Beach lovers, it’s official; we’ve found the perfect eco-getaway for you. Imagine an island filled with vast swathes of ecologically-important rainforest (home to jaguars, no less), all dotted prettily with hidden archaeological treasures, and surrounded by the second largest barrier reef in the world—it may be small, but tropical Belize packs a big punch when it comes to gorgeous natural beauty. The secret? It’s worked tirelessly to ensure they remain intact. With plenty of mindful tours and stays, it’s never been easier to enjoy an eco-conscious trip in Belize, but we’ve picked out our eco-friendly superstars for you any way.
WHAT TO DO
“Take only photos, leave only bubbles” – this diving adage perfectly sums up the attitude here in Belize. Eco-friendly diving schools take care to protect local sites, teaching people to avoid causing any harm to the reef and supporting the local community by training residents to scuba dive sustainably. All this of course means that you’ll get to enjoy the paradisiacal colours of its underwater realms at their best, year after year.
If you need a break from the beach then why not channel your inner Indiana Jones and explore the myriad of lost Mayan temples buried throughout Belize? You’ll get to immerse yourself in ancient history in a truly beautiful and exotic setting whilst learning about the Mayan culture. It’ll be the most idyllic history lesson you’ve ever had.
The Butterfly Effect
We’re pretty sure that being surrounded by a kaleidoscope of flitting butterflies will score highly in anyone’s list of magical moments. Green Hills Butterfly Ranch is dedicated to research and conservation of these winged beauties and several native species of butterfly have been reared here. An afternoon watching them wing their way amid the beautifully landscaped flora is well worth it.
WHERE TO STAY
This is one of the most celebrated eco-boltholes in Belize. It’s set deep within the rainforest overlooking spectacular waterfalls—natural beauty that Gaia cleverly utilizes to power the whole lodge with hydroelectric energy. There’s even a hydro-powered tram to take you straight from your room to a swimming spot by the freshwater pools. In the evening, dine on organic garden delights with spectacular views over the rainforest canopy.
The definition of eco-chic, Belcampo encompasses a luxurious Jungle Lodge within a lush 12,000-acre nature reserve. Indulge in the Jungle Farm restaurant, where ingredients are either foraged from the rainforest or harvested from the on-site organic farm (talk about locally-sourced), and of course all fish is sustainably sourced by local fisherman. Activities include farm tours for little ones, a bean-to-bar chocolate making class for the whole family and river-fishing on the hotel’s pontoon boat. Eco-bliss.