Discovering Beautiful Belize … Virtually

Birds of different feathers flock together at inland Belize’s Chaa Creek Resort.

Thursday saw the Belize Tourism Board continue a virtual fam trip, showcasing the western part of the country, including Chaa Creek, with resort marketing manager Roberto Harrison telling viewers that those staying at his property can spot a variety of birds, among them colorful toucans and kingfishers.

Tropical Belize — which has set aside a large percentage of the country for parks and nature reserves — is home to over 500 bird species.

Birds aren’t the only winged creatures Chaa Creek guests can view, with the Blue Morpho Butterfly Exhibit home to the likes of living, irridescent blue morpho butterflies.

Harrison added that a “very cool” nigh-time tour may enable people to spot the likes of snakes and tarantulas.

Mayan artifacts found on-site are displayed as well.

Chaa Creek serves food produced on an organic farm, which Harrison said visitors welcome. “Guests love that they’re eating healthy and organic.”

Several cultures have shaped Belize cuisine, among them Mayan, Creole and Garifuna.

The region is also home to Mayan archeological sites dating back well over 1,000 years, such as Altun Ha and Xunantunich. Tourism authorities note that tourists can still climb Belize ruins, whereas Mayan structures in some other countries can only be viewed.

Reminders of the Maya can also be spotted by those who don helmets with lights and enter the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave system (dubbed ATM) on guided tours, retracing the subterranean footsteps of some of the region’s first inhabitants. Bones, skulls and artifacts can at times be spotted, while at another point the guide may have people temporarily turn off their lights and simply listen in darkness to “thousands of droplets hitting the floor.”

Adventurous sorts opting for a toucan’s-eye view of some of western Belize can opt for one of several zip-lines found in the region, with their lines having people reach 100 feet above ground.

Meanwhile, Belize is set to reopen to tourists on Oct. 1, with tour operators and hotels having to follow protocols the government has implemented to safeguard people from coronavirus.