There are frequent nonstop flights to Belize from Miami, Houston, and Dallas, with flying times of slightly over two hours from each city. To reach Ambergris Cay, change planes at the Belize City airport for a 15-minute trip to San Pedro, the island's main town. Flying is also the easiest way to reach the country's southern coast, home to Turtle Inn and Kanantik. Blancaneaux Lodge and Chaa Creek Lodge, in the mountainous Cayo District of western Belize, are a two-hour drive from Belize City. Advisory: Hurricane season lasts from June through October; opening dates for each hotel are noted below.
WHERE TO STAY
Turtle Inn REOPENS FOR THE SEASON OCTOBER 15; DOUBLES FROM $300, INCLUDING BREAKFAST. PLACENCIA VILLAGE, STANN CREEK; 800/746-3743 OR 011-501/824-4914; www.turtleinn.com
Blancaneaux Lodge REOPENS OCTOBER 1; DOUBLES FROM $210, INCLUDING BREAKFAST. MOUNTAIN PINE RIDGE RESERVE, CENTRAL FARM, CAYO DISTRICT; 800/746-3743 OR 011-501/824-4914; www.blancaneaux.com
Kanantik Reef & Jungle Resort REOPENS NOVEMBER 1; DOUBLES FROM $630, INCLUDING ALL MEALS, MOST DRINKS, AND TOURS. MILE 18, SOUTHERN HWY. STANN CREEK; 800/965-9689 OR 011-501/520-8048; www.kanantik.com
Lodge at Chaa Creek REOPENS OCTOBER 1; DOUBLES FROM $150. MACAL RIVER, CAYO DISTRICT; 011-501/824-2037; www.chaacreek.com
Cayo Espanto DOUBLES FROM $895, INCLUDING ALL MEALS, MOST DRINKS, A PERSONAL BUTLER, AND ACTIVITIES OFF THE COAST OF AMBERGRIS CAY. 888/666-4282 OR 011-501/220-5001; www.aprivateisland.com
Victoria House CLOSED OCTOBER 7-26; DOUBLES FROM $155. SAN PEDRO, AMBERGRIS CAY; 800/247-5159 OR 011-501/226-2067; www.victoria-house.com
Mata Chica Beach Resort REOPENS OCTOBER; DOUBLES FROM $190, INCLUDING BREAKFAST. SAN PEDRO, AMBERGRIS CAY; 011-501/220-5010; www.matachica.com
Hummingbird Highway Take a drive along this central Belize road, lined with citrus groves and surrounded by the lush Maya Mountains.
Xunantunich These hillside Mayan ruins in western Belize are reached via a funky two-car, hand-cranked ferry. ADMISSION FOR TWO $10. www.travelbelize.org/maya/xunantunich
Although most of its hotels are considered models of ecotourism, Belize is not immune to careless development. The ecology faces a threat from the proposed Chalillo Dam, which will flood some 2,000 acres of the Macal River Basin. For information, see www.stopfortis.org and www.savebiogems.com/macal.