1. No language lessons needed. Most Belize citizens are tri-lingual, with English being the most often-spoken. That said, you can still practice your Spanish skills when you visit.
2. Getting around is a breeze. With a population of 35 people per square mile, you won’t have to dodge traffic. Major highways are nicely paved, and you won’t find a safer place for bike rides than Belize.
3. Take a holiday from crowds. Even the most popular tourist months won’t leave you feeling claustrophobic. Come during low season when the only thing sparser than crowds are affordable resort price drops!
4. Celebrate more airline routes. Southwest Airlines’ new route is bound to make travelers happy in 2016. Who knows if the year ahead will attract more carriers given Belize’s growing reputation?
5. Leave your calculator home. The U.S.-to-Belize dollar conversion rate is $1 USD to $2 BZD, but since most businesses take U.S. currency, you might not have to remember it!
6. Your “to do” list could get longer in 2016. Archaeologists are always undertaking new Mayan excavation sites and if you haven’t visited all of Belize’s seven World Heritage sites, make a decision to complete the list.
7. Expect to smile a lot. If the world ranked nations by the number of friendly smiles, spontaneous greetings and offers of help, there’s no question that Belize would be at the top of the list in 2016 and beyond.
8. Nobody will judge you! Do exactly as you please here without making apologies or excuses to anyone (unless you’re not traveling alone!). Set a new hammock time record. Eat a dish you love repeatedly. You’re safe. The judgement police never visit.
9. Focus on the Belize social scene in 2016 to understand why frequent visitors say there’s no equal to the non-stop number of parties, celebrations and special occasions throughout Belize, where you couldn’t get bored if you tried.
10. Discover a new lodging experience by choosing the tiny private island of Turneffe where the island’s resort promises incomparable privacy and intimacy. If you have never known sheer bliss courtesy of gorgeous accommodations in the middle of an ocean, what are you waiting for?
11. Learn about Belize’s craft scene. The number of cottage industries producing unique, one-of-a-kind dolls, carvings, clothing, drums and souvenirs expands annually, so the gifts you bring home will be unique.
12. Indulge in different cuisine every night. Try world-class vegetarian restaurants, fancy seafood emporiums or frequent street vendors serving savory rice, beans and stew. You can’t leave without trying hudut by the way…
13. Leonardo diCaprio’s eco-resort is still in the planning stages, but if you repair to Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn restaurant, you can order as many Hibiscus Punch cocktails as you like when you visit.
14. Channel your inner sommelier. Taste Belize’s local beverages, particularly wines made of cashew, rice, starfruit and other locally grown produce. Belize moonshine is potent, too.
15. Get two or three additional passport stamps in 2016. Proximity to Honduras, Guatemala and even Mexico is so close to Belize, tour guides will bring you and your photos back to your lodgings by nightfall.
16. Meet ex-pats to find out why people come to Belize and don’t leave! Discover government tax breaks that incentivize North Americans to move here. Where to find an ex-pat? Swivel your bar stool.
17. Earn an unofficial degree in Belize culture by touring cultural sites like a Garifuna village. Ask the people you meet about their families, lifestyles and histories.
18. Search for endangered species like jaguars and manatees—or hundreds of bird species. If this isn’t your cup of tea, you can sleep until noon and catch the wildlife that is Belize’s clubbing and music scenes.
19. Treat yourself to a once-of-a-kind spa experience. From deep tissue massages to honey and sugar body scrubs, you really won’t want to leave. Ever.
20. Visit Belize’s howler monkey community to celebrate the start of the Year of the Monkey, according to Chinese astrology, on February 8, 2016. Their habitat is a perfect place to “scream in” the New Year!