Belize is a favorite destination for scuba divers and snorkelers because it has the largest continuous barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, which makes for world-class diving. This Central American country is still less popular with American tourists than Mexico or Costa Rica. If you travel to the largest island, Ambergris Caye, before the holiday crush, you're more likely to find a quieter scene and better deals, says Ken Marshall at Great Getaways Travel, a Virtuoso member. For example, peak holiday rates will apply at the beachside Victoria House
starting December 22, but squeezing in a trip now will save about 30 percent (you could also check out the smaller, less touristy Caye Caulker). During the holiday pre-season, you should be able to soak up the natural beauty of the islands and explore the reef's colorful inhabitants without getting kicked by someone else's flipper.