With so many people hopping down to Florida right now, I hope to inspire a few of you to go farther. This summer I took my sister and her new husband to Belize for their honeymoon. It was more of a "family-moon", and we all could not have been happier. My 4th time to this country, I was excited to share some favorite experiences with my family. (Yes, the honeymooners got separate accommodations, even though most mornings my kids were waiting patiently in the porch hammock outside their room ready to play!)
I chose Belize due to the ease of travel the country offers, accessibility of return testing facilities (they can come to you), and the overall WOW factor for our travel newbies. Belize really is unbelievable.
We started our trip at Black Rock Lodge, a total emersion experience into the dense rainforest on the banks of the Macal River flowing through the Maya Mountains of Belize. The little cabins were perfect, the grounds a delight to wander through, and the food was the best we ever had prepared for us. The lodge has it's own farm and supports seasonal local produce. Dinners under the thatch roof by candlelight were stunning, and even our kids ate every bite. They only make two options for dinner : meat or vegetarian - but trust me when I say it will be one of the best meals you ever eat. We are a loud family that likes to play silly games with our kids while waiting for dinner or after - we appreciated that we felt welcome to enjoy the space and never felt hushed or rushed.
There is so much you can do a short car ride from here, including Mayan Ruin tours which we did on horseback. Barton Creek Cave, ATM, and more are all easy to explore! But if you opt to not leave the lodge, I totally get it. From hikes up the mountains, tubing down the river, swimming holes, rope swings, gathering eggs for breakfast from the farm (kiddo favorite), or just lazing in the hammock listening to the howler monkeys. I can not recommend this escape enough.
After our rainforest experience, it was time to head to the ocean. With the (not-so) lovely invasive Sargassum seaweed sweeping the coastlines - we headed out to Reefs End Lodge (https://www.reefsendlodge.com/) on the super tiny island of Tobacco Caye. This is not for everyone, but if you love to go remote and enjoy the rustic beach life - check it out. You can get tickets on a ferry or arrive by chartered boat - we adored Happy Go Lucky Tours (http://www.hgltours.com/) who got us out to the island. (Mahalo & Aloha!)
We enjoyed side-by-side stilted wooden cabins right on the waters edge. What a honeymoon treat! Obviously every spot on this tiny island has an amazing ocean view, and your just steps from the main dock lodge or the sandy rum bar around the corner. We choose this spot for the resorts approach to sustainability and ensuring guests make a positive environmental impact.
The location is divine, with amazing snorkeling right off the dock. We saw manta rays, sting rays, manatees, reef sharks, eels, octopus and even speared a lion fish. Plus, the lodge offers a night snorkel with the resident marine biologists, which I highly recommend. (Night snorkeling is amazing and a personal favorite of mine) We were one of maybe 3 visiting families to the island, so it felt like we were all on our own in the middle of the sea. Truly a water lovers paradise - I can not wait to return here, again, and again.
If you want more recommendations, feel free to email me!