We recently traveled to Belize for vacation to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We also left behind our soon to be 2 year old so we could travel to a slightly more exotic place than we would with children. We have a ton of friends who have been to Costa Rica, but I am not a big plants and animals vacation kind of guy. I am more into history, etc. so the attraction of Belize was the Mayan ruins in Belize and also nearby Guatemala.
We stayed at two different resorts in Belize owned by Francis Ford Coppola. The first one located in the jungle is called Blancaneaux. What a treat. I will post some pictures when I find a free photo hosting site, but the website gives you a flavor of the place. It ruled. It was near the Mayan ruins at Caracol, which is the largest set of ruins in Belize. It was really impressive and an interesting combination of ruins that are excavated and buried under the jungle. I now understand why many of these ruins lay untouched.
The next part of the jungle portion of the trip included a trip to Guatemala to visit the ruins in Tikal. This was really cool. It was similar to Machu Pichu in that it has been largely excavated. If you like archaeology and want to take a quick trip I would recommend this portion of our trip. Although I haven't been to Chichen Itza, I am sure that this area feels a little more exotic and definitely has small crowds relative to what I imagine in Mexico.
After hanging in the jungle for four days, we flew to the other resort at Turtle Inn in Placencia. This place was amazing. It was built two years ago after a hurricane destroyed everything. It was the best. While there we did little, but ended up doing a snorkeling trip and actually got to swim with Whale Sharks, which cannot really be described. All in all it was the best trip in a long time. Check out Belize!