Visit Belize, The Perfect Post-coronavirus Destination For Eco-conscious Travellers
Ever since the pandemic closed in on my trip to the tropics, I’ve been dreaming about where to go next. With expert opinion and best guesses pinning a realistic return to international travel in time in 2021, revisiting the relatively close and warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, barely touched by COVID-19, is feeling more and more like a more realistic possibility. While many countries are enticing, one of the most incredible options right now is to visit Belize.
In addition to its beautiful beaches, there’s much to admire about this tiny Caribbean country. Consider, for example, how Belize took on the Coronavirus threat.
Belize And The Coronavirus Combat
Belize demonstrated remarkable resolve in combatting COVID-19. As a devoted vacation planner, this is a new (and necessary) consideration to take-in. To date (mid-June) Belize has experienced less than 25 cases since the outbreak began (with a population of nearly 400,000). Its effective response has earned the small country high praise. The government says this is not by accident but due to early steps taken to quickly close borders and bolster medical supplies.
Instead of a national census planned for May, the Belizean government pivoted and made an early decision to focus its resources on the pandemic. This move freed-up some of the country’s top minds. A small group of software developers, statisticians, and health professionals got together and designed their own in-house tracking, tracing and reporting platform for COVID-19, now hailed as one of the earliest such integrated efforts in the Americas.
Belize Tourism Set To Resume In August
As a result, the country is now making a gradual return to normalcy, and is expected to resume tourism safely as early as August, though this has not yet confirmed at the time of publication. For now, the airport remains closed as long as the country remains under a state of national emergency. Check the country’s Coronavirus website for the latest status.
Latest airport update: The prime minister of Belize has announced that the Philip Goldson International airport (BZE) will be reopened on August 15th, 2020 to allow travel to Belize.
Back in April, when much of the world was on lockdown, the ministry of tourism sent out a video message gently reminding future visitors of the country’s impressive record on sustainability. “We know a little something about protecting what’s important,” says a voiceover set against a dreamy montage of pristine beaches and adorable animals, “and right now that means protecting each other.” The video goes on to say “the sun will rise on travel again, and when it does, Belize will be here waiting for you, in all of its natural glory.” Concluding with an aerial shot over an ancient Mayan ruin – it’s enough to make even the most reluctant traveller want to reach for their bags and visit Belize.
Where To Stay When You Visit Belize
Once the country has re-opened, a compelling reason to visit Belize among many attractive features will be crowd-free beaches. With resort development restricted to preserve paradise, Belize has a low tourism density.
One of the most-anticipated properties is the Wyndham Grand Belize. This flagship, 5-star beachfront resort is set to be one of the Caribbean’s crown jewels when it opens early next year. Whether you plan to settle in the Caribbean for the winter or simply get away for a restorative week or two, this brand new property is spectacularly designed for easy living in the tropics. For those looking for something more permanent, there are a few suites still available as lucrative income generating rental properties managed by industry giant Wyndham Hotels.
Guests will delight at the Wyndham Grand Belize, the first and only 5-star resort
Inspired by the international intrigue of Venice, and surrounded by an intricate and alluring series of crystal blue canals, the resort features a signature spa, three full-service restaurants, and one of the Caribbean’s largest and most Instagrammable pools. Located only 3.5 miles from San Pedro, visitors to the island travel around in gold carts and enjoy easy access to secluded beach and the full amenities (and more than 100 restaurants) of the charming San Pedro Town.
Don’t miss out on the private boat service that winds through the canals to drop you to your building’s front door. It’s the best way to relax and get your bearings around the resort’s first-class amenities.
Things to Know Before You Visit Belize
- Getting there is easy. Many cities in North America are serviced by direct flights to Belize International Airport (aka Philip Goldson International Airport). Once you land, it’s only a short 20-minute flight via Tropic Air or Maya Island Air to Ambergris Caye. You are treated to some fantastic views of the barrier reef and neighboring islands along the way.
- US dollars are widely used and accepted. The exchange rate is an easy 2-to-1. If an item costs $20 Belize Dollars you can pay with $10 USD. Visa and Mastercard are also widely accepted.
- English is the primary language, adding to the ease of navigation for most North Americans.
- High season is considered October through April but the off season is also enjoyable. While there is typically more rain, even it is often limited. The island is known for its year round warm and tropical air and clear skies.