A new article published in the UK’s Telegraph by travel writer Oliver Smith focused on eco-friendly destinations for travelers. Published to coincide with World Environment Day on June 5, the Telegraph article described the increasingly popular trend of eco-vacations.
Whether it’s small steps to reduce a traveler’s carbon footprint like renting bicycles or golf carts to get around instead of polluting automobiles or larger efforts such as staying at lodgings powered by sustainable, green energy, eco-tourism is beneficial both for the environment as well as the local population.
One of the countries highlighted in Smith’s piece was Belize, given high marks for the government’s strong commitment to environmental protection and conservation. As Smith noted, over one-third of all territory in Belize is already protected in the form of a marine reserve, national park, or animal sanctuary, and the government recently banned all offshore drilling on the reef. The Belize Barrier Reef is the second-largest in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site popular for activities like snorkeling, fishing, swimming, stand-up paddling, and scuba diving.
Belize was also praised for its continuing commitment to protecting wildlife. The government recently established a wildlife corridor in the northeast to allow animals to freely migrate without endangering themselves or local villagers as well as strong conservation programs such as an offshore (manta) ray sanctuary and the world-famous jaguar sanctuary in the Cockscomb Basin. Best of all, according to Smith, is that Belize is still predominately a rural country where beaches are relaxed and nature is allowed to flourish.
Smith, noting that Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America, recommended a wide range of eco-friendly activities to enjoy in Belize. Top choices include zip lining through the jungle, cave tubing (floating down jungle rivers on an inflatable inner tube), hiking, birdwatching, horseback riding, and much more. Belize is also home to a vast network of ancient Maya cities, pyramids, palaces, and sacred caves where entrance fees go towards protecting traditional Mayan villages and financing ongoing national conservation projects.
If you’re interested in an eco-vacation in Belize, consider Black Orchid Resort. Located just a short drive from the international airport on the banks of the Old Belize River, Black Orchid is a quiet oasis of comfort and luxury. The resort offers guests the opportunity to enjoy in eco-tourism activities such as river cruises, trips to wildlife educational centers, and ancient Maya ruins located in the pristine Belizean rainforest.