by Danielle Walters & Victoria Joyce

Venture just a touch further south and arrive at beautiful Belize, on the far side of the Yucatan Peninsula, bordering Mexico and Guatemala. You will fall in love with this cozy, cool country, and barely twice the size of LA County. Miles of craggly coastline once favored by ye olde pirates and dotted with dozens of islands (Leo DiCaprio’s got one) you can lie on beautiful beaches, swim, snorkel or go inland to winding rivers and the lush untouched Rain Forest with more Mayan ruins than you can shake a maraca at.

Check into the beautiful Ka’ana Resort, named for a Mayan Princess and located on the interior of Belize, near the town of San Ignacio. Wander through this lush garden setting with it’s meandering paths, dotted with fruit trees and with it’s own organic garden. Fifteen private and semi-private guest suites have bright, white, natural walls and furnished with big, bold, native woods of teak and mahogany. The two private villas are stunning, embellished with works of modern local artists seamlessly mixed with reclaimed antiquities. Both with outdoor fire and water features. It’s elemental!

The 5–star dining in the restaurant takes full advantage of the native cuisine adding simple touches of herbed butters and local produce from their own garden. The service is charming and gentle, like the people of Belize, diverse and blended; European, American, African, Caribbean, Mayan and Mexican. English is everywhere. So are Spanish, Creole, Patois and Mayan.

Did we mention the 2000-bottle wine cellar? The owners of Ka’ana are two Irish brothers; Colin and Ronan Hannan and these guys are serious about their grapes. Of course they have a spa with native sugar and coffee scrubs that cleanse and awaken the skin and the soul. Talk to the concierge and set up a yoga class in the shadow of a 2000-year old Mayan Pyramid. Then climb said pyramid for a 360-view of this lush and unspoiled land. Take a walk in the Rainforest and you will know why we have to save it (it’s the air conditioner for our world!). The Ka’ana Resort is just ten minutes from the Guatemala Border, bring your passport, the shopping is great!