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    Belize is rich with history and just as welcoming. Discover unspoiled natural wonders like lush rainforests and intricate cave systems. Explore the cultural history at one of the many Mayan temples. Or take in the beautiful local music with a unique blend of Kriol, Garifuna and Mayan influences. Whatever your travel taste, Belize has something to offer. Take a look at some of the must-see and must-experience attractions throughout Belize:

    The Blue Hole

    Don’t miss the most famous diving site in Belize – the Blue Hole. Originally a cave, the Blue Hole was formed when the cave’s roof collapsed almost 10,000 years ago. The Blue Hole is visible from outer space and is a nearly perfect circular hole 1,000 feet in diameter and 412 feet deep.1 With some of the largest midnight parrotfish and other assorted tropical fish as common visitors, you’ll be sure to see amazing aquatic life and experience one of the most spectacular diving experiences around.

    Lamanai

    One of Belize’s largest Mayan sites is Lamanai which features huge structures of temples, pyramids and palaces. Lamanai provides a unique look at the Mayan culture and is named after a Mayan ruler, Lord Smoking Shell, who proclaimed to have spiritual ties to the crocodile. The name Lamanai translates to “submerged crocodile” in Yucatec Maya.2 Fittingly, crocodiles and iguanas can often be seen along the river banks catching some sun.

    Belize Zoo

    Twenty-nine acres of sprawling tropical savanna make up The Belize Zoo. More than 150 animals call the zoo home and all of them are native to Belize. You’ll see five different species of wildcats, manatees, dolphins, toucans and more all in one visit. The Belize Zoo also offers an educational portion with on-site education programs for visiting families and local schools.

    Shark-Ray Alley

    Located in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Shark-Ray Alley is named for the nurse sharks and southern stingrays abundant in the area. Popular with divers for its abundant sea life and excellent visibility, Shark-Ray Alley provides a unique experience for divers. The stingrays at Shark-Ray Alley have a “wing span” of two to four feet and the nurse sharks can average four to six feet in length.3 Guides say the creatures have a great tolerance for divers and will often swim directly towards the divers to investigate the visitors in their home.

    Cave Tubing

    A popular activity in Belize is cave tubing. The caves in Belize were once widely used by the ancient Mayans and today they make for an incredible experience exploring the ins and outs of the caves. There are thousands of caves in Belize, all of them part of an extensive underground cave network.4 Hop into an inner tube, don a miner’s headlamp and set out to explore the inner workings of any one of the many caves. The eerie shadows cast by the light from your headlamp bouncing against magnificent stalactite and stalagmite formations will give you a thrill as you float through.

    Contact your travel agent for more great ideas on how you can explore the many wonders of Belize.

    Sources:
    [1]: http://www.travelbelize.org/scuba/dive-sites
    [2]: http://travel.usnews.com/Belize/Things_To_Do/Lamanai_62473/
    [3]: http://www.holchanbelize.org/zoned.html
    [4]: http://www.travelbelize.org/things-to-do/activities/rainforest-inland/caving

    Secrets to Getting the Most out of Your Vacation

    Story 2 Image June

    On any trip it can be overwhelming to decide where to visit, what to do, and what to see. It often feels like there is so much to take in that you’ll never see it all. The truth (and good news) is you probably won’t see it all in one trip. There are so many hidden treasures in every city that you’ll stumble upon something new every time you visit. So how do you make the most of your trip? Here are some tips to consider:

    Meet the Locals
    To truly take in the culture and vibe of a new city, be sure to mingle with the locals. People are what truly make up the soul of a city. Locals can give you the greatest insight into what’s worth doing in a city and what’s worth skipping.

    Visit Small Towns
    Big cities often draw us to a new destination but sometimes the smaller towns of a country offer just as much to experience. For example, while many travel to northern Italy to visit Rome and Milan – in southern Italy the lesser known town of Matera offers a chance to explore ancient Italy sans crowds. Check out all there is to do in Matera here.

    Put Down the Camera
    Don’t let the moments pass you by because you’re spending too much time trying to capture the moment. While bringing home photos to share and remember your wonderful trip by is a great idea, be sure to put the camera down every once in a while to truly take in the beautiful sights you’re seeing. You’d hate to get home and only be able to recall your trip through a camera lens!

    Relax
    Have you ever gotten home from vacation only to feel like you could really use another vacation? That’s what can happen when you spend your entire trip on the go. Take some time to relax and recharge, whether it’s lounging by the pool or sipping coffee at a local café. The quiet moments you take in could end up being some of your most treasured memories.

    Take a Cooking Class
    Nothing expresses a culture quite like its food. A cooking class allows you to experience a countries culinary palette in a whole new way. You’ll gain an appreciation for what goes into the local cooking, and as a bonus, you can take what you’ve learned home to remake and enjoy again and again.

    Purchase the Right Souvenir
    You’ll see so many souvenir options on your travels it can feel overwhelming to pick out just the right piece. With a little research you can find the perfect souvenir. If the city you’re visiting is known for something, try to match your souvenir to that. For example, why not purchase cooking oils in Italy or hand woven blankets in Mexico? When you’re home you’ll always be reminded of your trip.

    Where in the World?


    Where in the World July

    Where in the world can you find this magnificent temple?

    Answer:
    This is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha located in Thailand. Also called Wat Phra Kaew it is considered the most sacred temple of Buddha in Thailand.

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