Travel Philosophy: To inspire your "well way of life, lifelong."
Travel Specialty: Wellness
About Canyon Ranch:
Canyon Ranch is a collection of Wellness Resorts & Retreat with customized programming to prevent and overcome medical professional burnout and inspire guests to pursue their “Well Way of Life”. At Canyon Ranch we meet our guests where they are and help them optimize their individual performance with evidence based wellness programing in areas of: Health & Performance, Mind & Spirit, Nutrition & Food, Fitness & Movement and Spa & Beauty. You will learn tools to continue life wellbeing. Choose your destination: All-inclusive Canyon Ranch health resorts in Tucson, Arizona and Lenox, Massachusetts offer a full-immersion experience of our world-class integrative health and wellness services. In fall 2019, Canyon Ranch debuts its first wellness retreat in Woodside, California. Three- and four-day holistic retreats for like-minded individuals or groups are guided by Canyon Ranch philosophies. Canyon Ranch aims to inspire people to make a commitment to healthy living, turning hopes and intentions into the highest enjoyment of life through fun and unique activities, wellness presentations and wellness services.
Absolute Belize is a luxury tailor-made travel company and the country’s leading DMC for luxury travel, and we couldn’t curate high-end itineraries without their expertise. Being on the ground allows them to take care of all the logistical details – accommodations, activities and adventures, domestic flights, meals, spa treatments, transfers, and even ‘wow’ experiences – with perfect planning precision. Best of all, they won’t charge you a single penny for their services!
Some of the industry’s most coveted and influential leisure travel publications have even recognized their expertise and unrivaled first-hand knowledge, including:
Conde Nast Traveller
Reco by TripAdvisor
Absolute Belize recommends keeping these tips in mind to take advantage of everything Belize has to offer:
Consider staying in two destinations – beach (or sailing!) and jungle – vs. one central location. Doing so will allow you to experience the best of both worlds.
Venture off-the-beaten-path and immerse yourself in experiential and restorative vacations.
For those of you looking for the perfect pandemic getaway, sail off into the sunset with their sister company Belize Sailing Vacations. BSV offers crewed all-inclusive luxury yacht charters throughout the country and beyond into Guatemala’s Rio Dulce, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Talk about social distancing done the right way!
Every traveler has a goal: To cross something off their bucket list, experience something new, or relax. Absolute Belize will help you craft authentic, once-in-a-lifetime, and truly immersive experience-based vacations that leave a lasting impression long after the trip, which is why we highly recommend them.
We encourage all travelers contemplating journeys to Belize to consider the immense value of having a trusted travel expert such as they design your trip.
I met Patricia of AbsoluteBelize at a Wendy Perrin conference in January of 2020, just before we all went into lockdown! Fast forward a year and a half and the kids and I couldn't wait to put our passports to use again and I immediately thought of AbsoluteBelize and Patricia! The country was open to vaccinated travelers or those who test negative 72 hours before they depart. We were vaccinated, so it was easy prep for us!
I had been to Belize back in my college days, but felt I had missed a lot on that trip so this trip I had a list of what I wanted included! With Patricia's help we came up with an itinerary that fit the whole family!
Belize Family Itinerary
- The Lodge at Chaa Creek: We were awakened by howler monkeys and bird calls, we watched butterflies and birds as we relaxed in the infinity pool and we had an amazing afternoon horsebackriding through the jungle. The cottages don't have AC so if that's a must-have for you then upgrade to the spa cottage, but for us, fans were just fine. The food was delicious and I was very impressed to see my kids ordering salmon one night and rack of lamb another night...somewhere chicken nuggets are feeling abandoned and I'm having to get used to traveling with teenagers!
- Xunantunich (pronounced: shoe-nan-too-nich). This amazing temple complex is easy to get to and with fewer crowds we spent a lovely morning walking through the ruins learning about Mayan history and peaking over the hill into Guatamala!
- Spending time with the Mayan and learning new skills! These are always my favorite days! We learned about coffee from a lovely Mayan farmer, we learned how to make tortillas and throw clay in the traditional Mayan way at the Mayan Women's Cultural Center and we then had an amazing lunch served on the cultural center verandah!
- Jumping into waterfalls in the Mountain Pine Ridge: This afternoon at the waterfalls was just amazing! We climbed up and jumped off rocks into the water and when a thunderstorm hit we swam through the rain and waterfalls!
- Cave tubing: I know how touristy this is and I can't imagine what it's like when it's high season and the crowds are back, but even with it being touristy and silly I loved it! Who doesn't want to float through caves and jungle...it was the Endless River ride in real life!
- Getting dive certified: My kids have wanted to get certified for a couple of years now so we got it done in Belize. They did the online course ahead of time and literally jumped in the pool and started getting certified the afternoon we arrived! By the last day they were certified and we did our first dive together...so great to get to have my kids enjoying one of my favorite hobbies!
- Diving The Blue Hole and surrounding reef: For those already certified Belize doesn't hold back. I took a boat out to The Blue Hole and dove down 130 feet to see stalagmites and stalactites and some large sharks, but honestly this dive felt overrated. Luckily the dive boat included two more dives that day on the reef around the Blue Hole and those did not disappoint! Amazing coral, stunning fish and turtles, barracuda, eels, and a lot of sharks! Some of the best diving I've ever done with no currents and phenomenal visibility.
Why Vacation In Belize?
Things I liked about Belize:
- Everyone speaks English so it's fun to be able to talk to everyone you meet without needing a translator
- This is a small country with less than half a million in population so it feels very manageable even if you only have a week to travel
- The country isn't as developed as I thought it was which surprised me, but intrigued me as well
- My guide! The hotels will arrange activities, but I was so glad we had David! He knew everyone and was just fun to be around! I felt like I got to know the country much better by having a dedicated guide!
Things that surprised me about Belize:
- It's expensive! Meals especially caught me off-guard as I hadn't budgeted enough. At the hotels you were easily paying $15US for a main course and it wasn't much less in town. Our guide explained that food is expensive even for the locals.
- Sargassum has become a huge issue in the Caribbean and it had hit the beaches of Belize hard. Our hotel was working all day to try to clear the beach of this foul smelling and rather ugly seaweed, but it was just too prevalent. We drove to the West side of the island and enjoyed the clear blue waters over there...the East side of the island wasn't swimmable when we were there. The worst months for Sargassum are June through August.
- There are very few luxury properties like we're used to in Southeast Asia...no Four Seasons or Six Senses type places, I loved the smaller boutique hotels, but this isn't a luxury destination.
If you're interested in Belize check out the itinerary I put together based on Patricia's recommendations and my trip! Or learn more about AbsoluteBelize, one of our partner travel specialists! Feel free to reach out to me if you have any Belize questions or are interested in booking a trip and I'll Kaanect you to the experts!