The Rough Guides, a pre-eminent publisher of travel information, has now released their popular annual list of recommended travel destinations. Coming in at number 18 of the Rough Guide to 2018 is Belize, recommended by the travel publisher as a small country with "colossal" appeal.
The Rough Guide gave high marks to Belize for the country's commitment to preserving the environment, including its thriving rainforests, beautiful offshore coral reefs, and its hundreds of miles of pristine, white sandy beaches. The Rough Guide 2018 list also recommended Belize because of its status as an English-speaking nation, making it much easier for travelers to get around and learn more about local cultures.
The recommendation to visit Belize in 2018 by Rough Guides comes in quick succession of other, similar pieces from leading travel publications such as National Geographic and Fodors, all of which had high praise for Belize's untamed, natural beauty and friendly inhabitants.
Although Belize has a relatively small population (fewer than 400,000 people), it is home to a remarkably diverse set of cultures, including the descendants of the ancient Maya, the Creole (descendants of enslaved Africans), the Mestizos (indigenous people originally from Mexico), German-speaking Mennonites, Chinese, East Indians, and the Garifuna (an Afro-Caribbean people).
Located just south of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Belize enjoys warm weather all year round, making it the perfect place to escape wintry conditions in North America during the winter. The "winter" season in Belize is the perfect time to enjoy activities on the beach or exploring the lush rainforest in the interior.
Another unique attraction in Belize is the country's plethora of ancient Maya sites, including sacred caves, soaring pyramids, and elaborate temples. One of the best places to see ancient Maya architecture is at the Cahal Pech site across from the modern town of San Ignacio. Built high on a cliff overlooking the river valley below, Cahal Pech was an exclusive residence for the ruling elite of the ancient Maya world.
One of the best places to stay in Belize is the Cahal Pech Village Resort. Located in San Ignacio and named for the nearby Maya ruins, the Cahal Pech Village Resort offers visitors lovely, thatched-roof cabanas for less than $100 a night. The resort also has an on-site gourmet restaurant, conference center, and freshwater swimming pool.