Thinking of a Caribbean Vacation? Plan Your Escape to Belize
Spectacularly surrounded by the sea, Belize is one of the most desirable Caribbean vacation destinations. And, after being confined so close to home, for so long few things are more appealing than finding a quiet place in the sand to relax and unwind.
Usually my vacation itinerary involves what I think are the best of both worlds. A few days taking in the sights of a new city, followed by downtime by the beach. But this year, I’ll veer away from the hustle and bustle of urban environments and seek-out something decidedly more low key. This winter, I’ll be in Belize.
Fortunately, avoiding crowds is easy in Belize. While it’s well-suited to meet the needs of tourists, it’s not overrun. Adding to its intimacy, just a few miles off the coast, lies Ambergris Caye (pronounced am-BUR-gris key). It’s a 25 mile long, one mile wide piece of paradise that’s popular but never packed. Keeping your distance is easy thanks to long stretches of sand, and a transportation system run primarily by golf carts. Getting around doesn’t get much more chill than that.
Say Hello to San Pedro
With small San Pedro Town at its heart, the picturesque Caye is also known as “Isla Bonita” or “Beautiful Island”. It famously served as inspiration for Madonna’s1986 hit single of the same name.
With lyrics referencing tropical island breezes, Madonna fans have interpreted the town of San Pedro on the island of Ambergiris Caye, Belize as inspiration for her hit song “Isla Bonita” or “Beautiful Island”.
More than a decade later, San Pedro’s charms seduced producers of Temptation Island, Fox’s hit reality dating TV show that first aired in the early 2000s – a precursor to The Bachelor franchise, also known to inspire tropical travels. It was filmed at the neighboring resort and it’s developer is also involved in this exciting new project alongside Wyndham.
The quintessential shores around San Pedro make this a great choice for a Caribbean vacation destination. But don’t mistake popular for crowded. The majority of the Caye is strategically preserved as a national wildlife sanctuary, affording visitors as much space as desired. Even one of the island’s worst-kept secrets – Secret Beach – doesn’t suffer from mass tourism. This sublime swimming spot offers a generous selection of serviced beach chairs so you can park your golf cart and get comfortable for the day. There’s even tables cleverly stationed in the sea to enjoy your ice-cold Caribbean beer or cocktails.
The town conveniently offers an impressive variety of dining options ranging from flip flop casual to fine dining. At last count there were more than 100 restaurants operating in and around town.
Where to Stay
Ambergris Caye is not overwhelmed with options. One of the newest properties to look out for is the Wyndham Grand Belize. This luxurious beachfront resort is getting set to welcome its first guests in early 2021. The much-buzzed about property is putting the finishing touches on its self-contained, condominium-style units. Each is complete with full-kitchens and separate living and sleeping quarters. The spacious suites range in size from 800 square feet one-bedroom studios to 2,400 square feet, three-bedroom ocean front suites. More than ever, I’ll appreciate having ample private, personal space and the peace of mind that comes with it.
After months of dining at home, I’m eager to venture beyond the confines of everyday cooking but I know I’ll enjoy the convenience of having a stocked kitchen. Not to mention the extra living space to make the most of those luxuriously lazy nights in.
Benvenuti a Venezia
Arm chair travel and take a fly thru tour of the stunning new property set to open early next year.
Inspired by the allure of Venice, and surrounded by one of the largest pools in the world, the Wyndham Grand Belize is located on 330 feet of pristine beach and is the country’s only 5-star property. The plush and private resort is only 3.5 miles from San Pedro giving guests easy access to its secluded beach and the convenience of access to the full amenities of this charming tourist-friendly town.
Discovering delicious food and drink always ranks high on my to do list. Happily that too is in abundance here. The resort is adding not one but three must-try options to the island’s celebrated dining scene. It will also be home to one of the country’s most luxurious spas, convenient when a little extra pampering is called for.
Three Reasons Why Belize Should be Your Next Caribbean Vacation
- Ambergris Caye is the outpost for 4 of 5 top diving sites in Belize. The underwater world of the famed Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest after The Great Barrier Reef, is less than a mile offshore or a 15-minute boat ride away.
- A true natural splendour, Belize is birdwatcher’s paradise. It boasts more than 570 species including not uncommon sightings of the Keel-billed toucan, the national bird of Belize with its signature brightly coloured beak.
- Belize is considered safe for the whole family. Not only has it shielded itself from the coronavirus, it ranks high for safety for solo travellers and female solo travellers. It earned a coveted Solo Female Friendly recommendation from travel expert @girlaboutglobe.