One of our friends, Rachel, asked where her and her husband should go on their five year anniversary. I was going to comment about Belize on her blog, but I figured that my post would be too long.
I went to Belize with my friend, Joshua, for a last hoo-rah before my wedding. My friends don't go drinking or partying as a bachelor party, we go on an adventure. Belize was, by far, the coolest place I have ever been to. I AM going to take my wife some day, and probably some day soon.
First the introduction:
Belize, formerly known as British Honduras, is the only official English-speaking country in Central America. Belize was a British colony for more than a century and was known as British Honduras until 1973. It became an independent nation in 1981. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belize)
This is where Belize is located: (Look for the red country)
And this is a map of Belize:
If you think the water in Cancun is beautiful, you should go south 400 miles to Belize. Just look at the pictures people took while down there.
Another reason for travelling to the Bee-to-the-ease is the price. It is SUPER Cheap to chill out. We spent $650 bucks on plane tickets, then we spent $120 bucks for six nights for our hotel, then around $90 for food. If you do the math, that is $20 a night for our hotel an $15 a day for our food. Granted, we were not sleeping in the most luxurious location but when we priced it, the most expensive hotel to sleep in on the island was just $90 a night. Now, my disclaimer is that we were not staying on the fanciest island and we were okay with not spending much money at all on things. We were guys traveling around, and we don't need satin sheets. When I do take my wife, I will try to take her to the fanciest island, Ambergris Caye.
Some of the really cool things to do in Belize that you can't experience very many other places is the scuba diving. Some of the Caye's are located one mile (that is less than 6000 feet) from the second largest barrier reef in the world. If you were to go back to Ixtapa, or some other place on the pacific, you are dealing with cold and murky waters because the current comes from the north. However, in the Caribbean the current comes from the south. This motion brings warmer waters.
The coolest part about learning how to scuba from Belize was that you learn in the ocean. If you were to learn how to scuba in America you would spend four or five class periods swimming in some chlorine-filled YMCA swimming pool. Also, in America, expect to spend $400+ for lessons, where I paid $250 in Belize for my lessons and that includes two extra open water dives.
So, here is my suggested plan for a vacation to Belize. This plan is as if I was taking my wife with me.
|Flight to Belize City, Belize (Round Trip * 2)|
Flight to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize (Round Trip * 2)
The main flight is from Kansas City International Airport. The price was figured using Expedia. The flight departure date is 6/30/2007 and returning on 7/7/2007. The prices are up $25 dollars from last year, or they could just be up because it is the week of July 4th.
Belize City is not on the coast. I would recommend taking a small puddle jumper from Belize City to San Pedro. There are two airlines that land at the airstrip by San Pedro, Tropic Air and Maya Island air. The fair quoted was from Tropic Air (http://www.tropicair.com/reservations/Flightscedule.cfm).
The hotel room price is with a queen bed and AC. I don't really think that one needs AC when you are never in the room. A ceiling fan and an open window is all that I used when I was there. However, for the pampering I like to give my wife, AC it is. (http://sanpedroholiday.com/reservation.html) Note: If you are okay with not having AC there are other hotels, that are much, much cheaper than $95 a night ($20-40 a night total).
The food is a rough estimate. I'm okay with going to the market to buy most of my food, so my totals would be much cheaper. This is for eating three meals a day in a small and cheap restaurant with ONE big meal at the end of the week.
Now, there are other ways to make this trip much cheaper:
- Fly on Thursdays, or Tuesdays
- Take a taxi to the port and take a water taxi to the island ($40 taxi + $40 water taxi = a savings of $138.00)
- Stay in a hotel without AC (Savings of up to $300)
- Eat from the market or grocery store for breakfast and lunch. Eating out only at supper time. (Savings up to $150)
So, if you are curious, here are some other places to go for information:
- I also have a book or two on Belize. If anybody wants to borrow it let me know.
- Belize is a developing country. In some areas on the mainland it resembles third world poverty. If you don't want to see this, enjoy the islands and the islands only.
- This trip could be pampering or it could be an adventure. If you want to be pampered, stay on Ambergris Caye, or go to other well known tourist areas. If you want an adventure be ready for it.
- There are some really awesome people that you will meet. Most of the locals are vibrant people who will scare you sometimes by speaking creole.
- This place is ULTRA laid back. Expect to sit in a restaurant and wait half an hour to be attended to. Things happen at a different pace, a very slow "It'll get done when it does" pace. This pace causes a lot of people to get angry and upset. You'll get your towels from the hotel, eventually. You will get your drink from the waiter, eventually. You'll get that gift wrapped, eventually. Be ready to sit down and read your book instead of getting upset about not receiving immediate service. I enjoyed being able to sit down for half an hour just watching the ocean for an hour while I was waiting something to happen.