Why Belize is the Bee’s Knees

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“Beautiful memories are like old friends. They may not always be on your mind, but they are forever in your heart.” – Susan Gale

This week, I had the pleasure of catching up over the phone with a good friend. Maybe I’m just an old soul, but there’s nothing quite like hearing a friend’s excitement cut through the air; especially when that voice is brimming with love and new experiences. My gal pal Alyssa just returned from her honeymoon…and while she’s been to 26 countries throughout her life…there was something about Belize that was simply the bee’s knees.

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Marisa: “So tell me ALL about your trip! Your pictures looked amazing!”

Alyssa: “Belize was a really interesting county. It’s honestly one of my favorite places! The people speak several languages [including English, Spanish, and Creole], and there’s the jungle, the Mayan ruins, and the beach, so the appeal is that there’s kind of something for everyone. From history, to relaxation, to adventure…there’s so much to do, even though it’s a relatively small country.”

Alyssa: “We flew into Belize City, which used to be the capitol, but to be honest there’s nothing super interesting there. It’s sort of a pass through city, and you need to go there to get to the islands. From there we went San Ignacio, which was a small, quaint town with lots of character. It had a lot of good food and fun places to drink. For people interested, they offered a few different tours, and there are huge caves there. ATM Cave is one of the most famous.”

Alyssa: “They also have Mayan Ruins, so we went to one called Xuxantunich. Just seeing the ruins is mind blowing, because you realize these people built massive structures with minimal tools. And there are lots of mounds they haven’t finished digging up yet. Think about it…it takes them years to uncover the ruins because they can’t bulldoze the dirt off the mound, they have to do it all by hand. Another thing is that they don’t know what happened to the Mayan people, but a large chunk of them disappeared and the theory is that they lost their water supply, so it’s really interesting.”

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Alyssa: “We really wanted to do a jungle tour, so we hired a guide, and the first thing he did was hand us a machete…which we needed the entire time. We cut down massive palm trees and found a set of trees where we set up the hammocks. We collected fire wood and created a shelter over the fire.”

Marisa: “How was it sleeping in the jungle?”

Alyssa: “Sleeping was fine…the hammock was comfortable…but I’m glad we had the shelter above us because it torrential down poured that night. But it was worth it, because we got to see things like hummingbirds and toucans. The guide knew all the sounds of the birds; the guy really loved being in the jungle! He knew that if you got stuck in the jungle that you could drink water from a vine. He cut down plants and trees that we could eat.”

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Marisa: “Let’s talk about the bugs. It sounds like you were on that show Naked and Afraid! Did you see any other animals?”

Alyssa: “One thing that happened when were walking through the jungle, all of the sudden, the tour guide takes off running! And if your tour guide ever tells you to run…run! We didn’t know it, but we were walking through a fire ant nest. They were swarming our feet and they bite…which feels like a less severe bee sting. I think I had 10 bites on me! I didn’t anticipate the amount of ants and the ticks. Other than insects, we mostly saw birds and howler monkeys. But, they do have fireflies that are are big and their eyeballs are lime green and they glow. It was a great night, with a clear sky with lots of stars.”

Marisa: “So what did you do after the jungle?”

Alyssa: “Caves and cave tubing are a big thing…so the next morning, we got up and went to a cave. [My] Fitbit said we did between 7-8 miles walking the first day. Some of the caves were a bit claustrophobic. Jamie crawled into the back of the cave we saw, and there was actually pottery and bones there, so that was interesting. After that, we drove back to Belize City and took a water taxi to Caye Caulker.”

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Alyssa: “Caye is pronounced like key. I’m so glad we spent 5 nights there. The snorkeling alone was amazing…we got to swim with manatees which was cool. The island is bright, colorful, relaxed, and I didn’t feel like a tourist. The people that ran the guesthouse were nice and friendly, and there was a lot of international food…mostly fish, conch, rice, beans, and a lot of hot sauce. There was also an Italian place, a pizza place…things like that. I liked the local food a lot. Everyday for breakfast, a Mama was making breakfast burritos or flapjacks, which is a type of dough with ham, egg, cheese, and beans at this amazing place called Jenny’s. I ate that a few times…and we drank a lot of Belican beer.”

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Marisa: “If you have any advice for someone looking to visit…what would it be?”

Alyssa: “Go to Caye Caulker and go snorkeling. And if you like history, go to several ruins. I wish we could have seen more ruins.”

If you are headed to Belize and would like to ask Lyss some questions, feel free to drop her a line in the comments section below! She’ll be back on SightShe in a few months…ready to talk about her new life in Southeast Asia. In the meantime, a big congratulations again to the new Mr. & Mrs!

Xo, 

Ris

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