Luxe Belize Holidays

Bordered by Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea, this small country lays claim to a great natural and cultural diversity, featuring a luscious jungle interior and a paradisiacal Caribbean coast. Head out and explore Central America’s youngest nation and experience the Maya Mountains, nature reserves, ancient ruins and ancient Maya ruins.

Belize boasts the world’s second longest barrier reef, which runs the entire length of the country, and divers can explore three atolls, hundreds of offshore cayes, an extensive network of caves and an abundance of marine life. Ambergris Caye is Belize’s largest island and San Pedro Town offers a laid back vibe and beachfront restaurants and bars. The Great Blue Hole in Lighthouse Reef is a real bucket list destination for divers. This circular submarine sinkhole is 120 metres deep and home to reef sharks and enormous stalactites.

Rainforest interior

Belize’s interior is an untouched landscape of dense jungle, steep ravines, spectacular waterfalls and rushing rivers. The Cayo District borders Guatemala and covers 2000 square miles of forest, rolling hills and farmland. Over half of the district has been designated a national park, wildlife sanctuary or forest reserve that’s home to wildlife including monkeys, anteaters and the elusive jaguar. It’s a popular destination for riding, bird watching, cave tubing and rappelling, and it’s even possible to visit Tikal on a day trip.

Mayan sites

Belize is often referred to as the ‘heart of the Maya’ and relics of this ancient civilisation are dotted across the country. The largest known site, Caracol, is surrounded by jungle and boasts the country’s tallest Mayan building. The impressive site of Xunantunich is just half an hour from San Ignacio and features fine stucco facades and views of neighbouring Guatemala. The small, well-preserved site of Altun Ha lies north of Belize City and highlights here include the Temple of the Green Tomb and the Temple of Masonry Altars.

British colonial heritage

Belize is a melting pot of cultures with diverse influences such as Mayan, Mestizo, Creole, Asian and British. English and Scottish settlers first arrived in the 17th- Century in search of a sheltered bay from which to attack Spanish ships. Formerly known as British Honduras, Belize was the UK’s last colony on the American mainland and it’s the only country in Central America with a British colonial heritage and English as its official language. The Museum of Belize and the Government House in Belize City both trace the country’s history.

Here are our top picks for your stay in this beautiful counrty

Gaia Riverlodge - Mr & Mrs Smith (More Information & Booking)

A paradise of modern eco-minimalism perched among the trees in Belize’s jungle, Gaia Riverlodge hotel is one of those places that you want to keep all to yourself. While you’re there, the warm staff are your friends, the hidden riverside ‘beach’ and swimming holes your backyard pool and your hardwood-and-Mexican-tiled bungalow your home.

Ka'ana Boutique Resort & Spa, Cayo District - Kuoni (More Information & Booking)

Nestled in an emerald valley in the Maya Mountains, this small and welcoming boutique resort is perfectly placed for exploration of Mayan ruins and natural attractions. Ride a horse to the Xunantunich archaeological site, go zip-lining and cave tubing or book a day trip to the incredible ruins in Tikal. There is a farmhouse-style restaurant, infinity pool, spa and a choice of charming hacienda-style suites and luxurious pool villas.

Turtle Inn - Mr & Mrs Smith (More Information & Booking)

Brightly coloured hammocks slung between slanted palm trees, Balinese-style beach huts, and the sun-sparkled waters of the Caribbean are at the heart of Turtle Inn hotel in Belize. One of Francis Ford Coppola’s trio of Central American resorts (its siblings are Blancaneaux Lodge and La Lancha in Guatemala), this is a rustic retreat with a sprinkling of glamour.

Blancaneaux Lodge, Cayo District - Kuoni (More Information & Booking)

The Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve provides a spectacular setting for this riverside lodge – part of the Francis Ford Coppola collection of luxury resorts – which offers an eco-friendly escape into nature. Go horse riding through the forest, swim in a waterfall pool and explore nearby Mayan ruins. Tuck into traditional Italian dishes made from Coppola family recipes and authentic Guatemalan cuisine before retreating to one of the charming thatched cabanas.

Cayo Espanto - Mr & Mrs Smith (More Information & Booking)

Three miles out to sea from the Belizean coastal city of San Pedro, Cayo Espanto offers the kind of peace and quiet you only find in the most exclusive island hideaway – which is precisely what this hyper-luxurious boutique resort is. Seven brightly, tastefully decorated wooden villas are dotted among the tiny island’s palm trees, with private pools to plunge in, hammocks to snooze in, and a dedicated ‘houseman’ on hand to ensure that you’re treated to whatever you want, whenever you want it. From the ingredients in the kitchen to the music playing on the in-room iPod, everything is designed as you like it.

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