Monday, August 29, 2011

Ten Reasons to Visit Belize

Belizeans are among the nicest people in the world. From the moment we stepped off the plane everyone was welcoming and full of smiles. Anyone is willing to offer you advice, give you directions, or chat about life. It really does make for a relaxing vacation when you feel safe and welcomed.

I know a lot of people who had never even heard of Belize before we decided to honeymoon there. I hope now they will realize how easy it is to navigate this little Central American nation and maybe come visit themselves!

Here are some reasons why this country is so easy to travel in and worth using those precious vacation days on.

1. Everyone speaks English. Belize was once a colony of Great Britain and therefore the national language is English. It's very easy to travel around when you can communicate with everyone and are able to read all the signs. (I especially appreciate this now after moving to South Korea where I am not able to do either of those things!)

2. There are Caribbean waters -- light blue, warm, and beautiful! The most beautiful beaches, the second longest barrier reef in the world, brightly colored fish, delicious lobster....what more could you ask for in an island paradise? Oh yeah, and plenty of rum!

3. There are historical Mayan sites. There are some great Mayan ruins in Belize and you could even visit some as day trips from the islands. We did a day trip to Tikal, which is just over the boarder and into Guatemala. It's the largest site in the area.

4. The exchange rate is simple (for the US): $2 Belize = $1 US Most places will accept US dollars with this simple exchange rate and not even think twice. It's very helpful for when you first arrive or if you run low on Belizean dollars.

5. There are lots of Eco-friendly options.
Belizeans are really trying to promote sustainability and eco-friendly travel. There are many eco-lodges in the jungle as well as along the beaches. We stayed at an off the grid place called Black Rock Lodge in the Cayo district. You can read about their conservation efforts here.

6. The second largest barrier reef in the world. Need I say more? The diving and snorkeling here are amazing and there is the blue hole to consider as well. We explored the reef with help from Raggamuffin Tours and had an amazing time!

7. It's Central Standard Time so no jet lag from anywhere in the continental US/Canada. This is just awesome. I love arriving to an exotic location ready to go and not even thinking about trying to stay awake/go to sleep when my body is protesting.

8. The people are so nice and willing to help you out all the time. Like I said in the beginning of this post, Belizeans are some of the kindest most welcoming people I have ever encountered.

9. The food is delicious! There is all kinds of yummy seafood, stewed chicken, beans and rice, fresh fruit(!), and some of the best hot sauce in the world, made with love by Marie Sharp. The fruit juices were my absolute favorite! I drank so much lime juice!

10. You can have the beach experience AND jungle adventures all in one trip! I love this about Belize. You spend time out on the islands listening to reggae music and enjoying the warm water and fresh food from the sea. Then, in just a few hours, you can be looking for howler monkeys, hiking up mountains, and exploring ancient Mayan ruins! It's the best!