Belize is a small country on the Caribbean coast in Central America between Guatemala and Mexico. This place is most of the time unknown and ignored by travelers. And yet, this English speaking country (the only in Central America!) has several nice places waiting to be discovered!
Step 1: San Ignacio
San Ignacio is the first city when you arrived from Guatemala. It is the perfect place to stay a few days, do some activities and start to discover Belize. The most famous activity (and the most expensive ~90US$) is the ATM Cave (or the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave). You can visit this cave to see stalagmites and stalactites, swim and walk in the underground rivers but mostly to see the Maya archaeological site. Mayas though that some gods lived in the caves and so if they came to give their offerings. Nowadays, it’s possible to visit this site to see the potteries the Mayas used, but mostly the skeletons. The visit lasts the day and really worth it.
The second activity lasts also a day from San Ignacio. You have to take a bus until Belmopan, then another to the south. Your stop is called Hermann’s Cave. The access is easy but you need a flashlight to see inside the cave. You don’t need a guide to visit it, you just need to fallow the rope to until the end of the cave and also on your way back.
Once you finished visiting the cave, you have to walk a little bit to reach the Cenote Blue Hole. This cenote is in the middle of the jungle and you can swim in it.
As the two sites are closed from each other, the entrance ticket is the same. Thus, once you visited one site, keep your ticket if you don’t want to pay twice.
Step 2: Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker is an island in the Caribbean sea. Travelers go there for two reasons: the coral reef (the second largest in the world after Australia) and the Blue Hole. The scuba diving and snorkeling are the main activities on this island and it’s possible to practice them on both places.
[box type=”info” align=”aligncenter” class=”” width=””]Note: The Blue Hole is literally a hole in the water. If you dive there you will see a gigantic hole in the ground where there is no fish and no corals. If you overfly, you can see this enormous hole from the sky surrounded by crystal clear water.[/box]
Caye Caulker is the perfect place to relax, by the way, its motto is “Go Slow”. It’s the ideal place to chill and dive (either scuba diving or snorkeling). However, like the rest of the country, all the activities are expensive: 225US$ to overfly the Blue Hole, from 180US$ to 300 US$ to dive for half a day or the entire day, etc. If you want to go there, be aware of the spending you are going to do.
For Caye Caulker, I chose the cheapest accommodation I could find: Tropical Oasis. This hostel is simple but has all the facilities you need: kitchen, internet, bathroom, and everything is clean. The owner is here to help and gives you advice as much as she can.
If you haven’t understood yet: Belize is an expensive country. It’s possible to find cheap hostels and restaurants but the activities are too expensive. Moreover, the local currency is called “Belizan dollar” and 1Bz$ = 0,50 US$. Travel agencies don’t always precise which dollar is the prices, Belizian or US. Thus, don’t hesitate to ask each time or the price may double…
Aim budget: 93BZD/day/pers (~46€/day/pers in September 2019)
Real budget : 40BZD/day/pers ( ~20€/day/pers in September 2019)
To conclude, Belize is a beautiful country and it worth to be discovered. The inhabitants have the Caribbean culture and are so kind. However, you have to be aware of the budget you need to visit this country. Otherwise, you may have to make choices which can be very frustrating.