Belize it or Not!

     Exciting & Eco-friendly Adventures in Belize

(Estimated Reading Time = 2m49s)

Located in the very heart of Central America, this hidden gem of the Caribbean offers an unspoiled encounter for beach-chillers and thrill-seekers alike. Whether you’re backpacking solo or on a family vacation, Belize has a plethora of hot spots to whet your appetite.

photo:uwphotographyguide.com

Second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the Belize Barrier Reef provides world-class diving and snorkeling opportunities. From the novice to the most seasoned diver, one can explore three of the four Atolls to be found in the Western Hemisphere. Both the Turneffe Atoll and the Lighthouse Reef Atoll are conveniently accessible for your diving pleasure, as is the famous Blue Hole.

Vacation on a Live-Aboard boat or have a posh experience at the Turneffe Island Resort, where the beaches are glorious and the reputation for service impeccable. Either way, you have diving at your doorstep!

Crystal clear and 80 degrees, the water in Belize is calling to you. For those who would rather ride the waves rather than dive deep, Slickrock Adventures has your back…and your board!  Literally an “Island Unto Itself”, they boast that Long Caye enjoys the only surf break in Belize that is both accessible and safe (not breaking over live coral).”  Paddle boarding, Kayak & Windsurfing, you name it, this place rocks it. Slickrock is also the only venture to offer full-on kayak & rafting tours of the underground Caves Branch River.

For those primal souls with a global conscience, who find themselves wildly attracted to the thought of truly connecting with Nature; Belize can put a whole new spin on being infected with Jungle Fever. If exploring the Belizean Rainforest safely & to your heart’s content, while being certain of leaving a minimal carbon footprint, I’ve heard a stay at CHAA CREEK Resort is mandatory. They provide a wide range of authentically Eco-friendly accommodations and Adventure Travel Tours galore – you’ll have to go back several times before running out of things to do!

Well before the catch-phrases “go green”, “eco-friendly” & “sustainable tourism” were hatched, Mick and Lucy Fleming were striving to ‘co-exist with nature’. They opened Chaa Creek back in 1981 focused on ‘sensitive construction and creative recycling’. What began as a couple of cottages to accommodate visiting travellers has grown into a 365 acre private nature reserve.

   Backpackers can have an affordable posh-tent-like experience staying in one of the Camp Casitas, where “Every effort has been made to create a true jungle experience without relinquishing comfort and safety… at the Macal River Camp you can experience nature much as the original Maya inhabitants or early settlers did – with little of the distraction or noises of civilisation. It is a tranquil, peaceful location that brings home the beauty and vibrant life of Belize’s rainforest and rivers.” 

    If travelling with the Family or even if it just takes a little more four-star fancy to turn you on, there are Garden Jacuzzi Suites and palm thatched cottages furnished with a tasteful, casually elegant mix of hand crafted furniture, fine fabrics and local and international art, all designed to blend in with the exquisite rainforest surroundings and local culture.”      Perhaps best of all,  you can recapture the days of a Tree-house Summer by combining the best of both worlds, with Attitude and Altitude! Chaa Creek’s Treetop Suites are “Perched high atop the meandering Macal RiverThese “…large airy suites provide a one-of-a-kind Rainforest Experience in Belize’s verdant Western Cayo District. You’ll share a birds’ eye panoramic view with toucans, parrots, kingfishers and many other colourful avian species.Count me IN.

  

With an eco-system as diverse as it is lush, the possibilities for exploration are seemingly endless. Take a guided Birding tour. Go horseback riding or mountain biking on the well maintained trails or drift lazily down the Macal River in a canoe. Listen to the monkeys as you enjoy a hot stone massage or stimulate your intellect and experience the architecture and history of the ancient Mayan Temples of Xunantunich and Tikal.

Visit the Butterfly Farm, Natural History Center or take the Medicinal Plant trail, learning about healing & culture. You can even take a Helicopter Tour and get an eagle’s eye view of the magical Rainforest, glorious waterfalls and lagoons, & the Caves Branch River. Like I said, the possibilities are endless , and hooking it up with Chaa Creek gives you access to it all as well as affording you the benefit of responsible tourism… ensuring that the landscape is there to enjoy for generations to come.

Anyway – this is just my two cents – some places I totally intend to hit when I go through Belize this fall on my way to Guatemala. I’d love to hear any stories from readers about your adventures through Belize too!! If there is a place that one travelling through MUST NOT MISS… let me know!

peace, L

Down the Hill…

Since arriving in this glorious little town, I’ve made a dear new friend whose encouragement has been priceless. Its her birthday this weekend (tomorrow actually), so we’re heading to Redlands and Palm Springs for a few days. Big Bear locals call it going “Down the Hill”. This will be the first time I’ve left Big Bear since I’ve arrived, so it will be a little “adventure”. I am excited to meet my friend’s family and explore the desert of California. I will post some pics of the trip and if anyone has a “must see” that I shouldn’t miss while I’m there, please let me know! Click here for some interesting 411 on how California and NASA have harnessed the Power of WIND…

Only having driven through Palm Spring several years ago, these ECO-FRIENDLY Giants are all Ive seen of her so far....

On a totally different note, I am checking out a few online Fitness Trackers to gauge my journey back into a fit and healthy body. I don’t want to recommend anything that’s lame, so I will use them each for a week or more and then fill you in on which one works the best. I will tell you that I already have a fast favorite – it’s the most user-friendly so far – but that could change over the course of daily use… so hang tight.

 

AuthenChic Discovery…

 Where ever your travels take you, if snow is available, and you’re into snowboarding or skiing, you will (hopefully) make your way to the slopes. Having already hit that myself, it was time for #2 on the list of “things to do” in Big Bear. On that list is visiting the Big Bear Discovery Center (BBDC). Although it wasn’t tremendously ‘adventurous’ in and of itself, it was informative! 

  

The eco-friendliest way to arrive at BBDC is to hit the Alpine Pedal Path that parallels the lake off the Stanfield Cutoff. At the 1.5mi marker there is an option to head off and up on another trail which leads to the Discovery Center, as well as a grip of other trails (which I will share with you later). From the marker, it was a .7 mi paved hike to the DC, where we checked out the ‘stuffed animals’ (see below), and got some information brochures on all the available ‘things to do’.

 

 

view from BBDC

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Personally, I am not a fan of taxidermy, it makes me sad. However, I can’t imagine the lay person, no matter how adventurous, often has the opportunity to see animals such as the bobcat, brown (or black) bear, etc. as up close & personal as one can because of this particular ‘art’ form.

  
 
 
 
 Along with viewing the prevalent wildlife species, the BBDC also has a plethora of 411 on the countless hiking, biking, and equestrian trails that are accessible from this California Mountain Town. For even the remotely ‘fit’ person (we passed a couple toting a stroller with a baby girl and tag-along three-year-old son), the 2.2mi trek to the center is as easy as pie. One of the most famous trails you can hit from this point is the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).
THE PCT runs from Canada to Mexico, and every year hundreds of brave souls trek either part of or the entire route – a whopping 2,650 miles (4,260 km) –  having necessities shipped to rest stops (like Big Bear) along the journey. This is one AuthenChic Adventure I have definitely put on my “bucket list”. 😉

 

   Photo courtesy sunset.com                                                           
                               
 
 
 
 
 For the fellow conservationists out there, just a cool FYI – part of the proceeds generated from the BBDC Gift Shop go to help the San Bernardino National Forest Association, so you know that any souvenirs you pick up for friends, family or yourself will be a gift that keeps on giving! There are plenty of educational and volunteer opportunities available, no matter what your Stay Green interests.   

 
   
       
 
If anyone who reads this has actually been ON the PCT, I’d love to hear about it!

Peace, L
 
©AuthenChic Adventures | 2011
 
 

 

Behind the Curtain…

 

Greetings! My name is Lisa DeChavan and I am embarking on the Adventure of a Lifetime. From the farthest recesses of memory, I’ve hoped to travel. Dorothy and Alice were my champions. I hoped to see what lies over the visible horizon; over the rainbow, down the yellow brick road or perchance rabbit hole. I hoped to abide with foreign people groups and see life through their eyes…perspectives different from my own. What I have, I want to share with those whose paths I cross along the journey. Where aid is needed, give aid. Where there are hungry mouths, give food. If a hand needs holding, hold it. Where the innocent need protecting, stand up. And when fun and adventure are graciously served along the way, I hope to have a second helping!

These hopes still surge, like restless molecules in my blood.

It is time.

 My PURPOSE, essentially, is to actualize my Life. Putting one foot in front of the other, follow whatever roads lead to living an authentic and meaningful existence. To have the courage and faith to boldly chase down the dreams that have been so deeply rooted within me…and witness the fruit that will be produced by trusting God enough to do so. PHILANTHROPY is the heartbeat of my purpose. With over 15 years of education and experience as a personal trainer, yoga & Pilates instructor, FITNESS is my area of expertise… it is something I have a passion for  & will post about frequently.  Finally, I  believe strongly that more days that not, we should have a reason to bob our heads & say “now that was dope!!”  As our pioneer sister Cyndi Lauper so eloquently put it, Girls Just Want to Have FUN!!!
 Finally, it is my goal to travel as Eco-friendly as possible. I am sincere in my promise to keep my carbon footprint as gently tread as I can. I hope my personal AuthenChic Adventure inspires you to take one of your own. Until then, my fellow gypsies, I invite you to read and comment as I share mine with you! Enjoy!

 

“Knowing God is the greatest adventure of all time: a life-long pursuit, the ultimate romance, the fulfillment of every yearning. Apart from this relationship life is a mere shadow of its full potential. Remembering that even life at its best is only a dim reflection of Heaven proves that we have a wonderful future to anticipate. Be encouraged! At the end of the day we must come back to the same simple truth and accept it without conditions or reservations. Our lives are in the loving and capable hands of the Father. Our quest is to seek Him and follow Him to the High Places by whatever paths He chooses. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). LAF