Dreaming of Sun, Sand and Beaches – A Belize Family Vacation Travel Series

This is #1 in the Belize Family Vacation Travel Series


Today’s post was initially going to be about snow fun. Yep, snow fun is a family favorite – sledding, skiing, skating, snowshoeing, snow ball fights. We enjoy them all. Yet, as I sat down to write this post, I looked out my window at the latest dump of that white fluffy stuff practically burying our car. Before I knew it, my mind began to wander. 

Snow storm Pennsylvania

Warmth. Beach. Sun. Blue sky. It was if my fingers had minds of their own! When I was supposed to be searching my photo inventory for our last snowy adventure, my fingers diverted to photos of beaches, sunny days, and an oh-so-fun family vacation to Belize one January not so long ago.

Jaguar Reef

So hey, I’m going with that today! I think we could all enjoy a little bit of sunshine and warmth, right? Join me as I reminisce about balmy days gone by in beautiful Belize.

Beautiful Beginnings – A Family Vacation In Belize

Belize has something to offer nearly every level of adventurer. Vacationers to Belize can explore Mayan ruins, snorkel or scuba dive along coral reefs, build sand castles on sun warmed beaches, kayak along the ocean shore, hike through rainforests, cave tube through Mayan ruins or zipline above the tree tops. Perhaps even meet a local resident monkey or two along the way. And often all within the same day.

Belize Airports

So come along with us as we explore beautiful Belize. First stop – our home for the week.

Jaguar Reef Lodge – Our Home Away From Home

From beach front luxury resorts to jungle cabins nestled along rivers, Belize offers accommodations to please most travelers’ needs and budgets. Jaguar Reef Lodge, an ocean front resort just outside Hopkins, Belize, happened to be our choice. It was a little off the beaten path, but that was part of it’s charm for us. 

Where is Jaguar Reef Lodge

Admittedly, it was an adventure just getting to the Lodge, but it was one well worth the effort. Really, what’s better than a beach front oasis, especially when it looks like this?

Our Ocean Front Suite – Just Perfect!

What more could a family of four ask for? Our two bedroom suite was located just steps from the resort pool, and just beyond that was the ocean. So of course, within minutes of our arrival, swimsuits were unpacked and flip flops replaced sneakers. Hey, we’ve got miles of sand and surf right outside our front door, just waiting to be explored!

Jaguar Reef Hopkins

But first, a quick jump in the pool. Last one in buys dinner! Oh, yeah. That’s me.

Thanks to our ocean front suite, everything needed for a sublime day at the beach was close at hand. Seriously. Everything. Kayaks. Snorkel gear. Sail boat. Pools. Hammocks. Oh, except perhaps a book. You supply the reading material.

Where Beach-Side Adventures Rule The Day

Jaguar Reef Lodge proved to be an ideal location to begin each day of our Belize vacation, as well as a welcome, relaxing retreat at the end of a day full of adventures.

It’s where sand castles reigned supreme and brother buried brother in piles of clean, fine, sun-kissed sand. Don’t worry, no children were left behind!

Belize Beach

It’s where hammocks ruled the day, and drinking from fresh coconuts was a most welcome afternoon treat. A most yummy treat indeed!

Relax in Belize

It’s where snorkeling in warm ocean waters was as easy as putting mask and fins on and walking into the warm ocean. Or jumping off the docks for a refreshing swim.

Belize Snorkeling

It’s where an afternoon of snorkeling revealed a bounty of ocean beauty – starfish and snails, a conch shell too. Handle with care! Each living creature was carefully returned to it’s natural habitat shortly after discovery.

Adventures in Belize

It’s where young boys discover a love for ocean kayaking, with a little help from Dad. And a little beach side coaching from Mom.

Ocean Kayaking

Best of all, Jaguar Reef Lodge was where our family began and ended each adventure packed day in Belize. We couldn’t have asked for a better location from which to base our daily adventures.

A Family Vacation In Belize Comes to a Close

Sadly, the time came too soon to pack our bags and begin the trek back to our cold, northern home. But not before one final sunset dip in the nearby ocean front infinity pool. Can you tell where the pool ends and the ocean begins?

Family vacations in Belize

Good bye Jaguar Reef Lodge and Belize. We sure hope to return again one day.

Five Favorite Reasons To Stay At Jaguar Reef Lodge

As with most travel destinations, there are pros and cons. I thought I’d share with you this family’s Top Five favorite reasons for staying at Jaguar Reef Lodge. Perhaps it will help you decide whether or not Jaguar Reef Lodge is right for your own Belize vacation.Tripadvisor

  • An amazing ocean front oasis right outside our door.
  • The friendly and helpful people at Jaguar Reef Lodge.
  • No crowds. Really!
  • The two-bedroom villa. Sweet respite for a family.
  • The wide variety of adventures available at the resort, and the tour guides that led them.
  • Mayan Ruins adventures – more on this in a later post!

Oops! That was six, if you are counting. You don’t have to just take my word about Jaguar Reef Lodge. Check out what others are saying at TripAdvisor. Jaguar Reef Lodge has been awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence two years in a row.

What Would We Do Different?

Many Belize vacationers split their lodging between jungle and beach. Since we were traveling with children, we opted to base all our adventures from Jaguar Reef Lodge. Our kids are now older and able to carry their own load. If we are fortunate enough to again travel to Belize, we would shorten our stay at Jaguar Reef Lodge, and add several days at a jungle lodge outside San Ignacio. We loved Jaguar Reef Lodge, however we would like to also have that jungle experience that just wasn’t “there” at the lodge.

What Travel Destination Are You Dreaming About?

Are you dreaming of a lush, warm winter escape, like I am? Though it has been several years since our Belize adventures, it remains a family favorite and Jaguar Reef Lodge remains a destination we hope to return to again one day soon. There is so much more to explore than what one week will allow!

Have you been to Belize? What was your experience? Did you have as much fun as we did? Do you have a dream destination you are dreaming about? Share in the Comments section below.


Don’t miss the other posts in A Belize Family Vacation Travel Series:

Quick facts about Belize:

  • Belize is located in Central America, just south of Mexico, and east of Guatemala.
  • The Caribbean Sea warms the eastern shoreline.
  • The average year round temperature is 84 degrees.
  • The first people to settle Belize were the Mayans.
  • The official language spoken is English, but Kriol is also widely spoken.


Images from C.Biederman and Jaguar Reef Lodge (first beach photo).


  1. says

    Carol, I would love to go Belize, it looks beautiful and fun! Especially after all the snow we have been receiving here in the Northweast this year. I did not realize where it actually was til I read this. I had a cousin just recently post on FB about her vacation there and I wondered where it waas. Thanks for sharing the warmth with us!

    • carolbiederman says

      Hi Lisa, Belize is an amazing place to visit, and I sure hope you get the chance to do so. And yes, especially after this winter in t he Northeast! My kids have hardly been in school the past two weeks because of ice storms and snow storms.

      I will be posting more about our Belize adventures, so stay tuned!
      Happy Monday!

      PS … watch out for the latest storm blowing through tonight! Another 2-4 inches for us!

    • carolbiederman says

      Hi Lisa, hoping you didn’t get too much out of this latest storm! We dodged a bullet – only 3-4 inches and a two hour school delay. Sure hope that’s it!
      Hope you’re having a great week!

  2. says

    Hi Carol,

    Came over from Corina’s “I’m Every woman” and glad I did. I feel like I just enjoyed a short virtual vacation lol.

    Having so much snow here in the North East, it just makes me want to book a ticket to Belize! I’m the type that would be on the beach rather the jungle. (City gal at heart with no guts for nature lol)

    I’ve known folks who have traveled there and say it is amazing. Unfortunately, there is no time for vacation during the next few months because business is booming and I just have to take care of that baby!

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful pics!

    donna merrill recently posted..Getting My Product LiveMy Profile

    • carolbiederman says

      Hi Donna, thanks for stopping by! I’m also in the North East, and I’m ready for all this white stuff to take a hike! And considering I’m normally a fan of winter activities, that’s saying a lot. My kids have now had 10 snow days, and with me working from home, it’s killing my productivity!
      I sure hope you get the opportunity to visit Belize. The beaches are awesome. I’d say this time next year is a good time to go … when you’re sick and tired of the snow! We went in the end of January, and it was perfect timing. Came back refreshed and ready to take on that last bit of winter.

      Here’s hoping we’ve seen the last of ole’ man winter this year! Stay warm!

  3. says

    Hi Carol!

    Those pictures are beautiful. I would not want to leave a place like that. I get the beach life bug when we come down to Galveston for the weekend!

    Texas hasn’t been that cold but it’s cold enough to dream of a vacation like this. It looks like the family had a lot of fum .

    Makes me want to book a getaway! Thanks for the warm thoughts :). Happy Wednesday! So glad you joined the party this week!
    Corina Ramos recently posted..It’s A Samsung Galaxy Tablet #GiveawayMy Profile

    • carolbiederman says

      Hi Corina, Thanks! We didn’t want to leave! I was so enamored I wanted to buy a house right then and there, and just stay. But alas, I came to my senses and got on that plane to come home. :( We are planning to return again, perhaps next year if all falls into place.

      Hope you are able to get away on your own vacation. I’m skipping town in one month. I so need to get out of this cold mess!

    • carolbiederman says

      Hi Corinne, thanks for the kind words. It really was an awesome vacation. I can’t wait to go back … one day!

    • carolbiederman says

      Hi Bren, thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed … hope I was able to add some warmth into your day.
      Happy Friday!

  4. says

    We were just watching Belize being featured on House Hunters International. It looked like not only a great place to visit on vacation but to live as well. The house were beautiful and so were the views! A little piece of heaven …
    Arelis Cintron recently posted..Genesis 5My Profile

    • carolbiederman says

      HI Arelis, I think I’ve seen the same episode on House Hunters! Love that show. And I so want to retire in Belize. I’d go now but somehow I think my spouse is not quite ready for it, nor my high schooler. Then there’s that “minor detail” about needing to have an income. One day … I can dream!

  5. says

    A family vacation in Belize? Wow! That would be totally awesome. We can experience everything from cool to hot places like these amazing beaches. Oh, I just can imagine my kids running the beach and have a good time with smiles and laughter on their faces. Well I get to have a romantic and quality time with my husband there too just sitting on the white sand and looking at the sunset. I just can’t wait to plan a trip in Belize soon and experience the beauty of life. Thanks for sharing!

    • carolbiederman says

      Hi Joseff … I’m sure your family will love Belize. I sure hope you get the chance to go there. There’s something for practically everyone, and adventures for practically every travel style, Enjoy!

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