Belize is one of the most exciting countries south of the border right now, a haven for the discerning traveler seeking luxury with a heavy dose of adventure. Belize is the tropical escape that we’ve been yearning for. It lies on the east coast of Central America in the heart of the Caribbean Basin, bordering Mexico and Guatemala – here you’ll drop your toes in turquoise waters and bask in delicious year-round sunshine. The routes there are plentiful, Covid tests can be administered upon arrival, and the national language is English. No stress, no fuss, just leisurely fun. San Pedro is calling asking you to give these a try;

Blue Hole, Belize
Courtesy of Chase Dorsett

Fly over The Great Blue Hole

Undoubtedly one of the most famous natural wonders of the Americas, the Great Blue Hole should be at the top of any traveler’s bucket list. The coral-encrusted Blue Hole, an enormous circular cavern, can be experienced in a number of ways. You can opt to dive into the crystal-clear waters and see the myriad species of marine life that ensues. Or perhaps you can sail the 980 ft across with a cocktail in hand. The choice is yours. To best take in the spectacle, fly. Tropic Air can facilitate excursions by mini plane, an rush in itself, with all passengers granted ample viewing time and window seats to a sight for sore eyes.

Snorkeling in Belize
Courtesy of Belize Tourism Board

Discover The Largest Barrier Reef in the Americas

No need to journey all the way to Australia. Belize has something equally special in its ocean. Sign up for snorkeling at The Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley with an expert guide. You’ll discover schools of colorful fish as well as octopus, turtles, and the kind of corals you find on computer screensavers. After that, swim alongside nurse sharks (don’t worry, their favorite food is shrimp and crab) and stingrays as they clamor around your boat for treats. Even if you’ve never snorkeled before, the guides will put you at ease so all focus can be placed on the reef’s marine life rather than your swim ability. Diving options are also available. Either way, the encounters will not disappoint.

Dinner at the Victoria House in Belize
Courtesy of Victoria House

Taste the Freshest Seafood

Belize’s geographic location means that the seafood is fresh, in abundance, and of the highest quality. Our pick to sample its delights is at Palmilla within Victoria House Resort and Spa, a boutique beachfront resort offering a dining experience like no other. Book a private candlelit dinner on the pier (ideally after a sunset cruise, if you have time beforehand), and have the resort chefs whip up exquisite dishes with a local twist. It’s all caught locally, made from scratch (including the bread), and bursting with flavor. Sample items include lobster dumplings and tuna ceviche to start, shrimp ravioli and crispy Thai fillet to lead, and creamy cheesecake to finish. Note that menu items may vary depending on the season (we highly recommend lobster during peak season), and private pier dining must be booked in advance.

Placencia beach in Belize
Placencia beach. Courtesy of Belize Tourism Board

Golf Cart around the Island

San Pedro is perfect for a breezy trip on a golf cart. The relaxed nature of the locals means you’ll leave road rage back home as you stop-and-go along sandy beaches, rest under palm trees, or park to shop at boutique stores. Fuel up at local BBQ joints, and remember to look up. Why? Well, Belize is home to over 600 species of birds, thus boasting some of the best bird-watching in the world. 66% of the country is still forested, so no matter where you are, there are high chances of colorful feathers gliding past. Orange-breasted falcons, keel-billed toucans, red-legged honeycreepers, and white hawks are just a few of the many rare birds you could witness if you just lookup.

Hotel Alaia in Belize
Courtesy of Alaia Hotel Belize

Stay at Alaia Belize

One of the top-rated hotels in San Pedro, Alaia Belize, is the shining stay of the moment. Here, modern Caribbean design and oceanfront views come together for that distinct vacation feeling; not without the home comforts though. Many suites and villas come with apartment-style perks such as a beautifully furnished balcony, a fully-equipped kitchen, and the latest tech and streaming services. The hotel is located on a pristine section of the Caribbean shoreline, best enjoyed from the Vista Rooftop & Lounge; a Belizean architectural wonder with 360-degree views and a pool that has glass-bottom windows.