You better Belize it.

I know, it’s kinda cheesy and terribly overdue.  It’s so true though.  You gotta believe in Belize.  It’s your next trip.

Using trip instead of vacation evokes a sense of adventure.  Sure, you may relax a couple hours on a beach but a trip for me usually involves walking, a lot of walking.  On adventures, you use your body and mind.  It is taxing and rewarding and when the day is over you’re tired.  A party may still unfold and those couple hours on the beach the next day allows vacation laze.

We took a trip.  And when I say we, I am speaking of my very own Huma Abedin.  Trusted intern turn advisor.  Also known as my super great girlfriend.   And holy cow, Hillary is a lesbian?!?!  Hmm.. I see it.  Yes, this makes me much less angry about Bill being a cad.  Google it.

So, Huma and I planned to go to only countries that start with “B”.  Well I just thought of that, but it could be a fun way to pick destinations.  We actually picked it because we went to Spain a couple summers ago and LOVED it, while on the flight home we started planning our next adventure.  We both wanted to go to Central America but neither of us speak spanish.  I made the vow to learn the language but found a work around for my own vow.  BELIZE.  They speak english and a bunch of other languages, but this time looking for food without meat would be much easier.

Huma used her flyer miles and we actually flew to Belize for a ridiculously affordable amount.  Woot!  It was a relatively great round trip flight.  We have flown often to Hawaii and it’s like that.  But cheaper.  And the people like you more.  Born and raised in Hawaii, my sensibilities for Hawaii may be skewed.  Side note:  I was born in the same hospital as President Obama.   Lame claim to fame, but FYI for all your birthers.

We planned to bus around the country but while at the Belize City airport rented a car.  Good choice!  We drove all around the country, which was what we did in Spain but Belize is much smaller.  Our plan was to AirBnB for two days in multiple locations.  Most of our accommodations were operated by expats and we stayed in a hostel.  All fab.

First night we stayed in Belize City.  You can skip it.  Although, Altun Ha was a pretty sweet first ruin visit.  Then we went to St. Ignacio and stayed at Maya Mountain Resort.  Loved it!  Took an all day guided tour to Caracol had the best guide, Viktor Gamez.  Get a guide.  The money helps the local economy and guides are knowledgable of the area and history.  Money well spent.  Get a guide.  We also took another guided tour to ATM.   We hiked a half mile up an underground cave, traversing through a river and pitch blackness to Mayan ritual sites.  Crazy amazing!  Our wonderful guide told us that ATM will close in the net five years.  You should go now.  Belize ATM  This is the company we used and I cannot recommend it enough.osyk1352

After St.  Ignacio, we went to Hopkins.  A small coastal town, relaxed, pretty and walkable.  We didn’t drive around much.  Went on an intense hike in Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (Lonely Planet) the first jaguar refuge, swam in two waterfalls with tiny fish that nibbled on dead skin.  (I must tell you one thing about Belize, they do the opposite of exaggerate.  The moderate hike made me sweat harder than an Insanity workout and the mild hot sauce burned my tongue off.) Huma saw a wild tarantula.  Hilarious sound came out of her mouth as she agitated the spider hole, we still laugh about it.

From Hopkins, we ferried  to San Pedro.  Total party town.  There was no need to stay two nights.  We stayed in a hostel, met really cool people and learned the best drinking game ever.  After San Pedro, we ferried to Caye Caulker.  Caye Caulker is paradise.   Absolutely.  Our time there was great.  You should go.  Like now.  Caye Caulker has three sand streets and most people walk or ride bikes.  At night the crabs come out and I actually ran one over while on my bike.  The crab and I locked eyes and I couldn’t stop.  Huma says it kept running.  I started screaming and the local police rolled up on their golf cart asking what happened.  Through my rolling laughter I explained I hit a crab and they pulled away, slowly, you know golf cart style.  Belize has the second largest barrier reef in the world and we took a guided tour to snorkel around.  I even touched a shark.  For real, I jumped in first all excited, put my hand out to touch them (many swimming around) then my innate self-preservation kicked in, I pulled my hand back then immediately started thinking the sharks could pick up my sense of fear.  I ended up touching them and feeling bad later because I am not really sure if it was the right thing to do.  But cross that off my list.  Although, my Huma wants to dive with Great Whites for her next b-day.  Hmmm.

Overall, the people of Belize bring the nice out.  There was no underlying resentment about tourists being there.   The people were proud and happy to share their world.  It seemed the whole country was for sale and Guatemala  is encroaching on Belize country lines.  Our money is double and Belize promotes a respect for the natural world.  There is a rich history and the ruins are breathtaking and interesting.   I learned so much about the country.  I even had a tick!  Money well spent.  You should go.  Soon.

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