Right around the time the heat sets in, and the March winds start coming in full force, that itch starts back up. The need to pack a bag or two, jump on a boat or plane, then a bus or private vehicle and leave the structure of home and office – all to venture into the unknown for a little exploration. It’s like the breeze calls our name, insisting that we leave our worries and cares where they are; “Run away, even if just for a little bit” it seems to say, and like hummingbirds to nectar, we are drawn. No doubt there are many like me who are scattered in offices like mine, longing for that holiday to escape the confines of the jungle or the concrete of the city, ready to head out to sun, sand and sea. Wherever we are, the grass or sea is certainly greener/bluer from where we stand. But guess what? If you’re in Belize, it’s ALL better no matter where you look! Adventure is available in abundance, whatever your definition of fun is!
As part of the My Beautiful Belize family, I’ve had the good fortune of traveling to many great places in my country. As I write this story however, I’m in the least glamorous setting: the office. To get in the zone, I’ve been browsing through our extensive photo library, pulling up the great shots of the places I’ve been, and clicking online to places I want to go. I could spend a lifetime chasing after each little corner and slice of this haven, yet I’ll probably not make it everywhere. But that’s okay; the fun is in trying and taking on the challenge and #adventure of exploring this country.
If island fever has finally caught up to you, leave this 26-mile stretch of sand for some much-needed solid ground. There are 8,841 miles left to enjoy, and each of them is dotted with dark caves to explore, waterfalls to stare at in awe (or rappel down in defiance), riverbanks to lie on or rivers to paddle, Maya ruins to trek, birds and wildlife to identify, and a multitude of people to meet and smile with. Because no matter where you are in Belize, the smiles are the same, ever at the ready, flashing bright and wide to welcome you!
Our six districts have infinite activities to offer, each vastly different from the other. For those seeking to challenge their muscles and conquer tall temples and mountains, there are Maya ruins from Cayo’s Xunantunich, to Belize’s Altun Ha, Orange Walk’s Lamanai, Corozal’s Cerros, Toledo’s Lubaantun, and even though it’s not a ruin, there’s Stann Creek’s Victoria Peak. There are lots more of these ruins ready to challenge your calves, offering thousands of years of history and magnificence to explore.
When those get a little ‘old’ for your taste, dip your booty into cool waters as you float down through underground networks of chambers and twinkling caves. And if you’re up for the challenge, zip through the trees á la Tarzan and Jane, swinging from some (high tech) cables and pulleys, catching a little bird’s eye view of the world below.
You truly haven’t lived until you’ve let go a little. In the jungle, it’s “tangled hair, don’t care!” Wash off your remaining cares by taking a dip in one of Belize’s many rivers, and if you’re lucky enough to be ensconced in a true jungle hideaway, chances are, there’s a roaring waterfall to pummel your sore muscles for you! Go for it!
At night when the excitement has died down, and you’ve enjoyed some comfort food, let the sounds of the jungle bring down the adrenaline. Soak in the silence, observe the bright stars overhead. If you’re deep in the jungle, take in the roaring sounds of the howlers and get in touch with your inner animal (but keep it PG or I don’t want to hear about it!). Before long, you’ll notice that like the vines that tend to tangle into the branches and trunks of trees, the mainland will have wound itself into your heart, your very core, and you’ll be all the better for it!