When we first started talking to Pique Travel about ideas for Spring Break 2017, we knew we wanted something unique. They’ve already helped us with amazing trips to Nicaragua and my recent women’s trek to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. So needless to say, the bar was set high!
After several discussions, our family of four decided on Belize. Ann Coleman was our travel designer and she intrigued us with facts such as: Belize is home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, more than 40% of the land is preserved and the country offers a great mix of experiences – in the jungle and on the water.
Arriving in Belize
We arrived after pretty easy travel down to Belize from Minneapolis (United Airlines through Dallas and then only 2 hours from there). We were driven through the countryside to Chaa Creek – a series of thatched casitas that are authentically designed and very comfortable. The food on property was excellent, the infinity pool was stunning and the surroundings (complete with howler monkeys in the trees) reminded us we were in a beautiful Central American setting.
The jungle highlight for us was ATM cave (Actun Tunichil Muknal). We loved the entire adventure, including the river crossings and hike on the way to the cave, the excitement of plunging into the turquoise water and swimming into the cave’s entrance. The knowledge of our guide helped bring the culture and history to life for us. I’m not sure any cave experience could match this one!
While we were at Chaa Creek, we also did cave tubing, explored the Maya ruins (it was amazing to hike to the top of them and stand above the treetops!) and did some horseback riding through the rainforest.
Exploring Ambergris Caye
After our time inland, we flew on a small aircraft out to Ambergris Caye in the Caribbean (our daughter got to ride upfront by the pilot). We stayed at Victoria House, a beautiful property right on the beach. Snorkeling and parasailing were definitely the highlights. We snorkeled at Shark Ray Alley with the sting rays and nurse sharks (they were all around us and very friendly). The kids loved snorkeling in the reserve (Hol Chan). They could dive down to explore the reef and the fish. Parasailing was so peaceful, yet we loved the surprise dips on the way back to the dock!
We spent time exploring San Pedro (the small city on Ambergris Caye) by golf cart – the preferred transportation for tourist and locals. The kids even got haircuts from a local Belizean barber!
We continue to realize how important these experiences are for our family (especially as the kids get older). Belize exposed us to a new culture, rich history, great foods, interesting wildlife and unique activities. It’s definitely a destination we would recommend!