Southern Belize’s Umaya Resort and Adventures

by Carolee Chanona

Umaya Resort & Adventures, previously known as Belize Ocean Club, honors the historical influence of the Mayan culture of Belize. Following their rebrand in late 2019, Umaya unites cultural experiences of southern Belize and adventures from nature’s bounty. The name ‘Umaya’ itself means ‘one’ in Maya. With strong roots in the local community, this new Mayan-influenced boutique hotel offers a heightened cultural experience. Here, a touch of Maya craft and décor lends to its organic on-site garden for its Maya-influenced menu. Keep southern Belize’s Placencia peninsula high in your travel daydreams to enjoy Maya history, adventure, and Southern Belize’s raw beauty at Umaya.

Farm-to-Table Dining

The gastronomical fusion of Mayan and Garifuna flavors takes center stage at Umaya. With her Creole and Garifuna heritage, Chef Inderia Duran hosts their “Best of Belize Night” on Fridays for an authentic Belizean experience. With sunset mountain views beyond the lagoon, The Clubhouse is casual dining for epicureans. The beach restaurant Fyah, the Creole translation of ‘fire’, serves up tapas and more – no shoes needed. Their menu is cooked over an outdoor open-grill, for uncomplicated but elevated bar food. Additionally, Umaya Resort prioritizes conservation and sustainability with several efforts. For one, guests relish in the hand-picked ingredients just a few yards away – whether in cocktails or cuisine.

Oceanfront & Lagoon View Suites

Along with their conservation mandate, the rooms at Umaya kept their authentic Belizean décor during the rebrand. Besides being eco-conscious, restyling existing local materials kept the same rustic look and feel of Placencia. Inside this all-suite boutique hotel, you’ll find locally loved woods like Santa Maria, Mahogany, and Cabbage Bar. Not sure which option of the 60 luxury rooms is right for you? In addition to a private balcony and spa access for all accommodations, the water’s edge is just a few steps away.

  • Oceanfront Suite – Besides the breathtaking sunrises over the Caribbean Sea, guests are closest here to the beach, bar, and largest pool in Southern Belize. After all, what’s not to love about the brown sugar beaches of this lush 18-mile long peninsula? Choose between a one-bedroom suite, a two-bedroom suite, or a penthouse suite.
  • Lagoon View Suite – A defining feature of the peninsula, the Placencia Lagoon is the perfect contrast to the emerald expanse of Belize’s Maya Mountains. End your day by enjoying the sunset view from a one-bedroom suite, two-bedroom suite, or a penthouse suite.
Oceanfront Suite
Umaya's Oceanfront Penthouse
Lagoon View Suite

Adventures & More

Located in Maya Beach just a quick 20-minute drive from Placencia, guests are just within reach of both jungle and ocean adventures. On the cusp of the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world, Belize’s World Heritage Site (WHS) awaits – the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (BBRRS). While in Southern Belize, embark on a dive of a lifetime. Belize’s WHS is made of seven composite marine sites, four of which are located in Southern Belize. Not dive certified? Umaya is creating their very own dive certification program so guests can make the most of Belize’s underwater wonders. Or, if you haven’t quite found your sea legs, Umaya’s team can customize the jungle escapade of your dreams. Zip-line through Belize’s treescapes, emerge yourself in culture with a chocolate-making class, or leisurely tour Cockscomb Basin by river tube. Umaya can create an adventure fit for your needs.

The current pandemic has put tourism on hold, but we can still daydream about travel. Whether your adventure takes you to Maya underworld of Xibalba in St. Herman’s Cave or simply to a lounge chair on-site, Umaya Resort will be waiting for you. Start planning your next Belize vacation to explore, rest, and repeat.

Photos Courtesy: Umaya Belize

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