INSTATRIP: BELIZE

It’s small in size yet vast in beauty, with trop­i­cal forests, co­ral reefs and rich Mayan cul­ture. With an av­er­age year­round tem­per­a­ture of 29 de­grees Cel­sius, this balmy coun­try is tucked along the Caribbean coast of Cen­tral Amer­ica, with Mex­ico’s Yu­catán

Best Health - - CONTENTS - by ALISON KENT

How to en­joy this south­ern com­fort

BEST AC­TIVE HIS­TORY

Delve into the his­tory of Mayan civ­i­liza­tion with a walk through the an­cient city of La­manai or, closer to San Ig­na­cio, con­tem­plate the awein­spir­ing tem­ples and palaces of Xu­nan­tu­nich. Ad­ven­ture seek­ers will be thrilled to hike, swim and scale their way into Ac­tun Tu­nichil Muk­nal, a ver­i­ta­ble liv­ing mu­seum and sa­cred cave used by an­cient Mayans for cer­e­mo­nial pur­poses, while Bar­ton Creek Cave is equally re­mark­able to ex­plore and rel­a­tively sim­ple to pad­dle through in a ca­noe.

BEST TOUR

From Cana­dian-owned G Ad­ven­tures and Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Jour­neys, Ex­plore Belize is a 10-day ex­pe­di­tion in and around Belize City, Bur­rell Boom, San Ig­na­cio, Hop­kins and Caye Caulker. Tour groups are small, al­low­ing for unique in­ter­ac­tions and hands-on ex­pe­ri­ences to tran­spire. Plan­eterra Foun­da­tion is the char­i­ta­ble branch of G Ad­ven­tures, with two ac­tive projects and com­mu­ni­ty­de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives wo­ven into the fab­ric of this itin­er­ary, in­clud­ing lessons in tra­di­tional arts and tor­tilla mak­ing at San An­to­nio Women’s Pot­tery Co­op­er­a­tive and Bike with Pur­pose cy­cling treks led by stu­dents en­rolled at Caye Caulker Ocean Academy.

BEST HO­TEL

Lo­cated about 34 kilo­me­tres from Belize City and ac­ces­si­ble by wa­ter taxi or a quick flight, the peace­ful and pe­tite is­land of Caye Caulker is about as laid­back and un­hur­ried as it gets. Af­ter a day spent ex­plor­ing the is­land, in­dulging in fresh seafood or loung­ing by the pool, you can bask in the mel­low vibes at Iguana Reef Inn and en­joy the most spec­tac­u­lar sun­set views imag­in­able.

BEST SEA VOY­AGE

Con­sist­ing of seven pro­tected marine re­serve zones and sev­eral hun­dred cays, the Belize Bar­rier Reef Re­serve Sys­tem rep­re­sents the world’s sec­ond largest co­ral reef sys­tem and is a des­ig­nated UNESCO World Her­itage Site. A tremen­dous draw for snorkellers and SCUBA divers alike, these crys­tal blue wa­ters are home to man­a­tees and tur­tles, along with hun­dreds of species of fish and co­ral. Ragga­muf­fin Tours on Caye Caulker will have you by the reef in no time, with op­tions rang­ing from snorkelling day trips (with stops at Co­ral Gar­dens, The Chan­nel and The Shark Ray Al­ley) to overnight ex­cur­sions with plenty of is­land­hop­ping along the way.

BEST TREAT

A beloved condi­ment for more than 30 years, Marie Sharp’s Hot Sauce is a treat for any­one who takes plea­sure in fiery foods. Made with lo­cally farmed and hand-cut pep­pers, Marie Sharp’s sig­na­ture Ha­banero Pep­per Sauce can be found on just about ev­ery restau­rant table­top through­out the coun­try. For sweet ver­sus heat seek­ers, there are lus­cious trop­i­cal jams and jel­lies to choose from.

HOP­KINS SAN AN­TO­NIO WOMEN’S POT­TERY CO­OP­ER­A­TIVE BAR­TON CREEK CAVE

BELIZE LA­MANAI RUINS

MARIE SHARP’S HOT SAUCE

SNORKELLING AT CAYE CAULKER

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