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Belize is one of those countries that most people have heard of but few people have actually visited. Nestled between Mexico and Guatemala on the Caribbean coastline, Belize offers a unique mix of tropical jungles, diverse wildlife, majestic mountains, Mayan temples, and some of the best scuba diving and fishing in the Caribbean. Belize is a paradise for those travelers seeking outdoor adventures on land or in the water.

Green Dragon Belize (tel. +501/822-2124; www.greendragonbelize.com) offers a number of adventure vacations based at the Belize Jungle Dome, a lodge located in the center of the Belize.

Its eight-day "Reef and Ruins" package includes airport transfers, seven-nights accommodations, all meals, hiking the limestone cave of Che Chem Ha, a visit to Xunantunich, a major Maya site, a River Cave Tubing adventure, a day trip to Guatemala to visit the Mayan Temples of Tikal, a Jungle Horseback Riding adventure, a Belize River Trip (or play nine Golf at a local Course), Snorkeling at Shark/Ray Alley (San Pedro), a full-day snorkeling and manatee watching, and flight from San Pedro to Belize City and all taxes. The package is priced at $1,950 per person.

The seven-day "Ultimate Adventure" is an action-packed adventure vacation, offering true variety and exhilaration. From diving at the world-famous Blue Hole to abseiling down a sinkhole and from wreck diving to jungle horse rides and nighttime jungle walks, this is the way to experience Belize's breath-taking diversity. The trip includes six-nights accommodations, all meals, transport and taxes, two days of diving, visits to Mayan archaeological sites and all the above-mentioned activities. This exciting adventure is priced at $1,710 per person. International airfare to Belize is additional for all Green Dragon trips.

Island Expeditions (tel. 800/667-1630; www.islandexpeditions.com/index2.html) has been offering over multi-sport and natural history adventure tours in Belize for almost 20 years. With more than a dozen trips to choose from, there's sure to one that fulfills your travel fantasy. The seven-day "Glovers Reef and Mayan Caves" adventure is priced at $1,598 per person. This tour starts in Belize City and ends in Dangriga. Activities include rainforest hiking, caving, a river float trip, horseback riding, sea kayaking, snorkeling, optional scuba diving (for additional cost), fishing, windsurfing, birding, photography, natural and cultural history and a Garifuna drum night. The package includes six-nights accommodations (in lodges, hotels and tent-walled cabanas), transfer from Belize City International Airport, all meals, guides and equipment. It departs every Sunday from December 2005 until April 23, 2006. International airfare is additional.

For the fishing enthusiast Destination Belize (tel. +501/523-4018; www.destinationsbelize.com/specials.htm) has a selection of Winter 2005/Spring 2006 specials including the seven-day "Cayes and Reef Guided Fishing Trip." This is a great trip for the hard-core angler who likes to fish early and fish hard. Priced at $1,835 per person based on two anglers, double occupancy, it includes round-trip airfare between Belize International Airport and Placencia airstrip, boat transport from Placencia to Whipray Caye and Placencia Village, five-nights lodging in a private cabana on Whipray Caye with verandah, one-night lodging in a beachfront room at the Westwind Hotel in Placencia VIllage, five days of intensive fishing, all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), hotel taxes and service charges; sales tax on included meals and guided fishing. Fishing and snorkeling gear is not included.

For families or groups of four who want to fish but also experience some of Belize's other natural and historical attractions, the seven-day "Family Fishing/Snorkeling and More" trip may be the perfect solution. Priced from $905 per person based on quad share, it includes round-trip air transport between Belize International Airport and Placencia, all ground transportation, six-nights lodging in a two bedroom beach apartment at Easy Living Apartments in Placencia Village, lunches on days of activities (except one), two full-days of fishing and snorkeling aboard a private boat with guide or group snorkeling and sailing on the Next Wave, full-day guided tour of Nim Li Punit Mayan ruins and Blue Creek Cave or Nim Li Punit and Lubaantun Mayan ruins (with guide, park fees and transportation), a guided tour (boat and jungle hiking) of Monkey River, Monkey River jungle and Monkey River Village, including guide and transportation, hotel taxes and service charges. International airfares to Belize are additional on both these trips.

Cardonna Dive Adventures (tel. 800/330-3322; www.caradonna.com) are Caribbean and Mexico dive travel specialists. Their "Great Blue Hole Diving Excursion" is priced from $862 per person based on dual occupancy. It includes a round-trip flight from Belize International to San Pedro on Maya Island Air, seven-nights accommodations at the Sunbreeze Hotel in San Pedro, continental breakfast daily, lunches and refreshments on dive days, a one-tank night dive, three-days of two-tank boat dives and a three-tank Blue Hole day trip. A $40 Blue Hole Park fee is additional.

You can fly direct to Belize City from Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Miami or Los Angeles (or with one-stop from other major US cities) or alternatively you can choose to fly (or go overland) via Mexico or Guatemala. CheapTickets (tel. 888/922-8849; www.cheaptickets.com) has midweek round-trip non-stop flights from Miami to Belize City in from January to March, 2006 for $483 plus taxes ($77) on American Airlines. From New York, the fare is $435 plus taxes of $108 on US Airways or $495 (plus $90 Taxes) on American Airlines or Delta with one stop.

For more information to help you plan your Belize vacation, visit www.travelbelize.org and www.frommers.com/destinations/belize.

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