Archive for the ‘Belize’ Category

Travel Beyond Featured in Gear Patrol Magazine

Posted January 29th, 2013 by Molly Demmer

Travel Beyond was recently featured in a Gear Patrol article about exploring Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave (also called ATM Cave) in Belize. Read the article, watch the video or learn more about Belize.

Immaculate Tomb: Exploring Actun Tunichil Muknal

ATM Cave Video

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The end is near?

Posted October 16th, 2012 by Molly Demmer

The real story behind the December 21 conclusion of the Mayan calendar

Written by Kim Bercaw

Most of us have heard some rumblings about the fast approaching conclusion of the Mayan calendar. The precise timing of this occurrence is debatable, but December 21, 2012 is generally accepted as “the big day.” (This is obviously for PR purposes. You can’t promote the end of the world unless you have an exact date, for heaven’s sake!) There’s certainly no shortage of news reports and “expert opinions” on the subject, but no one can seem to agree on specifics. Here’s what popped up on four different sites when I Googled it:

  • Widespread and frequent severe weather events will occur including (but not limited to) tsunamis, tornadoes, volcanoes, earthquakes and toxic gasses seeping from large cracks in the Earth.
  • A complete shift in the Earth’s magnetic field will occur, resulting in cell phone incapacitation, worldwide chaos and billions of dead birds and fish. (?!)
  • Generalized and unexplained panic will ensue, resulting in global war and the end of civilization as we know it.
  • Aliens will drop down from space and take over the world.

Though the claims sound ridiculous, I’d be remiss not to at least ask the question…  Should I put the skids on my pre-holiday Belize trip and invest in a 7,000-watt propane generator instead? Or, more realistically, should I stick close to home, just in case?

In a word… No.

The truth is, the people who’ve been making these disturbing predictions aren’t real experts on the subject and, coincidentally, none of them are even remotely Mayan.

Carlos Barrios, a historian, anthropologist, investigator, spiritual leader and ceremonial priest of the Guatemalan Eagle Clan IS Mayan. He also happens to be a respected authority on the Mayan Calendar. Here’s what he has to say about the matter:

“Anthropologists from around the world visit our temple sites. They read the stelas and inscriptions and make up stories about the Maya, but they do not read the signs correctly. Other people write about prophecy in the name of the Maya. They say the world will end in December 2012. The Mayan elders are angry with this. The indigenous have the calendars, and know how to accurately interpret it, not others.”

According to Mr. Barrios, December 21 doesn’t signify an end as much as it does a beginning. It marks the start of a new era. A “rebirth” of the Earth, so to speak. According to the prophesies of his ancestors, this rebirth won’t happen overnight. It could take decades. And, most importantly, it’s a GOOD thing. So if you’re wary of all the speculation out there right now, rest assured– you don’t need to lock away your passport because of it.

According to the NASA’s official website, “Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. Nothing bad will happen to the Earth at this time. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.”

More encouragement for the travel-leery can be found on the U.S. State Department website. Or NOT found, rather. The site, which routinely posts comprehensive lists of travel advisories for American citizens, bears no mention of December 21, 2012 or the Mayan Calendar.

So this December 21, I’ve decided to raise a glass and celebrate the possibility of better things to come. And I’m hoping to do it in an exotic locale. (Not to brag or anything, but this plan beats the pants off building a Spam can tower in a concrete bunker somewhere.)

If you happen to be considering a December trip, or have another month in mind, our Travel Beyond consultants would love to help. They’re trained to assist you with every detail, and they can pretty much guarantee your flight won’t be cancelled due to an alien invasion.

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Belize: Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret

Posted May 5th, 2011 by Molly Demmer

Written by Jayme Madson and Molly Demmer for Tonka Times Magazine.

Belize Coral Reefs

In many ways, the small country of Belize is much like Minnesota in the spring. I make this comparison not because of the weather (average highs are in the upper 80s in Belize in May), but rather because Belize and springtime in Minnesota have something big in common: potential. Just as the Twins are emerging from baseball’s winter hibernation and tulips are emerging from the thawing ground, Belize is emerging as one of Mother Nature’s best kept secrets and an incredible travel destination.

Belize in particular offers a travel experience unlike anywhere else in the world, where visitors have the opportunity to enjoy three very unique destinations (and an abundance of activities) in one visit. Mountains? Check. Rainforest? Check. Beach? Check. Belize has it all. Here’s why…

Vast Private Reserves & Protected Wilderness

Imagine spending your vacation exploring private reserves and nationally protected wilderness areas in a country where 40% of land is protected from development. Deep within are the ruins of ancient Maya civilizations, lush tropical rainforests, flowing rivers, vast mountain ranges, immense cave systems, and the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere. All of which provides a home for some of the most unique wildlife on Earth, including the elusive jaguar whose last refuge in the Americas is this protected land. So when we say that Belize is Mother Nature’s best kept secret, we mean it.

Maya Ruins in Belize (Belize Lodge & Excursions)

Ancient Maya Civilizations

The foothills of the Maya Mountains in Belize were once home to ancient Maya civilizations, some of which date back as far as 2,000 B.C. As part of a visit to Belize, guests will journey into these foothills with a local Maya guide. During their exploration, guests will not only tour remote archaeological sites, but also learn about the culture and history of the Maya people. A visit to one of the many thriving Maya villages in the area will also provide a rare opportunity to see the interaction between modern life and ancient culture, language and tradition.

Kayaking in Belize

Lush Tropical Rainforest

Linking the foothills of the Maya Mountains to the clear waters of the Caribbean is a lush tropical rainforest. Flowing through the heart of the rainforest is the Golden Stream. A canoe or kayak trip down the stream affords visitors with an opportunity to glide peacefully through the jungle while enjoying the sites of colorful flora and the sounds of tropical birds and monkeys swinging from tree to tree.

Beach in Belize

Island Paradise

Let’s face it, part of the reason most of us vacation to exotic locales is to disconnect from the “real world” and simply relax. While there are plenty of opportunities for while exploring ruins and rainforests in Belize, nothing says vacation and relaxation like a quiet beach, endless sunshine and the sound of gentle waves lulling you to sleep.

Compared to the many busy tourism hubs scattered throughout the Caribbean, Belize offers a one-of-a-kind beach getaway without the crowds. With an entirely new ecosystem to explore, visitors to any of Belize’s islands, called cayes (and pronounced keys), can enjoy some of the world’s best snorkeling and diving during full-day expeditions to the Great Belize Barrier Reef. Visitors to Ambergris Caye, Belize’s most popular beach spot, can explore the quaint town of San Pedro by foot, bicycle or golf cart, the most common way to get around town. Or, if you prefer a more leisurely beach experience, spend your days lounging on the beach of one of the many boutique hotels that dot Ambergris Caye’s shores.

For more information

Whether you’re interested in adventure, exploration or relaxation, southern Belize has it all. Contact us to learn more about Belize or visit our Belize collection.

Belize Jungle

Top Five Reasons to Visit Belize

1. Unique experiences: Diverse wildlife, unique cultural experiences, and unparalleled adventure abound in Belize.

2. Diverse Flora and Fauna: Belize’s wide range of climates and habitats, low human population and vast areas of undistributed land provide an ideal home for more than 5,000 plant species of plants, and hundreds of species of animals.

3. Mouth-watering cuisine: The unique mix of Maya, Kriol, Garinagu, Mestizo and British influences in Belize have inspired mouth-watering cuisine that is a “must try” experience in itself.

4. Customizable Adventure: Whether you’re looking to plan your next family get-away, intergenerational trip or your honeymoon, the Trans Habitat Experience in southern Belize can be customized to fit your unique tastes and travel preferences.

5. The happiest people on Earth: Known as one of the happiest and peaceful countries in the world, travelers to Belize are greeted by friendly faces at every turn.

Posted in Belize, Tonka Times | 1 Comment »