How about this time we will land our flying, curious, and always hungry minds in Belize, so welcome there! Sounds good? I hope so! We will scratch a little bit surface of the landscape, lifestyle, activities and we will have a little bite of Caribbean cousins. So where exactly are we? In a place in the world where you can have an adventurous time, or where you can just relax, and all that being surrounded by a beautiful scenery. How fortunate was I to be there, explore and feel? Certainly very. Belize still gives me some goose bumps when I am memorizing my time there. Gorgeous beaches, jungle, people…all that raise my heart beat again. I can taste the salt from the Sea, I can feel the heat, I can see a friendly faces. A piece of a heaven and a slice of a paradise.
Belize is a very small country in Central America. The population stands at just 368,310 (are they even too lazy to increase that number?…perhaps). The official slogan there is “go slow”. Everything seems to be calm, relaxed and people look happy. They are not nervous, always joking a lot, chatting to you, trying to be helpful, trying to give you some tips, if needed. Nobody will ever turn his back on you. I adored Belize straight away, not so sure if it was because of the beautiful Caribbean cost, jungle, waterfalls or just the vibe, I was getting there. Highly possible it was the last one for me. Staying in Belize became as a great resting period during my backpacking trip trough Central America. I am not going to lie, I really loved the fact that all locals speak Spanish and English as well. Belize also got the coolest currency ever, a dollar with Queen Elizabeth the II on it. The reason for this unique looking money lays in the fact that Great Britain controls Monetary Authority in Belize.
The exchange rate is very easy: 2 Belize dollars are worth 1 US dollar. Please be aware of it, as this country uses both currencies, so always ask if the price is in B$ or US$, as you can be easily mistaken. Some Belizeans know it and sometimes try to trick tourists on prices, but I’ve never been mislead there by anyone. I arrived to Belize from Flores in Guatemala. As far as I remember, it took me around 4 hours to get to Belize City, where I stopped for one night! Yes, one or 2 nights are enough to look around and to try some tasty Caribbean cousins that satisfies almost every mouth. You can also do some shopping, if there’s anything you are missing on. Once you’re ready to go, catch a boat from dock to get to Caye Caulker island. There are three companies that operate water taxis between lands. I think, prices are very similar of two of them, but one (the biggest one by the bus stop) is way more expensive. All boats are really the same, to be fair. It takes only 30 minutes to get to the island. All companies there sell organized trips too. I really would recommend to look at it, as you can do anything from Mayan Ruins and Temples; hiking, canoeing or kayaking down the river; cave walking; finally to the one of most amazing places on the sea, The Great Blue Hole. I have to admit that I didn’t do much there. I went straight for a relaxed week in Caye Caulker. I’ve seen Tical in Guatemala, so I was already satisfy with Mayan history, but I really do regret that I haven’t seen Great Blue Hole. So please, if you are reading this and planing on going there, don’t miss it.
Once I arrived by the boat to the island, I easily found my way around with only one main street there. I literally got to my hotel in 5 minutes. You can really see the sea on both sides of the road at some points on the island, that`s how small it is. That is why I will never understand these people, who were hiring golf cards and were riding all around, but whatever. So yes, the island is very calm, but cute as hell. I knew straight away that I will have a great time. Now please note, as I mentioned, the island is very small, of course packed with places to stay, but they are almost all booked up, so I would strongly suggest to reserve your place in advance. Luckily, that was what I did, and my hotel was fully booked! There`s loads of American tourist around too, I guess it is a very popular destination for them. Of course it is not as crazy as Montanita in Ecuador, but there are loads around to see and do anyway. Nights are busy too with loads of night clubs open till late hours. It really is very good to go out, as you can see the different side of the island. Loads of food stands are only open in the evening, if you are a local street food lover, like myself. I think the longest bar open at night is Reggae Bar in the northern side. I stayed till 4 am there and walk back to hotel alone. It really is not a problem there! The whole area feels very safe. If you are not too hangover in the morning, go to do some fun stuff. There are loads of agencies around that offer organized boat trips to do some diving and snorkeling. You can dive at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and few more nearby reef locations. Loads of trips include a lunch stop in San Pedro. You can also visit a near by Turneffe Islandsby. Several dive certification courses are available. You can do a very cool cave diving, but note that it can be explored only by experience divers, ideally with a local that is familiar with the cave.
As you see, you wont get bored, and you can turn your trip to be a magnificent experience. If you are lazy, like I was while there, just go to chill on the beach, swim in the crystal clear sea, get some tan. The split is most popular place for it, usually fully packed with tourists all around. The separation of the island started off as a channel, which was widened by Hurricane Hattie in 1961. There was another big hurricane, just months after I left, and loads of places got badly damaged (I will upload a video from my friend showing what happened).
At the Split is a restaurant/bar with some tables half way trough the water, lightened at night. Even cooler fact is, that at hours between 18.00 and 20.00 you can buy half price drinks, as of happy hour. That area tends to be as the best spot to watch sunsets, you can really capture on your camera stunning photos. Good to combine both-having a tasty white rum in the water and watching a sunset. It really is a magical experience. So as I mention, this is a very overcrowd place, so if you’re not keen on that, just go elsewhere. You can find a nice empty beaches in the island too.
So overall, I really do recommend To visit Belize. It can be a great stop on your busy backpacking trip, where you can just chill for a few days, do nothing. That how it turned for me. I am always walking around for hours to see things, so this was a great time for me to charge my batteries before heading to Mexico. You have to Belize me!!!!
ps Very sadly I`ve lost all my photos from my Nikon of Belize, so the few remaining ones, I have, are from my phone camera, so I do apologize for the quality of them.