The list of reasons Belize was made for family vacations is long, but eminently doable since the plane ride is short, everyone speaks English, and sites children adore are so close to each other.
If Belize is on your radar, a great way to prep young kids for the trip is by getting a copy of Belize Living Alphabet. Read it to the kids on the plane and once you arrive, set a goal of checking each of these off your list for the perfect family holiday:
A is for Altun Ha and The Olde Belize River nature and wildlife areas.
B is for butterfly ranches. Spot gorgeous, colorful winged creatures at the Green Hills Butterfly Ranch.
C is for cave tubing. Oversized tubes. Mysterious caverns. Kids get to wear helmets with lights!
D is for diving. The Belize Barrier Reef is Valhalla, as is the Blue Hole and other hot diving spots.
E is for eating. Belize food is the bomb! Children have no idea they’re eating so many healthy, tasty dishes.
F is for fishing. Try it all: deep sea, flats, lakes, and streams. Your resort chef will cook and serve the catch.
G is for Garifuna. This delightful society is home to awesome food, warm residents, and (best of all) drumming lessons.
H is for horseback riding. From jungles to Mayan ruins, blaze a few trails with your little equestrians.
I is for iguanas and no destination wins kids hearts more than The Green Iguana Conservation Project.
J is for jaguars. Belize is home to the only protected jaguar reserve on earth at Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary.
K is for kayaking. Choose a beachfront resort and ask about their complementary kayak stash.
L is for Laughing Bird Caye. Kids want to go there because the name alone makes them giggle.
M is for Mayas. Visit cities, towns, and stele build by one of the most enlightened societies in the world.
N is for Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve, another site for cave tubing.
O is for ocean. It’s okay to call it the Caribbean or the Caribbean Sea.
P is for Placencia where Belize’s most talked about beaches ring this delightful 16-mile-long finger of land.
Q is for the queen. Belize became independent in 1981 but Belizeans still love England’s royal family.
R is for rivers. Especially those known for Howler monkey encounters that mesmerize kids.
S is for snorkeling; a sport kids take to like ducks to water the moment they strap on their first masks.
T is for trekking. Explore jungles, rainforests, and parks where surprises await with every footstep.
U is for Underwater. Even timid kids can learn to swim within the safety of mom and dad’s arms.
V is for Vacation. Your Belize getaway could establish a vacation tradition that never disappoints.
W is for wet suits. Dress your kids appropriately so they get into the swing of all things Caribbean.
X is for Xunantunich Mayan Ruins. They don’t have to pronounce it to wander this fascinating ruin.
Y is for Yellow, the color of the sun. In March alone, Belize gets 161 hours of sunshine. Bring sunscreen.
Z is for the Belize Zoo, home to tapirs, spider monkeys, white-tailed deer, coatimundis, wildcats, macaws, vultures, hawks, storks, and crocodiles and they’re not all in cages!
We’ve run out of letters, but Belize never runs out of fabulous places to take kids within this small, easily navigable nation where children are treasured and parents often say, “Why didn’t we think of Belize before now?’ The memories you gather and the emotional growth you see in your youngsters will surprise and delight you enough to make this family pledge: Next year in Belize!