Wide Open Nature: Why Belize is Naturally Resilient

by Carolee Chanona
moho caye

Crowded tourist destinations are out of the question. Those seeking rejuvenative solitude can find it in Belize’s wide open nature, meaning minimal contact and time to self – unfettered by family or work obligations. Social distancing regulations, paired with lower risks of contracting the virus in open spaces, leaves travelers opting for adventure in nature. After all, spending time in nature reduces negative thought patterns, stress, and depression – ultimately making us happier.

While you may not have been a traditionally ‘outdoorsy’ person pre-pandemic, these experiences in solitude make it easy, with either wind-swept transportation, self-guided trails, or a suite of “at-home” luxuries in far-flung lodges. As a destination surrounded by vast landscapes, travelers have plenty of options for isolated experiences outdoors.

Moho Caye Belize island

Moho Caye, an idyllic 12-acre, palm-fringed private island in Belize.


Sailing into the sunset. Photo by Duarte Dellarole Photography

With over 185 miles of beautiful coastline, Belize offers stunning sailing waters and complete solitude. Picture it: a gradient of turquoise shallows, spectacular secluded shores and vibrant marine life. Sail for just a day, a weekend or a week – set your own route, choose your crowd and go at your own pace! Spend your days fishing, snorkeling, diving or just basking in the sun. Adventures are endless, and the only thing packed on this vacation will be your cooler of ice-cold beers.


Verdant vistas await at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Photo by Kevin Quischan Photography

There is magnetism in wild places – one that calls to us on a spiritual level. From nature walks in national parks to high-peak climbs, Belize boasts a path fit for all hikers and walkers. Spend your days hiking under jungle canopies, discovering hidden medicinal trails or trekking up mountain ranges. If you’re looking for a challenge, hike Victoria Peak: Belize’s second highest summit at 3,675 feet. Whether you reach the summit or not after the 3-day expedition; standing in awe of a mountain is one of the few experiences that leave us feeling rooted – fully connected to the world and its intricacies. Besides, Victoria Peak Natural Monument is no exception to being a pocket of wonder and refuge for those looking for a deeper connection than WiFi. Other favorites include Billy Barquedier National Park off the Hummingbird Highway, and exploring the Rio Bravo Conservation Management Area in Northern Belize.


“If the world had any ends, British Honduras would certainly be one of them.”

Whether quoted by Aldous Huxley in the 1930s or holding true nearly a century later, escaping into the fresh air to cast a fishing line or spot a bird is more enticing than ever. After months indoors, we’ve all found things to pass the time; whether knitting, painting, baking or other, but what about those future skills you’ve always put off to do? And you needn’t be an expert angler or birder to appreciate the meditative effects of offshore fishing in the blues of the Belize Barrier Reef nor birding the Belizean wilderness—a fact to discover for yourself. A myriad of experiential activities awaits adventure travelers in Belize—with nothing but time to learn (or relearn) a long-desired skill. Like say, identifying the swathe of birdsong that surrounds you in the Chiquibul National Park; or landing a catch-and-release prize in the Permit Capital of the country.

Written by Carolee Chanona for the 2020 Belize Gold Book.
Article found on page 38 of the 2020 Belize Gold Book.

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