BELIZE

Get away to the ad­ven­ture coast.

DRIFT Travel magazine - - Contents - BY: AMANDA SOUFI

Some­times you just need to get away. What­ever your rea­son for need­ing to hit a hard-stop on your daily hus­tle there is a des­ti­na­tion that can help you re­con­nect with na­ture while of­fer­ing end­less ad­ven­ture with a beau­ti­ful back­drop. Wel­come to Belize.

Boast­ing the ti­tle of the “ad­ven­ture coast,” Belize sits on the 560-kilo­me­tre long Me­soamer­i­can reef, of­fer­ing some of the best snor­kel­ing, div­ing and swim­ming spots any­where in the world. With such amaz­ing ma­rine se­crets to be ex­plored there is no bet­ter way to spend your time in Belize than aboard your own pri­vate lux­ury yacht, bring­ing the ocean right to your doorstep. The Moor­ings have put to­gether their list of top rea­sons to va­ca­tion in Belize.

For a small coun­try Belize is home to a sur­pris­ing amount of dif­fer­ent species of an­i­mals. Your best bet for check­ing out those na­tive to the coun­try is at The Belize Zoo and Trop­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter, where you can spot jaguars, tapirs, howler mon­keys and many more that have ei­ther been re­ha­bil­i­tated, or­phaned, res­cued, or born at the zoo. Want a truly unique ex­pe­ri­ence? Sail over to Gales Point where lo­cal guides will show you the best spots to ob­serve man­a­tees and the Hawks­bill tur­tles, two of Belize’s most en­dan­gered species.

Get back to na­ture with a once in a life­time get­away

Stretch out your sea legs and learn about an­cient cul­tures with a day trip to one of Belize’s nu­mer­ous Mayan ru­ins. Once known as the epi­cen­ter of Maya civ­i­liza­tion, Belize of­fers the high­est con­cen­tra­tion of ar­chae­o­log­i­cal sites in Me­soamer­ica in­clud­ing Al­tun Ha, Xu­nan­tu­nich and La­manai. Ex­plore the Sa­cred tem­ples, pyra­mids and other an­cient struc­tures amongst lus­cious jun­gle back­drops.

Whether you’re an ex­pe­ri­enced diver or a first-time snorkeler you will be as­ton­ished at the sheer amount of ac­tiv­ity “un­der the sea.” The Belize bar­rier Reef Sys­tem is a UNESCO World Her­itage Site and for good rea­son. Com­prised of seven pro­tected ar­eas this reef is home to over 500 dif­fer­ent species of trop­i­cal fish, along with whale sharks and man­a­tees. With many of the best spots be­ing reach­able only by boat you can en­joy easy ac­cess when­ever you like.

Belize of­fers a unique fu­sion of Caribbean chill with Cen­tral Amer­i­can flair. Drop an­chor at the small is­land of Caye Caulker and you will dis­cover a vil­lage full of brightly col­ored houses and friendly faces. Take in the unique ar­ti­san shops, reg­gae mu­sic and en­joy fresh lob­ster at one of the lo­cal restau­rants.

It’s easy to for­get when you have end­less things to see and do on va­ca­tion to sit back, take it easy and just en­joy your­self. It doesn’t mat­ter if you opt for a bare­boat, skip­pered or fully crewed char­ter ex­pe­ri­ence you can tailor your va­ca­tion to be ex­actly what you need. Whether you pre­fer to chill out on the pris­tine, white-sand beaches, hop off the deck to ex­plore un­der the sea, or just sit back and read a book with a cock­tail in hand, char­ter­ing in Belize of­fers you the per­fect chance to re­con­nect with na­ture and take some time for your­self.

and pur­sue sim­i­lar in­no­va­tions. Nat Hab also ex­pects to learn lessons the com­pany can ap­ply across its other trips in des­ti­na­tions world­wide.

“One way we’re ded­i­cated to pro­tect­ing the planet is to in­spire the travel in­dus­try to be­come more sus­tain­able,” said Nat­u­ral Habi­tat Ad­ven­tures Founder & Pres­i­dent Ben Bressler. “Our goal is to con­tin­u­ally raise the bar on con­ser­va­tion, and our first zero waste ad­ven­ture will show that it’s pos­si­ble to re­duce our en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact while pro­vid­ing an ex­cep­tional ex­pe­ri­ence for our guests.”

Nat Hab wants its zero waste ethos to ex­tend be­yond the trip it­self. By in­spir­ing its trav­el­ers and part­ners to make con­scious choices about waste in their ev­ery­day lives and busi­ness prac­tices, Nat Hab aims to cre­ate a long-last­ing rip­ple ef­fect. Given that the av­er­age Amer­i­can pro­duces 4.4 pounds of trash per day, Nat Hab rec­og­nizes there’s much room for im­prove­ment. When trav­el­ers wit­ness the ef­fec­tive­ness of waste re­duc­tion on va­ca­tion, they learn how to re­duce or elim­i­nate dis­pos­ables at home, too.

“We en­cour­age the travel in­dus­try to fol­low Nat Hab’s lead to mit­i­gate its im­pact, pro­tect the earth’s pre­cious nat­u­ral re­sources, and ed­u­cate trav­el­ers about how they can do their part,” said Jim Sano, World Wildlife Fund Vice Pres­i­dent, Travel & Con­ser­va­tion.

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