BRING THE KIDS ALONG TO BELIZE FOR A VACATION
BELIZE CITY, Belize, May 17, 2007 â€“ Family vacations need not be typical and mundane. In fact, there is no better way to bond as a family unit than by sharing unique experiences in an extraordinary place. That is just what happens on a vacation to Belize — where fun, exhilarating and unforgettable family-friendly activities abound.
Only a 2 hour flight from the continental US, Belize is chock full of kid-approved activities such as snorkeling, hiking, caving, horseback riding, zip lining and more. The small Central American is also host to the largest concentration of Mayan sites and a 180-mile barrier reef, forming the perfect playground for adults and children alike. In addition, there are a multitude of hands-on activities, fascinating wildlife encounters and exotic cultural happenings that provide little kids with big fun in Belize.
The following are some Belizean adventures that are educational as well as entertaining for the whole family.
Hugh Parkeyâ€™s â€œDolphin Experience,â€ brings vacationers face to face with friendly and loveable dolphins in Belizeâ€™s unspoiled waters. The â€œDolphin Experienceâ€ is designed to promote a fun, educational and entertaining interface with these delightful creatures, regardless of age or swimming capabilities. In addition to the hands-on interaction, participants are also educated on the natural history, physiology and care of the animals as well as briefed on marine conservation issues. Ideal for children, this activity only requires wading in waist-deep water.
The cost for an up-close dolphin encounter is $100 per person and children under the age of 6 years old must make arrangements in advance. For more information, visit www.belizedolphins.com.
Green Iguana Project
At the San Ignacio Resort Hotel in Western Belize, guests can tour â€œGuanaland,â€ and befriend Belizeâ€™s most fascinating amphibian â€“ the green iguana. Established as a means of protecting and caring for these endangered creatures, the Green Iguana Project enables close interaction and promotes a deeper appreciation for the green iguanas, a direct descendant of the dinosaur. The informative exhibit includes a one-hour, hands-on tour where participants learn about the iguanaâ€™s anatomy and survival while watching the process of egg incubation, hatching, rearing and the final release of the juvenile iguanas into the wild.
Taking part in the Green Iguana project requires a $10 donation that supports Belizeâ€™s conservation efforts. With an added donation, youngsters can even â€œadoptâ€ their own iguana and give it a permanent name. For more information, visit www.sanignaciobelize.com/iguana.html or call 1-800-822-3274.
What child doesnâ€™t love a zoo? First established as a refuge and rehabilitation center for injured wildlife, the Belize Zoo is now home to 125 interesting residents, including the exotic black jaguar, jabiru stork, howler monkey, the Bairdâ€™s tapir and the endangered harpy eagle. Visitors to the zoo are charmed by its vast array of animals, some of which they might not have known even existed. The Zoo is a great way to get up close and personal with Belizeâ€™s majestic animal kingdom. The nominal admission fee is $5 to support the facility and all of its associated education programs. For more information visit www.belizezoo.org.
Maya Guesthouse Program
Vacationers yearning for a unique cultural exchange can become immersed in the ancient Mayan tradition with a visit to the Maya Guesthouse. Located in the sparsely-populated area of the Toledo District in southern Belize where direct descendants of the ancient Maya live, guests have the rare opportunity to visit with the Mayan people and assist with daily tasks like weaving, tortilla making, basketry or creating a traditional craft. Guests are also welcomed to observe local religious ceremonies and cultural celebrations that showcase traditional song and dance.
For more information on the Mayan Guesthouse Program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call + (501) 722-2096.
Belize is just as amazing underground as it is above. The intricate Belizean cave systems offer impressive exploration for just about any age group. History buffs will be fascinated by the many Maya artifacts preserved within the caves, while nature-lovers will delight in the breathtaking views of the beautiful crystal formations. Depending on ability, adventure seekers can enter by foot, by inner tube, or paddle through in the comfort of a kayak or canoe. Itâ€™s a journey below that will not soon be forgotten.
Ian Andersonâ€™s Caves Branch Adventure Company and Jungle Lodge offers daily tours into a number of Belizeâ€™s impressive subterranean caves and caverns. For more information, visit www.cavesbranch.com or call +(501) 822-2800.
Snuggled between Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south, relaxed, English-speaking Belize is only a two-hour plane ride from the continental United States. Venture into a land rich in natural beauty and steeped in the magic of its Maya past. Renowned for pristine waters, exotic marine and wildlife, lush unspoiled landscapes, and superb diving, Belize is Mother Natureâ€™s Best Kept Secret. For more information on Belize please visit www.travelbelize.org or call 1-800-624-0686.