Whether you choose to discover the surrounding Caribbean culture, observe the exotic wildlife, visit one of the many new restaurants, or experience all three, it’s evident that Belize should be on your itinerary for 2019.
While Belize was once a best-kept secret among travelers, it has quickly become one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean as tourism arrivals continue to skyrocket. During the first half of 2018, Belize registered a 17.1-percent increase in overnight arrivals, according to Ambergris Today. In the past three years, Belize has also added eight new flights and five major airlines servicing the country.
Harvest Caye unveiled its newly built, multi-million-dollar pier in 2017, allowing the country to receive large passenger vessels and cruises. In addition to its new pier, Belize is welcoming a number of resorts that appeal to a broad set of travelers — including the Itz’ana Resort and Residencies in Placencia with its 50 sustainably designed rooms; Blackadore Caye, Leonardo DiCaprio’s eco-resort; and Alaia Belize, a boutique community resort and residential property expected to open in 2020.
If you’re not yet convinced, here are some of the most popular — and most exciting — ways to spend time in Belize:
Enjoy Endless Festivities
A melting pot of cultures, Belize is home to endless celebrations — including Belize Carnival, Cashew Fest, Lobsterfest, Costa Maya Festival, Chocolate Festival, the San Pedro Town Love FM Christmas Parade, and more.
Sitting at the ocean’s edge with a vivid view of the Caribbean seascape, Pier 366 Seafood House was recently transformed to offer visitors a distinctive gastronomic experience.
Embrace Diverse Food Options
Recently, the dining scene options have become more diverse with the establishment of restaurants like Tap Room, Midtown and Wok & Wine. Now, there are more options with the opening of three eateries, including Martha’s Cafe, Lerisi Garifuna Restaurant and Mimi’s Bistro.
Experience Unrivaled Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
Belize is home to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the ultimate world-class destination, The Great Blue Hole. Travelers can experience over 100 different coral species, more than 500 endangered and rare marine species, giant stalactites, dripstone sheets, columns and atolls.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve isthe world’s second largest barrier reef in the world.
Discover Local Culture
Belize is home to endless historic offerings — including 200 cayes (pronounced “keys,” Belize’s islands) filled with several preserved Mayan Temples, lush jungles, rainforest canopies, and archaeological sites.
For those looking to take a deeper dive and explore the beauty of Belize’s natural underwater locations, the country is home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, several wrecked ships, and The Great Blue Hole.
Observe Exotic Wildlife
Home to the rehabilitated, orphaned and rescued wildlife of Belize, the Belize Zoo is home to exotic wildlife — including tapirs, black jaguars, manatees, spider monkeys, keel-billed toucans, scarlet macaws, and very inquisitive keel billed toucan (Belize’s national bird).
Brand New Resorts & Residences
Belize is welcoming a number of resorts that appeal to a broad set of travelers.
This resort and residential property, expected to open in 2020, was conceived by visionary developer Andrew Ashcroft to embrace the Belizean spirit. The idyllic beachfront property will feature a hotel, 56 two-and-three-bedroom condominiums and eight oceanfront villas with infinity pools.
Itz’ana Resort and Residencies in Placencia
Recently opened, the complex includes 50 sustainably designed rooms and suite.
Expected to open in early 2019, this is the world’s first truly restorative island development, completely powered by renewable energy and designed to increase the biological health of species on the island and in the waters around it.
Unscripted Belize and Dream Belize
The first of two Dream Hotel Group properties planned for Placencia, Unscripted Belize, will debut with 24 beachfront cabanas.
Four Seasons Caye Chapel
This resort is slated to open in 2021 with 30 to 40 overwater bungalows on a private island.
All other photos courtesy of the Belize Tourism Board