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Where: Belize

The beauty of Belize just got closer with Delta’s new non-stop weekly service from Los Angeles to Belize City. Delta joins a variety of carriers that already offer non-stop flights from places like Houston, Dallas, Newark, Atlanta, and Miami. The ease of getting to this striking Central American nation is helping to boost Belize’s status as one of the most compelling getaways for nature-lovers. The country is home to the massive Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System—the largest reef in the Atlantic Ocean—as well as the awe-inspiring . Many travelers peg Ambergris Caye as their home base. Its Belize’s largest island and it’s situated in the northeast, surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. The mangrove island is 25 miles long and one mile wide with white-sand beaches ringing the atoll. Visitors spend lazy days on the beach, bird watch, bike, golf, and take a variety of tours in the Caribbean Sea to fish, snorkel, dive, windsurf, or sail. Those interested in Mayan culture can take day trips to , or in the Petén district of nearby Guatemala.

Insider Tip: Just 11 miles north of San Pedro town on Ambergris Caye you’ll find , which debuted on Fodor’s 100 Hotel Awards in 2013. This one-year-old resort touts “barefoot luxury” and lures couples that want to lose themselves on the secluded beach. The property consists of 13 very private thatched-roof villas—four of them are beachfront—all outfitted with private pools.

Plan Your Trip: Visit

Best Beaches for 2014

Every traveler has a different fantasy about their ultimate beach vacation. Adventure-seekers want beaches that are both beautiful and close to exciting attractions, like exotic jungles or a historically important port city. Honeymooners, on the other hand, gravitate toward deserted islands with palm-fringed beaches of the softest sand on Earth. Meanwhile, a family may be looking for fun-filled beach towns that have boardwalks lined with amusement rides and food stalls hawking saltwater taffy and corn dogs. No matter what your definition of the perfect beach vacation, you’re sure to find inspiration on our list of the best beaches to explore in 2014.

By Andrea M. Rotondo