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The Travel Blog

You Better Belize it!

Image Title: A lone Conch shell on the dock at Coco Plum Resort in Belize. [Photo: Open Door Travelers]
A lone Conch shell on the dock at Coco Plum Resort in Belize. [Photo: Open Door Travelers]

Image Title: The fabulous Belizean Dreams Resort. [Photo: Open Door Travelers]
The fabulous Belizean Dreams Resort. [Photo: Open Door Travelers]

Image Title: Waterfall Jumping in the Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Belize. [Photo: Open Door Travelers]
Waterfall Jumping in the Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Belize. [Photo: Open Door Travelers]

Image Title: Xunantunich Mayan Temple Ruins, Belize. [Photo: Open Door Travelers]
Xunantunich Mayan Temple Ruins, Belize. [Photo: Open Door Travelers]

Image Title: Drink like a local - Belikin Beer of Belize. [Photo: Open Door Travelers]
Drink like a local - Belikin Beer of Belize. [Photo: Open Door Travelers]

In June 2017, we went to Belize to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary (which is actually in August) with good friends who also got married in 1987 – it sounds so long ago when you say it like that. We flew through Atlanta to Belize City and took a 20 minute charter flight from Belize City to Dangriga where we were met by our resort operator for the 20 minute van ride to Hopkins and our beautiful Belizean Dreams Resort which is a sister resort to the private island, Coco Plum Resort.

 

Flying over this Central American country on the Yucatán Peninsula and the Caribbean Sea, you get a feel of the dense jungle and the rich Caribbean coast line. From the air, you can also see the Belize Barrier Reef which is the second largest barrier reef in the world only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which makes Belize a hot ticket for SCUBA divers. Once we arrived at our resort, we were greeted at the Beach Bar which is just 30 feet from the ocean with the local drink - what else - a Mosquito Bite.  It’s your basic orange and cherry flavored frozen rum drink, but it definitely hit the spot after travelling all day.

 

Belize is a relatively prosperous country by Central American standards but relatively poor by Caribbean standards. Belize is also the only Central American country where English is the official language and where US Dollars are universally accepted. This means that Belize is a relatively inexpensive and easy place for a Caribbean holiday!

 

Belize’s economy is based on Citrus Fruit production, Shell Fish (Lobster and Conch), and Tourism.  From what we saw, the majority of tourists are US and Canadian from North America, particularly from the East Coast of the US, where it is only three hours from Atlanta. High season in Belize is December through May. June and July are a rainy season, August and September are Hurricane season. October and November round out the back-end rainy season. We found the weather in early June to be pretty nice and the tourist competition and prices to be pretty low. The other tourists we saw were pretty skewed toward active honeymooners and milestone anniversary couples although there were plenty of families too. With all of the honeymooners and anniversary couples, there are plenty of romantic couples excursions and private dinner beach options as well as plenty of destination wedding venues.  And, with all the moon-eyed lovey couples walking around, we found it to be a pretty happy place to spend a holiday.

 

Excursions can be categorized as ocean trips to go Snorkeling or SCUBA diving and jungle trips to go Zip Lining through the Jungle; Tubing through Lava Caves; Hiking to secluded waterfalls; or Hiking among ancient Mayan Temple Ruins. There are many snorkeling and SCUBA operators out of Hopkins and the local resorts. Most of the resorts offer their own snorkeling excursions on the Mid-Reef located just a few miles off shore. We used the Hamanasi Resort Dive Boat to book a SCUBA trip to dive the famous Blue Hole, which was a [literally] unforgettable experience. In our case, the Blue Hole offered the bonus adventure of getting the Bends which involved a medevac flight to San Pedro for five hours in a decompression chamber, but that’s another story for a separate blog entry.

 

From Hopkins, it is only a 30 min drive to Antelope Falls in the Mayflower Bocawina National Park where after a strenuous hike, you are rewarded with a secluded waterfall and cool jungle pool to jump into. You are also just two hours from the Xunantunich [shoo-nahn-too-nitch] Mayan Temple Ruin on the Guatemalan border. These jungle and Mayan Temple ruin hikes lead you through trails with opportunities to see Macaws, Parrots, Toucans, and Spider Monkeys. You may even see Jaguar tracks but you’re not likely see the elusive jungle cat itself unless you go to one of the private tour reserves that keep the animals like a zoo.

 

On jungle trips and even on the beach, the local mosquitos and sand fleas are well fed on plump, juicy tourists so bring the good stuff – 100% DEET bug spray and a quality anti-itch gel for the ones that get through. Alternatively, you can bring along your wife as bait for the little buggers to eat instead of you, but this could temper her whole Belize experience and make her suspicious about future tropical destinations.

 

All told, we found Belize, and particularly Hopkins near Dangriga, to be an easy and relatively inexpensive tourist-friendly, country to visit with good food, delightful people, and plenty of fun activities for everyone to enjoy.

 

Phil & Diane

 

These are some of the things that we really used on this trip and are pleased to recommend them to others. If you purchase items from these links, we will receive a small commission on the sale. This commission does not affect your price of the item.

Briggs & Riley Exandable Carry-On 

Briggs & Riley BRX Explore Carry-On 

Sea to Summit Stuffable Day Pack

Outdoor Foundry Waterproof Day Pack

Cannon Powershot G3X 600mm Zoom Camera

GoPro HERO5 Black Camera

Ben's 100% DEET Mosquito Repellant

 

[Disclosure: Open Door Travelers received no compensation or discount from the businesses mentioned in this blog entry.]