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Ultimate Belize Travel Guide For Conscious Travellers

Wellness Travelled Belize Travel Guide For Conscious Eco Sustainable Travellers

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Don’t book Belize until you read this guide. We’ve found the best hotels, restaurants, and attractions for conscious, sustainable and wellness travellers.

Wellness Travelled Belize Travel Guide For Conscious Eco Sustainable Travellers

These hotels have sustainable initiatives such as using renewable energy, reducing plastic waste, and giving back to the local community

JUNGLE

Near San Ignacio & Pine Ridge Forest Reserve/Macal River:

  • Ka’ana
  • Cha Creek
  • Black Rock Lodge
  • Hidden Valley Inn
  • Gaia River Lodge
  • Blancaneaux Lodge

Punta Gorda:

  • Copal Tree Lodge
  • Maya homestay Program

Near Belmopan & the Sibun River:

  • Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge
  • Bocawina Rainforest Lodge

BEACH

Placencia/Hopkins

  • Naia Hotel
  • Hamanasi Resort
  • Turtle Inn
  • Mariposa Beach Suites
  • Almond Beach Resort at Jaguar Reef

Ambergris Caye:

  • Matachica
  • Xanadu Resort
  • Ak’bol
  • Casa Naturale Belize

Private Islands:

  • Ray Caye
  • Turneffe Island Resort
  • Thatch Caye Resort

Get $50 off your first booking with Wellness Travelled.

Wellness Travelled Belize Travel Guide For Conscious Eco Sustainable Travellers

Farm to table, healthy, veg-friendly options, local flavours

San Ignacio and area:

  • Ka’ana Hotel Restaurant – TOP CHOICE
  • Casual fine dining
  • tip: ask to roast s’mores for dessert on their open fit fire
  • Authentic Flavors
  • Erva’s
  • Food 4 U
  • Ko-Ox Han Nah
  • Nature’s Kitchen
  • Cayo Twist (serves vegan ice cream options)

Belmopan and area:

  • Sleeping Giant Lodge Restaurant – TOP CHOICE
  • Bocawina Rainforest Lodge
  • Casa Cafe
  • Veggie Garden
  • Market Square

Placencia Area:

  • Turtle Inn (try the garden salad – veggies grown steps from your table) – TOP CHOICE
  • Rum Fish (iconic seafood joint)
  • The Shak (smoothies and veggies burgers!)
  • Mariposa (try the papaya salad!)
  • Tutti Frutti (vegan gelato options available)

San Pedro:

  • Juice Dive – get your acai bowl and fresh-pressed juice fix here
  • Mesa Cafe
  • Shoot’s Alive
  • Wild Mango’s
  • Vegan Bites
  • Belize Chocolate Company – get your vegan dark chocolate fix here

Punta Gorda:

  • Gomier’s – Offers vegetarian, vegan, and fish. Makes its own soy milk, tofu, and soy sausage and has soy ice cream and whole wheat baked goods. Also offers cooking courses and nutritional consultation.
  • Copal Tree Lodge Farm to Table Restaurant

Wellness Travelled Belize Travel Guide For Conscious Eco Sustainable Travellers

By private shuttle:

  • Discounted Belize Shuttle and Tours
  • Williams Belize Shuttle – some vans offer free WiFi

Car Rental:

  • Renting cars in Belize is not cheap, which is why we chose to use a private shuttle.

Local bus – eco choice:

  • The bus will increase you transportation time by an hour or more. It can be slow, but IT IS CHEAP (Belize City to San Ignacio is only $8bzd) and you get to really see the landscape, the people and the local color of Belize.

By air:

  • Astrum Helicopter
  • Maya Air
  • Tropic air

Biking and Golf Carts – eco choice:

  • Biking is highly encouraged in Placencia and Ambergris Caye. Many hotels have bikes.
  • Ambergris Caye is a CAR-FREE island. However, there are tens of thousands of gold carts on the island for transportation.

Carbon Offsetting your transportation:

step 1:

Use a carbon calculator after your trip to determine CO2 emissions

step 2:

Find an organization that offsets emissions by planting trees or funding renewable resources

Carbon Offset organization of choice:

Gold Standard 4 Globals

Wellness Travelled Belize Travel Guide For Conscious Eco Sustainable Travellers

Xunantunich Mayan Ruins

  • Learn about Mayan culture at one of Belize’s more accessible ruins.

Caracol Mayan Ruins

  • These ruins were only discovered in the 1930s. It takes a few hours and some bumpy roads to get there.

San Ignacio Market

  • only on Saturday’s – get there early – early bird gets the best fruit.

ATM Caves

  • most popular excursion in all of Belize! Incredible Mayan history (and human skeletons) in these caves!  Named by National Geographic as the world’s most sacred cave.

Angel Falls Zip Lining:

  • Close to Belmopan, this zip line will give you 360 views of the Belize jungle treetops.

Black Rock Lodge “Wild Side Hike”

  • Climb up the limestone cliffs that line the Macal River. Learn about the flora and fauna from a knowledgable tour guide. End at a natural pool for a cool dip.

The Belize… zoo?!?

  • Yes, we used the Z word. But they should really rename it to an animal sanctuary. They only house animal species native to Belize — you won’t see any panda bears or elephants. They have 45 species of animals, all of whom have been orphaned or hurt and are unable to survive in the wild. The Belize Zoo also works to rehabilitate animals and release them back into the wild.

Visit Secret Beach:

  • The Belize barrier reef causes the sand in Belize to be a bit more coarse than the sand you’re used to seeing in the Caribbean. However, Secret Beach is where you will find that soft powdery sand. Note: it’s not so secret – expect some crowds.

Spend an afternoon at the Split:

  • A famous opening Between Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye has turned into a hotspot for those who wnat to chill out and swim in calm turquoise waters with a cocktail in hand.

Diving the Barrier Reef:

  • Most divers stay in either Abergris Caye or Placencia. We recommend the following dives based on reviews by top dive sites like PADI and Dive Zone.

Placencia Diving:

  • South Water Caye
  • Whale Shark dive (seasonal: April-June)
  • Barrier Reef near Silk Caye

Ambergris Caye Diving:

  • Half Moon Caye (lighthouse atoll)
  • Blue Hole (note: the Blue Hole is a 3 hours boat ride from Ambergris Caye and you require advanced PADI certification status to do the dive. If you want to be closer to the dive sites, stay at Turneffe Atoll)

Activities to exercise caution:

Snorkeling Hol Chan Marine Reserve + Shark Ray Alley

Unfortunately, the marine life here are baited with chum, which has disrupted their natural eating and breeding patterns.

Ethical tour guide option – Reef Friendly Tours: Captain Amado not only speaks out against chumming, he also uses a sailboat and doesn’t allow plastic bottles on the boat. He educates his guests on ethical animal tourism on the boat.

Activities to avoid:

Swimming with Manatee’s in the rivers:

  • After researching and reading reviews, we don’t recommend any tours where you can swim with the Manatee’s in the rivers. There are boat tours that take you out into the ocean to snorkel where you may see a manatee but it’s never guaranteed.
  • Instead, why note donate to Wild Tracks Belize, who help to rehabilitate and release injured Manatee’s. Manatees are facing increasing threats in Belize, particularly from increased boat traffic and watercraft collisions. Whilst the majority of animals do not survive such collisions, a small number of orphaned calves and surviving injured individuals are rescued, and require rehabilitative care. As the only manatee rehabilitation facility in Belize (and in Central America), the centre accepts all injured and orphaned manatees needing care.
  • SINCE WE’VE COME BACK FROM BELIZE, TRIP ADVISOR REMOVED MANATEE RIVER SWIMS FROM THEIR SEARCH LISTING. WIN!

Wellness Travelled Belize Travel Guide For Conscious Eco Sustainable Travellers

  • “Zero waste” reusable items like straws, reusable bags, cutlery, and tupperware if you plan to eat on the go. Did you know that Belize has banned many single-use plastics? Plastic bags, straws, styrofoam and plastic cutlery will no longer be served in restaurants or hotels. So make sure you consider bringing your own reusable items to cut back on your waste and ensure you have a straw for your coconut! For a more detailed list, check out our zero waste travel tips and our ultimate sustainable beach packing list.
  • Natural bug repellant – don’t kill the environment trying to ward off bugs – choose a natural bug repellent instead.
  • biodegradable sunscreen –  Chances are you will swim in Belize, which means you are only a few miles from the worlds 2nd largest barrier reef. conventional sunscreens can kill off coral so opt for a reef-safe option instead.
  • Water bottle that filters water – IF your hotel doesn’t provide water jugs – lucky for us all of our hotels offered us water bottle refill stations. Check in advance if you think you might need to filter your water at one of your hotels in order to avoid plastic water bottles.
  • Travel towel – save on gallons of water by limiting your towel usage. We use the same towel for up to a week.

Wellness Travelled Belize Travel Guide For Conscious Eco Sustainable Travellers

Pack for a Purpose Program – hotels:

  • Many hotels participate in the Pack For a Purpose program. You simply pack extra items of need for the locals in your suitcase and give them to the hotel staff hem when you arrive. Connect with your hotel before arrival to see if they participate.

Pack for a Purpose Program – animal shelters:

Walk a dog or pet a cat in Caye Caulker:

  • The Caye Caulker Animal Shelter lets tourists walk a dog or pet the cats for an afternoon.

 

So what do you think? Do you feel ready to book the ultimate Belize trip? Get $50 off your first booking with Wellness Travelled. 

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