Yahoo! Travel, the travel section of Yahoo! has just endorsed Belize as the country to visit for an incredible surf and turf vacation.
“The same turquoise waters that lure tourists to Caribbean destinations slosh around Belize’s island chain. But tiny Belize has a major advantage in reeling in the holidaymakers”, writes Alina Hartounian who contributed the article to Yahoo! Travel.
“Belize has all the ingredients for a surf and turf vacation — at least for those who don’t mind the odd giant cockroach or neon green frog that may invade their jungle dwellings”, she adds.
Below is an excerpt of her article which was published yesterday on Yahoo! Travel:
CAVES, SKELETONS AND A SWIM
Evidence of human sacrifice in Maya times litters the floors of the Actun Tunichil Muknal caves, where the skeletons are welded in place by limestone sediment. Mayan pottery is also frozen in time there, with archaeologists opting to leave most artifacts as they were centuries ago. To get to the caves, visitors are led down a gentle jungle trail that includes several river crossings. Next comes an invigorating swim across a frigid pool of water at the cave’s mouth (which is patrolled by a resident vine snake). Water winds throughout the cave, and visitors have to squeeze through impossible-looking openings before being rewarded with the archaeological trove. But don’t expect to plaster social media with photos documenting the adventure. Clumsy tourists — including one who left a camera-sized hole in the skull of a sacrificed child — led to a ban on cameras at the site.
PYRAMID IN THE JUNGLE
Just a fraction of Caracol, a once-powerful Maya city state, has been unearthed by archaeologists. Once home to 150,000 inhabitants (nearly twice the population of Belize’s current industrial center, Belize City), the site was lost until a logger stumbled upon it in the 1930s while in search of mahogany. Nearly a century later, 90% of it still belongs to the jungle. Shards of ancient pottery are scattered around the complex, which includes astronomical buildings, ball courts, palaces, and a 141-foot-tall pyramid that remains the tallest man-made structure in Belize. The guttural intonations of howler monkeys and the eerie screech of the yellow-tailed bird provide the soundtrack for those wandering through the massive archaeological site.
STONE WOMAN AND EL CASTILLO
This complex of ruins got its Maya name, Xunantunich — meaning “Stone Woman” — from a sun-soaked apparition said to haunt the site. The city was built up over millennia and its history is sketched out neatly at the newly opened visitor’s center. At the site itself, the main attraction is the ruin known as “El Castillo,” which towers above the jungle. Four elaborate stucco friezes depicting Maya gods once hugged each side of the building. Now just two remain, and they’re both covered up by fiberglass copies to preserve the originals. Despite its lofty appearance and elaborate decorations, the Castillo likely served as an administrative hub, not a temple, according to the visitor’s center.
PALACE, BALL COURT AND PLACE OF THE TICKS
Even from its perch high up on a hill, Cahal Pech lives in the shadow of its more impressive neighbors, Caracol, Xunantunich and Tikal. Cahal Pech — which unflatteringly means “Place of the Ticks” in Yucatec and Mopan Mayan — sits on the outskirts of San Ignacio, a popular base for those exploring Maya ruins. Under the cover of an encroaching jungle, visitors can get a glimpse of how the upper crust lived in Maya times through the site’s palace structures. The site is also home to a nice example of a Maya ball court.
See also: 5 Must-Watch Web Videos on Belize
BARRIER REEF AND BLUE HOLE
Caye Caulker is a sandy strip of land surrounded by a bounty of sea life. The more laid-back alternative to San Pedro (immortalized by the 1987 Madonna hit “La Isla Bonita”), it provides a base for the thriftier tourist looking to explore Belize’s nearby barrier reef. The island is crowded with tour companies that ferry visitors to reef hot spots, such as the intimidating Shark Ray Alley. Nurse sharks and sting rays were originally drawn to the area by fishermen cleaning their catch, but now it’s tour boats that chum the waters. The fish expectantly clamor around any boat that arrives. Other underwater highlights include an enormous logger turtle that is blind in one eye that hovers around a conch fishermen’s boat, and a rainbow of tropical fish. Eerie night snorkeling affords an opportunity to watch the fish scurry to find a home among the reef before darkness falls. When things do turn truly nocturnal, snorkelers armed with underwater LEDs have the opportunity to spot squid, octopus, lobster, and crabs. Scuba divers can also catch a ride to Belize’s iconic Blue Hole, an underwater sinkhole that’s 1,000 feet wide and 412 feet deep.
You can read the article in its entirety here: https://www.yahoo.com/travel/jungle-ruins-and-sea-life-await-in-tiny-belize-90777195982.html
It is interesting to note that Placencia was not mention or recommended in the article even though it is one of the top places to visit in Belize. In fact, Placencia is one of the best destinations where you go go snorkeling or diving with whale sharks as well as exploring the natural beauty of Southern Belize.
Explore our Belize surf and turf packages below:
Belize Jungle & Sea Vacation. Note: 25% discount off the entire package price for bookings during the months of August and September, 2014
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