Resort with Waterfront Cabanas on Private Caribbean Island
The Belize Barrier Reef is the second-longest reef in the world, and it’s dotted with hundreds of islands, or cays, just off the coast of Belize. If you look out from the mainland, you can identify these tiny islands by their clusters of towering palm trees. The Yok Ha Resort enjoys one of these Caribbean enclaves all to itself 8 miles from the shore. Set on a private 3-acre island called Waterfoot Cay, the resort has exclusive access to some of the best snorkeling, fishing, and scuba diving in the world. And a short boat ride away is Dangriga, the cultural capital of Belize.
Yok Ha Resort consists of five brightly colored cabanas scattered along the edge of the Caribbean Sea: one is red with yellow trim, another is fuchsia, and a royal-blue one opens onto a yellow-and-orange porch. The resort’s most secluded cabana, Loa—or “beautiful lady”—is ideal for couples: its private deck hangs above water, creating a sheltered swimming cove, and the outdoor shower is sheltered by the island’s lush vegetation. The Chaac deluxe cabana also has stunning ocean views; the oceanfront standard rooms, meanwhile, have private verandas and exotic furnishings.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the island’s beautiful tropical scenery. You can hop into one of the complimentary kayaks and paddle out to the neighboring islands, or you can rent scuba gear from the onsite dive shop and explore the offshore coral reefs. The resort also offers a number of half- or full-day tours—one takes you to Belize’s famous jaguar preserve, which also has howler monkeys and pumas. Back at the resort, Chief’s Place serves complimentary meals, including three-course dinners with fresh-seafood specials, and it’s situated right over the water.
Stann Creek, Belize: Wildlife Sanctuaries and World-Renowned Scuba Diving
Waterfoot Cay is one of the many islands located off the coast of Belize, sitting 8 miles from the mainland. Stann Creek is situated at the heart of the country’s central region, the second-largest district in Belize and one of its top tourist destinations. The Mayans occupied this region as early as AD 250, and its interior landscape is still strewn with impressive ancient ruins set against the Maya Mountains. The mountains’ forested foothills and towering waterfalls give way to other splendid scenery.
The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is the world’s first jaguar reserve and host to other large cats, including pumas and margays. There are also hiking, river-tubing, and bird-watching opportunities here.
Miles of beautiful sandy beaches line the coastline of Stann Creek, a popular destination for snorkeling and scuba diving. The Belize Barrier Reef—the second-longest reef in the world—runs the length of the coastline, and eagle rays, octopuses, dolphins, and sharks are just some of the creatures that inhabit its cays and atolls. From the shore, you can walk to Dangriga, the capital of the Stann Creek District and the historical home of the Garifuna people. The coastal town is still devoted to its Afro-Caribbean heritage; residents communicate with their ancestors through dancing and drumming circles.
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