While kid-friendly destinations like Walt Disney World may be at the top of your list for your next family vacation, why not consider a different kind of family adventure? How about a trip to the rainforests and cayes of Belize?
Over the past several years, Belize has seen an increase in the number of family travelers making their way to this Central American paradise. Not only is a trip to Belize an adventure, it can be extremely educational for kids and adults alike.
With existing air carriers adding new routes, and others, like Southwest, slated to start service soon, getting your family to Belize is becoming a breeze. No one wants to spend a day or more traveling with kids just to start off a vacation. And, if you’re considering a trip to neighboring countries like Mexico, Guatemala or Honduras, check out Tropic Air Belize who offers daily flights between Belize and all three countries.
Geographically speaking, Belize is small enough to plan a holiday that includes time in various parts of the country. Spend part of a week in the jungles on the mainland, and then catch up on some rest and relaxation on one of Belize’s cayes. And, getting between destinations within Belize is easy, as both Maya Island Air and Tropic Air offer daily flights all around the country.
When it’s summer for most kids, it’s also the low season in Belize. This can mean properties may offer more hotel packages and discount offers, and airfares tend to be lower. The only downside is summer in Belize is also hurricane season. Although storms are rare, a few have struck in years past. You’re wise to consider travel insurance when traveling during hurricane season, just on the off chance that something does happen.
When choosing your Belize hotel, consider one that has onsite activities to keep your young ones occupied in between tours and excursions. Several resorts on Belize’s mainland offer expansive jungle retreats with a host of adventure right on property. Some resorts also feature interesting educational opportunities, like Chaa Creek’s Morpho Butterfly Farm & Natural History Center, or San Ignacio Resort Hotel’s Green Iguana Project where you can learn about conservation efforts while interacting with the iguanas.
When you’re looking at properties on the Cayes, consider something like X’tan Ha on Ambergris Caye. X’tan Ha is located on the northern side of the island with very shallow, calm waters, and has a large overwater trampoline and volleyball net in the water. The beachfront bar has tables right by the water so you can enjoy a cool drink while keeping an eye on the kids.
Belize is an adventure lover’s paradise, and there is no shortage of activities that will help your little ones unleash all their energy.
On the mainland, hike through Belize’s stunning Mountain Pine Ridge area, book a cave tubing and zip-lining adventure, or learn the history behind the Maya sites that dot Belize’s countryside. If your kids want enjoy nature and learn more about the animals that inhabit Belize, visit the Belize Zoo and consider a day trip to Cockscomb Nature Reserve.
Once you reach the islands, consider a snorkel tour, rent kayaks, or sign up for a dive trip. Located along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Belize’s cayes are renowned for impressive dive sites, most of which are just a short boat ride. If you’re not scuba certified - and your kids are old enough - consider a discovery dive course (also referred to as a resort course) that allows you to do some diving without having to complete the entire open water certification on your vacation.
At the end of the day, no matter where you choose to spend your vacation, or what activities you book, a trip to Belize is something you and your kids are not likely to ever forget.
Have you been to Belize? What did you think?
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Erin is a travel and food writer who currently splits her time between the Netherlands and Belize. She's traveled to 60+ countries on 5 continents with a passion for culinary travel, luxury hotels, and all things Disney. Her writing has appeared in numerous online outlets including Gadling, BootsnAll, CNN, Art of Backpacking, TravBuddy, CBS, and more. She was the major author of Belize's official visitor magazine, Destination Belize 2013; wrote the official AFAR Guide to Belize; and is also AFAR Magazine's local Belize expert.. In addition to writing for other publications, Erin maintains several blogs, Our Tasty Travels, No Checked Bags, Pooh's Travels, and the brand new Caye To Belize. Follow Erin on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
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