Traveling doesn't have to mean getting out of shape and over-indulging. In fact, traveling can be a health enhancing activity provided you go in with a strategic plan. I've done all the research for you and wanted to share my fun finds that will leave you in a state of wellness bliss for the entire trip. Belize is a nature lovers paradise. It has a pretty low population and is still, to my surprise, pretty much undeveloped. It has the perfect balance of tropical water and jungle activities. Sound amazing? Read on...
Part 1 of your journey: Land in Belize City and pop on over to Caye Caulker to stay at Sea 'n' sun Guesthouse for warm hospitality. They have comfortable and quiet rooms for a good nights sleep, free bike and kayak use for staying active, plus the best location on the island. Right next door is a healthy breakfast and lunch spot called Paradiso Cafe where you can get everything from juices, smoothies and salads to keep you well nourished and fueled for the day. *Note, Belize City itself is not a destination, it's a little sketchy, so if you do need to spend the night after arriving or prior to leaving the country, I highly recommend Villa Boscardi for an ultra comfortable stay.
Part 2: Leaving from Caye Caulker to Placencia, enjoy a 3 day / 2 night boat trip on the 2nd largest reef system in the world (Australia being the biggest - woo). Snorkel with fish by day and camp under the stars by night. This is one of the most soul enriching activities you can do!
Part 3: A short bus ride from Placencia, is a small "rustic" village off the beaten track called Hopkins. Stay in a cabana on the beach and enjoy the ultra chilled out local vibe. There is live drumming music at night in this soulful village and an abundance of fresh seafood to be enjoyed for dinner. There are ample trips into the surrounding jungle to be made with beautiful waterfall hikes. You can even take day trips out to Glover's Reef from Hopkins. For a healthy breakfast, check out Thongs Cafe (their freshly squeezed cucumber juice is ultra refreshing).
HOT TIP: The best way to get around this small country is by local buses. From my experience, they were quick, reliable, safe and cheap! What is truly priceless is getting to hang out with and observe the locals going about their everyday life. Tropical tunes are usually pumping from the speakers, sing alongs are the norm, and many of the buses are decked out in colorful trinkets, giving each one a unique flare. In a sense, it's like a tame party bus where everyone's invited!
Last stop: San Ignacio. The great thing about Belize is there are so many eco-friendly accommodation choices to pick from. I selected the oh so kind on your wallet, budget lodging called The Trek Stop. Here you can find very basic yet comfortable cabins in the middle of lush green jungle-covered countryside. Compostable toilets and rain water showers are what's on offer here. The Trek Stop is a short bus ride to the center of town and a short walk to nearby ruins. My favorite part: There is an adorable little village just down the street called San Jose Succotz that you must check out. Simply walk the dirt streets lined with colorful little houses, mix with the locals, watch them play soccer and refresh yourself with a smoothie from the the sweet kids who proudly created The Chill Out bar.
Breakfast on a Saturday morning at the bustling farmers market in the center of town is a must. You can get all your favorite health foods there! Back that up with possibly THE healthiest lunch in all of Belize at Roots, Wraps & Smoothies (my heaven on Earth). Craving something sweet but don't want to be too "naughty"? Head on over to AJAW for some authentic Belizean dark chocolate. The chili flavor is a must try. Bonus: you can even learn how to make your own!
Before heading back home on a long flight, pamper yourself with a stop at Chaya Garden Ashram for a yoga class, relaxing massage and ultra nourishing organic vegan lunch! Go on, you deserve it!... Stay tuned for more healthy travel inspiration from My Balance & Wellness coming to the blog soon! Get out there and enjoy this beautiful world that we are blessed to live in. Also, be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter packed with even more handy tips to enjoy.