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Environments: Belize

Despite its size, Belize has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Its natural and cultural diversity includes hundreds of islands (cayes) that comprise part of the world’s second largest siteplanbarrier reef, world-class diving and fishing, coastal beach front villages filled with a variety ofcultures unique to Belize, mountains and jungles full of rare birds and mammals, and scores of ancient Mayan ruin sites. All of this is located within a country smaller than the State of Massachusetts and a population of 300,000 people and, presently, less than 250,000 tourists each year.

Belize (formerly British Honduras) is the only English speaking country in Central America and the parliamentary styled Belizean laws allow unrestricted foreign ownership of land. The country’s economy is diverse but based primarily on tourism (est. 25% of GDP). However, compared to regional competing countries such as Costa Rica and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Belize tourism is in the adolescent stage with tremendous upward potential.

Belize is fortunate enough to possess a very diverse culture, cays and barrier reef, mainland beaches, mountain jungles, and scores of ancient Mayan sites. The Yum Balisi Resort Concept utilizes the best of Belize by offering three separate Resort Components:

  • Phase I: Cat’s Caye- A 42-acre private Island Resort near the world’s second largest barrier reef and located in a World Heritage Site. The Development Plan includes a 20-unit high-end fly fishing and diving camp which will be located next to the natural deepwater harbor on the north side of the island. The environmentally friendly marina can accommodate sport fishing boats, yachts, and sail boats. Twenty duplex buildings housing 40 resort rooms will be built on the island's southern section and will surround a small luxury eco-village and smaller transient marina that will cater to day guests from all over the country. Less than 5% of the island will be used for the development. The resort will embed itself in luxury with a very strong interpretive presence. Luxury service and environmental awareness through passive and active experiences will be stressed.

  • Phase II - The Beach Resort near the Garifuna village of Hopkins where guests can enjoy and mingle with the vibrant and friendly local culture. The mainland location will be both a resort and base operations for all of the Belize properties. A seven acre peninsula will house several cottage type units. Design and construction techniques will be consistent with the luxury sustainable philosophy of the island resort. The mainland resort is centrally located between the island and the mountain resorts – both accessible within a thirty minute boat or car ride.

  • Phase III - A mountain jungle resort with rivers, trails, and views to the cays. A 1500 acre site has been earmarked as Yum Balisi’s Mountain Lodge. It is located next to federally protected nature preserves and is less than thirty minutes by car from the Beach Resort. River trips, trails, guided tours through the Belize jungles, and day trips to several other natural wonders of Belize will be emphasized. On site experiences will include interpretive center and wellness spa.