Central America first stole my family’s heart when we spent a summer traveling across Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. First of all, it’s super easy to get to Central America, with regular flights from most major cities in the U.S. But most importantly, the culture is rich, the atmosphere is exotic, there is plenty of wildlife to keep kids engaged and endless, stunning beaches on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. Yet, you won’t experience any of the jet lag that usually comes with long haul travel and these destinations are only a short flight away; important if you’re traveling with small kids!
Belize, located just south of Mexico, is perhaps best known for it’s underwater wildlife. Scuba aficionados and deep sea fishermen have long flocked to Belize, but the destination has matured in recent years and now has so much more to offer.
I am particularly fascinated by the Mayan culture and unique history in Belize, so of course I was captivated when this unique itinerary came across my desk this week. If you’re looking for Belize vacation ideas read on to see why this 10-night Central American Safari may be right for you!
Visit Tikal in Guatemala
This itinerary features three amazing properties! First, start your adventure in La Lancha Resort in Guatemala. Here, you’ll explore the ancient Mayan ruin of Tikal. This site was once a major Maya city, flourishing between 300 and 850 CE. The city, known to the Maya people as Mutul, was one of the grandest. Toady, Tikal, a UNESCO world heritage site, remains one of the largest and most important sites of Mayan civilization.
Visiting Tikal in Guatemala with kids is very do-able. You’ll also be close enough to avoid the mid0day crowds and explore this enchanting, ancient city at either sunrise or sunset, when the light is amazing for photography and the temperatures are cooler. Kids love climbing the 70 meters to the top of the pyramids and checking out all the wildlife in the area.
Perched at the edge of the Lago Peten Itza, this 10-room lodge is cozy and the rooms are beautifully appointed with traditional Guatemalan fabrics and art.
Waterfalls and Ziplining in the Jungle
Next, head into Belize. The road transfer is only a few hours and the boarder crossing is simple. At Blancaneaux Lodge, ride horses to Big Rock Falls where you can take a dip in the cascading waterfalls, row a canoe in Barton Creek Cave, and even zipline in the second largest rainforest in the western hemisphere. You can also try your luck at spotting wild jaguar in the jungle at night!
Located right at the edge of the Privassion Creek which runs through the property, I love the roomy 1,600 square foot villas with huge, comfortable open-air living room and a small kitchen, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Perfect for families!
Play in the Caribbean Sea
Finally, play in the warm Caribbean Sea for four days at Turtle Inn. Spend your days snorkeling, enjoy a sunset cruise an visit a wildlife sanctuary and preserve. Sleep just a few feet away from the ocean in one of the unique seafront villas here.
Package Rates start at US $3500 per person for the full ten night experience.