This article is in collaboration with Luxury Retreats
Written by: Sheida
The mysterious Great Blue Hole, the “Go Slow” lifestyle and the affordable yet oh-so-stunning Belize vacation rentals is just three of the reasons why the fairly unknown state Belize (formerly British Honduras) is high on the list of mine and Yasmin’s top destinations to visit. Attention all Scandinavians: forget about Thailand, Bali or Mexico when booking your next tropical vacay and put Belize on your bucket list instead! We have listed three of the reasons why:
[✓] See one of the “most amazing places on earth”: The Blue Hole of Belize
The mysterious Great Blue Hole is a submarine sinkhole located at the Lighthouse reef, east of Belize city’s shoreline, and is said to be the most amazing out of all the “blue holes” in the world. It’s on several “most amazing places on earth” top lists, is a UNESCO world heritage site and is without a doubt one of Belize’s major attractions! Thousands of scuba divers from all around the world come to Belize for the soul purpose to dive in this 354 ft deep diving wonder! Since I’m not an expert on diving (and this clearly isn’t anything for beginners!), I would much rather experience the Blue Hole from above. Helicopter tours are very expensive but I’ve made my research and found out that a more affordable option is to charter a flight with Tropic Air. They have an hourly rental fee around $410/hr USD (for two-three persons) and will also give you a great view of the Blue Hole. How cool!
[✓] To live the “Go Slow” lifestyle
One of the reasons why we fell in love with Costa Rica (read our Costa Rica guide here) was because of the Pura Vida lifestyle – it was a trip focused on adventure, nature, well being and a chance to really de-stress from the hectic lifestyle back home. When I asked my friend Lilian (who backpacked in Central America a while ago) about her thoughts on Belize, she told me that Belize had a Jamaican vibe to it. Friendly, laid-back and very very chilled. The slogan of Caye Calker (the island that she visited) was actually “Go Slow” and everywhere spread across the island, signs with these words were put up to remember you about it. Lilian’s Belize itinerary consisted of snorkeling and doing sunset yoga by the beach – and judging from the photos, it looked pretty amazing! We can’t help but to think that if we liked Costa Rica, Belize would be a country in our taste as well.
[✓] Stay at a Luxury Villa – for the same price as your regular big city weekend hotel
Since both me and Yasmin prefer long term travelling and usually like to stay for a longer period in a city when we travel, finding a good place to rent is essential. Through the years we have become experts in finding the perfect apartments to rent that has made our travels unforgettable! Two months in Cannes with a private oasis in the middle of the city, a summer in Barcelona with a humungous roof top terrace overlooking Barrio Gótico, a dreamy studio in Marais, Paris with brick walls and the perfect adress – everything was easily fixed even before options like Airbnb were available! We Google translated our way through various Spanish and French forums where private persons rented out their homes and became skilled on finding the real treasures. We knew that the places where we stayed shaped our travels almost just as much as the people we met.
A travel trend that’s just getting bigger and bigger is to rent a villa and live together with your travel company. Nowadays, people want to be able to easily arrange nice dinners, parties and pool hang-outs – preferably in privacy.
Upscale vacation rental site
Luxury Retreats is an upscale vacation rental site, which actually Airbnb just bought in February this year. Aside from creating massive wanderlust cravings through their Instagram account, this site can actually come handy when traveling in countries that still are relatively cheap for tourists to travel and live in, such as the countries in Central America. So, if you are a bunch of friends travelling together and split the cost, it actually doesn’t cost more to live in these stunning retreats than the price/night at a middle class hotel in a big city like London or New York! Isn’t that crazy when you think about it! Treat yourself to a few nights in luxury, it’s worth it!
Example: The price for 3 nights in this dreamy beachfront oasis pictured below is $1900. When splitting between six persons it’s “only” $316/person!
What countries are on your bucket lists?
Costa Rica is ranked one of the most popular international destinations and having spent a couple of weeks there – we can clearly see why. Very few countries offer the same wide variety of activities, wilderness and scenery, and the locals’ hospitality and pura vida-attitude quickly puts a permanent smile on your face.
Santa Teresa is one of Costa Rica’s most visited destinations. The village is mostly known for its magical sunsets and amazing surfing, and those two alone are worth putting Santa Teresa on your roadmap. But the city is more than a surfer’s paradise. We can almost guarantee that there is something for everyone in this Central America located gem. The village is crowded of tourists during high season and the pulse is higher than in many other places in Costa Rica. Here are We are Nodes’ top 3 list of things to do in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica!
Banana Beach Restaurant
If Banana Beach Restaurant does not get you into vacation mode, nothing ever will. The beach club is one of the hot-spots in Santa Teresa, located next to the beach, and is perfect for both late night exotic dinners as well as chill day hangouts. Cool down under the palm trees while sipping on tropical drinks and watch surfers as they hit the waves.
Address: Villa Bonita Dr, Costa Rica
Phone: +506 2640 1117
Banana Beach Restaurant on Tripadvisor
Hotel Vista de Olas
If you are into infinity pools and extraordinary views, you need to put Hotel Vista de Olas on your list. The pool is open for both hotel guests and visitors (you pay an entrance fee of 16 dollars which can be used to purchase food and drinks). Lay back and enjoy the lounge music that gradually turns up during the day – and why not catch the sunset from this mountaintop hotel and restaurant. It’s going to leave you speechless!
The easiest way to get to Vista de Olas is to take a taxi there since it is located on top of a mountain a little outside of the city centre. Even though they serve food, the hotel is best suited for drinks and snacks – save your money for any of the restaurants in the city center instead.
Address: Vista de Olas, 160 5361, Costa Rica
Phone: +506 2640 0183
The amazing sunsets
“After a visit to the beach, it’s hard to believe that we live in a material world.”
When adding Santa Teresa’s spectacular sunsets to that beach experience, you could not agree more with the quote above. The famous sunsets are even more spectacular in real life. This is by far the best part about Santa Teresa, so we urge you to breathe in the atmosphere together with other travelers, surfers and locals.
Stay tuned for more travel tips in Costa Rica!