For a place bristling with champagne-hued sands, verdant jungles, and rosette-tinged skies, it’s easy to fathom that every day is Earth Day. But Belize truly celebrates the special day like no other. The Central American destination has often been praised internationally for its dedication to the conservation of all kinds. It’s no surprise, then, that its multi-award-winning resorts have not only adapted to green practices but have made them their ethos. When it comes to celebrating Earth Day on April 22 and the importance of our blue-marbled home, there are no other resorts that celebrate it better than sister properties Gaia Riverlodge and Matachica.
Mountain Pine Ridge’s jewel is cocooned within rolling valleys and lush rainforests. There’s no better fit for a stay during Earth Day than Gaia — its name even translates to the Greek Goddess of Earth! Indeed, one aspect of Earth Day is spending time in nature and there’s no shortage of that at Gaia Riverlodge. The property’s own motto is “adventurous by nature,” evidenced by the greenery surrounding the entire property. Guests can opt to go hiking within one of the many trails on the property. Not a hiker? Simply spend the day admiring the gushing falls of Five Sisters Waterfalls. You can also spend the day wandering the jungle on horseback, one of the most environmentally friendly ways to explore.
Earth Day is also about practicing environmentally conscious actions, such as choosing to eat organically grown food. Gaia Riverlodge boasts its own organic garden, which you can visit on-site. Guests can join Samuel, the resort’s expert Mayan organic farmer, to witness how fresh produce is grown. Learn how the ancient Maya used techniques to produce fruits and vegetables. Perhaps, you may even be inspired to grow your very own lettuce and cucumbers at home.
One pillar in practicing sustainable travel lies in community-based activities or learning about the local culture. When staying at Gaia, guests have the opportunity to visit the nearby town of San Antonio. This Maya village holds carefully-preserved traditions that it’s eager to share with newcomers. Gaia can arrange a day where you can learn pottery-making and traditional Maya tortilla-making with the San Antonio Women’s Group.
Ambergris Caye is already a destination worth visiting on its own aside from Earth Day, but staying at Matachica has an added flair of magic. The San Pedro resort sits north of the island, famous for its artfully decorated rooms and secluded ambiance (their motto, much like its sister property’s, touts “private by nature.”) The beachfront resort is so beloved by travelers that it was rated one of the Top 10 Resorts in Central America in 2020 by Travel + Leisure.
Matachica is mere steps away from the second-largest barrier reef in the world. Belize’s barrier reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site making it the perfect attraction to explore on Earth Day. Hop on a boat straight off Matachica’s dock to dive into the kaleidoscopic world beneath the surface. Thereafter, be prepared to come across Eagle Rays, Loggerhead turtles, and schools of rainbow parrotfish. After a day befriending Belize’s eclectic marine life, it’s time to indulge in locally sourced cuisine at Matachica’s on-site restaurant, Mambo.
Earth Day may come once a year, but we recommend taking a page out of Matachica and Gaia’s playbooks and honoring the earth every chance you get. Both Matachica and Gaia Riverlodge have sustainable policies in place that are practiced 365 days a year. From being members of Pack for a Purpose and growing their own food to employing locals and giving back to the community, these resorts are champions of green traveling.