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  • molly3729

Romance and Adventure in Belize

As tiny as Belize is, it packs a punch with its variety of activities. We were traveling for a milestone anniversary, so opted for the more romantic option. I get itchy feet if I sit around too much, so we wanted to strike a good balance between relaxation and adventure (who would want to miss out on the fun adventures Belize has to offer?).

Our landing spot: an idyllic island 9 miles off the coast of Belize. It was quite a journey reaching the island (puddle jumper ride from Belize City to Danriga, transfer to the port, and then a rather bumpy boat ride to the island) but it was well worth being bounced around to get there, especially when we were met with the most colorful and delicious cocktail - the "mosquito bite." There are several islands in the area with lodging options of varying comfort levels, but we opted for one on the higher end that was adults-only. The resort hosted 18 private cabanas (maximum of 36 guests) and one could have as much privacy as desired. There were several areas to relax, whether around the pool, on sunbeds, hammocks in the ocean, or thatched overwater cabanas.

The resort is meticulously maintained (the entire island is raked very morning) and while it was very tempting to spend each day relaxing, there were many options for activities. For the less adventurous, there were paddle boards, kayaks and a Hobie at your disposal to explore the area. Almost every day, snorkeling trips were offered to various reefs that are about 15 minutes away from the resorts. It was beautiful to see living coral reefs full of fish and each time we snorkeled we were visited by manta rays. There were also fishing trips on offer and when the fish were cleaned at the resort in the afternoon, the nurse sharks arrived en masse to pick up the scraps. Brave souls are able to swim with the harmless nurse sharks but that was a bridge to far for me!

For the adventurous travelers, there are excursions offered to the mainland. We opted for two of these full day excursions. The first took us almost to the Guatemala border to visit the Mayan ruins of Xunantunich. The ruins are beautifully preserved and give you a glimpse into Mayan civilization and how amazingly advanced they were in terms of the calendar they used and their exceptional engineering. It was amazing to climb the ruins and take in the gorgeous views - I couldn't help but think that most countries would have cordoned off these ruins to be viewed from afar. The resident spider monkeys also kept us entertained as they swung through the trees. The second all day excursion was a ziplining and cave tubing combination in the Caves Branch area. The guides were very informative and safety was top priority. The zip lining excursion was an adrenaline-filled adventure through 6 platforms that took us through the jungles of Belize and over gorgeous rivers. A delicious lunch awaited us at the end of the adventure and then we set off on our cave tubing expedition. We got outfitted with a lifejacket, tube and headlamp, and set off on our 30 minute hike through the jungle to the caves. After a quick swim in the beautiful waters at the entrance to the cave, our tubes were tied together and we floated through the caves as a group with our guide who pointed out the geographical features of the cave and filled us in on the Mayan history. A fun-filled and fascinating day of adventure!

The trip was made extra special by the incredible staff at the resort who truly followed through on their promise to make you family. We were greeted by name each time we sat down for a meal and treated like old friends. The bar at the resort is the hub of social activity where the bartenders whip up delicious cocktails all day for guests to enjoy while settling in to an Adirondack chair with a view over the Belizian mountain ranges. Bar snacks are served every afternoon and the guests gather to share their experiences from the day. Given that many guests are celebrating a honeymoon or anniversary at this romantic spot, the resort offers private dining in the overwater bungalows. We were treated to a delicious meal of seafood and steak with a beautifully decorated table and a bottle of chilled wine. A memorable way to celebrate a special occasion!

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