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Photos courtesy of Belize Tourism Board

Combining mountain ecotourism and Mayan archeology on the mainland, with beaches and diving on the world’s second largest coral reef, Belize is a very special place, indeed. Quiet, with a distinct culture and personality, this is the destination for serious explorers and ecotourists, who want more than just another beach resort.

Belize has six districts comprising nine separate destinations, and combinations of any two, especially one on the mainland and one on the reef, are popular. There are six major Mayan archeological sites, and five principal dive sites, to choose from. The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There are many small, independent hotels, with an astonishing range of imaginative designs and features, and almost none of the familiar international models. Several notable examples are Blancaneaux Lodge, one of Francis Ford Coppola’s efforts; Lamanai Outpost Lodge, an archeological research center; and Victoria House on Ambergris Caye.

Belize is terrific for honeymooners, for families, and for singles looking for lots of activities. Just don’t go expecting big resorts with open bars and limbo dancers.

Not To Be Missed – The Temple to Temple Bike Race is the first bicycle race to follow the path of the ancient Mayans; the Barrier Reef Reserve System is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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