The warm, sunny beaches of the Caribbean or the verdant rainforests of Central America? The vibrant cultures of the West Indies or the rich history of the Mundo Maya? Choosing one over the other might be a difficult task for those of us who, ultimately, would love to have a taste of both. In Belize, though, you don’t need to choose, and if you’re from the USA’s East Coast, both the Caribbean and Central America just got a lot closer. With JetBlue now offering a direct connection between New York (JFK) and Belize (BZE) thrice weekly, east-coasters can treat themselves to experiencing the best of both worlds in one country.
Both Central America & the Caribbean Are Now Just One Flight Away
As of Wednesday, December 6, JetBlue Airlines has begun its non-stop service to Belize. Flights are available three times a week, year-round. This new direct flight has opened up a world of possibilities for travel between the east coast and the hidden gem that is Belize. The best part? The direct flight is only about four hours, departing the John F Kennedy International Airport at 8:29 am and arriving in Belize at 12:15 pm. That leaves travelers with plenty of extra time to explore all that the country has to offer them.
The inaugural flight was met with plenty of fanfare, with passengers (about 100 in total) receiving plenty of Belize swag and warm smiles. At a small ceremony held to welcome the new connection, Belize’s Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations, Hon. Anthony Mahler said, “This direct connection not only bridges two vibrant cultures but also opens a gateway for travelers to explore the unparalleled beauty of our country.”
With its dual identity as both a Caribbean and Central American nation, there’s certainly much to be explored in Belize. JetBlue’s new Belize service will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.
From the Caribbean Coast to the Maya Forest
Anyone flying into Belize’s Philip Goldson International Airport can get a glimpse of what awaits them in this small but eclectic country. Watch as the azure blue waters of the sea give way to lush riparian forests and jade-green rivers (the Old Belize River, to be exact). Then, after landing, rest assured knowing that whether you’re headed east or west, unforgettable experiences await.
Take a puddle jumper flight from the airport. Or, embrace slow travel and catch a cab and water taxi. Regardless, get a taste of Belize’s Caribbean side at the cayes as well as its coastal towns and villages. Clear blue waters perfect for offshore adventure await at San Pedro, Caye Caulker, and a smattering of private islands that dot the country’s eastern coast. Meanwhile, down south, Placencia and Hopkins Village offer beachfront bliss with a side of culture and adventure.
Out west and up north, the lush rainforests of Central America await. Embrace your inner adventurer with a trip to the Cayo district. Discover everything from luxury boutique resorts to rugged terrain and heart-pumping excursions. For something more low-key, go off the beaten path in the southernmost district of Toledo for caves, Maya culture, and green relaxation.
Where to Stay in Belize
No matter your budget, Belize has a wide selection of unique accommodation options, each of which is serving up bespoke experiences and memorable adventures. Choose from colorful beachfront casitas like those at Matachica Resort, expansive rainforest stays like those at the Rainforest Lodge at Sleeping Giant, and resorts offering a little bit of everything, like Hamanasi in Hopkins Village.
Looking for adventure? Then seek out the much-beloved San Ignacio Resort Hotel in Cayo. Or, kick back and do nothing with an all-inclusive vacation rental like Casa Al Mar on the island of St. George’s Caye. No matter which you choose though -and no matter if you’re more fond of Central America or Caribbean travel – rest assured knowing that it’s all just one flight away.