Nicknamed “Mother Nature’s Best-kept Secret,” Belize is a tremendously beautiful country packed full of breathtaking scenery. With year-round balmy weather, Belize is the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you want to hike through a national park and spot some of the 500 species of birds that live in the country or head offshore to enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving on the islands, Belize truly has it all.

Belize is located in Central America just south of Mexico, but it has more than 200 miles of Caribbean coastline. Just a few miles offshore is the Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second-largest reef system in the world. Tiny tropical islands, known locally as “cayes” (pronounced “keys”), are situated up and down the reef, many of them world-class destinations for fishing, scuba diving, and snorkeling.

But there’s plenty to see and enjoy on the mainland too. More than half of Belize’s mainland territory is a national park, wildlife sanctuary, or protected environmental area. Pristine rainforests and lush jungles are home to a colorful array of exotic animals like giant iguanas, black howler monkeys, and elusive jaguars.

In addition, Belize is home to more than 100 different ancient Maya sites, including impressive pyramids and palaces that rival those of ancient Egypt. Cities like Altun Ha, Lubantuum, and Caracol allow visitors to marvel at the impressive architectural feats of the ancient Maya culture. Other options include exploring sacred cave systems that were used by ancient Maya priests to conduct their most solemn ceremonies, including sacrificing children and adults to appease their bloodthirsty gods.

If you’re interested in visiting Belize, one of the best places to stay is Black Orchid Resort. Just a short drive from the international airport, Black Orchid Resort is situated on the banks of the Old Belize River in the idyllic village of Burrell Boom. Despite the proximity to the airport, this area of Belize is one of the most beautiful, untouched areas of the country.

The resort has elegantly appointed suites and rooms, a gourmet restaurant popular with locals and visitors alike, a freshwater swimming pool, and a full range of amenities and comforts. Black Orchid also organizes tours to the most popular attractions in the country, including snorkeling and diving on the reef, hiking and birdwatching in the jungle, and exploring ancient Maya sites.

What are you waiting for? Book your Belize vacation with Black Orchid Resort today.