This summer, our Belize Specialists, Marsha Knott and Kandis Nelson, took a whirlwind trip to this charming, Caribbean-flanked country to have a close look at many of the properties that they use in their custom itineraries. At Rico Tours, we like to pay frequent visits to the properties we sell. We make sure that every property we send our clients to is in tip top shape and delivers excellent service to our clients.
Kandis and Marsha managed to see 15 properties in a variety of regions in only 5 days! They came back to Rico Tours HQ in Austin, Texas with wonderful stories about exciting golf cart rides on the beach, beautiful hikes in the rainforest, and the great people they met along the way.
When they first arrived in Belize, Marsha and Kandis went straight to the San Ignacio area (Cayo District) of Belize. This area is located on the western side of the country, near the Maya Mountains. This is the perfect place to stay if you want to see Mayan Ruins. Day trips to Xunantunich, El Pilar, Caracol, and Tikal can all be done easily from hotels in this region. A few hotels of note in this area are Blancaneaux Lodge (owned by the famous film director, Francis Ford Coppola), Chaa Creek, Hidden Valley Inn, Ka’ana, Gaia River Lodge, Caves Branch, and the Sleeping Giant.
There are many unique things to do in this area: cave tubing, canopy zip-lining, jungle hikes, river kayaking, horseback riding, and much more. Although this area is not what people first think of when they imagine a vacation in Belize, we really think it has something special to offer travelers so we often send our clients here for a few nights to experience this unique area and then we’ll send them off to the beach.
Marsha and Kandis followed their own advice and set out for the beach after 3 days in the San Ignacio area. Their first beach area to visit was Placencia. They visited Turtle Inn (another one of Francis Ford Coppola’s properties), Chabil Mar, and Roberts Grove. There is a certain peace and tranquility to the Placencia area. This is a great area for those who want to lounge near the water and enjoy a laid-back Caribbean town. The hotels they saw were fantastic and would be a good fit for a variety of travelers: honeymooners, retirees, families. Their stay in Placencia was a short one, but filled with lots of relaxation and excellent meals. Marsha declared that the hamburger at Turtle Inn was one of the best she’s ever had! Kandis was a fan of Rumfish y Vino, a Central American-style gastro-bar. There are lots of great dining options in Placencia.
Their last destination was Ambergris Caye, the most popular tourist area in Belize, and for good reason, it’s gorgeous! This lovely Caribbean area features great night life, restaurants, and all kinds of activities. This is an excellent area for snorkeling, fishing and diving. The waters are clear and the marine life is plentiful. Rico Tours staff member, Alison, recently said that she saw more marine life when she was scuba diving in Belize than she did when she dove at the Great Barrier Reef! So there is definitely first-class diving here. The accommodations are first class as well. Marsha and Kandis stayed at Victoria House and they were blown away by the hotel’s beauty and the incredible views it offered. Other great hotels in this popular area are Banyan Bay, The Phoenix, Ramon’s, El Secreto, Las Terrazas, and Coco Beach.
All too soon, it was time to go back home. Belize offered a variety of different experiences and 5 days just doesn’t seem to cut it! This is a great country for a week or more of travel. You have such a variety of choices and experiences to choose from in Belize. Not to mention it’s very easy to be a tourist here: they speak English as their first language, they use the US dollar and they are a very short flight from the United States. American, Delta, TACA and United fly regularly to Belize. We are seeing more and more interest in Belize lately. Marsha and Kandis have been happily sharing their experience and knowledge with our clients. Belize is an excellent country and a great choice for your next vacation.