1. The Belize Travelcast
  2. Episode 29

Belize is Open: Gold Standard Hotels, Tours, and Transportation Options

Misty Michael 40 minutes


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Belize is open for travel! The Belize International Airport reopened for inbound tourism on October 1st, 2020. In this episode, we continue our conversation with Misty Michael from the Belize Tourism Board to discuss the Belize Gold Standard program for Health and Safety, and why it is important to ensure safety for guests and residents alike.

A full list of Belize Gold Standard hotels, tours, and transportation options is available here on Belizing.com. This episode is sponsored by the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, Belize Sailing Vacations, and Orchid Bay Belize



Premium Sponsor
San Ignacio Resort Hotel is a Belizean and family-owned boutique Hotel located in the Cayo District, Western Belize. The Resort is centrally situated on a 17-acre private estate and ... more5-minutes away of the popular San Ignacio Town—an area that features a variety of cultural, adventurous, and culinary experiences. This characteristic has dubbed the Resort as “the only jungle in town”.

Belize has SO much to offer - but where do you start? SURE you want to snorkel with stingray and sharks, of course, you want to see the Blue Hole but there is so much more that makes ... moreAmbergris Caye magic. Get the inside scoop on these BIG experiences in Ambergris Caye that will have you dreaming of returning to Belize.
Airport Shuttle
Belize Ground Shuttle is a professional shuttle company operating daily shared shuttle service for travelers between San Ignacio, Placencia, Hopkins and the Belize International Airport ... more(BZE).

This episode is sponsored by:

San Ignacio Resort Hotel:

> Website
Gold Standard certified hotel located in San Ignacio Town. Recently introduced The Business Traveller package. This features a combination leisure and work components for the nomad businessperson in today's world. Find more details here.

Belize Sailing Vacations:

> Website
All Inclusive Luxury Yacht Charters. The ultimate way to experience the coast of Belize! Bring 2 guests for FREE up to December 2021. Your private sailing charter will take you to some of the world’s best snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and kayaking sites, embellished with tropical cocktails and 5-star dining from the comfort of your own floating hotel.

Orchid Bay Resort: 

> Website
Orchid Bay is a master-planned community located in Northern Belize that was featured on House Hunters International as the premier development in Belize. Their homes feature open floorplans, modern finishes, and expansive indoor-outdoor living spaces that bring your dream of paradise-living to life.
Information
Recommended Hotels
 (2)
All-Inclusive Luxury Charters
Belize All Inclusive Sailing Vacation - The ultimate way to experience the best of Belize. Imagine sailing along the world’s second-largest barrier reef, exploring sandy palm-studded ... morebeaches, and discovering the amazing underwater world of Belize. Your private sailing charter will take you to some of the world’s best snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and kayaking sites, embellished with tropical cocktails and 5-star dining from the comfort of your own floating hotel.

Belize Sailing Vacations is a family-run, full-service yacht charter company offering the most luxurious all-inclusive sailing vacations in Belize and Guatemala since 2001. Our well-equipped yachts have air-conditioned queen cabins, private bathrooms, a state-of-the-art entertainment system throughout and expansive indoor and outdoor dining and lounging areas. Our yacht is teamed with an experienced, friendly and knowledgeable crew, dedicated to making your sailing vacation unforgettable! With Belize Sailing Vacations, enjoy the amenities of an all-inclusive luxury resort aboard your own private catamaran, and a sailing adventure tailored to your personal desires.

Belize Sailing Vacations is the perfect all-inclusive vacation for the family, friends, a romantic getaway, or a honeymoon. Our sailing charter expertise offers you variety and flexibility in choosing activities tailored to your special interest. Rendezvous diving or fishing expeditions can be arranged while others in your party may prefer snorkeling, kayaking or beachcombing, or even a day at the spa.

In addition, we offer American Sailing Association Classes that offer a chance for those who are interested in expanding their knowledge and gaining confidence on the water. Your instructor will also be your captain and classes happen throughout the day with plenty of breaks for other activities. You can also journey inland to witness grand Mayan temples, float on a tube through the largest cave network in Central America, ride horses through lush rainforest or zip-line through the jungle, a perfect contrast to the turquoise waters of the ocean. 

Upon receiving your guest preference information, our concierge and captain will design a tailored catamaran charter vacation itinerary to meet your group’s special interest to ensure that your sailboat charter vacation is an experience of a lifetime.

Belize Island Exploration

Discover uninhabited islands that dot the barrier reef, or visit fun islands with local beach bars. Shop at local markets and experience Belizean culture and dine onshore at one of the many authentic eateries, meet the locals on remote islands, or indulge in a luxurious spa day at one of the boutique retreats that dot the coast…. you pick the pace!
Phone Number:
(888) 200-0370
Gold Certified:
Yes
Area:
Belize City
Region:
Central Coast
 (3)
Private Riverside Villas
Aliana's is a vacation rental property located near San Ignacio, Cayo. Aliana's sits on a 50-acre farm and includes three private riverfront villas. ... more

Gold Standard Transportation is provided via Belize Ground Shuttle.
Relax on the banks of the Mopan river just outside your doorstep and enjoy bird watching or take a refreshing swim to cool off at your pleasure. We have canoes and floating tubes available. A popular guest activity is to float down the Mopan river from the village of Bullet Tree Falls. The float takes about two hours. You can spot monkeys and a variety of bird species along the river. We also have an outdoor grill and brick oven available for use by all guests.

Each unit includes air-conditioned bedrooms for your comfort. The property is filled with many tropical fruit trees that you can enjoy when in season, such as mangoes, breadfruit, plums, star fruit, and others. The property may be booked for private events subject to availability.
Gold Certified:
Yes
Area:
San Ignacio
Region:
Western Belize
 (3)
Orchid Bay Resort is set directly on Orchid Bay Beach, in a secluded area of Corozal Bay. It offers an outdoor pool, a bar-restaurant and stylish bungalows with well-equipped kitchens..... more

Each bungalow at the Orchid Bay Resort features elegant wooden furniture and a modern bathroom with a shower. All bungalows offer free Wi-Fi, a TV and a DVD player. Some also have sea views.

Orchid Bay Resort is a 40-minute drive from Corozal town and a 1-hour drive from the Belize Free Zone and the Mexican border. Belize City is around 2 hours away. Free parking is available on site.
Gold Certified:
Yes
Area:
Corozal
Region:
Northern Belize
 (2)
Recommended
Established in 1976, San Ignacio Resort Hotel is a Belizean and family-owned boutique Hotel located in the Cayo District, Western Belize. The Resort is centrally situated on a 17-acre ... moreprivate estate, 5-minutes away of Cahal Pech Maya temple and the popular San Ignacio Town—an area that features a variety of cultural, adventurous, and culinary experiences. This characteristic has dubbed the Resort as “the only jungle in town”.

The 27-room Resort is renowned for its hospitality services and features the award-winning Running W Restaurant (which showcases meats from the family’s ranch), an on-site tour company (Cayo Gial Tours), in-room wellness treatments, an outdoor swimming pool and tennis court area, the largest event facilities in the District, and the #1 Activity in San Ignacio, the Green Iguana Conservation Project.
Gold Certified:
Yes
Area:
San Ignacio
Region:
Western Belize
Learn More
Recommended Activities
$
60
-
$
100
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
Get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Belize's stunning Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary! If you're staying in Hopkins, don't miss the chance to experience the area's breathtaking ... morewaterfalls and lush jungle on a Cockscomb Basin waterfalls and jungle hike tour.

Led by an experienced guide, you'll explore this pristine wilderness and discover its incredible flora and fauna. Get up close and personal with jaguars, monkeys, tapirs, exotic birds, and more, as you trek through the sanctuary's towering rainforest.

The Cockscomb Basin tour also includes a visit to some of the area's most stunning waterfalls. Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of the cascades and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the rainforest.

Lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and get ready to experience the natural wonder of Belize's Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary on a waterfall and jungle hike tour from Hopkins. Book your tour today and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!
$
160
-
$
355
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
 (3)
Embark on an incredible Cave Kayaking adventure and traverse the entire 7-miles of underground cave system in comfortable top-quality packable kayaks and advanced outdoor equipment. ... moreThis thrilling journey begins from the St Herman's Cave system on the Hummingbird Highway and concludes at Nohoch Che'en Archeological Reserve, taking you from darkness to the vibrant greenery of the jungle and back into the submerged world of Xibalba. The turquoise waters and majestic cave entrances provide awe-inspiring sights, perfect for capturing an endless stream of Kodak moments. The excursion features multiple cave entrances and exits, including natural daylight "windows" formed by cenote/sinks along the way. So, enjoy the sounds of wildlife, immerse in nature, and make unforgettable memories with this exhilarating Cave Kayaking adventure.
$
91
50
-
$
115
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
 (34)
Take a once in a lifetime day trip to Tikal from Belize! Visit the Tikal National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites of the pre-Colombian ... moreMaya civilization, accessible just a short drive from the western border with Guatemala. Tour the ruins of Tikal with a professional and informative guide. 

This tour leaves daily from downtown San Ignacio. Daily departure at 7 am, with a return by 5 pm. You can meet us at the Cayo Welcome Center or we will pick you up at your local San Ignacio area hotel. Out-of-town hotel pickup is available for a small fee. Limited seating is available on each trip.

Optional: Drive your own vehicle to the western border and park there. 20-minute drive from San Ignacio. Safe, secure parking is available.

*No additional fees for pickup and drop off at in-town hotels, including San Ignacio Resort Hotel, Cahal Pech Resort, Midas Resort, Kaana Resort, and others in town. 

What to Expect:
- The drive is about 2 hours from San Ignacio to the Tikal National Park in Guatemala.
- Gold Standard transportation to the western border via Belize Ground Shuttle
- Immigration processing at the Belize border. (Don't forget your passport)
- Your Guatemalan concierge will meet you as you exit Belize immigration processing.
- You will be assisted in all border crossing procedures to enter Guatemala safely and hassle-free. 
- Roundtrip transportation, Guided Tour, and Lunch provided by TikalGo, the premier Tikal tour provider.
- Upon return, your Gold Standard Belize Ground Shuttle driver will pick you up at the border by 4:30 pm.

Tour Description:
Visit one of the largest and most important Mayan sites in all of Central America. 

Once inside the park, let your imagination run free as you explore highlights among more than 3,000 structures that archaeologists have excavated so far. Learn about the daily life and religious practices of the ancient Maya while wandering through the maze of the Central Acropolis, and envision the excitement of an elite sporting match in the ball courts. Tikal boasts an array of magnificent ceremonial temples. Climb the steep staircase of the 144-foot (44-meter) Temple of the Grand Jaguar, built to honor a Mayan king. A set of twin pyramids with altars will greet you at complexes Q and R. Marvel at the Temple of the Masks, which was once adorned with intricate ceremonial mask carvings. Perhaps most impressive is the oft-photographed Temple IV, also known as the Double Head Serpent. The tallest structure in Tikal at 212 feet (64 meters), this pyramid rises majestically above the jungle canopy.

After a refreshing lunch break inside the park, satisfy your inner archaeologist during your free time to explore the ruins independently. Most other tour companies take you outside the park for lunch. We stay inside the park to allow more time to explore.

Make this special and magical day trip to the center of Tikal!
$
80
/ Person
$
80
/ Adult
Departs From:
Caye Caulker
 (15)
Includes: Free GoPro photos/videos, lunch, fruit, lunch, drinks, guide, and all park fees This tour is one to remember and will definitely be your most memorable experience in Belize, ... morewe'll do so by exploring 7 breathtaking stops along the beautiful Belize Barrier Reef. It starts on Caye Caulker at our tour office at 9:00 am with a quick briefing on how we'll conduct the tour to keep it eco-friendly and fun, then we load up in the boat and go to a marine reserve that's 32+ years old called Hol chan.

This tour will give you the opportunity to see a wide array of marine life including sharks, rays, beautiful schools of fish, pristine corals, turtles, and majestic manatees. Everything we see we can snorkel with, of course at a safe distance to not disturb the marine life. Lastly, we have some bonus stops to do some fun sightseeing around the island. The tour ends around 3:00/3:30.
$
135
/ Person
Departs From:
San Pedro (Ambergris Caye)
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Provider:
This catamaran cruise is great for families and groups who are looking for a fun time and relaxation! We offer awesome activities like snorkeling, fishing, and beach bbq. This is a ... morefull-day tour that includes snorkeling at Mexico Rocks and Tres Cocos and lunch that may be prepared off-site and served onboard. Take some cash because, with a prior request, the trip can include a stop at the always fun Palapa Bar on the way back, and bring your iPod if you’d like to cruise to any special music.
$
120
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
 (10)
Welcome to the gateway of the Mayan Underworld. Actun Tunichil Muknal (cave of the stone sepulchre) is commonly referred to as ATM Cave. Located near San Ignacio, Cayo District, it ... moreis one of the most impressive Maya ceremonial caves containing rare bloodletting altars used in sacrifices by Maya royalty, and where calcified skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware have been found. The best known as “The Crystal Maiden”, the intact skeleton of a teenage girl, whose bones have been calcified over the years to a sparkling crystallized appearance

The hike to the cave entrance through the lush Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve requires visitors to swim to the mouth of the cave and then wade through ankle to chest high water and once inside the magnificent cave, the exploration begins. The tour requires climbing and swimming as well as crawling through small spaces. The cave is extensively decorated with cave formations in the upper passages, a labyrinth of dry chambers which lead to the cathedral-like main hall, a towering chamber 350 meters in length and 50 meters wide, and filled with artifacts and sacrificial remains. Visitors remove shoes and explore the cave in socks only, to protect the artifacts on the cave floor. After this, another climb takes you to the stone sepulchre (after which the cave is named) where the Crystal Maiden lies. Photography is now disallowed inside the cave unless special permits are obtained.

This is an extraordinary Belize adventure and a rare opportunity to see ancient Maya ceremonial sites and altars as they were and virtually untouched for centuries. A visit to this site is truly profound and unforgettable. After this memorable adventure, we hike back to our vehicles and sit to enjoy a local lunch before heading back to San Ignacio.

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Guest Picture

Misty Michael

Misty Michael attended the University of North Florida and graduated in 2004 with a B.A in International Business. Thereafter she returned to Belize where she worked with the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in Export Development Service where she was instrumental in marketing and promoting local products internationally. She also worked on the development of Belize’s National Export Strategy (NES). After leaving BELTRAIDE in 2007, Misty joined the Belize Bank Limited as Marketing Manager. During her tenure with the Bank, Misty oversaw all marketing, branding, advertising, communications and public relations activities, and led the Bank through a successful rebranding exercise in 2012. 

In 2015, Misty opened a private boutique consulting firm – JSA Global Services Limited, offering marketing, branding, business development and communications services to both local and international companies and organizations. In 2019, Misty joined the Belize Tourism Board, and is currently the Director of Marketing and Industry Relations.

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