I can't help but to dream I am on a flight to someplace warm with these crazy Iowa temperatures lately. One of my favorite vacations is...Belize! It's okay if you just Googled where Belize is :) If you are looking for someplace warm with sand, beach, and sun? Ding ding ding, Belize it is! Aside from a snorklers and scuba divers paradise, their laid back lifestyle and friendly people make this place a real gem. No hasseling or begging from the locals, English is their primary language, and they take the dollar! It all started for me too with a google search for "great place to vacation." I love to try new places, while my husband would go back to the same place everytime, so when I suggested Belize, he wasn't sold. After all, it was a trip to celebrate his birthday. I did my research, scowered my go-to travel sites and ended up finding a ridiculous deal with an even better flight. For those who hate wasting a day traveling, this may be your next vacation! A normal connection is typically from Des Moines to Houston onto Belize. Now please don't stay in Belize City, not so good. Once you land in Belize City, you catch a puddle jumper (don't freak out) to Ambergris Caye which takes about 15 minutes and flights run all day. If you are a chicken, you can take the water taxi which takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours....it was the worse thing ever and at the end of this post I will do my best to explain why. Book your mini flight through Maya Air or Tropic Air, which is what we used. Make sure to get a roundtrip ticket.
You can take a land taxi to the water taxi station which is totally unnecessary because it is less than 2 blocks away from baggage claim. I consider myself the carry-on queen, so it's easy for us to walk the 2 blocks. Yes, this princess seriously packs everything, everytime into a carry-on. Once you are at the water taxi place, it is best to buy a week long pass for the water taxi, which allows you roundtrip rides all week. It's worth it.
After a 5 minute water taxi ride, you are at your home away from home. Everytime we go, we stay at the same hotel, Coco Beach Resort. We will probably never stay anywhere else. Although it has no all inclusive options, there are plenty of other options available. You can have them stock your room with food you have choosen from a list, to be in your room when you arrive. Room service and poolside service are another option as well. Last year they added a brand new restaurant onto the property which is stunning, and they also have another more relaxed restaurant next door on their sister property. Drinks are pricey at the swim up bar but here is a tip: buy your booze at the duty free shop in the airport. Problem solved. Two different pools to choose from, one has a slide and the other is for wading or cooling off. The rooms are stocked with everything you need to make meals and free coffee as a perk! They know the way to my heart :) This will not be your typical over crowded beach resort. <
3.) Snorkel (because I don't scuba) Hol Chan Marine Reserve. A half day was plenty for me.
4.) Eat at Wild Mango's. Get their fish tacos and a local brew.
5.) Try a Johnny Cake at Ruby's cafe. If you go on the day trip, one of these are included. It's your breakfast. Ham and cheese is best :) br />
6.) Rent a golf cart and drive into town instead of taking the boat. Hilarious. Walk the streets and explore. There are 3 streets, Front, Middle, and Back street. You can't get lost. 7.) Enjoy The Palapa. Aka the bar. Write your name in marker on the deck ( you may find mine), float in an inner tube in the ocean water, and watch your drinks be lowered to you in a bucket. Heaven.
8.) Try the local cocktail, Rum Punch. Watch out, they pack a mean punch! 9.) Feed the Tarpon at Sunset Grill. WARNING: throw the fish in, do not hold it! That dumb Tarpon ate my whole hand and left me bleeding for lunch. Not cool but we still get a good laugh when we talk about it. 10.) Finish off your vacation with a romantic dinner in the property's restaurant. Delicious food and wine.
Needless to say, at the end of our trip my husband said hands down, it was his favorite vacation. Score! Pack your hat, sunnies, and some flip flops. This is what you will live in 90% of the time while in Belize. Safe travels! P.s. This picture is the best explanation of why you should choose the flight over the boat ride. It was this scene for almost 2 hours. Never again!