitors can enjoy  simply walking among hundreds of carved monuments and structures.

Day 3: GAIA Jungle & River Lodge
Day trip to canoe through the ancient Barton Creek Cave, combined with an exhilarating zip-lining adventure. Or a visit to Green Hill Butterfly Farm to see and learn about the enchanting variety of Belize’s tropical butterflies.  Afternoon return to GAIA for a relaxing swim in the river below.

Cave tubing
Barton Creek Cave is fun relaxing way to experience this particular cave by tubing. Visitors rely on their inner tubes to take them back into ancient times by floating downstream through cave passages. Along the route, guides will share geology and Maya history of the limestone   surroundings. Many tours explore different passages, with some of the caves forming
natural swimming pools of clear blue water – a serene place for a swim.

 

atm_cave_outside-entrance-belize

atm_cave_outside-entrance-belize

Day 4: GAIA Jungle & River Lodge
Today you relax or take a day excursion to one of the most impressive caves in Belize, Actun Tunichil Muknal or the ATM Cave.  This journey starts with a ride through the Pine Ridge Mountains to the Maya Mountains in central Belize.  The cave is located on the Caves Branch River.  After a moderate 2-mile walk to the cave entrance your guide will pass out helmets, lights and gather any personal items you don’t want to get wet.  At the cave entrance you will swim a short distance before descending into the cave.  You guide will lead you through the flowing water along the limestone walls where you will see
wonderful formations of stalagmites.  The highlight of the cave is viewing the ancient Mayan artifacts and carving left behind thousands of years ago.

atm_cave_mayan-pottery1_belize

atm_cave_mayan-pottery1_belize

Day 5: GAIA to Matachica Ambergris Caye, Belize
Transfer to Belize Airport, take a short flight to Ambergris Caye and transfer to Matachica for the next 4-nights.

Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Caye is a warm, sunny island close to the mainland of Belize.  It’s the largest of the cayes (25 miles long) and offers first class hotels and many water related activities such as diving, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing and much more.   The largest town on the caye is San Pedro.  And while the town is booming with world-class beach resorts, the laidback
atmosphere and charm is hard to deny (cobble stone roads, casual attire, beachside cafes and more).  Though visitors are attracted to the beaches of Ambergris from all over the world, the island never feels overcrowded. So, vacationers looking to enjoy the culture and everyday life of a Caribbean beach town, won’t have to sacrifice the little bit of “peace and quiet”
they’ve probably come to also relish.  Golf cart is the preferred mode of transportation around the island.

Matachica-belizeMatachica Resort
Mata Chica is a secluded beach resort located about 5 miles from San Pedro. The resort features fourteen private, air-conditioned villas, including 2 luxury Caribbean Villas and an incredible Beach Mansion, each with its own unique tropical flair. Start your day with delicious freshly squeezed tropical juice and Belizean coffee, and then relax in a chair by the pool or in a hammock. Spend the afternoon on the Caribbean fishing or snorkeling, then spend the evening in the giant outdoor hot tub gazing at the stars.

Beachfront Casita
These casually elegant 550-square-foot villas are popular among guests because of close proximity to the Caribbean Sea and unobstructed views of the barrier reef. Wonderfully located only 50 feet from the Caribbean Sea, each Beachfront Casita features a king-size bed, full bathroom, air-conditioning, a ceiling fan, a sitting area, a private patio with a hammock, a
feather duvet, Matouk and Frette linens, bathrobes and Central American interior furnishings.

matachica-beach-ambergris-caye-belize

matachica-beach-ambergris-caye-belize

Day 6: Matachica Ambergris Caye, Belize
This morning enjoy after breakfast you will embark on a snorkeling tour to the famous Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Off the southern tip of Ambergris Caye is Belize’s oldest marine reserve – the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Hol Chan (Mayan for “little channel”) revolves around a cut through the reef, which is more than 25 yards wide and 30 feet deep.  The reserve is home to hundreds of colorful fish species, several kinds of rays and beautiful coral formations.  Local fishermen used to  come to Shark Ray Alley to clean their catch and their discards would attract hungry nurse sharks and southern rays. As a result these predators have long become accustomed to boats, which now bring snorkelers instead of fishers.  Shark Ray Alley is the top snorkeling destination in Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

Day 7: Matachica Ambergris Caye, Belize
Today relax and enjoy the surroundings or take an complimentary sea kayak ride. Afternoon, take a sea taxi into the small town of San Pedro to stroll and visit with the locals.

Day 8: Matachica Depart Belize
Today relax or reserve an optional fishing excursion, snorkel or dive trip to some of the famous dive site along the great barrier reef. Optional excursion not included in price.

Day 09:  Matachica to Belize / USA
Depart Matachica for your return flight home.

Package Includes:
-  4 nights accommodations at GAIA
-  Day excursions listed
-  RT transfers from Belize Intl Airport to GAIA
-  RT local intra-country flight from Belize to Ambergris Caye
-  RT Transfers from San Pedro to Matachica
-  4-nights accommodations at Matachica
-  Day excursions listed at Matachica

PATSY JAMES - BELIZE TRAVELPOINSMeet Our Central America Destination Expert
Patsy James
Patsy James has great insider’s knowledge in the history, culture and geography of Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama and Peru.  Having travel to these destinations she has firsthand knowledge of Central America from remote outposts to cosmopolitan centers, Patsy can create unique travel experiences for you, dream vacation, honeymoons, multi-generation family get-aways. Familiar with most common tourist attractions, Patsy also knows many “off the beaten track” secrets. Anyone interested in travelling from Belize to Guatmala or Mexico to Belize?

Patsy’s experience with destination weddings, eco-adventure & nature tours, group tours, spa experiences and jungle adventures makes her a wonderful partner to have while planning your next trip to Central America.

Patsy can be reached at 1-800-626-3482

Travel To Belize – 5 reason to Visit and Explore

TIKAL-RUINS-GUATEMALA

TIKAL-RUINS-GUATEMALA

There are many reasons to visit Belize, but these 5 reasons are unique to Belize and the country.  A getaway to Belize is an opportunity to explore the  rural areas, the mainland cities, towns and interior such as the Cayo District, Placenica, Hopkins, Dangria, Punta Gorda or Ambergris Caye.  The friendly people, historic sights, ancient Mayan ruins, the beautiful Caribbean beaches, fishing, the exotic rain forest and jungle and all the the other wonders of Belize.  Here are the 5 Main Reason to Visit Belize

#1       Diving / Snorkeling

Regardless of your level of ability or physical conditions, there’s a place and mask for you in Belize.  Diving around the different atolls is world-class, excellent on the reef off Stann Creek and Toledo districts, and even around the more-visited parts of the barrier reef such as near Amergris Caye.  Snorkeling is also excellent, through except from the cayes directly on the reef such as Tobacco, Goffs, and English, it requires a short boat ride to the reef.  A caution, the Caribbean on occasions has rough seas, making snorkeling risky on windy or stormy days.  Long dive boats rides can be a very queasy experience if you not use to the motion of the boat.

Tikal-Ruins

# 2.     Mayan Ruins

Belize is the heart of the Maya world, and today dozens of ruins can be visited without the hordes of tourists common in parts of Mexico.

 

#3.        Eco Travel:  Birds, wildlife and nature

Most of Belize remains lightly populated by humans and untouched by developers, so it is a paradise for wild mammals and birds.  More than 500 species of birds have been spotted in Belize.  Animals rare or extinct elsewhere still thrive in Belize’s bush. Nature is still natural here.  A surprising number of Belizeans have a real commitment to protecting the environment.

ATM Cave Belize

ATM Cave Belize

 

#4.        Adventure

Belize is a great place for adventure, soft or otherwise.  Come for hiking, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing and caving.  Indeed Belize offers osme of the best spelunking anywhere with the huge cave systems, some yet unexplored in the Maya Mountains and elsewhere.

punta-gorda-market-belize

punta-gorda-market-belize

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#5.        Culture

Belize offers the visitors a laboratory of human culture, all in a small and accessible space.  Belize is truly multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-lingual society.  Far from perfect, with dangers as well as pleasures, a trip to Belize can be an education.  Come with your eyes open and ready for a trip of a life time.

 

 

PATSY JAMES - BELIZE TRAVELPOINSMeet Our Central America Destination Expert
Patsy James
Patsy James has great insider’s knowledge in the history, culture and geography of Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama and Peru.  Having travel to these destinations she has firsthand knowledge of Central America from remote outposts to cosmopolitan centers, Patsy can create unique travel experiences for you, dream vacation, honeymoons, multi-generation family get-aways. Familiar with most common tourist attractions, Patsy also knows many “off the beaten track” secrets. Anyone interested in travelling from Belize to Guatmala or Mexico to Belize?

Patsy’s experience with destination weddings, eco-adventure & nature tours, group tours, spa experiences and jungle adventures makes her a wonderful partner to have while planning your next trip to Central America.

Patsy can be reached at 1-800-626-3482

Belcampo Lodge Birding Week in Belize

 

 

 

 

 

 

With many different species of Tropical Birds in Belize, Belcamp Luxury Lodge located a few miles from Punta Gorda Belize will host Dr. Lee Jones Feb. 15-19, 2012 for 5-Day / 4-Night Birding Package.   With over 400 different species taking flight within 10 miles of Belcampo Lodge, Dr. Jones a PH.D. In avian biography and leading ornithologists brings an unprecedented expertise to the lodge.  Days will be filled with daily birding outings, river boat trips on the Rio Grande, trips to jungle creeks and cave, along with visits to ancient Mayan ruins and farm fresh meals.  During the day, visitors can relax in the main lodge and view from above the tree tops and expansive panoramic views of the jungle forest.  Here the bird watching balcony of the lodge, you can sit and spot many species of birds that are indigenous to the area along with the howler monkeys that move throughout the forest.  Recently a Puma was spotted from the balcony a few months ago during the evening dining hours.

Bellcampo-tree-house-cottage-belize

Belcampo Lodge is a 4 1/2 star lodge that is 10 – 15 minutes from Punta Gorda.  It is a beautiful boutique luxury jungle lodge located on a forested perch high above the Rio Grande River with a gorgeous expansive view of the rainforest.  The property sits on 12,000 acres and is ideal for honeymooners, couples, birders and of course people who like to fish for bone, tarpon, permit and any other type of fish not mentioned.  .  Bellcampo formally known as Manchaca Hill and Canopy Lodge has a large open public lobby area, bar, restaurant, swimming pool, spa, Wi-Fi and no TV.   Rooms are large and spacious with a screened in veranda patio, these are plush tree houses.  On site amenities and activities include a swimming pool, walking trails, bird watching, spa, biking and kayaks.   They have a variety of day activities for guests to choose from.  The lodge focuses on offering tour-inclusive packages that focus on adventure, culture, birding and Maya archaeology.   There is limited availability with this package, call today for details at 1-800-626-3483.

Experience the Birds of Belize with Dr. Lee Jones

February 15 – 22, 2013
7 nights / 8 days: US $ 3,350/person

Package Includes:
Airfare between Belize City and Punta Gorda
Accommodations at Belcampo Feb. 15-20, 2012
Transfer to/from Punta Gorda airstrip to Belcampo
Complimentary Wifi
Complimentary laundry service
All meals at Bellcampo
Daily presentations and birding outings
A copy of The Birds of Belize by Dr. Lee Jones
Airfare from Punta Gorda to Belmopan
3-Nights lodging at Cave Branch
Transfers from Cave’s Branch to Belize Airport
Dr. Jones will be available at Belcampo Feb. 15 – 20, 2013.  Belize TravelPOINTS can mix and match pre and post packages around the Birding event at Belcampo.

 

caves-branch-treehouse-belize

 

Belize’s & Guatemala Solstice Package: Dec. 19 – 27, 2012

Highlights:  4-Star Accommodations in Guatemala City, Luxury accommodation in Flores at La Lancha , Ruin tour to Tikal, Luxury Jungle Lodge accommodation at Chaa Creek Belize, Cahal Pech Ruins, Xunantunich Ruins, Caracol Ruins, Barton Creek Cave tour, Beach Front accommodations on Ambergris Caye at Protofino Resort, Snorkeling & diving from Ambergris Caye.   

The Solstice Mayan Equinox  in Belize is an event the world is waiting to see what happens on Dec. 21, 2012.  According to the Mayan Calendar, the Classic period of Maya civilization occurred during the 8th and 9th Baktuns of the current calendar cycle. The 13th baktun will end,  December 21, 2012 using the GMT correlation. This also marks the beginning of the 14th Baktun, as such a term is usually used among Mayanists. But in Guatemala and Belize, there is a celebration in the works, and many are making plans to celebrate the end of the Mayan calendar and bring in the new era by attending one of the celebrations that will take place at some of the ruins scheduled in December.

Package: 9-Nights / 10-Days

  • 1 Night Guatemala City, overnight Guatemala City 4-star hotel.
  • 2 Nights accommodation at La Lancha or similar.  Experience Guatemala’s natural beauty with charming lakeside accommodations, authentic local cuisine and an unforgettable visit to the spectacular Mayan ruins of Tikal, one of the archaeological wonders of the world on Dec. 21,2012.
  • 3 Night Chaa Creek or similar accommodations in luxury palm thatched accommodations with all meals.
  • Available day activities included with your stay at Chaa Creek include: Horseback tours through jungle trails to ancient Maya temple sites, canoeing on the Macal River to San Ignacio Town and the Cahal Pech royal palace, tours of the beautiful temple of Xunantunich, full day tours to the ancient ruins of Caracol, half day expeditions exploring the Maya underworld via canoe within the Barton Creek Ceremonial Cave and tours of the organic Maya Farm.
  • 3 Nights Portofino on Ambergris Caye.  Beach front location with easy access to the Barrier Reef for snorkeling, diving and fishing day tours (optional).

Package Includes:

  • Meet & Greet transfer in Guatemala City, overnight Guatemala 4-star hotel..
  • Transfer and Flight from Guatemala City to Flores, 2-night accommodation at La Lancha
  • Resort.
  • Transfer from Guatemala to Chaa Creek in Belize.
  • 3-night Chaa Creek with all meals and day tour as specified.
  • Transfers and intra-country flights between Belize and Ambergris Caye.
  • Sightseeing tours as descripted with English speaking guides.
  • 3-Nights accommodations Portofino.

Land only price from:  Call us for current pricing and availability 1-800-626-3483 or email us at info@belizetravelpoints.com.

Other Solstice Packages are available between the dates of Dec. 15 – 22, 2012.  Call for complete details.

Belize Vacations Mayan Ruins

Considering a vacation to Belize and see Mayan Ruins.  This is the year when an extraordinary event occurs, The Mayan calendar, 2012 is one of the most important years in the Maya World. The 13th baktun.

A baktun (properly b’ak’tun) is 20 katun cycles of the ancient “Maya Long Count Calendar”. It contains 144,000 days, equal to 394.26 tropical years. The Classic period of Maya civilization occurred during the 8th and 9th baktuns of the current calendrical cycle. The current, The 13th baktun will end, or be completed, on 13.0.0.0.0 (December 21, 2012 using the GMT correlation). This also marks the beginning of the 14th baktun, as such a term is usually used among Mayanists.

This is a great opportunity for Mayanists and adventurer tourists that would like to experience the “Change of Times” in any of the famous Mayan Sites in Central America: Tikal, Copan, Caracol, Tazumal or the imperial cities of Chichen Itza and Tulum in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Belize is a great gateway to the Central American Maya World.  Visits to the Mayan Ruins in Belize along with a trip over to Guatemala can provide an eventful  journey coupled with pristine accommodations, informative guides and memorial sights.   We can provide you with a customized package with all the details of the itinerary.

Patsy James a Belize Destination specialist has recently returned from Belize and Guatemala this past spring visiting various Mayan Ruins, Jungle Lodges and Beach resorts.  Give her a call at 1-800-626-3483 or email her at:  info@belizetravelpoints.com.

 

Belize Jungle Lodges & Luxury Treehouse’s

cave-branch-luxury-treehouse-jungle-suite-belize

cave-branch-luxury-treehouse-jungle-suite-belize

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Belize Tourism Expo (Betex) in Belize City this past spring, I was able to visit with many familiar hotels and tour vendors we have been doing business with over the past 14-years during this conference.  Patsy James with Belize & Costa Rica TravelPOINTS came to Belize for the Betex trade fair to visit as many hotels and resorts as possible during her stay.   One of the highlights of our trip was Cave’s Branch, a jungle lodge with luxury treehouse accommodations.  For a really fun experience, Cave’s Branch Jungle Lodge is a great destination for couples and families who want to enjoy the adventure of Belize.  They have other cottages and bungalows on the property but the luxury treehouse’s are perched high above the canopy of trees with expansive views of the area and valley are some of the best I’ve seen in Belize.  The treehouses are large cottage units nicely furnished with local native woods and a tastefully native decor.  Each treehouse is set among the heavy foliage of the canopy to provide privacy for the guest.  Large patios and luxury rooms make this resort one of the most interesting places to visit along with the day time soft adventure tours.

During the first day of the Betex conference, we met our group of 10 fellow travelers in Belize City and our journey began with a short flight over to the island of Ambergris Caye where we stayed 1-night. The 5-day itinerary leads us to Placencia for the 2nd night, Hopkins for the 3rd and on to the Cayo District for the 4th night where we stayed in the town of San Ignacio.   Prior to the conference, my husband and I arrived into Belize a few days early to visit the Pine Ridge District near the Cayo District and then we flew to the Southern end of Belize to the small town of Punta Gorda.

Ambergris Caye is one of the most popular islands in Belize for its easy access to the barrier reef.  There are beautiful beaches, crystal blue water, and moderate to luxury resorts and a nice selection of restaurants and shops to visit.

The Victoria House was the hotel we stayed at.  They offer a selection of hotel rooms to 1 -3 bedroom bungalow suites for couple and families, multiple pools, beach front access, dive shop, wifi and a beautiful landscaped grounds surrounded by ferns and palms.  San Pedro is only a 10 – 15 minute walk.   Service and accommodations is top notch.

Other hotels visited on Ambergris Caye were the Xanadu Island Resort which also offers thatched-roof bungalows suites.  This property is good for families who want a 1 or 2 bedroom bungalow to gather.  It’s also on the beach with a large pool and practices sustainable.  Another stop was at Banyan Bay also a great resort on the beach for families with a large pool and restaurant.   Then it was a short flight to Placencia for a different beach destination visit in Belize.   Lunch was served at Roberts Grove where we toured this peaceful resort property.  Roberts Grove is located on the beach and is also ideal for families and couples.  They have a nice restaurant, bar, pool and gather area along with independent day trips to the various sights in the area.  The monkey river tours are a popular day trip along with snorkeling, fishing and diving.  Our overnight stay was at Calbi Mar an intimate luxury resort located on the beach, catering to couple, families and honeymooners.  Rooms are large and nicely furnished with full kitchens, modern appliances, wifi, and big screen TV’s and a large patio.  The hotel has 2 nice pools, bar and catered dining.

The next day was spent hiking in the Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve and then onto Hopkins.  Lunch was served at the All-Season’s Bed & Breakfast, a modest tourist class lodge that was clean and nicely decorated, great place for a couple on a budget who likes the intimate experience of staying with a family.  Overnight accommodations were at the Hopkins Bay Lodge & Resort, a planned resort vacation community with individual cottages.  Individual Cottages are available from 1 to 3 bedrooms, fully self contain units with full kitchens, living rooms and patio’s to spread out and relax.  Ideal for multi-generation families who want to be together in separate cottages but enjoy the togetherness of the group.  That afternoon we visited Jaguar Reef and Almond Beach, both adjacent to each other on the beach and both nice facilities for couples. Almond beach has a large gathering thatched roof dining, bar area with wide open view of the sea.     Next was Hamanasi, one of the premier properties in Belize with exceptional service and tours.  Dinner was at a small Bed & Breakfast, The Caribbean Shores a superior tourist class Bed & Breakfast located off the beach behind Almond Jaguar Reef resort.  Good for families or couples on a budget.

 

Next morning we drove to Coconut Row located in Hopkins, another older small Bed & Breakfast lodge in the town of Hopkins on the beach.   Moderate tourist class property for travelers on a budget with easy access into town.  Later in the day we headed into the Cayo District and toured Kanan’a located outside of the town of San Ignacio, nice up-scale resort with a large open bar and restaurant.  That afternoon we toured Chaa Creek, another premier jungle lodge properties in Belize with exceptional service, accommodation and day trips.  Our last night with the group was spent at the San Ignacio Hotel, located a few block from the center of town.  San Ignacio is a very accommodating hotel with comfortable up-dated rooms.  The hotel features the Iguana Project designed to bring vital ecological balance of the river habitat through the continue re-introduction of the threatened Green Iguana.  Dining on the patio in the morning is a highlight, many bird species are easy to spot and see from Toucans, Parrots, Fly Catchers to hummingbirds.