May 21, 2012
Belize is one of the top dive destinations in Central America, and it has a lot going for it as a destination for Americans. English is commonly spoken, and the prices are easy on the wallet. There's great fishing and great lobstering in season, and the reef is spectacular. I've been there twice, first for a week, and then for two weeks.
First we (my girlfriend at the time, now my wife) went down to Placencia for a rambling fishing and exploring vacation--going into the caves, checking out the ancient ruins, lots of stuff. We liked it so much we went down there for our honeymoon and stayed at Francis Ford Coppola's places--first in the mountains and then back in Placencia at his Turtle Inn.
We did a lot of fishing, but Belize is strongly conservation-minded and there are a lot of protections in place for their reef fish--at least in the southern part of the country where we were staying.
The highlight (of the outdoors activities) was the diving we did. The reef and its life--amazing. We also went on a trip to swim with the whale sharks, and that's amazing and wild--in case you've never been swimming with whale sharks. That experience alone is worth the trip down to Belize. Check with dive shops for the best times to go, but given good weather, they're going to take you to those whale sharks.
I was reminded of these trips when some press about a newly renovated Belize resort came across the desk. Here is some of that news:
San Pedro, Belize, April 2012 – Long considered the hidden jewel of Belize, Matachica, the exquisite, award-winning beach resort is proud to announce the completion of a multi-million dollar redesign and expansion. Heralded as the anti-generic beach resort, Matachica now offers an even more spectacular Caribbean getaway with a signature relaxed attitude and barefoot elegance.
Matachica's impeccably chic overall décor draws upon the owner's passion for both the island's native heritage and his extensive global travel. “When I first arrived on the island, I was instantly hooked by the effortless, laid-back way of life” explains proprietor Daniel Lighter. “This resort could not exist anywhere else in the world, because every aspect of your experience is drawn from, and a reflection of, the unique character of this beachfront paradise.”
Though only a short water-taxi ride from the lively shops and restaurants of San Pedro, Matachica is located on the secluded island of Ambergris Caye. From the moment you step onto our private dock, you will discover the breathtaking way Matachica has integrated itself into the lush azure surroundings. The resort itself sits on miles of natural white sand beach overlooking the crystal blue sea. If you are feeling adventurous, paddle one of the resort's kayaks for a fifteen-minute ride to the second-longest living barrier reef on this planet. While these and scores of other activities, from scuba diving and snorkeling, to fishing, trekking and historic site excursions, are easily accessible, you may also choose to find a secluded hammock for quiet contemplation and to soak in the island rays.
Recent additions to the resort include 12 brand new and even larger casitas, as well as full upgrades to all existing rooms. In all, Matachica features 25 single casitas, and 1 two-bedroom villa, named our Luxury Caribbean Villa. Each villa is thatched roof, vibrantly-painted and feature private patios, fully updated bathrooms and original art. Though entirely air conditioned, many choose to throw open their windows, in order to experience the panoramic seafront views and enjoy the warm tropical breeze. Moreover, Matachica has added a spectacular infinity pool, a fleet of new kayaks and sailboats, and new equipment for day-trips and local adventures. These upgrades further highlight the resort as a perfect choice for an unforgettable beach wedding or a private and magical honeymoon.
If you seek the ultimate indulgence, visit our Jade Spa for a rejuvenating massage and treatments using natural ingredients sourced locally from the Belizean jungles and sea. From banana and papaya body wraps, to traditional deep tissue massages, the spa is sure to offer you a unique experience with our own Belizean twist. Matachica resort also boasts Mambo, an acclaimed restaurant that offers local flavors and surprising combinations that will excite even the most seasoned palate. Enjoy the sunset and a cocktail from our Beachfront Bar or sit back and enjoy your favorite film from our extensive film library in our Cinema lounge.
Though Matachica possesses all of the comforts to enchant a cosmopolitan traveler – from Frette robes and Matouk linens, to Apple computer terminals and wireless internet access – the greatest gift the resort offers is the ability to make you forget. Forget city life, forget worries, and even forget what day it is. Our team of expertly trained staff provides impeccable service, unique local knowledge and an unparalleled attention-to detail, making every trip a personalized and perfect escape.