At Turneffe Island Resort, Ecotourism is a Way of Life and a Jewel in Belize’s Crown

belize-island-vacationsLots of countries give lip service to ecological initiatives and green goals, but too many of these efforts are thwarted by bureaucratic regulations and complaints that conservation projects cost too much tax money. But there is a place on the planet where bureaucrats put the environment first and citizens are eager to be at the forefront of this Earth-sustaining movement: Belize.

You won’t find a better example of ecological commitment than Turneffe Island—a tiny atoll that’s fast becoming the Caribbean poster child for sustainability initiatives. Natural management throughout the island is taken so seriously, it’s no wonder Turneffe Island Resort  has joined the ranks of conservation-minded locals. Visiting this area could restore your faith in humanity!

Grab a map of mainland Belize and neighboring islands and you might be hard pressed to spot Turneffe. This tiny atoll in the Caribbean Sea may be small but it’s mighty: declared a protected marine reserve not many years ago, the island’s pristine topography has been allowed to flourish rather than be destroyed. Spot ancient mangrove swamps with deep roots that support flowers and plants that, in turn, attract birds, bats and lizards. The island is also home to breathtaking wild orchids that bloom everywhere you look.

Turneffe’s most admirable quality is the way nature is allowed to work in harmony: Mangrove roots shore up the island by clinging tenaciously to a shallow sea floor, erosion is practically non-existent and soil stays perpetually nourished by an intricate web of roots and plants. A nature walk and bird sanctuary have been established in the midst of this garden of Eden, and in the spirit of inhabiting so lovely and pristine an environment, Turneffe Island Resort and staff have contributed mightily to the island’s ambitious green movement.

How can a tropical resort this committed to caring for the environment manage to do such a spectacular job of spoiling its guests? Easy. They want you to come back so you keep tabs on their ongoing commitment to the land. Expect your well-appointed room to be filled with hand-made furnishings crafted of local Belize hardwoods. Sleep beneath a traditional thatched roof that is so artfully woven, formidable Caribbean winds won’t disturb it. Because each suite is meticulously screened from roof to floor to welcome in breezes while keeping out mosquitos, you might not hear the hum of a single air conditioning unit during your visit. Including yours.

Think that’s all you’ll find here? Au contraire! Organic gardening is practiced at the resort year round, so when you order a crisp salad, a freshly-picked vegetable or you taste fruit that’s just been harvested as you indulge in classic island breakfasts, lunches and dinners at Turneffe Island Resort, you’ll be tasting the best Belize has to offer–in too many ways to count.

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