Thursday, 30 May 2013

Belize A Tropical Rainforest-

Top 5 Jungle Expeditions

Planning my trip to Belize took a bit of research. Many of my close friends and family didn’t know much about Belize and questioned my vacation plans to visit a small unknown country. However, Belize was exactly what I needed. Belize is certainly a natural beauty with its untouched tropical rainforest. As with many developed countries roads and skyscrapers have taken the beauty of nature away from us, the natural habitat of many animals and plants has been destroyed. Belize is distinct! It is known that 75% of Belize is covered in tropical forest, the colors, and shapes of many species of animals and birds that are found in Belize’s rainforest are extraordinary.

Top 5 Jungle Expeditions

Belize is like no other. My adventurous side got the best of me as I learned about the top 5 jungle expeditions that I had to experience. I highly recommend that if you are planning your vacation to Belize you must take the tour of at least one of these jungle expeditions.

First, Belize is known for its archeology and ancient history of the Mayas. Throughout Belize they are many different Maya expeditions that are worth experiencing. Indulge yourself in culture and history walking the paths of the Mayas amongst the many ancient Maya ceremonial temples.   

Second, Belize is proud to house one the first and largest jaguar preserve in the world, The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve. While visiting this unique sanctuary be on the look out for jaguars.

Third, caving in Belize is more than limestone formations. Belize is known to have the most extensive cave systems in the world. Experience the underworld of the Mayas and witness the authentic Maya artifacts that remain in the caves today. The most advanced cave, which was featured in National Geography ‘Top 10 Sacred Caves’, is Actun Tunichil Muknal (Cave of the Stone Sepulchre).  Actun Tunichil Muknal involves hiking, wading, and underwater swimming.

Fourth, walking amongst Belize’s tropical rainforest you are bound to hear the prominent and distinct sound of the howler monkeys. Visit the Community Baboon Sanctuary or take a boat ride up Monkey River, and get a chance of a lifetime to view the black howler monkeys enjoying their natural habitat.

Fifth, Belize has many natural jungle trails found across the country that are safe to explore alone or with a licensed tour guide.       Take a walk through a medicinal trail and learn about the many plants and herbs that are often used by locals for healing. Hiking, horseback riding, mounting biking, and canoeing down a river are only a few of the many ways to enjoy the diverse flora and fauna in Belize’s tropical rainforest.

If you would like to learn more about Belize’s tropical rainforest contact Patricia Ramirez at

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Top Reasons to Visit Belize

Need a reason to visit Belize? How about 5?

My husband, Ben and I vacationed in Belize for a week and if you ask me to give you one good reason to visit Belize, I honestly cannot! I simply cannot state one good reason, as there are many. Belize may be a small country but it is unique and exotic! I may not be able to give you ONE reason to visit Belize but I have narrowed them down to FIVE! They are just some things worth experiencing before leaving Belize.

1.      Quick and Easy Travels                          

Getting to Belize is no mystery and no hassle! Belize is only a two hours flight from the United States. My husband and I flew out of Miami and we were surprised of the short distance. Approximately two hours after takeoff and we had landed on earth’s paradise.

Although Belize is in Central America, surrounded by Spanish speaking countries, it is actually an English speaking country. Without the language barrier it was easy to communicate with the locals and learn a lot more about Belize.

American dollars are accepted everywhere in Belize and the exchange rate is  $1.00 USD to $2.00 BZD; it is a convenient and stable currency exchange rate that allows for a profitable return.

Did I mention that Belize is a small country filled with great adventures? In addition to it being small it is easy to explore, as most of the destinations are only a short drive or flight away from each other. Imagine exploring wildlife and marine life all in one day!

2.      Marine Life   

Belize may have been known as “mother nature’s best kept secret” but with such great wonders such as having the longest Barrier Reef in the Western Hemisphere, it can no longer be called a secret. The Barrier Reef of Belize is home to a vast array of marine life. Over 60 different types of corals, soft and hard, can be found on the reefs near Placencia, Belize.

When in Belize be sure to visit the Great Blue Hole. The Blue Hole is a natural wonder and a must for all divers and snorkelers. Ben and I had the most amazing time flying over the Great Blue Hole. The view up on top was as stunning as diving amidst the multitude of sea creatures and corals. 

Similar to the Caribbean islands, Belize has its fair share of island life. Relax on the beach and take in the beauty of the Caribbean Sea.

3.      Jungle Adventure

Belize’s natural jungle is full of ultimate adventures from kayaking, zip lining, caving, cave tubing, rappelling, and birding, to name a few. Ben and I got an adrenaline rush as we soared through the treetops in the jungle. After zip lining we got a chance to take it easy by cave tubing in the dark mysterious cave, where we saw and learned a lot about limestone formations.

Belize is also known to house the world’s only Jaguar preserve, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary & Jaguar Preserve.  The Belize’s Jungle unspoiled nature is definitely worth exploring.

4.      Culture

Cultural diversity in Belize is  amazing. It certainly took me by surprise when I learned that they are  eight ethnic groups living harmoniously in Belize: Mayas, Creole, Garifuna, Mestizo, East Indian, Asians, Caucasians, and Mennonites. This cultural diversity not only makes Belize unique, but also, rich in culture. The food, dance, and traditions continue to be appreciated and practiced throughout the year in Belize.

5.  History & Archaeology

Belize’s history is evident in each district with the presence of ancient Mayan temples and tombs. The Mayan civilization was one of great mystery. The Mayan built great structures using nothing more than  stone and wooden tools in the Classic period. To be able to view and even climb these ancient temples today  is a momentous experience.

Our vacation to Belize was more than a single adventure. It was many adventures and life experiences packed in one week of pure delight. If anyone should ask for one good reason to visit Belize, I can only answer with 5 good reasons!

Book your adventure today by contacting Patty at

“Discover how to be”

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Belize, A Melting Pot

Belize is incomparable to any other country I ever visited. While planning my vacation to Belize I was captivated by the diversity of cultures all in one tiny country. I can surely say that this was one of the many factors that influenced my decision to visit Belize over Costa Rica, which my husband and I were deliberating.

It is the locals that make a difference. Similar to many Caribbean countries the people are ‘laid-back’. Leaving the hustle and bustle of our everyday life took some getting use to. I had to constantly remind myself that we were here on vacation. As we entered the airport my husband and I were greeted by the rhythmic drumming, what we now know to be Garinagu music. The Garinagu music is a traditional music of the Garifuna culture. It didn’t take long for us to notice that the Garinagu were only one of the many racial ethnic groups that share the beautiful and natural land of Belize.

The fact that Belize’s official language is English made our travels easier. This was surely a relief, as we were both able to interact more with the locals and not only experience the touristic side of the country. We later learned that although everyone understands and speaks English, many locals speak Belizean Creole (Kriol), which is best described as broken English. However, trying to eavesdrop on two locals conversing, sounds like mayhem.

Two Spanish-speaking countries, Mexico and Guatemala surround Belize; contributing tremendously to the prevalence of the Spanish language and the Mestizo culture. I was surprised by the intense flavors of many traditional mestizo foods such as the tamales, panades, and tacos, to name a few. Many cultural foods can be easily found at the markets, and is commonly sold by many street vendors. Traditional Mestizo foods are primarily made using corn. Corn is also a staple used by the traditional Mayas who we encountered in the village of Maya Center a small Mopan Maya Village on our way to Placencia, where we were heading.

We drove south to Placencia after leaving Belize City and we were greeted with a welcoming smile by many different faces. Heading to Placencia we passed by Belmopan, the country’s capital which happens to be near Spanish Lookout - an area inhabited by Conservative German Mennonites, who strictly use simple machines. While on the main road we were approached by a fast galloping horse and buggy driven by conservative Mennonites, this took us by surprise. Belize is truly a natural haven comprised of many racial ethnic groups who all contribute to the rich and diverse culture in Belize.

After arriving in Placencia, we instantly knew that we were in paradise. The sandy beaches and crystal blue waters made Placencia the perfect vacation getaway for my husband and I who had never been on a honeymoon. Belize is certainly a ‘melting pot’ of different racial ethnic groups working and living together in harmony.