With warmer weather sweeping through much of the U.S.A. this week, the hope of spring hangs in the air. But before we get there, we must lose an hour of precious time as North America springs forward with daylight saving time on March 14. However, there’s plenty of reasons to perk up. Here’s one: planning and anticipating a vacation is a mood booster, according to a previous study in 2010, and if your destination is sunny (and maybe even sandy) like Belize, all the better. Need vacation ideas? We’ve got tons—including travel deals to save you more than daylight this Spring. Book one of these overwater bungalows for a decadent excursion, one of these out-of-the-way Caribbean hotels for a crowd-free getaway inland, or an all-inclusive package at an adults-only resort for R&R with a touch of Caribbean Sea-spray.
If you’re craving more of life’s simple pleasures (like fishing on the Caribbean Sea), opt for fuss-free accommodations with Thatch Caye, a Muy’Ono Resort. The all-inclusive accommodations are breathtaking with a rustic Belizean feel, but only include the necessities (and air-conditioning, of course). After all, the benefit of an island getaway is the (welcomed) isolation. Instead, live out your overwater cabana dreams as you immerse yourself in your surroundings and reset your internal clock to island time.
Stay 5 nights at a Muy’Ono Resort before December and the 5th night is on them. Details here.
Situated on an island where the natural environment (like its offshore barrier reef) is itself the main draw, Matachica looms as the anti-generic beach resort just 5 miles north of San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye. The big eye-catcher? Each self-contained casitas and villas is honeyed with punchy hues to match their namesake fruit, and that’s just the start. Thatched roofs line off a total of 32 dwellings for a colorful hybrid of Latin and Caribbean influences set against a backdrop of see-through shallows and manicured, wild tropical foliage. The redesigned resort retains an unfeigned relaxation that feels effortless yet intentional, thanks to a 2019 overhaul from fellow Montréalers Byron and Dexter Peart.
After all, the further north one ventures, the closer to the Belize Barrier Reef that Ambergris Caye gets. Private and sustainable by design, visitors ultimately leave fluent in the roar of the tumultuous waves calmed by coral less than half a mile offshore. It’s easy to admire its roar—which seemingly harmonizes with a whistling salty breeze—from your private veranda and swaying hammock. Inside, guests can enjoy reimagined interiors with eco-friendly amenities that shine against whimsical, hand-painted bedroom murals by Montreal-based illustrator Cécile Gariépy for an artistic amalgamation. Beach-chic décor, reliable WiFi, and rich white linens all combine for the comforts of the cosmopolitan traveler, but the resort’s best adult-only resort feature is gifting travelers the ability to disconnect. Unfettered from worries and even time itself, as adults, that’s why we vacation, right?
Valid on stays May through August, enter “EB25” at checkout for 25% off bookings at Matachica Resort.
Disconnected Destinations in Mountain Pine Ridge
I hate to overuse the phrase distanced by nature, but with the lowest population density in Central America, it’s hard to resist. The interior Cayo District is home to the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, carpeting 300 impressive square kilometers in the Maya Mountains. Established as a natural treasure in 1944, there are lots to explore before retreating to open-air accommodations within. After all, remote lodges are both ahead of the eco-curve in some cases and hypocritically behind it in others. But when you travel to forget—to forget city life, its stressors, and whatever deadlines—it’s welcomed.
And despite being an hour short on sleep, there’s plenty to do once you get there. Here, tap into your inner explorer; a trek through towering pines to nearby waterfalls, the limestone Rio Frio Cave, or even the Caracol Maya Site. The latter is a major Maya archaeological site in Belize, covering approximately 30 square miles as one of the best-preserved astronomical observatories that point to the equinox and sun solstice.
Surrounded by towering pines in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, GAIA Riverlodge is a stylish, open-air lodge beautifully perched above the Privassion Creek that borders on ethereal. Cabanas and villas are well spaced out onsite, naturally creating a sense of privacy by nature. Gaia is an hour’s jeep ride from the more populous San Ignacio area; here, guests can recharge inside the 24 private and spacious cabanas to the Five Sisters waterfall’s sounds. Enjoy the rainforest’s intimacy with its native birds, butterflies, and remarkable flora; it is all set against the soft glow of the setting sun. Ps: the riverside and waterfall-view rooms give unrivaled sunrise vistas amongst rural luxury.
Belizeans can stay for only $99 per night per person! More info here.
Meet the 21-acre Blancaneaux Lodge set within the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve alongside steep ravines, crashing waterfalls, and the fast-flowing Privassion River. The 20-room eco-resort boasts rustic-chic cabanas and villas set far apart from each other, an outdoor spa with a focus on Thai treatments, and an always refreshing thermal pool. Besides being enveloped in nature to inspire even the toughest writer’s block, guests on-site can enjoy farm-to-table eats from the 3-acre organic garden for just-plucked ingredients.