Destination Wellness: Belizean Bliss

Known as British Honduras until 1973, Belize didn’t achieve full independence until 1981. Today, this Central American country bordered by Mexico, Guatemala, and the Caribbean Sea is a popular destination among Americans thanks to its access to both jungle and sea. It also doesn’t hurt that English is the official language and the U.S. dollar is readily accepted. While nature certainly provides its share of health and wellness benefits, Belize is also home to a number of impressive spas that draw on the country’s diverse natural setting, rich culture, and healing traditions.

Outdoor treatments can be arranged at The Hilltop Spa at Chaa Creek (San Ignacio)

In Western Belize, adventure reigns supreme. There, thrill-seeking visitors can take part in a host of activities, such as exploring ancient Mayan ruins, canoeing, or tubing through the area’s incredible caves. The Lodge at Chaa Creek (San Ignacio), an eco-friendly jungle resort set along the Macal River, serves as a perfect base for adventure. More relaxing pursuits can be had at The Hilltop Spa at Chaa Creek, which welcomes guests with a menu of soothing treatments that can be enjoyed al fresco. Helping to prepare guests for the blissful experience to come is the picturesque trail they take to get there. The four-treatment-room hilltop spa overlooks the Maya Mountains and the rainforest. An alfresco Massage Palapa can also be used for meditation. From the Caribbean Cloud Nine Massage ($120, 90 minutes), featuring a soothing neck, head, and face massage, to the Invigorating Rainforest Massage ($95, 60 minutes), which is personalized to reduce tension and soothe tired muscles, the menu offers a variety of services relying on products from Pevonia. An oasis in the Belizean jungle, the spa provides guests with the healing power of nature.

One of the five treatment suites at Naia Spa (Placencia)

Located on the coast, Placencia is home to Naia Resort and Spa, a seaside gem with an enchanting spa. Naia Spa features five individual treatment suites and one couples’ suite spread out over lily-covered lagoons and connected by a series of footbridges. The 10,000-square-foot retreat comes complete with a fully equipped fitness center, a stunning Yoga and Movement Studio with an idyllic view of a freshwater lagoon and a lush tangle of palms, and a waterside open-air spa café called Reflections. A peaceful paradise where guests can truly disconnect, the spa offers a number of tropical-inspired treatments, such as the Sweet Coconut Scrub ($105, 60 minutes), which connects guests to the ancient traditions of Naia’s neighbors, the Garinagu people, with a scrub incorporating pure coconut pulp blended with coconut oil and brown sugar, and Sun Quenched Clay ($115, 60 minutes; $140, 90 minutes), a detoxifying body treatment relying on golden clay collected from the Toledo region of Belize, grated by hand, washed with rainwater, and dried in the sun. Thanks to its idyllic setting and intoxicating treatments, Naia Spa serves as the ultimate hidden sanctuary for self-care, healing, and renewal.

The Spa Pier at Victoria House Spa (Ambergris Caye)

Located on Belize’s largest and most popular caye, Victoria House Resort & Spa (Ambergris Caye) is an inviting boutique resort that charms guests with its Caribbean-colonial style and stunning beachfront setting. It is also home to Victoria House Spa, a 3,500-square-foot haven nestled among coconut palms and bougainvillea. The spa has four treatment rooms, three of which feature French doors that open to a private courtyard, and a 500-square-foot fully equipped fitness center. On the menu, guests will find a wide range of options, many of which rely on Ilike Organic Skin Care. For more adventurous spa-goers, there is Acupuncture ($90, 60 minutes); Arvigo Maya Abdominal Therapy ($110, 60 minutes; $160, 90 minutes); Vedic Thai Table Massage (starting at $90, 45 minutes); Energy Healing Massage ($120, 60 minutes; $160, 90 minutes), and Champissage ($110, 60 minutes, $145, 90 minutes), an Indian head massage. The spa also offers handmade scrubs and wraps, incorporating ingredients such as aloe vera, cacao, coconut oil, coffee, cucumber, honey, and yogurt. What’s more, guests can also experience a massage in an overwater bungalow called the Spa Pier, with the sounds of waves lapping below. It’s the ultimate island indulgence.



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