Belize

Track jaguars and whales from a Caribbean eco-lodge

Snorkeling Thatch Key

Snorkeling Thatch Key    Photo: Michael Hanson/Aurora

SANDWICHED between Mexico and Guatemala, English-speaking Belize boasts more than two million acres of forest, 180 miles of pristine ­Caribbean coastline, and dozens of innovative eco-lodges. Two of the best? The Hamanasi Resort has treehouse bungalows on a 12-mile stretch of beach minutes from 100-foot waterfalls. The soundtrack is chacha­laca birds calling raucously, and daily activities include tracking jaguar prints in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, ringed by the Maya Mountains. For diving, head to Francis Ford Coppola’s posh Turtle Inn, where the Meso­american ­Barrier Reef—the largest in the Western Hemisphere—is just offshore. From April to June, you’ll dive with migrating whale sharks, which come to feed on coral spawn during the full moon.

From Outside Magazine, Nov 2011 Get the Latest Issue

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