So you are going to Belize, now what? Where do you go and what do you do?
Well I think I killed the itinerary on our 18 day trip so let me tell you what we did, where we stayed and my favorite places to eat…
The taxi ride from the airport was an experience in itself, we had a very tight connection. We landed a little late at 4:45 pm, had to wait for our bags, of course grab some booze duty-free and needed to make it to the last water taxi of the day at 5:30 pm. It’s apparently a 30 minute trip from the airport to the water taxi… Our driver was crazy and going 70 mph hour in a 30, but he got us there on time!
For the first seven days of our trip we were in San Pedro, the larger island. I used airbnb to book all of our accommodations. On San Pedro we stayed at Matts house in the private room, which was downstairs with a private entrance and our own bath. We did share a kitchen and outdoor space with Matt and other guests. The outdoor space/hammocks were a great set up, we cooked breakfast every morning and sat outside on the patio enjoying Belikins most evenings. Matt also provided us with two bikes to use for the entirety of our trip and he also had a two person kayak which we took out into the ocean around the south portion of the island. The only downfall with being on the south side of the island was the planes, they were crazy loud between the hours of 7 am – 6 pm.
The first place we wandered to on our first night and ate late night was Crazy Canucks, which has by far the best wings I have ever had in my life. My favourite were the spicy mango and the pineapple habanero. We spent many nights drinking Belikin and eating wings at this bar, which is right on the beach. Another bar we frequented was AJ’s.
We did two tours on San Pedro. I found out the hard way it is actually quite difficult to get on a tour on a day/time you want with only two people. My advice is to take the time to meet people when you are out and about that might be interested in the same activities as you are and book trips with them. In our case we found that walking down the beach and stopping at each tour shop was the easiest way for us to get on tours, we would just ask if they had any confirmed trips and we jumped on it when they did.
The first trip was to Hol Chan Reef/Shark Ray Alley, we were on a boat with 10 others. The cost was $45 US each plus snorkel gear which I believe was $6 US each. They split us up into two groups of six with our own guides and we first took a slow snorkel along side the reef and our guide informed us about all the different fishes and coral we were looking at. Next they took us to swim with the sharks! At first I was nervous, but once I got there and saw the sharks swarm the boat I just got anxious because I couldn’t get in the water fast enough. Super cool experience and we saw a lot of amazing wild life, but warning it is a very busy spot and you are constantly running into other groups.
The second trip we took was a half day fishing trip we booked through Scuba Steve, who we also wandered upon on the beach the day before. It was $200 US for just the two of us on a private boat, we caught our own sardines for bait and then we fished for grouper, red snapper and then trolled for barracuda. Our guide also took us to the coral garden area and let us snorkel on our own which was awesome. We caught a lot, but what we took home at the end of the day was about 12 barracuda and 1 red snapper. We made fresh ceviche out of all of the fish and it was so unbelievably good!
My other two favourite places to eat on the island were Mangos, for their unique ceviches and the Pupuseria which we went back to a total of four times, I just couldn’t get enough of the the shrimp papusas (the conche burrito was also bomb).
Not too many bugs in San Pedro, some ants, a cockroach or two in our room, little tiny lizards also in our room, but we left relatively bug bite free. It was incredibly warm with highs of 81-85 while we were there without much of a break from the sun.
Next we went to Caye Caulker the smaller island for five nights. It is a much calmer and slower island. We stayed at the Bay Breeze apartments and our host was Hilda. These were my favourite accommodations because we had our own kitchen, bedroom and private bathroom, and the shared outdoor space and roof top with hammocks was awesome. We were also provided two bikes to use for the entirety of our trip here.
In Caye Caulker we truly learned that you could buy beer at the tiny grocery stores for far less than in restaurants and you could drink anywhere and everywhere, so that was what we did! We hung out at the beach every day, meeting locals who one night cooked us coco rice and fresh red snapper on the beach. We met a young man named Adam who was traveling by himself and lives only 45 minutes from us in Vail, Colorado who joined us for a few of our excursions from that point forward. Small world! We also spent quite a few nights at the Sports Bar, which seems to be the hoping spot at night time.
We checked out the Tarpon fish and fed them, I screamed like a little girl and let go everytime they jumped up to get the sardines out of my hand. We checked out the seahorse reserve and saw quite a few, I had never seen a seahorse before. We never swam in the split because a girl we met one night showed us a picture she had taken of a 12 ft. crocodile she had seen in the split the day before.
It was very difficult to get on a tour in Caye Caulker. We really wanted to do the sunset sail with free rum punch, but with only three of us we unfortunately missed out on that opportunity, we just couldn’t fill a boat of 8 – 10.
My favourite place to eat was Auntie’s Take Out Food the stew chicken with rice and beans was sooo good and only $3.50 US!! We ate a lot of rice and beans on Caye Caulker and drank a lot of fresh juice, juice stands are located all over the island and you can make whatever combination your heart desires, my favourite juice was the watermelon.
It got really windy here, to the point of being uncomfortable and it was slightly over cast during a lot of our stay, and would rain over night, but the temperature remained in the low 80’s. The sunsets on the backside of the island were phenomenal. Didn’t have many interactions with bugs here at all, didn’t have any in our room. Did I mention the island dogs?? They are everywhere and so cute and friendly!!
WARNING: Don’t drink the water!! Don’t even brush your teeth or open your mouth in the running water on the islands. Only purchase and use the bottled water. I unfortunately had some stomach problems through the entirety of my time on the islands, Jonny also had problems for a portion of the time and the water was the only possible culprit.
Overall the islands are both amazing and have their own personalities. If I had to go back I would probably stay on Caye Caulker longer, but would absolutely visit San Pedro for a couple nights and get down on the far greater selection of food.
To be continued… Part two; inland Belize coming soon!