Charcuterie To The Rescue: The Rotary Club of Belmopan’s 2022 Children’s Program Fundraiser Another Hit

There was much to savor at the Art Box on November 12, 2022. Decorated elegantly and filled to the brim with food and drink, the event was a delight for anyone fortunate enough to attend. With musical accompaniment, dinner, and a silent auction making up the night’s activities, attendees were in good spirits as they raised glasses to fundraise for Rotary Club of Belmopan’s Children’s Program.

Attendees to the Rotary Club of Belmopan’s annual ‘Wine and Cheese’ fundraiser were in for a gorgeous night programmed largely by partnering organization The Belize Collection. Not only did TBC assist in coordinating the multi-drink stations throughout the venue, but they also recruited TBC’s own Chef Rahim to provide a robust charcuterie spread featuring an ample selection of cured meats, aged cheeses, nuts, fruit, and spreads of all flavors and textures. 

Cheeses included BellaVitano sartori, manchego cheese, and some divine gouda alongside Western Dairies’ staples, such as Mozzarella, cheddar, and ricotta, produced right down the highway. Cured meats consisted of a huge assortment that would make anyone call for a cheat day. Guests could assemble a plate adorned (or stacked) with prosciutto, polish sausage, salami, and salmon. Paired with wine, sangria, and whiskey from the various drink stations, the night fulfilled attendees’ desires to indulge their full palette.

The silent auction featured various items at different starting bid costs, ranging from essentials like boxes of juice and diapers to big-ticket items like a weed whacker and charcoal grill to resort packages from The Belize Collection and other recreational destinations. There were even one-of-a-kind artworks available for bid, including a handmade clay lantern that received several bids. Attendees bid on items throughout the night and had the option to outrightly buy a resort stay if they met the sales price. Also on sale were bottles of wine from Fine Taste sold in custom-made crates by The Belize Collection. When the auction closed, the biggest bid of the night was $3,300 for a three-night stay at Grand Caribe Belize.

Providing the night’s music was the ensemble from the Pallotti School of Music. Comprised of violinist Chelsea Thomspon, flutist Stepanie Coye, Violist Aneselma Jones, Cellist Philip De Shield, and Bassist Christopher De Shield, the ensemble entertained the night’s guests with Tchaikovsky’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, selections from The Sound of Music as well ragtime, and rumba staples, among others. Their presence ensured a complete sensorial experience that tickled the ear as well as the tongue with their set going late into the evening.

This fundraising effort is especially dear and personal to TBC’s managing partner Ian Lizarraga. He was the first recipient of pediatric orthopedic care from the program’s partner medical institution the Shriners Hospital when he was three years old. Following that treatment, his mom and aunt worked with Belizean physician Dr. John Waight to screen other children that might benefit from similar early interventions. With time, the Rotary Club of Belmopan took on the task of managing the Children’s Program. 

Once Lizarraga took on his current role at TBC, he asked how the organization could aid the program, thus taking things full circle with TBC now providing the program’s major fundraiser’s catering. Since 2018, the Rotary Club of Belmopan and The Belize Collection have collaborated to bring Belizeans an unforgettable night hoping to inspire greater generosity from benefactors for years to come.

By the night’s end, the Rotary Club of Belmopan had raised three times more than its initial goal through its auction and ticket sales, outperforming their last efforts in every previous year. This will ensure that even more children receive crucial access to orthopedic care. Coordinating and sponsoring the ‘Wine & Cheese’ night is just one other way The Belize Collection looks to contribute to the betterment of Belizeans’ overall well-being.

All of Belize’s Culinary Delight in Three World-class Resorts

When traveling to Belize, one of the greatest delights is the opportunity to appreciate a wide array of the Caribbean and Central American regions’ foods thanks to Belize’s melting pot culture. From the corn dishes and cacao drinks of the Maya people to the rich ground and seafood broths of the Garifuna to the punchy savoriness of Kriol cuisine, Belizean food has something to surprise and savor every day during your stay. At The Belize Collection, our very own Chef Rahim has taken elements and techniques from across Belize’s diverse foods and infused into them his own approach to make every meal a spectacle.

Chef Rahim got his start making pizzas in San Ignacio, Cayo and his cooking demonstrates the fun and experimental aspects of creating a seemingly simple dish a million times. Since his time slinging dough, he’s further fleshed out his cooking skills through constant study and exploration across Belize and its neighboring countries. With Rahim at the helm, The Belize Collection’s various restaurants have developed one of the most dramatic sets of menus using largely local ingredients, a rarity in the 501. Through collaborations with small-scale farmers, butchers, fisherfolk, and cheese mongers, Rahim has developed each of TBC’s signature restaurants into a one-of-a-kind celebration of Belize’s gastronomic history and future.

To start, there’s the multi-award-winning Grove House at The Rainforest Lodge at Sleeping Giant. Nestled near the Maya Mountains, the Grove House takes food more commonly seen on the streets of Belize City and elevates them through superior ingredients and delicate craftwork. Take for instance the BBQ pork tail where the kitchen team takes the staple pork tail, and smokes it over time to bring out a more robust flavor before pairing it with a zinger of BBQ sauce. There’s also the delectable oxtail stew, a Kriol classic, that takes free-range ox tails and slow-cooks them in a tomato sauce with vegetables that’ll help bring any day to a satisfying end. 

Travel south to The Paddle House at The Lodge at Jaguar Reef in Hopkins for an entirely different set of flavors largely inspired by the food of the local Garifuna people who immigrated to Southern Belize in the 18th century following their exile from St. Vincent. Now vital members of Belize’s cultural landscape, the Garifuna have gifted Belize with flavors not seen before in the Central American region. Chef Rahim, a great appreciator of all Belizean foods, has arduously studied their dishes and recreated them at the Paddle House. Get a taste of his take on sere, fish fillets fried to gold and served in a rich yucca sauce. For maximum Belizean wonder, try the craboo beef tenderloin, a perfectly grilled beef cut glazed with craboo, a fruit that expertly balances tart and sweet notes complementary to the beef’s umami flavors. 

Continue down the Southern Highway to Umaya Resort in Placencia. There you’ll be in the capable hands of the cooking staff at Restaurante Laguna, a lagoon-side restaurant where all of Belize’s seafood meet to whet your pescatarian cravings. Start with the expertly made seasonal fritters, conch, fish, or lobster, alongside a clarifying seafood ceviche. Cap off a day with the best of all reef fish, the red snapper, served up steamed in a plantain leaf with cilantro rice.

And if you’re ever looking for something a little more familiar, Rahim’s work of origin, the wood oven-cooked pizza is ready to meet your needs. Now with locations at The Rainforest Lodge and Umaya (and coming soon to Jaguar Reef), The Belize Collection’s, Don Tonito’s line of pizzerias offers a reliable classic with fresh ingredients, and signature combinations that’ll satiate anyone homesick and yearning for a slice.

The restaurants at The Belize Collection are also notable for featuring regular culinary events to give you just a little more cause to indulge. For instance, the Grove House features a regular pupusa night where the Mestizo staple fried corn meal is made-to-order for guests. You can also delight in the option of 2 for 1 pizza night at any Don Tonito’s every Tuesday so you can sample even more of what The Belize Collection is cooking up.

Whatever way you slice it, your time at any of The Belize Collection resorts will provide you with a bevy of culinary experiences you’ll be talking about long after you’ve departed the Jewel.

Umaya Belize, The Peninsula’s Only Sunrise to Sunset Resort

Umaya Resort is a rarity on the Placencia peninsula. Of all the places one can stay, it’s the only resort where you can wake up with the sun on the beach and accompany it until it sets over the lagoon right outside the resort’s gourmet dining experience, Restaurante Laguna. This holiday season, it’s the best place to be if you’re looking for somewhere that offers much of Belize’s aquatic environments in one luxury package.

With your choice of oceanfront and lagoon-facing rooms, you’ll be able to enjoy the entirety of the peninsula’s marine habitats without having to leave the place you’ve selected as your respite from a world of work and worry. Bring the kids and take them out to the pool where you can imbibe a refreshing beverage from the swim-up bar while they splash around in either the generous swimming pool or the adjacent ‘kiddie’ pool for extra assurance.

Enjoy the sea like a true Belizean by kayaking into the rising sun for a morning jaunt, or join a volleyball game in progress on the beach. Take a stroll along the beach and take in the horizon, enjoying the slow movement of the day. For those inclined to lounge like the local iguana, there are comfortable beach chairs located all around the property and towels at the ready if you decide to take a dip on a whim.

Visiting and looking for a romantic venue to mark a special occasion? Then schedule a sunset cruise along the lagoon where a unique balance of humidity, temperature, and air quality sometimes create an entrancing mirror effect between the sky and water that can only be described as sublime, the perfect once-in-a-lifetime experience to immortalize new love or reinvigorate and commemorate matured affection. For those that want to enjoy all of Umaya for a special event, you can arrange to have a ceremony on the beach followed by an extravagant reception at Laguna.

Umaya has also become known for its annual themed parties, including a masquerade and upcoming ‘Mistletoe Ball’ occurring in December. One of the peninsula’s can’t-miss events of the season, the ball is just one of several opportunities a person has to experience Umaya’s unique spaces with an added touch of glamor and whimsy.

When it comes to food, the menus are diverse yet cohesive, committed to the highest quality in ingredients and technique sourced across the country by The Belize Collection’s Chef Rahim. You can enjoy fried ravioli alongside seafood fritters and zesty ceviche for an appetizer to share with the table. If you’re looking for something more substantive, there’s always the ribeye steak, which will obliterate your former sense of how good a steak can be. And now as of fall ‘22, you can even score a scintillating wood-oven baked pizza at the new Don Tonito’s restaurant, located a few steps away from the pool. Pair any meal with spirit infusions made in-house and unavailable anywhere else in the country.

And we’d be remiss if we didn’t give a shout out to the breakfast options. Have a cappuccino with a farmer’s market veggie omelet, eggs benedict done Belize-style with the ubiquitous johnny cake or a stack of pancakes. Want to start the day with something lighter? No problem. There are fruit bowls that’ll satiate and alert you to the floral aromas all around you. You can also assemble the day’s most important meal with a couple of sides, including bacon, pork sausage and the Belizean signature fried jacks.

Take the worry of number-crunching out of the equation by opting into an all-inclusive package. For instance, try Umaya’s limited 4 Night Stay (available until December 2022). It includes multi-course meals for every night of your trip, access to local spirits, and your choice of the Monkey River or Snorkeling Adventure Tour. Umaya also snuck in a return flight to the international airport, so you can enjoy your stay up to the very last minute you’re there.

Visit Umaya Resort, and experience Placencia in its fullness from sunrise to sunset.

Celebrate Turkey Day In The 501

Overview of the beachfront at The Lodge at Jaguar Reef with a small sail boat and the Big Dock ceviche bar in the background

Many Americans might be reluctant to leave the United States over the Thanksgiving weekend and risk missing out on one of the most American of holidays. Fortunately, though travel to other countries comes with an absence of America’s favorite feast day, a trip to Belize offers a way to have your turkey and eat it too. The resorts within The Belize Collection offer one of the most relaxing and exciting alternatives to a grueling day of cooking followed by a too quickly devoured meal with three days and three nights of leisure, delicacy, and gratitude.

Rather than devoting a full day of your vacation to prepping the turkey and fixings, visit the Lodge at Jaguar Reef, the Rainforest Lodge at Sleeping Giant, or Umaya Resort & Adventures for infinte courses of rest, rejuvenation and temperatures that’ll make you glad to be away from the extended family. As one of the major getaways for Americans, Belize has taken to celebrating turkey day in its own way. While not an official holiday, Belizeans regularly join their northern neighborhoods in a day of feasting on their own variation of the North American day of gratitude. In place of the mashed potatoes are assorted rice dishes with local takes on your usual sides while still leaving room for the classic centerpiece dish, a roasted turkey, a dish also indigenous to the country’s Maya people.

With The Belize Collection, your options are unlimited when it comes to how you can enjoy the holiday weekend. In the mood for a rainforest retreat? Get yourself over to the Rainforest Lodge for a few days of light hiking and hanging out by the river. Looking to get some sun to take back as a souvenir? Visit the beaches at Umaya and Jaguar Reef for rejuvenating light of the sort only available in the 501.

Whether you’re in the Central Belize rainforest, the beaches at Hopkins, or next to the bustling lagoons in Placencia, each location offers a bevy of options for those seeking to add adventure around their mealtimes. Get yourself on the water with a kayak, join a fishing tour, climb a hill, learn how the locals cook and grow their food. If you’ve got a hankering for something unbelievable, The Belize Collection is here to make those dreams a reality. And we won’t judge if you plan on hanging out poolside all day sipping on tropical rum cocktails and snacking on ceviche and fritters. It’s your vacation to do as you like, and with activities available for all ages, everyone in the family will be able to get the most out of the holiday weekend.

Regardless of where you prefer and what you’ll get up to, you’ll be able to dig in on Chef Rahim’s annual Thanksgiving dinner special. Every year, Chef Rahim takes classic Thanksgiving dishes and does them up Belize haute cuisine style for a once in a lifetime meal that’ll never again be repeated. In place of the typically untouched roasted squash, he’s made them into delectable shooters. He’s taken classic cranberry sauce and infused it with sparkling star fruit for an added touch of sweetness. Then there are the locally and sustainably raised meats, including a herb roasted ham with Mennonite cheese cuts, free range chickens seasoned with Belizean herbs and spices, and even whole roasted pigs for those feeling particularly carnivorous when the turkey just isn’t enough.

So while your colleagues and that cousin you’d like to avoid contend themselves with the same dried out turkey, how about you treat yourself and your loved ones to a Thanksgiving weekend you’ll be glad to talk about for years to come by visiting the resorts at The Belize Collection.

Book your room today and Fall Into Extra Savings.

The Lodge at Jaguar Reef: A Winter Retreat For You and the Birds

While winter brews in North America, Belize’s climate is at its optimal point for many locals and visitors in December and January with temperatures evoking those first touches of summer during the last of spring. Just a short flight away from many US international airports, Belize and the Lodge at Jaguar Reef in Hopkins Village stand ready and waiting to receive those seeking respite from the harshest season in North America. As a country with English as its official language, Belize provides great ease of communication wherever you go and at Jaguar Reef all employees are also proficient in the language of top-notch customer service.

Visitors to the Lodge at Jaguar Reef have a wide range of options to make the most of their stay whether you prefer to lounge in your room or take in the long sunny days on the beach. As far as accommodations, there’s little in Belize that compares with the Lodge’s bespoke rooms. Luxuriate in a room optimally designed for your enjoyment while providing privacy and minimal distraction to better revel however you’d like during your stay.

Enjoy Hopkins’ beaches without concern about the summer heat and just for a moment relish in fulfilling your beach bum fantasies where freshly harvested coconuts are brought to you ready to drink. As you take in those gentle December rays, you can consider your range of options for the day as Jaguar Reef provides a wide range of on-site activities for you to make the most out of your winter getaway. If you’d like to get your heart pumping, you can use one of the resort’s kayaks or paddle boards to get out into the sea and enjoy the salt spray as you traverse along the village coastline, taking in the sights of one of Belize’s historic Garifuna communities. If you’re lucky, you might be treated to the sight of a manatee or dolphin on their own journey. For those looking for more leisurely water activity, you can swim right at the beach, the pool, or take a swing from the Big Dock’s rope dive to savor a few laps around the pier.

If you’d like to travel off-site and see some more Belizean culture, try out the chocolate tour where you’ll get the opportunity to see how cacao is processed into one of Earth’s greatest delights and even try your hand at making it yourself before indulging in the finished product.  You’ll learn the history of cacao production on an organic farm as well as the significance of the plant to Maya culture.

There’s also a premium selection of snorkeling and fishing tours available for those eager to get up close with Belize’s sea life. On the Barrier Reef Light Tackle Sport Fishing, you’ll take a boat trip through Southern Belize’s mangroves, reefs and beyond to experience fishing as done by Belizeans via trolling and casting nets. You’ll learn personally why Belize is highly revered for its fishing and have the option of having the day’s catch cooked for you back at Jaguar Reef’s premiere restaurant the Paddle House. As for snorkeling, our options are designed to cater to novice swimmers. Choose between a half-day trip to nearby South Water Caye to experience the wonders of the reef at two locations or venture a bit further out to Silk Caye. There, you’ll get to immerse yourself in one of the most robust areas of the reef within a marine reserve. Refuel with a light lunch on the island before one last stop at Turtle Alley known as a playground for stingrays, turtles and nurse sharks all accustomed to humans.

There’s also the option to visit the Jaguar Reserve and potentially see the namesake animal. Even if Belize’s favorite big cat doesn’t make an appearance, you’re still in for a treat with the opportunity to appreciate a robust forest landscape, home to a menagerie of native animals as well as a migratory hub for many North American birds also retreating from the cold.

And don’t worry, you can still enjoy some winter holiday classics at Jaguar Reef like eggnog, or go with the Belizean variation rum popo, a creamy beverage spiked with a splash or two of aged Belizean rum. Get a serving via room service and sip on one in the comfort and privacy of the plunge pool available in several of our suites while you reflect on the day’s gifts and plot your next adventure.

However you decide to pass your winter vacation at The Lodge at Jaguar Reef, it’s certain you’ll be returning home with a warm sheen of tropical sun to get you through the remaining winter.

September Celebrations: The Sleeping Giant Approach

All through September there’s no better time to relish in Belize’s natural heritage and The Rainforest Lodge at Sleeping Giant provides one of the most luxurious opportunities to understand why Belizeans are so proud to call it home. September sets all of the country to sparkling as Belize’s time of celebration with Independence Day and the patriotic St. George’s Caye Day. Blessed by seasonal rains, it’s the greenest time of the year with all of nature’s richness on display at the Lodge.

Wherever you are at Sleeping Giant, it’s hard to overlook all the plant life that surrounds you at this special time of year. Whether it’s dining on pizza amid a garden of tropical flowers at Don Tonito’s or taking a shower in your private outdoor area, nature’s lushness is an ever-present reminder of why residents call it ‘The Jewel.’ With lodgings and amenities built into the landscape, Sleeping Giant gives the impression of a fantastical rainforest getaway that’s magically sprung up from the land itself.

That ability to appreciate the variety of Belize’s environment extends even to the rooms themselves, bearing repeat visits. You can enjoy the melody of coursing water over stone in the river room and suites, or ascend to the mountain view area and savor the forest canopy from your private porch. Wherever you pass the night, you’ll wake up already at basecamp for a day’s adventure

A day at the Lodge’s grounds is perfect for those keeping things spontaneous. Eat without rushing to meet a ride, or scheduled event, and take the day at your leisure. Go on foot or a complimentary bike to the start of one of the Lodge’s many trails. Doable for all skill levels with stunning views and secluded rest stops, a hike up to the Lookout Gazebo or around the many rope bridges will add a dose of excitement and wonder to your stay. Visit the grounds’ yoga deck, and practice in serenity with only the river and trees for company. A climb up to the Nest is perfect for those in the mood for a romantic moment, taking in a sunset or splitting a bottle with a loved one. You can also swim in the Lodge’s pool or lounge by its side any time day or night when relaxing like a Belizean is what you’re in the mood for. With a mojito made with one of our infused rums, you can wile away the hours taking in the Jewel’s yellow sun and read that paperback you brought along.

Of course, for those looking for even more unique Belizean experiences on site, there are a range of options that’ll get you further in the celebratory spirit. Sign up for a unique Maya cooking class (lasting approximately one and a half hours) and be led by a local in preparing a range of heritage dishes using traditional techniques and tools. You’ll make corn tortillas and caldo using the Maya fogon, a traditional oven, and gain greater appreciation for the sustainable cooking practices indigenous to this region. By the end of the class, you’ll have eaten foods fit for the land’s ancestors and understand why Belize’s Maya culture has thrived here for centuries.

While walking and biking are certainly an exciting way to take in the grounds, you can also enjoy the leisurely thrill of a horse and buggy ride that traverses through the Lodge’s original citrus groves and along the forest. Once signed up, you’ll meet with the Lodge’s own award-winning Belizean cowboy who’ll introduce you to the horses before climbing aboard a classic open buggy.

The horses will take you on an enthralling journey that will have you feeling sent back to Belize’s days as an English settlement. You’ll pass along fragrant oranges, the horse’s pastures, and the rainforest all with the Maya Mountains as background to this limited experience. Feeling for more equine adventures after the ride? Talk to the front desk about arranging a horseback ride and learn how to take the reins of one of the Lodge’s expertly trained horses.

However you choose to pass your days at the Lodge, you’ll need to nourish your body. Luckily, the Lodge has a rotating range of options to satiate your appetite. Every Monday year-round you can taste the Lodge’s upscale take on pupusas, a Central American staple. On Wednesday nights, it’s Twice the Slice at Don Tonito’s, the perfect opportunity to indulge in expertly made pizza fresh out of the restaurant’s traditional Tuscan-style clay ovens. Cooked with wood foraged from the grounds, the made-to-order pizza’s crust has a smoky terroir unlike another in the country that perfectly accentuates your selected toppings. Customize your pizza or choose from specialty pizzas like the eponymous and rich Don Tonito’s pizza, the bright Arugula pizza, or the savory Garlic Shrimp.

At the Grove, there’s even more to choose from for any meal of the day. Begin the morning with Belizean classics like stuffed fried jacks or the Village Breakfast (farm fresh eggs scrambled with onions and tomatoes, accompanied by coconut refried beans, crispy bacon and Belizean fried jacks), or go cosmopolitan with a steaming stack of pancakes or a light continental breakfast. Pair any meal with juice made from tropical fruits for further brilliance. Seeking to commemorate an anniversary? Arrange to have breakfast or dinner on the Cliff overlooking the entirety of the grounds and the Sleeping Giant himself.

Make lunch a multi-course Belizean feast. For starters, go with the shrimp habanero fritters, giving some bite and salt to accompany a first pint of beer. From there, things only get better with salad and soup options right out of the village square. Have the creole oxtail soup made with free range oxtail and locally sourced produce, or the herb & watermelon salad to cleanse the palette for what’s next. Entrees like the lamb salbutes or sandwich de cochinita pibil offer fresh ways to experience regional street foods with the best ingredients available. Cap off your meal with forest-grown coffee and delightfully smooth nance-infused caramel flan.

Revisit the Grove at dinner time and receive a distinct culinary experience. For appetizers, try the BBQ pigtail served with Belizean-style coleslaw and flour tortillas. You’ll be considering a second order of them when your entree arrives. Between the Citrus-Achiote Chop, the Camarones en Crema de Coco, and the Cocoa-Red Wine Braised Lamb Shank, there’s no possibility for misstep as you wrap up another day of adventure. Enjoyed with a glass of one of our white or red wines, and you’ll end your evening celebrating all the Rainforest has to offer during this time of commemoration.

How to experience the best of both worlds with a Jungle-Beach vacation in Belize: Part 2

You wake up on your second day in Belize and for a moment yesterday feels like a dream. Get up early enough and you can head outside to take in the morning chorus of birds in the surrounding jungle, or get in a bit more sleep as today will be abundant with adventure and relaxation. Whatever you choose, this morning you’re heading out of the jungle and to the southern coast of Belize and to one of Sleeping Giant’s sister hotels, The Lodge at Jaguar Reef or Almond Beach Resort.

Let’s Get Going

Those eager to get on the road can grab a quick bite at the Grove House Restaurant, picking up a Belizean Stuffed Jack or the Little Donkey Breakfast Burrito on your way out. If you’re going at a more leisurely pace, enjoy fresh brewed Belizean coffee grown at local sustainable farms. Before you can say surf and turf, you’re checked out and are on the road in the shuttle offered by the Belize Collection.

Though excited for the day’s destination, you cannot help but be awestruck by the sights along the Hummingbird Highway, which thread along some of Belize’s most varied and impressive topography. You’ll pass through some of Belize’s beloved villages where residents often play a game of football (soccer to the Americans), see endless groves of citrus and banana, and take in the majesty of the Maya Mountains at a distance. You’ll be tempted to stop for pics every second as you pass under stunning old growth trees, but you know you’ve got a whole other world waiting for you on arrival.

No Wrong Way to enjoy The Sea

Just as you’re starting to get antsy to continue the day, you arrive at Hopkins a mere 45 minutes after leaving the Sleeping Giant. On arrival, valets help you with your bags as you’re welcomed with drinks at the Jaguar Reef Lodge while you check in at the front desk.

From there, the options are many and there are no wrong choices as to how you share your beach day. You can store your bags and relax in the splendor of your room, head to the beach and take a paddleboard or kayak out on the sea, or pull up a lounge chair and dig into that paperback you’ve brought along.

If you’re looking for something even more special, you can always talk to beach Captain Larry who would be glad to take you out on the Belize Collection’s sailing  boat The Hobie Cat. On board, you’ll sail through the splendid azure sea where all manner of marine animals reside. The lucky ones among you might get to see a dolphin or manatee alongside the  boat or off in the distance. Either way, sailing through the Caribbean hearkens back to the simple elegance of a time long ago but not forgotten.

There’s still a lot of day left, and much you want to get done, but hunger strikes. Not a problem. You decide to drop in at the Big Dock Ceviche Bar for some namesake ceviche. A two-level bar hovering over the sea at the end of one of the resort’s piers, the Big Dock Ceviche Bar provides rejuvenating food and strengthening cocktails to kick the afternoon into another gear. Enjoy the sea from an intimate perspective and watch those daring enough jump and swing across the nets suspended over the water.

It’s Not Over Yet

After deciding on one more round or not, you leave the Big Dock and return to the beach. You decide on some snorkeling to check it off the Belize bucket list. With gear borrowed from the resort, you enter the sea and swim away from the coast. You find it hard to believe how much life there is under the surface as you observe small schools of fish navigate around you or try to discern whether a conch shell is occupied or not. At this scale, all your stress begins to shrink as life moves at a more leisurely pace, your body buoyant in the salt water.

Eventually, you’ll head back to the shore and venture to your private courtyard and plunge pool for a leisurely dip before nodding off poolside and taking in the evening sunshine.

From there, it’s time to refresh and lounge before tonight’s dinner at the Paddle House. Dine in at the restaurant or you can arrange a private beachside dinner ahead of time. Whatever you decide, settle in because you’re about to enjoy one of Belize’s best dining experiences.

Start off with sere, a Garifuna staple fish stew with fried chunks of fish fillet in a signature crema de yucca and coconut soup topped with sweet potato crisps. While waiting on your entrée, share one of the restaurant’s takes on staple appetizers like creamy fish wonton or shrimp ceviche.

You had a hard time deciding on an entrée but realize whatever you end up getting will be remarkable. When the fennel snapper, lemongrass-turmeric chicken, or craboo beef tenderloin arrives at your table, you’re astonished but not surprised at how incredible it looks. The first bite sends you reeling and the second bite is even better.

As you luxuriate in the restaurant’s entrancing aesthetic and soft lighting, you take sips of an expertly crafted cocktail, a local brew or fresh-squeezed juice. You’re stuffed but still decide to share two desserts, some brown sugar caramelized cassava batons along with a seasonal tropical fruit flambé. Both bring your meal to a satisfied conclusion and you return to your room satiated.

Before you fall asleep you’re going to want to arrange a wakeup call before sunrise. At dawn, you emerge from your room to greet the morning as the sun peeks over the horizon. Your two night adventure is nearing its end, but for now you appreciate the rising sun and the spectacle that is a new day in one of Belize’s greatest treasures.

One Day, 5 Breath-taking Waterfalls with The Rainforest Lodge at Sleeping Giant

There are many different ways to take a break from the heat when vacationing in tropical Belize. Some jungle resorts may house infinity pools perfect for suntanning against a rainforest backdrop. Others may boast suites with a private outdoor tub where you can take a bubble bath beneath looming trees. If you’re really lucky, you’ll get a resort that has both, like Sleeping Giant Lodge. But this Belize resort happens to have another more natural way of cooling off: waterfall chasing.

Sleeping Giant Lodge has no shortage of rainforest adventures, but a waterfall expedition might be its best one yet. Tucked within the foothills of the historic Maya Mountains, the Belize resort is no stranger to the wonders Mother Nature has hidden within its jungle foliage. Some of them just so happen to be gushing waterfalls. Five, to be exact. The best part? You can experience them all in one day.

A one-of-a-kind jungle adventure

The only one of its kind in Belize, Sleeping Giant Lodge’s waterfall expedition takes guests on a journey to spot naturally occurring water in more ways than one. This full-day excursion might require some energy-fueled ambition to start but like most rewarding things in life, the hike will be worth it. Besides, when have you backed down from a good challenge? If anything, now is your chance to prove that with great Instagrammable photos comes hard work!

Wake up bright and early to the crooning chirps of brown jays and grab some breakfast at the Grove House before setting off. Don’t forget to pack enough bug spray and sunscreen, and strap on your comfiest pair of hiking boots (you’re going to need it.) Throw a swimsuit and water bottle into your backpack and you’re good to go. At 9 a.m., your guide will drive you to the Rancho de Las Lomas Citrus Farm where your ambitious hike begins. Here, you’ll trek for about an hour and a half while donning a helmet and life vest (safety first!) Don’t be alarmed if you find yourself gawking at the rainforest enveloping you as you walk. You’ll find that you’ll be crossing the Silver Creek about 8 times during the trail.

By the time you reach the first waterfall around 11 a.m., you’d have earned a well-deserved rest. You could either opt for an invigorating massage from the gushing falls or take it easy against the smooth rocks. With a view like this, it’s almost hard to believe a there are four more waterfalls to see.

Lunch with a view

After a short hike involving some climbing and swimming, you will arrive at the base of the other four stunning waterfalls. The flowing cascades make the perfect scenery for a picnic lunch. The roaring water may lull you into a catnap, but there’s no better post-lunch lounging than practicing your backstroke at the base of the waterfalls. Out here, the beauty of Belize is evident in every nook and cranny surrounding you. And Sleeping Giant Lodge made sure you were able to appreciate every single one of them.

Once you’re ready, head back to the base where you’ll once more pass sweeping views of the jungle at every cliff edge. You should be back at Sleeping Giant Lodge by 3 p.m., meaning you’ll have enough daylight to enjoy a quick nap at The Nest.

Sleeping Giant Waterfall Expedition

If a waterfall chasing adventure sounds enticing, our other rainforest adventures might be just up your alley. Feel free to give us a call at 822-0037 to help you start planning.

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