Get to Enjoy Both Central America and the Caribbean With Just One 4-Hour Flight

by Khaila Gentle

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

JetBlue’s inaugural flight to Belize lands at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). Photo courtesy of the Belize Tourism Board.

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.”

Similar: JetBlue Begins Its New Non-Stop Service to Belize

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

PGIA airport belize

Image via Meritt Thomas on Unsplash

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.

Caye Caulker, Belize. Photo: Leonardo Melendez / LMP Studios

San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Photo by the Belize Tourism Board
Explore Laughing Bird Caye in Southern Belize
Placencia Village, Belize. Photo by the Belize Tourism Board

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.

Photo Credit: Sweet Songs Jungle Lodge in Cayo

Photo by the Belize Tourism Board
Photo by The Lodge at Sleeping Giant
Copal Tree Lodge in the jungles of the Toledo District

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

Photo Credit: Matachica Resort

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.

birding in Belize

Discover the world of birding in Belize. Photo by San Ignacio Resort Hotel

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.

Featured: JetBlue’s inaugural flight to Belize touches down at the PGIA. Photo by the Belize Tourism Board. 

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