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We spent one incredible week in Belize right before the kids went back to school in August. Most people don’t think about going to Belize, but scuba divers have knows about this Caribbean paradise for decades. We immerse ourselves for the first three days deep in the jungle surrounded by rainforest, and the last days in the island of San Pedro.
We landed in Belize City and we had arranged transportation directly with the hotel, Ian Anderson’s Cave Branch, I highly recommend doing this since the drive is about two hours, and the roads are rough in some areas.
We had some lunch at the hotel and checked into our luxury tree house. The staff was super friendly and the food was excellent.
The first night at the Lodge the staff went over all the activities available and they helped us book the excursions. It was very easy and well organized. One day we visited the Mayan ruins of Tikal in Guatemala. It’s a very long day, but if you are up for it, it’s definitely worth it.
The other day my husband and the kids did an amazing waterfall cave expedition; while I enjoyed a massage, a tour of the lodge’s botanical garden and spent some time at the Cheese House learning how they make the different cheeses and trying some samples.
There are so many fun activities to do, river tubing, zip lining, hiking, rappelling. I wish we would have stayed a few more days. If you like the outdoors, and have the time, I definitely recommend staying more than the 3 nights we stayed.
We left the jungle by the hotel arranged transportation back to Belize City, and from there, we went to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. Our friends went by small plane, we went by water taxi. Both options are great. Doing on a small plane is more expensive, but much shorter and you get amazing views from the plane. The water taxi works very well. We were surprised how organized and on time it worked. It’s cheaper and you get a nice 90-minute boat ride.
We got to San Pedro, and went straight to the Grand Caribe Belize where we were staying. They helped us rent a golf cart, which is the best way of transportation in the island.
The next day in San Pedro, we took a Snorkel / Dive combo tour to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. We were picked up from our resort and went to the dive shop to get geared up. The tour consisted of two stops. The first stop was our shallow dive at the coral reef zone of the reserve. It was a really nice easy dive, we spotted turtles and nurse sharks. The guide told is that sometimes you can also see eagle rays and green moray eels.
Before we went on the trip, we got the kids certified to scuba dive. They have to be at least 10 to earn their Junior Open Water Diver certification. My son was 10 at that time and he did amazing. So on our second day in San Pedro, we woke up really really early (5:30 am) and embarked on our 3 hour boat ride to the famous Blue Hole.
We did three unforgettable dives that day. The first one near the Great Blue Hole, the largest ocean sinkhole in the world. We did not see a lot of marine life here, but it’s interesting to see the bubbles from the Blue Hole. If you are an advance diver, you can descend to a depth of 130ft and see the cave with stalactites that were form from dripping water when the cave was above sea level . The second dive was at Half Moon Caye Wall, where we had a vast amount of marine life along the deep walls of the island. We stopped for lunch at Half Moon Caye, we had a chance to walk a trail that lead us to the only red footed boobies sanctuary in the world. The last dive was at Long Caye Wall” a.k.a “The Aquarium” because of numerous colorful reef fish of all shapes and sizes that frequent this stretch of wall. We also spotted large groupers, and a big nurse shark.
If you are not into scuba diving, there are lots of unique snorkeling trips, great beaches to relax or do some water sports.
The last day we spend an amazing relaxing day at Secret Beach.
As if I need to recap this, you can see that Belize, with the Jungle in the West and the Caribbean on the East, is full of life, vibrance, and activities fo everyone, yet it’s an undiscovered countries to travel. So, pack your hiking outfit and your bathing suit and book a trip to Belize. Trust me, you won’t regret it!