Preface: For noteworthy experiences, there will be separate posts, with detailed information, so as to help you- in your trip planning to Belize.
When I begin the process and research of a possible holiday location, I start with my husband and I’s very specific requirements.
His: 1) must have air condition in sleeping quarters at night 2) English to be a 1st or 2nd language of the country, 3) he wants to “feel” safe- meaning: the sensation one could feel, right before (the possibility of) being tossed in the trunk of a cartel dude’s car, is obviously not a sensation we ever want to experience or sense is nearby
Mine: 1) prefer to travel to a country we’ve never visited 2) I have a theory that if you truly want to discover and let go of inhibitions….you must eat and travel like a local: car, train, boat or plane. The more the better! 3) I love learning and experiencing life as others live. If we try something we’ve never tried- I count the trip as an immediate SUCCESS!
For 2015, we decided Belize was the place for us. My husband trusts me so much with my vacation planning, he had absolutely zero input into the trip. He actually didn’t even know the hotel’s we were staying at- just the knowledge that the first part of our travel was to be in the jungle, and the second part, on an island.
The Country: Belize
- Beautiful. You can experience the cities (while small in comparison to US cities), beaches, mountains, jungle, Mayan ruins, etc
- Helpful, friendly, laid-back. The Belizeans we crossed paths with were all kind, fun, and welcomed us as visitors. We never felt like intruders or unwanted.
- there are around 347,000 total Belizeans, in the entire country. In the city I currently reside in, we have about 259,000. Imagine how wonderful it is to have SPACE, my friends! LOTS OF BEAUTIFUL SPACE:)
The Food: (on the mainland and the island of Ambergris Caye)
- pretty freakin’ delicious! While we did not eat from “street vendors” for safety concerns (and FYI we didn’t get any prior trip vaccinations)- we did try a few popular local restaurants (at a suggestion from our guide or concierge- who said these places were safe)
- Noteworthy eats: 1) at our resort in the jungle, Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge: the stuffed Grouper. 2) in the town of San Ignacio, Hode’s Place Bar & Grill: stewed chicken with rice,beans, and potato salad. Don’t let the word “stewed” throw you- it was like eating a healthy version of Chick-fi-la, minus the breading
- Belikin Beer.This beer is brewed on the mainland and could be described as light. I’ve never EVER been a beer gal. All my friends know this. But, call me Susy- I had several of these…. A DAY, while in Belize.
Best Jungle Resort:
- easy: Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge
- with great customer service, beautifully kept grounds, a refreshing pool, fun bartenders (Swift was our guy), and lovely rooms/casitas- this resort while on the higher end for price point-is 100% worth every dollar
- hands down: Abel Garcia from Upside Down Tours. Abel was our guide for the Xunantunich Mayan Ruins. We learned about the Mayan people, the ruins, and their culture. I found him on tripadvisor when i was planning the trip and because of his high reviews- thought he would be the best, and he was. Very nice guy, and we felt like he adapted the pace of the entire tour to our personalities and what we were comfortable with.
- swimming alongside sea turtles at Hol Chan Marine Reserve
- diving down to spear lobsters MYSELF alongside local island boys, for the lobster dinner our snorkel guide prepared later that evening (and yes, that is my spear, and that is my lobster)
- making chocolate from freaking beans (nibs): crushing, mortaring, cooking, and then making truffles!!
For more information on traveling through Belize: look for my next post to come in a few weeks!