Belize continues to bathe in the spotlight as one after one, major travel publishers have recommended this jewel of a country as a top place to visit in 2019. National Geographic, the esteemed travel publisher which first launched over 100 years ago, included Belize as a "where to travel" destination for the upcoming year.
Entitled "support bold moves to save the oceans," National Geographic's write-up of Belize lavished praise on the government for its proactive environmental stance. Belize banned all offshore drilling on its coral reef system, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the second-largest barrier reef system in the world, and the Belize Cabinet approved a proposal to phase out all single-use plastic in time to celebrate Earth Day on April 20, 2019. National Geographic also noted that the reef was removed from the endangered list earlier this year thanks to the government's strong conservation efforts.
The Belize reef is one of the most biodiverse marine environments on the planet, home to many threatened and endangered species, including the West Indian manatee, red-footed booby, and the loggerhead turtle. Much of the reef is protected as a national park or a marine reserve, making it a popular destination for tourism activities like snorkeling, sea kayaking, scuba diving, stand-up paddling, and catch-and-release fishing.
National Geographic also noted that Belize's mainland offers many attractions as well, including a bevvy of ancient Maya sites that are less crowded than Tikal, located just over the border in Guatemala. Colossal stone cities like Caracol and Xunantunich near San Ignacio were once home to half a million people during the heyday of the ancient Maya civilization.
National Geographic isn't the only one which has been focusing on Belize lately. On December 2, 2018, the Discovery Channel broadcast a live, two-hour special direct from the bottom of the Belize Blue Hole. Situated some 40 miles off the coast of the mainland, the Belize Blue Hole is a circular body of sapphire water that contains a vast cave system. The Discovery Channel assembled an all-star team of scientists in an attempt to create the very first 3D map of the Belize Blue Hole.
If you'd like to visit Belize in 2019, be sure to stay at the lovely Cahal Pech Village Resort. Situated in the heart of San Ignacio, Belize's eco-tourism capital, Cahal Pech is conveniently located close to major attractions like ancient Maya ruins, jungle rivers, and the bustling open-air San Ignacio market. Cahal Pech also has combination beach and jungle vacation packages for travelers who want to experience all the best parts of Belize.