Belize is easily the most laid-back country I've ever been to, and certainly one of the friendliest too. If it wasn't for the intense heat, I could lose weeks island hopping and popping in and out of the water. Unfortunately, we had just a week to explore this turquoise paradise. Here are some tips for making the most of all Belize has to offer...
- Spend as much time in and on the water as possible! Whether it's snorkeling, diving or kayaking, the crystal clear warm waters are a playground for those who love wet activities. It isn't cheap, but well worth every penny. My favourite trip was to shark ray alley, where huge sting rays glided over the sandy floor and nurse sharks swam around us in huge groups. I didn't want to leave...
- Try to find accommodation on the beach if heading for a Caye. We were initially put off by the high prices quoted on the web, but beach huts can be found for a bargain if you are willing to search and move away from the well-trodden paths. Although our hut was a good 30 thirty walk from the town centre, the slow wander home after dinner each night, watching rays slip between sea grass in the gloom, form some of my favourite memories of our time there.
- Stretch the budget for a bird's eye view over the Blue Hole if you can. Seeing the great eye from the air was breathtaking, and although it was an extremely expensive morning, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity.
- Underestimate the cost of diving and snorkeling in Belize. Although it's still something I'd recommend, I was staggered by the amount companies wanted for day trips. Compared to other famous diving spots in SE Asia, Belize is very much over the top. The $500+ for a 45 minute Blue Hole dive was just too much for us to stomach, and the trips we took set us back more between us than our whole stay in Costa Rica. Choose carefully, assess your priorities, but do go on at least one trip - the water is perfect and the wildlife spectacular.
- Expect Belize to be representative of the rest of Central America. History and immigration has resulted in a wonderful Caribbean vibe unlike anything else we encountered, where the primary language spoken to us switched to English and Reggeton music pumped from huge speakers in the evenings, reflecting the island atmosphere.
More posts on our time in Belize can be found here:
The Blue Hole: A photo-blog
Snorkeling with sharks, rays and turtles