I would like to say that I trekked across the Mexican border into Belize for adventure. To discover somewhere new. To see the second largest barrier reef in the world. To explore more of the Mayan sites I had read so much about. To journey further down Central America’s Caribbean coastline.
But I can’t. I travelled to Belize so I could exercise the use of horrendous puns that included, but were not limited to, ‘unbelizeable’ and ‘don’t stop Belizing’. And use them I did. My Instagram is better because of it. (Not really).
There is a shining light at the end of the dark, dark tunnel that is my naivety – that, of course, being I can now share with you the reasons for which you should travel to Belize. And what very real reasons they are.
- Caye Caulker
What a wonderful place. An idyllic little Caribbean hideaway with all the quintessential elements you want (/expect) from an island in this part of the world: white sand beaches, azure water, colourful wooden houses and palm trees a-plenty. It sits on the edge of the Belize Barrier Reef, so you can spend your days swimming alongside sea turtles (literally – I swam with both loggerhead and green turtles) and your evenings waiting on sunset in a hammock with a Belikin in hand and reggae beats playing somewhere in the background.
- Actun Tunichil MuknalOne of the coolest things I have ever done and will probably ever do. Have you hiked deep into the jungle, swam through a cave entrance, waded down miles of underground caverns and emerged in an immense chamber littered with Mayan sacrificial offerings? I have. It is like something out of Indiana Jones. Everyone should experience it once – unless you are afraid of the dark or claustrophobic. Then I do not recommend, as I very much doubt you will enjoy being trapped in a pitch black cave for three hours.
- Cruising the Caribbean Coastline
I followed the coastline down from Dangriga to Punta Gorda, stopping whenever I felt the need to throw myself back into the reef. I found the best snorkelling to be offshore from Hopkins – which was convenient, seeing as I really loved the sleepy little town. Placencia was also a favourite. If you get bored of swimming, there are also big jungle adventures to be had. Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve is definitely worth a trip, even if, like me, the closest you get to the big cat is its faeces.
So Dangriga was not my cup of tea. And both Belize City and Belmopan have [massive] room for improvement – my recommendation is to enjoy them through the window of a moving vehicle headed rapidly on its way elsewhere.
That aside, go. Go now! Too many people miss out on this tiny Central American jewel whilst travelling through the region and I cannot for the life of me understand why. It is amazing how much beauty and adventure can fit into such a small spatial area. If you have been thinking about visiting Belize, book your flight! Stop wasting time. With so much to treasure, it will not stay as it is for long.
On a less serious note, if you do happen to find yourself in Hopkins – please have huevos rancheros at Thongs Cafe for me each and every morning. They are some of the best I have had anywhere (even if they are technically Mexican). My god, I love those cheese-laden, tomato-heavy, yolk porn-inducing piles of tortilla goodness. Let me know how you go with them!
Drink all the Belikin. Island hop. Ride an old school American school bus blasting reggae beats down the Hummingbird Highway. Explore Mayan ruins from Millenia past. Laze in a hammock from dawn until dusk. Make friends with aquatic folk. Pursue a jaguar.
You better Belize it! (Ha).