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Beautiful Belize

November 21, 2016 | Lois Farley

As a former British colony, the Central American country of Belize has a unique history.  Although having gained independence in 1981, English remains the official language, easing navigation for North American tourists.

The country is known for diving; the Belize Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts over 100 000 tourists each year.  Additional attractions include Mayan ruins, eco adventures such as ziplining and cave tubing, and of course tropical beaches.  The capital, Belize City, is home to museums and cultural events, including the annual Street Art Festival.  Belize is a popular stop for cruise ships, which is how my family came to visit.

Our first time in Belize, my husband was determined to dive with Nurse sharks.  This species is very shy, and because of small mouths and teeth they are not perceived as a threat to humans unless provoked.  Dan found the experience fascinating and invigorating.  I, on the other hand, chose the very safe option of a Belize City tour.  The fascinating guide gave a lively commentary as our bus wound its way through the streets, stopping at various points of interest.

Several years later we returned to the country, this time with our teenage daughter in tow.  As a family we chose to go cave tubing.  While the excursion required a considerable bus ride inland from the coast, we were rewarded with the unique experience of floating down an underground river through a spectacular cave system.  We took our time returning to the ship, stopping en route for lunch at a charming local restaurant.

Belize is a place I would love to visit for more than just a day as a cruise ship stop.  With Westjet’s new air service it’s easier than ever for Canadians to get to this beautiful, tropical country.  With resorts such as Ka’ana offering luxury accommodations and topnotch service, the all-inclusive Ramon’s Village, one of the packages offered by Westjet Vacations or the many other resorts in the country, the destination represents terrific value.

Posted on behalf of Pearl McCallum, Edmonton office