My journey to Belize was such an unbelievable mess, that it could only get better. I had to believe that or else I would have screamed and had a breakdown in the middle of the airport. But, it didn’t make me any less excited to travel there. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the story of meeting the Surfboard Doctor and having to sleep in the airport with my family. We stayed in Newark Airport until the next morning to catch the flight to Houston, on to Belize City after the airport shut down and being rerouted because of the Hurricane Matthew. We were just happy to finally be moving.
How Did We Finally Get to Our Hotel In Belize?
The flights went off without a hitch, we were all bleary-eyed and tired of airport food by the time we landed at BZE ( Airport). It is a small airport that has biplane service to neighboring islands,(where our hotel was located) and including the large international flights. The price of the flight to San Pedro Island from BZE on Tropicair, where we were staying was a little too precious for us, (around $185 USD round trip) and the hotel would have made the arrangements for pick up from the flight. So even though the flight was about ten minutes long, we decided on taking the taxi to the San Pedro Water Taxi because that was in our budget. If money isn’t a point for you, I would suggest the flight because you’ll save time and to get great views of the water.
From the airport, we arranged to take a taxi to the Belize Water Taxi port (tickets were $35 round trip). Picking a taxi from the water taxi can be a harrowing experience because we arrived with luggage we instantly give away that we’re tourists alerting the price gougers, so don’t take the first offer for taxi and compare the prices the taxi drivers give you. I was very wary, especially since one US dollar equals two Belize dollars. I didn’t realize before arriving that there was such a long distance between the harbor and the airport and that was definitely due to my lack of research. The taxi ride took about twenty minutes through the city. Belize had recently been hit by hurricane Earl less than a year before and was in the middle of rebuilding from the damage, so we got to see that as well. It was hard to not notice that there were a lot of foundations laid for future sites of hotels going up.
There is one thing that you need to put at the top of your list when visiting this tropical country during this time of year, bring copious amounts of
bug repellent because the mosquitoes here are vicious. The Water Taxi service which was arranged by me and not the hotel was relatively efficient because locals use it as transport as well. So expect the water taxi to be crowded, they try to fill as many of the seats as they can on those boats. But to their credit, they were very friendly and helpful with our luggage.The ride is about ninety minutes long each way and $35 USD round trip and runs about every other hour on time. So you have to do some time management to get to your flights with enough leeway.
What You Need To Know About San Pedro Island
San Pedro island is very small and sleepy. There aren’t many cars, basically, the only cars on the island are taxis and that is because of the tourists. Otherwise, the locals and tourists use bicycles and golf carts to travel, which are available to rent from your hotels and in little shops near the port. The island is inhabited by locals on one side of the bridge which is where most shops restaurants and food markets are and on the northern side are where hotels and large mansions are built. On all parts of the island, there are gentle stray dogs. No one bothers them and they move freely everywhere. Before I forget to mention it, Spanish and English are spoken by most everyone, and the people are ultra friendly. Also, there is a large expat community there.
What Hotel Did We Choose In Belize
The event that brought me to Belize was my brother’s wedding and that left the hotel choice up to the happy couple. My brother had visited Belize before and decided on the Grand Caribe Belize, now this is a resort/timeshare developments. This means that we were living in someone’s home with a full working kitchen, living room, dining room, two master suites with connecting bathrooms and balcony. Very plush! The fully equipped kitchen allowed you to cook every day and you could buy provisions at the market or you could eat at one of the two restaurants next to the developments, called Rain and EVOO. I would suggest buying a large amount of fruit and dairy, from the markets in town if you plan to make all your meals. And get your dry goods and meat from the market near the resort, they were so helpful. We did make breakfast every day we were there and spent the days all over the island so we didn’t need to fill the refrigerator with much. There are also small bars and quick bites all along the main road to the resort that you can visit as well, but they definitely don’t go by New York City operating hours.
The resort condos had one, two, three and four bedroom condos that surrounded the six pools and faced the beach. I don’t know
what else to say about it, except that it was heavenly. The staff was excellent, always smiling, always helpful! And after the traumatic travel situation, we needed that to decompress for the wedding activities. Our trip had been cut by a day and a half because of the flight fiasco, so that meant that we had to shove as much as we could into the rest of the weekend. That included the beach and being amazed at how warm and salty the waters were.
We Tried To Do As Much As Possible While in Belize
Our last night before leaving Belize we had a family dinner, at Rain. And the cuisine was mainly seafood freshly caught that day. The chef even came out to ask if the food was okay at the end of our meal. It was lovely.
We were seriously jet lagged and hung over after the reception so stuck close to the resort and did all we could on the premises. Besides walking the resort and spending lots of time in the water, we appreciated the nature around us. There are a lot of large lizards on this island who are annoyed that you are disturbing their rest. My niece and nephew loved the national beer and I think they swam in about four of the six pools.
It Didn’t Go as Planned But We Made It For the Important Stuff
We did not get to zip line or hike up the Mayan temples because we had our flight early in the day, we really considered adding another day but the prospect of having the same problems traveling home as we did to get there dissuaded us. But the main reason we went was after all my brother’s wedding, and the saddest part is that we missed the ceremony but we caught the reception. He was gracious enough to let me share the beautiful pictures in this post.
The last morning before our early flight out, I got to take another walk around this place that I know I want to return to stay much longer and explore much deeper. Have you ever visited Belize or anywhere like it? Have you ever had a travel story like mine? Let me read all about it in the comments below.
Until our next rendezvous…