The legendary travel guidebook publisher Lonely Planet has just released their list of the top 10 must-see destinations in 2019, and Belize was included in the list. After a lengthy process of weighing and analyzing feedback from travelers as well as the Lonely Planet staff, a panel of judges declared that Belize had finally made the cut due to its unspoiled landscapes, friendly people, and abundance of exciting things to do and see.

One of the reasons why Belize was selected was because the country is so little known and thus “off the beaten path.” Belize is a relatively small country, measuring just 120 miles long by 90 miles wide, but it is home to highly diverse landscapes, including mountain ranges, pristine rainforests, broadleaf forests, jungles, and coastal areas with stunningly beautiful beaches. Belize also has 400 offshore islands on its nearby coral reef system, a popular destination for snorkeling, fishing, and scuba diving.

Lonely Planet extolled the forward-looking vision of the government of Belize which is about to ban the single-use of plastics, froze all offshore drilling, and created several wildlife corridors in 2018. And earlier in the year, the offshore reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996, was upgraded to “healthy” status from “endangered.”

As Lonely Planet noted, Belize’s beautiful landscapes and highly eco-diverse environments make the country rich in offerings for visitors. Popular activities on the mainland include hiking, birdwatching, horseback riding, zip lining, and cave tubing (navigating underground rivers by inner tube). The mainland is also home to more than 600 ancient Maya sites as Belize served as the heartland of the ancient Maya civilization for more than 3,000 years. Even today, the colossal stone pyramids and temples built by the ancient Maya remain the tallest buildings in the country.

“It is truly rewarding to see our country get such favorable coverage from world-famous travel publications like Lonely Planet,” said Douglas Thompson, the owner of Black Orchid Resort. “We look forward to welcoming international travelers to our resort and share with them the natural beauty of Belize and the hospitality of its people.”

2019 is the perfect year to spend some quality time with your family, friends, or lovers at Black Orchid Resort. Winner of multiple awards including TripAdvisor’s 2018 Certificate of Excellence, Black Orchid Resort is located just a 15-minute drive from the international airport in Belize City in the idyllic village of Burrell Boom on the banks of the Old Belize River.