Thursday, February 12, 2009

Back to Belize

It was social media that got us thinking about Belize, the small country in the north eastern corner of Central America we last visited in 2006. After seeing us on Twitter, Kevin from Turneffe Flats, a fishing, diving and eco-marine destination on Belize’s Turneffe Islands got in touch.

Looking at the information and website for Turneffe Flats, we vowed straight away to get back to Belize. This small English speaking country (about the size of the state of Massachusetts) completely beguiled us the last time. We explored jungles, rain forests, and caves full of ancient Mayan artefacts and human sacrifices. We were bums on a beach, we saw amazing flora and fauna (including the world’s only jaguar reserve), and visited the spectacular ruins of a lost civilisation. And with the lowest population density in Central America, Belize was anything but crowded. In fact, for our money, Belize is one of the best destinations in the world to find all the elements that make for a perfect holiday: relaxation, adventure culture and education.

And the next time we go back, we’ll give serious consideration to a visit to Turneffe Atoll and Turneffe Flats. We love the idea of an informal but “grown-up” (as in electricity, air conditioning and good food and booze) isolated lodge on a virtually uninhabited island. Even though we neither fish nor dive, which are Turneffe Flat’s specialties, we can definitely get in to all the other things on offer: snorkelling, kayaking, all kinds of tours to visit the animal and marine life, opportunities to learn about the Maya and even a Belizean cooking class. And we appreciate the fact that Turneffe Flats, through 1% for the Planet, gives 1% of its revenues to support organizations promoting conservation and sustainability of habitats such as Turneffe.

A word of caution. Turneffe Flats is an expensive option for the independent traveller, roughly $2,000 per person per week for the Adventure Program described above and more if you fish or dive. But everything is included, the Trip Advisor reviews testify to the quality of the operation and anyway, do we really want a lot of cheap accommodations being built all over one of the world’s most biologically important and fragile ecosystems?

OK, we’ve convinced ourselves. In 2009, somehow, we’ve got to get back to Belize.

Turneffe Flats
Telephone – 501 220 4046
Toll free from the US – 888 512 8812

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