Secluded Spa Retreat in 1,000-Acre Jungle
Maruba Resort Jungle Spa is set on 1,000 acres of rainforest in a remote corner of Belize. Everywhere you look, you’ll notice how the resort draws inspiration from its tropical surroundings and pays tribute to Mayan, Creole, and African traditions. Carved masks line the walls and fresh hibiscus blossoms dot the footpaths.
Described as "decadent, sensual, and exotic” by Frommer's, the spa is Maruba's signature attraction. With this getaway, each adult is entitled to a 30-minute aromatherapy massage. Afterward, guests can take a dip in the steaming mineral pool or dive into the main pool, which is fed by a waterfall.
Guest rooms are connected by winding cobblestone walkways through dense palms. Although the jungle never feels far away at the resort, a rainforest safari hike takes visitors even deeper in. During hikes, a guide slashes a path through the undergrowth with a machete and points out some of the forest's medicinal plants.
Maskall Village, Belize: Dense Rainforests near Ancient Ruins
Though it's hidden in a rural corner of Belize, the resort lies only a few kilometers from one of the country's most famous attractions: Altun Ha. This archeological site's iconic stepped pyramids appear on Belizean banknotes as well as on the label of Belikin beer, a local brew.
Farther south, Belize City forms a gateway to nearby islands, such as Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. These keys are surrounded by the Belize Barrier Reef, part of the second-longest stretch of coral in the world. Popular dive sites include shark-ray alley, where stingrays up to 4 feet wide glide between nurse sharks, which are harmless because they've taken the Hippocratic oath.