Everyone has her own vision of a dream vacation. For some it’s shopping in a glitzy, glamorous city. For others it’s hiking in piney forests. But for a lot of discriminating travelers, water is the way to go.
Royal Belize has it, six ways from Sunday.
First, there’s swimming and snorkeling in the sparkling Caribbean Sea. Royal Belize is, after all, a tropical island – even better, a private one that hosts only one party at a time in one or more of its three recently renovated villas. The water is easily accessible from any of the island’s several docks, as well as the resort’s 32-foot motor boat and an optional luxury catamaran. Effervescent, perfectly clean, warm, and ever so gentle, these waters are so amazing they’re part of a World Heritage Site and the South Water Caye Marine Reserve.
Speaking of the World Heritage Site, snorkelers and divers will thrill to learn that their personal concierge, Peter, can easily arrange for day trips to experience the sea life and towering coral at the famous Belize Barrier Reef. What water lover could resist seeing the Great Blue Hole? Although the dining is a bit different than back at the resort, where meals are prepared by a personal chef selected specifically for each party, lovely picnics are provided, along with other refreshments.
Then there’s a boat trip down the Sittee River, gliding past low-hanging tropical fruits to the shore. There guests will find Butterflies Spa Belize, a ritzy-yet-relaxing full service spa located right on the beach. Just imagine enjoying a multitude of spa treatments while listening to the gentle rush of aqua-and-turquoise waves and the breathing in the scent of the hothouse flowers. Of course, you don’t have to leave the island for a massage, since Royal Belize now has a resident masseuse.
For those looking for more of a challenge, Peter can arrange a trip to the mainland for river tubing, visiting historic ruins, diving, and sea-kayaking. The Macal River, the largest drainage area of the Maya Mountains, offers a 20-mile vine-covered granite gorge, waterfalls, and caves. An extra treat: hire the optional helicopter for the trip and make a day of it.
There’s kayaking at Royal Belize itself, of course, as well as water skiing, beach game equipment, and a new plunge pool. Not to mention a WaveRunner that delivers hours of fun. The fishing has been known to be quite excellent – even occasionally yielding the main course for dinner – and chartering is an option as well. Aquatic bird watching is both educational and relaxing, with sandpipers, hummingbirds, ospreys, pelicans, and frigates. It’s worth keeping an eye on the sea for other creatures as well; spotted eagle rays occasionally put on quite a show jumping as high as six feet in the air, and dolphins and manatees sometimes wander by.
Some visitors are content to simply be seduced by the sights, sounds, and scents of this island paradise, relaxing on the dock while savoring a cold local beer or a glass of fine wine. Peter enjoys staging outdoor dining rooms, complete with tiki torches, or dressing up the Grand Palapa for a larger gathering. The stunningly beautiful Caribbean Sea is always there, just steps away, waiting to soothe guests to sleep at the end of a water-filled day.
Royal Belize, www.PrivateVacationIsland.com