After winning an impressive four gold medals and one bronze medals at the recent Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, American gymnast and member of the Final Five announced that she would soon be heading to her ancestral homeland of Belize for a vacation in order to relax and unwind after all the excitement. Biles, whose stirring story of overcoming childhood adversity, is partly of Belizean descent and has visited the country before to vacation and connect with her extended family.
On her upcoming vacation to Belize, the staff of Banyan Bay recommend that she make the most of her time in this wonderful country. Here are five suggestions for Biles or any visitor to experience the best of Belize:
1 – Snorkel the Barrier Reef
Even beginning swimmers can enjoy the kaleidoscope of colorful marine life that inhabit the crystal clear waters of the Belize Barrier Reef.
2 – Visit a Maya Ruin
The country now known today as Belize was once the heartland of the Ancient Maya Empire. For more than 2,000 years, the impressive Maya civilization dominated the landscape, constructing soaring temples before abandoning most of them a millennia ago. Today, visitors can explore the re-discovered ruins of these cities like Xunantunich, Altun Ha, Caracol, and Lamanai and marvel at the architectural might of the Maya.
3 – Visit the Belize Zoo
First established in 1983 as a sanctuary to rescue animals that had been abused or abandoned by movie makers, today the Belize Zoo and Educational Center is a 29-acre nature preserve that showcases the glory of the country’s flora and fauna.
4 – Go Cave Tubing
All over the world, people enjoy riding inner tubes down lazy rivers, but only in Belize can visitors ride a river through miles of subterranean caverns once used by the Ancient Maya to conduct some of their most sacred religious rites.
5 – Go Zip Lining
The rain forests and jungles of Belize are a wonderland of monkeys, plants, and mammals, but there is a completely separate biosphere high up in the canopy of the enormous trees. Visitors can zip line through the jungle for hundreds of feet, enjoying a spectacular view of the upper layers of the forest that few humans ever get to see.
Having already visited Ambergris Caye in 2015 for her brother’s wedding, Simone Biles already knows the many wonders of Belize’s largest island. Whether it’s ambling through the colorful historic district of San Pedro or heading out for a scuba diving adventure in the nearby Hol Chan Nature Reserve, there’s always plenty to do and see in Ambergris Caye.
To make the most of her vacation in Belize, we recommend staying at the Villas of Banyan Bay. A multiple-award winning luxury resort and perennial top-ranked destination by TripAdvisor, Banyan Bay offers guests an unparalleled beachfront experience with the island’s best restaurant, an infinity pool, and gorgeously-appointed villas.