Jungle Adventure

Clients can stay and play in Belize’s parks and preserves

By: Judy Koutsky

With the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, Belize is one of the world’s foremost diving and snorkeling destinations. Additionally, 40 percent of the country has been protected as national parks and preserves, making it the place to go trekking on land and kayaking on the water. Well-seasoned travelers will enjoy the eco-lodges located on or near water, many in the heart of the Belize jungle. And the active-adventure excursions are not to be missed.

Agents should note that roads in Belize aren’t great. The best way to travel between lodges is by local airline, Tropic Air. Each eco-lodge arranges personal pick-ups for clients at the local airstrip.

Stay and Play

Less than an hour by air from Belize City is Placencia, a hot spot for water activities. The Placencia Hotel, formerly the Zeboz Caribbean Resort, is a new luxury resort boasting the largest infinity pool in the country. There is no shortage of activities to keep guests busy. Watersports include ocean kayaking, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling and diving. A highlight is the Monkey River excursion, which includes hiking, bird-watching and spotting howler monkeys.

Located on the coast of southern Belize is Kanantik Reef & Jungle Belize Resort. Enjoy the seclusion of this resort’s location perfect for honeymooners and couples looking for a romantic vacation. Owner Roberto Fabbri is a charming Italian man who personally looks after guests, even providing homemade delicacies such as Italian gelato and pasta. He also arranges diving and snorkeling excursions in South Water Caye aboard his private boat. Fabbri is a dive master, and his experience finding giant turtles and a host of aquatic life is very impressive.

An hour north of Belize City is Orange Walk, home to the ancient Maya site of Lamanai. Don’t miss the crocodile boat safari with Frank Mazzotti, a researcher from the University of Florida. Clients can watch Mazzotti’s expert eyes and quick maneuvering as he captures, tags and then releases crocodiles to further his research. Kids and adults are allowed to hold the animals under Mazzotti’s supervision and guests will be amazed by how much they’ll learn from his research. Other trips include trekking for howler monkeys and bird excursions with a naturalist.

Belize Lodge & Excursion boasts a Jungle Camp that can only be reached by canoe. The 12 safari-style bungalows are located in the trees, 16 feet above the forest floor. Elevated walkways connect the private bungalows to the restaurant and reception. Each bungalow has a private verandah for nature viewing or as a backdrop for a romantic candlelit dinner. The forest surrounding the camp is teeming with wildlife, including tapirs, wild boar and a plethora of birds. While the camp appeals to those looking to be one with nature, the seven-course, white-linen meals are luxury all the way. A variety of excursions is offered, including kayaking, horseback riding, wildlife tours and hikes to archeological sites.


Belize Lodge & Excursion
Commission starts at 20 percent.


Kanantik Reef & Jungle Resort
10 percent agent commission


Lamanai Outpost Belize
10 percent agent commission


The Placencia Hotel
10 percent agent commission


Tropic Air