An Eco-travel Guide to Belize

by Madeleine Guerra

With so much natural grandeur and respect for the environment from locals, Belize is quickly becoming a popular tourist destination that embodies eco-travel. Having recently been awarded as Ethical Traveler’s 2021 list of top ten best post-pandemic destinations, Belize is internationally recognized for its initiatives to rewrite the narratives on tourism. As part of government initiatives and wider social efforts, Belize is steadily making strides to become a pioneer in sustainable development, and with that, sustainable tourism. If you are getting ready to make your way to Belize, here’s all you need to know about making a low-impact stay on your trip.

Ethos of Eco-travel 

Image courtesy Hamanasi Resort.

The core ethos behind eco-travel is making sustainable decisions while traveling. By this we mean being cognizant of the choices we are making on our journey and how it may impact the environment, the society, and the economy of the country you’re visiting. 

Here’s what you can do on your trip to Belize as a eco-traveler: 
  • Reduce waste as much as possible, reuse where you can, recycle and purchase wisely 
  • Eat from local restaurants and shop from local producers 
  • Consider walking or bike riding when sight-seeing
Packing Sustainably:   
  • Bring reef safe sunscreen
  • Pack a reusable water bottle and fill as you go
  • Pack a reusable straw and cutlery 
  • Switch to a bamboo hair brush and toothbrush to reduce plastic waste 
  • Use a natural bug repellant 

As part of Belize’s initiatives for sustainable tourism, resorts throughout the country have made significant strides in becoming more sustainably conscious. Built on minimal design, low environmental impacts, hiring  local employees, and supporting community initiatives, here are a few of the best eco-resorts in Belize: 

  • Hamanasi Resort Having been the winner of the Green Globe Award, Hamanasi Resort holistically embodies sustainability. Using a farm-to-table approach with their organic garden, recycling and composting on-site, and encouraging reef safe sunscreen, Hamanasi Resort is a true pioneer in eco-tourism. 
  • Ka’ana Resort – Along with their farm to table approach, their locally sourced eco-friendly bath products, and their sustainably designed accommodations, Ka’ana Resort is an active member in the community. Supporting the Octavia Waight Center’s home for the elderly, the Belize Wildlife Clinic, the Cayo Animal Welfare Society, and the Holy Cross Primary School, Ka’ana Resort recognizes its social responsibility. 
  • San Ignacio Resort Hotel – With so much jungle as their surroundings, San Ignacio Resort Hotel plays an important role for conserving wildlife on property. Considered as a playground for bird-lovers, this resort has been able to document over 119 species of birds on property and encourages tourists to experience and learn more about these beautiful creatures. Additionally, the resort is home to the Green Iguana Conservation Project aiming to conserve and protect these endangered species by educating visitors.   

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