Chaa Creek Highlights The Rise Of Slow and Regenerative Travel in Belize For 2021

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The Lodge at Chaa Creek says the rise of Slow Travel and Regenerative Travel is a positive trend, holding benefits for the health of the environment, local communities, and travelers.

Chaa Creek's Ix Chel Rainforest Villas surrounded by green jungle and blue skies

Belize's The Lodge at Chaa Creek proves that luxury and sustainability can go hand in hand

The wellbeing of our country's natural environment, communities and health has always been a priority

Belize eco resort The Lodge at Chaa Creek is reporting a rising interest in luxury accommodations and services as travel restrictions begin easing in 2021.

Chaa Creek’s Managing Director, Bryony Fleming Bradley, has identified a trend that sees travelers seeking longer stays in scenic, fully serviced and secure natural settings.

“After the stresses of 2020, people need a break, and taking time to enjoy quality accommodations, amenities and services in a pristine rainforest environment is one of those travel experiences that’s becoming more attractive to a growing number of people,” Ms. Bradley said.

The global travel industry had been reporting an uptick in slow travel and regenerative travel in late 2020, and both trends are attracting more media attention as 2021 begins.

Travel Weekly defines slow travel, in part, as being “focused on single versus multiple destinations as those venturing out again first seek to avoid both potential points of contact as well as fast-changing border restrictions.”

A December 22, 2020 Condé Nast Traveler feature, “The Slow Travel Movement is Here to Stay,” describes how “In response to the pandemic, operators – and travelers – are adopting the principles of the movement.”

Similarly, a New York Times article, “Move Over, Sustainable Travel. Regenerative Travel Has Arrived,” called regenerative travel “the new buzz,” and highlights how New Zealand tourism is “measuring its success not solely in economic terms, but against the well-being of the country, considering nature, human health and community identities.”

Ms. Bradley explained how Belize and Chaa Creek have always been particularly well-suited to both trends.

“The wellbeing of our country's nature, communities and health has always been a priority that has grown alongside Belize’s tourism industry,” she said.

“Tourism really began here in the early 1980s, just as Belize became an independent nation, and from the start there was an emphasis on environmental and social sustainability that attracted international attention. And now that the focus is shifting from sustainable to regenerative travel, Belize and Chaa Creek are as relevant as ever.

“Also, for years now, Chaa Creek has been known as Belize’s ‘Destination within the Destination,’ due to the fact that people can enjoy a complete vacation right here and within the 400-acre private nature reserve that surrounds us. And with Chaa Creek Inland Expeditions, our in-house tours and transport division, combined with a nationwide network of resorts and travel professionals, we’re perfectly suited to the slow travel movement,” she said.

These and other features, such as Belize’s small size, the ability to control its borders, and its rigorous screening and safety protocols, including the Tourism Gold Standard certification program, are attracting travelers looking for safe, longer stays that support the natural environment as well as local people and communities.

“Families, couples, individuals and groups have been enquiring about flexibility of room layouts, dining options, tours and activities, discounts for longer stays, the ability to work from here, and other elements.

“Fortunately, Chaa Creek is able to satisfy almost all these requirements and requests. And with our range of suites and villas offering such a degree of luxury in an unspoiled natural setting, even the most discerning guests can enjoy the slowest of slow travel,” she added.

Chaa Creek’s Ix Chel Rainforest Villas and Tree Top Suites offer privacy, as well as easy access to the restaurant, lounge, pool, Hilltop Spa, stables, canoes and other amenities.

Complete with personal butlers and private pantries, the suites and villas feature beautifully appointed interiors and generous verandas with stunning rainforest and river views, private hot tubs, plunge pools, al fresco showers and barbecues.

Guests can choose to dine under the airy, huge thatched roof of the onsite Mariposa Restaurant, poolside, on their verandas, or in the comfort of their lodgings. Wherever they choose, the selections are robust and healthy, with farm-to-table dining courtesy of the resort’s Maya Organic Farm, and fresh Caribbean seafood from Belize’s unspoiled Caribbean waters.

Professional Spa services are also provided at the Hilltop Spa or in rooms.

“We offer our guests a secluded rainforest idyll, with options to move around whenever and however they like. With tropical gardens for leisurely strolling, miles of signposted trails running through 400-acres of forest alive with hundreds of bird species and other wildlife for guided or self-guided birding, nature walks, and horseback riding, nature is always just outside your door.

“Then there’s swimming or lounging around the ample infinity pool, canoeing the Macal River, visiting the onsite Belize Natural History Museum, Butterfly Farm, Maya Medicinal Trail, the Maya Organic Farm, ATV jungle safaris, river excursions, picnics in the shade of an ancient Maya temple and more.

“We’ve always balanced relaxation with adventure, giving guests opportunities to do as much or as little as they like, and at their own pace. And with complimentary WiFi, and a quiet, full-service conference centre, some guests opt to stay connected and continue working while here - giving work from home an entirely new meaning,” Ms Bradley said.

By speaking with their travel agents or contacting Chaa Creek directly, people can arrange to text-chat or speak with one of Chaa Creek vacation planners, who are on hand to answer questions and help arrange bespoke vacations that are built around personal preferences, requirements and interests, she added.

“Whether for short or longer stays, to experience Belize or even explore it as a retirement option, our visitors can be assured that, from the moment we greet them at the international airport until we drop them back, they’ll enjoy a safe, healthy visit that benefits Belize’s environment and local communities.

“That’s a promise Chaa Creek has been fulfilling for forty years,” Ms Bradley said.

The Lodge at Chaa Creek is a multi-award winning eco resort set within a 400-acre private nature reserve along the banks of the Macal River in Belize. It was recognised by National Geographic with first place honours at the 2017 World Legacy Awards held in Berlin.

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Mark Langan
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