You betta BELIZE it! “Unbelizeable!”
Belize is filled with these corny jokes. It is easily reflected from the light-heartedness of these people and their easy way of life. Once conquered by the Brits (who hasn’t?), A total melting pot of so many cultures – Spanish, Mestizo, Mayan, Mexicans, Taiwanese/Chinese, Indians, Mennonite, all living amongst one another, settled at different times, peacefully. All doing their own things, no hierarchy, minimal racism. Island style.
Belize is most commonly known to have the second longest barrier reef IN THE WORLD. Best place for Diving, Scuba diving, Snorkeling and all water activities. A creole & Spanish speaking nation. Everyone speaks English though, with a twist of Creole & Jamaican splash accent. “Take it easy mon”, a common saying. Recently declared independence in 1981, a safe country to travel through, but still with their local violence in Belize City. The least developed of nations, but the most eco-friendly/savvy of the bunch. Located at the northernmost part of Central America, right below Mexico, with the Caribbean sea to the east. Belize has approximately 333,000 population and the lowest population density in all of Central America.
My bf & I took a weekend vacation here. How did we choose Belize of ALL places? Well we knew we wanted a romantic weekend getaway, couldn’t take much longer time than that right now. So we were looking into Cancun, Cabo, but saw that the flights would cost the same to the Central American countries – Belize, Guatamala, Costa Rica, Honduras. Belize seemed like the ideal spot for the weekend. The others would be more of a week excursion and take longer travel times. So Belize it is! We booked it, and asked around, and friends of friends had all been with wonderful experiences.
First things first, we had to choose which Island to stay at as Belize is comprised of many unique islands all with their own perks, suited for every need. There was the north to choose from, and the southern islands. The Jungle regions with foresty cabins and swinging monkey visitors. We also had to decide – total romantic resort? mid-range resort that wouldn’t be too secluded, or total backpackers’ dinge? Now you know me, it’s ALWAYS about the backpacking/hostel saga, except for this 3 night stay, I wanted something with more comfort than bunking it with 6 Aussies & Germans with oily stankin’ dreads.
I browsed through endless enticing hotels through Trip Advisor, and picked Exotic Beach Caye Resort. And am 100% satisfied with the pick. About 150$/night for high season – not too shabby. Maybe a 2 star standard in the US. But fit all our needs with a living room, kitchen, tv, good size room. We decided on Ambergris Caye Island, in San Pedro Town, which is the most central and most visited. A short boat ride or taxi to all the activities we yearned to do.
We landed Friday around 9am at Belize City International Airport. Took a 25 minute taxi inland to the water taxi station. Our taxi driver was high, blasting rastafarian music. The unpaved roads filled with junk yards and a surprisingly big population of Chinese restaurants along the way. Upon arrival of the Water taxi station, we realized the boat was full, so we were hustled into following this cracked out local to the 2nd station half a mile down who supposedly worked there. Hey, he wore the shirt, so he must have right? ha. He of course haggled 5$ out of us.
We hung out upstairs the open air for an hour over-looking the water taxi port and tacky pastel colored buildings with a few other American travelers. We would soon find out that the most travelers to Belize were Americans or Canadians from the east-coast region, just a few hour plane ride down for a short-vacation.
Then we took a 45 min water taxi, which we luckily were able to ride shotty with T-pain lookalike on the hood of the boat, obnoxiously screaming “IM ON A BOAT” every few seconds (or so my memory recalls) with my plastic cup of Belize Cashew wine in one hand, tipsy to the core. We dropped off half our lovely friends from the boat to Caye Caulker, the most popular Backpacker island – “no shirt no shoes no problem!” is their slogan, with less commercialized building and ordeals. Then 45 minutes later over the pure green Caribbean sea, we arrive in San Pedro town, Ambergris Caye island. An adorable town, rather on the developed side with family restaurants/bars all along the coast and people on golf carts as the main motor vehicle to navigate through town.
We arrived at Exotic Beach Caye resort. OH what a pleasant comforting resort with about 20 huts, ran by the friendliest couple Paul & Kelly, originally from Canada. I don’t believe you could ever find a friendlier combination than that — A Belizian / Canadian expat. Paul welcomed us in with open arms, took our bags and helped plan our weekend activities. I tend to shop around when traveling, always searching for the best deals, making sure hotels aren’t ripping us off with their ridiculous commission-hungry packages. But with this couple, I didn’t even think twice. Even if they were making a bundle, let em have it. That sincere happiness cannot be bought by money, and that smile alone set a euphoric tone for our weekend getaway.
We settled in and then roamed the beach, stopping by Celi’s restaurant. I ordered the Conch, as it is a local favorite, and of course, a Belikin Beer. “When in Belize…” The conch was deep fried and battered, not so tasty, but I later on gave it another try at a different restaurant, ceviche style, and it would end up being one of my favorites.
A walk along the beach Friday night. <3
Follow my next few blogs for our daily Adventures::
– Taking a 20 minute Jet from San Pedro town, to Belize city. a 2 hour rocky ride through Belize city into the Jungle for Cave tubing through the Mayan ruins & Ziplining.
– Spending our Sunday Wind-surfing with a local.
– Parties at the Beach
– The most visited sites in Belize: Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Alley which we went snorkeling with nurse sharks, sting rays, turtles & 40 different kinds of fish.
– Belize Culinary — nothing special.