A meeting of countries with diverse experiences united by Mayan culture
There’s no doubt that Central America is a region of indescribable beauty, exuberant nature, rich contemporary and ancestral cultures and much to be discovered. Guatemala and Belize, the two northernmost countries in the region, are indeed an invitation to curious explorers who like to discover places and uncharted stories. Guatemala and Belize are certainly a diverse country combination for a journey as they offer a bit of everything.
Though small, both countries deserve individual, lengthy visits so that travelers can get the opportunity to connect with the local people and enjoy all kinds of activities – from trekking up a volcano to relaxing on a heavenly beach. But, according to Jimmy Rogers, CEO of Maya Trails, a REMOTE Community Member and Local Expert dedicated to creating authentic and personalized travel solutions in Guatemala, Belize and Honduras, “what people usually want is the mix of Guatemala and Belize. I can say that 80% of our business is always Guatemala connected with Belize.”
In his last Virtual Experience (available to REMOTERS on the REMOTE Hub), Jimmy invited us to ‘Escape the Usual’ by visiting Guatemala and Belize beyond the basics: “Belize is just known for its beaches and scuba diving, but in the adventure capital of the country, San Ignacio, you have many Mayan sites, adventures, you have the culture, the Mayan women…” On the border of Guatemala, the Cayo district is, in fact, all about inland adventure. The massive jungle, dotted with caves, rivers and waterfalls, holds an array of experiences such as mountain biking, kayaking, caving, hiking and horseback riding. There are also magnificent Mayan ruins to be visited before heading to the bright blue waters and cayes of Belize.
In Guatemala, 60% of the population is indigenous and they maintain their traditions. The country is also home to 33 volcanoes, three of which are active, and, according to Jimmy, we can hike them all! Guatemala has experiences for everyone, from solo adventurers to families. The country is known as “the heart of the Mayan world” and “the land of the eternal spring.” Travelers will certainly agree with these nicknames after a visit. Unique and remote experiences are part of Maya Trail’s purpose. They include glamping in Mayan ruins and volcanoes, flying over the Mayan highlands and the virgin jungle in a helicopter, having cooking classes with local families and visiting off-the-beaten-path attractions like Holmul and El Mirador.
How to combine Guatemala and Belize
Though it has coastal regions on two oceans, Guatemala is not known as a beach destination. That’s the main reason for associating it with Belize. “The best way to connect Guatemala with Belize is by flying to Guatemala City, visiting the highlands and the lowlands, heading north to the Petén region and across into Belize,” explains Jimmy Rogers.
Travelers can either drive or fly to Belize and there are also opportunities for day trips. But I hope we’ve convinced you that these countries deserve more time and dedication. According to Jimmy, “most of our guests start off in Guatemala, they get the full adventure warm-up and then end in Belize, where they visit the country’s adventure capital and then go off and relax in the beach region.”
Get inspired by watching the movie “Guatemala: Heart of the Mayan World” on Netflix!