Belize Navidad


In lieu of Christmas presents this year, Nathan and I decided to treat ourselves to a trip. A tradition we hope to carry on for Christmases to come. We knew we wanted to go somewhere warm, and somewhere not too far, since we only had a few days. After a lot of research and deliberation, we landed on San Pedro, Belize. Belize, located in Central America, is an easy 2 hour direct flight from Houston, which makes it ideal for long weekend trips. We stayed on Ambergis Caye, which is where the capital city of San Pedro is located. The island is big enough to explore for 4 days, but small enough that we were able to see most of the main attractions while we were there.

From the moment we stepped off the flight on the main island of Belize, we knew this was going to be an exciting trip. In order to get to Ambergis Caye (the island where we were staying) you must take a flight or a boat. There is no other way to leave the mainland of Belize. We opted for the flight, and we weren't quite sure what we were in for until we, along with 11 others, were lead outside the airport to board a very tiny ride. You can imagine that weight distribution is very important on a mini-plane, so Nathan and I were separated: Nathan to the front to sit in a solo seat, and me to the back to sit with 2 other ladies on a bench. We all held our breath as we took off, but our nerves were quickly put at ease by the gorgeous views from above the islands.

The crystal clear blue waters of Belize are very well known for scuba diving and snorkeling. Since we aren't scuba certified (yet) we opted for snorkeling. I was amazed by how much sea life we were able to see from the surface of the waters. On our 45 minute tour we were able to see a huge, active, variety of fish, coral, plants, and even a sea turtle. The tour also took us to Shark Ray Alley where Nathan was able to snorkel with - you guessed it - sharks and sting rays! I opted to stay on the boat (because, sharks) but he snapped a few pictures and videos on the GoPro, so I feel like I was there.

The food in Belize is a unique blend of Belizian, Salvadorian, Mayan, Creole, and Mexican, and overall, really good. The true Belizian meals we had consisted of rice and beans, with some sort of spicy chicken, fish or shrimp. I discovered that I love Salvadorian food, which is very popular and common in Belize. My favorites included pupusas, and lobster burritos. Turns out, lobster is pretty common in Belize, and not the delicacy it is here. It is inexpensive and can be found at almost any restaurant or bar (for reference, see giant $11 burrito stuffed with Lobster, below).  Pupusas are a thick homemade tortilla stuffed with beans, cheese and pork or chicken. Think of it like a delicious, fluffy taco in a blanket. Like a pig in a blanket, but you know, a taco. I am very surprised and sad that these aren't popular in Texas yet.

The best part about Belize was how un-commercialized it felt. For a tourist destination, it does not have a touristy feel at all. San Pedro is not only the main destination for tourists, its also the main destination for locals to live, work, eat, and hang out. There are no chains or franchises here. The main form of transportation is golf carts. The "resorts" are tiny, and many restaurants are simply local families who have opened up part of their home to cook for others.

Be warned - Belize is not a sit on the beach and relax kind of place. The beaches are beautiful, but the sand is minimal which leaves little room for lounging. Since public transportation is not readily available, you often have to work to get to where you want to go. We spent our weekend swimming, paddle boarding, biking, hiking, and driving golf carts all around the island. If you like to "live like a local" when traveling, this is the place for you!

If you are planning a trip to Belize, you can check out my review of the places we visited on my TripAdvisor Page. I am happy to answer any questions or offer suggestions if you leave a comment below. Enjoy the pictures from our holiday getaway!

Our ride to our final destination. Officially the smallest plan I have ever been on. 
Watch your head
But the view from the air wasn't so bad

The tiny, open air San Pedro airport
Exploring the country side and the city 
Palapa Bar: a favorite on the island 
Great drinks, great view!
Need to work on our snorkel smiles :) 
Underwater life
Yep, those are sharks. 
Mouth watering Lobster Burrito at Pupuseria Salvadorena 
Nice view for lunch on Caye Caulker
We caught Santa on vacation! Beilze Navidad! 

34 comments:

  1. Love the blog, Jacy! Great writing. It sounds like you guys had a successful, fun filled vacation. Xx Jenna Dockan

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