Please tell me about Belize

Belize came up in a conversation tonight and although there’s plenty of stuff online, I thought it would be cool to hear from people who have been there themselves.

What’s it like? Were you there as a tourist? What did you do? How was the weather? Would you go back? Did you live there? Would you live there? What is the local food like? Etc., etc.

Thanks!

See CIA Factbook

From person who lasted <1yr.

Got robbed and an STD from the “hot blonde” who 'really dug" him.
And, apparently, every other English-speaking anglo she met.

The people talk funny. I once had a coworker from Belize; I never understood a word he said.

I spent a week in Ambergris Caye attending a destination wedding.

It was…nice. Lots of beaches, condos and expats. We stayed in a pretty remote condo complex and used a water taxi to get around. Town was pleasant. Lots of middle-aged expats around. The highlight for me was the 10 minute puddle jumper plane ride to get there and the tiny airport we landed at.

I like my travel a little rougher, so I found it all a little tame for my tastes, but a pleasant enough beach vacation.

I just started watching Mad Dogs, streaming on Amazon. If the depiction is accurate, it is beautiful but dangerous.

I’ve never been but I know somebody who lives there part of the year. He tried to talk me into moving there, he loves it. A friend who has visited there told me to read this book http://soniamarsh.com/freeways-to-flips-flops

I thought about moving there.
Still do from time to time.

One of my favorite vacations was a week spent on San Pedro Island. We stayed in a bungalo which was right on the beach, ate fantastic (and cheap!) food, and drove around in a golf cart we nicknamed “The Trusty Steed”. One thing I absolutely loved- just about every place had watermelon juice available, and there’s nothing better after an afternoon dive. We found a small taco restaurant right next to the airport which had some of the best street tacos I’ve ever had.

The only downside was the diving, actually. I nearly ran out of air due to faulty equipment, had to buddy breathe off of the dive master’s octupus (which was *also *faulty), then had to deal with seven-foot swells when trying to get back into the boat- that’s probably the closest I’ve ever come to death, and is the only time I’ve ever gotten seasick (thanks to swallowing so much water on that faulty gear). Then, during a night dive, we got swarmed by bloodworms. Annoying, but very gross.

I did get a nice picture of my wife and I holding a shark, though, so that was nice.

Go diving in the big blue hole. Can be seen from space.

I spent two weeks in Belize & Guatemala in 2012 for the Mayan calendar change.

Belize was awesome. I spent time driving around the country, going to various ruins, & doing touristy activities - a few tours, some hiking, etc. I had wanted to go diving, but had a cold so I went snorkeling instead - it was still absolutely beautiful.

I was only on Ambergris Caye for a few hours. It is very touristy, but if you like beach vacations, I can see the appeal. I spent a few days on Caye Caulker - which is also beachy and touristy, but less so. The cities on the mainland were very different than the islands. San Ignacio was the jumping off place for a lot of the adventure tourism, and a good place to go if you’re into that kind of thing. I also spent some time in and around Orange Walk - not off the beaten path, but definitely a less traveled path than the islands. It had a very different feel than the places entirely driven by tourism. And I absolutely loved Hopkins - which is tourism adjacent. There are resorts to the south, but Hopkins itself is a small town on the beach at the end of the road. (It’s also the only place I’ve ever been where I could blend in. Well, at least until I started talking.)

I liked it. I’ve recommended it to other people and I’d go back for vacation. I’m not sure I’d live there, but it’s not an automatic “no.”

Thanks for the responses, folks.

I checked out Marsh family website and read the first chapter of the book; it’s certainly a dramatic first chapter. Thanks for the tip, Sahirrnee.

It’s one of the places my wife and I are considering for this summer, because it is one of the only Caribbean destinations that has reported no cases of Zika.

I’ve spent a couple of months in Belize doing archaeology. I don’t really know what the cayes are like but I can tell you that you probably don’t want to spend too much time in the jungle.

For the most part the climate in Belize is pretty nice but due to its location hurricanes are an issue. Belize City had been the capital, but was flattened in the 1960s so the capital was moved to Belmopan.

In the areas that I was in the food mainly consisted of bean and rice. Chicken seemed to be the main source of protein. We would get lunch made for us by the family of the site caretaker (Cerros, if you are wondering). We would get soups and empanadas that were so good it is hard to describe. Also the wonderful Marie Sharps hot sauce is from Belize.

The cost of living is cheap for the most part but access to reliable power may be an issue if you aren’t in a city. Same goes for plumbing.

Would I live there? Possibly but it would take a great deal of planning before hand to make sure everything was a good as it could be. As the old saying goes, “the best way to make a small fortune in Belize is to start with a large one”.

I spent a little time on Ambergris and at an ecolodge near San Ignacio. I enjoyed the trip quite a bit.

The food was fine – a few restaurants were kind of bland, and then there were a couple that were really, really good. There was one curry dish from Elvi’s Kitchen in San Pedro that was just fantastic.

The roads are awful, pretty much the worst I’ve seen anywhere in the 50+ countries I’ve been to. I would suggest that if you go, count on spending your time in a smaller number of locations, as opposed to expecting to drive all over the country and see things in various parts. The rough traveling would surely get tiresome.

The people are weird. It seemed like everyone had a story about some felon who fled the US and is hanging out in Belize, mostly undisturbed.

Bottom line: I enjoyed the vacation a lot, and I would go back. Especially because it isn’t hard to get to.

I wouldn’t expect it to stay that way for summer. If your wife is expecting to be pregnant, I’d probably skip the Western Hemisphere tropics for the time being. If you aren’t expecting to be pregnant, in not sure Zika is the most worrisome tropical disease.

You wouldn’t like it… very few quarries.

We stayed at http://www.chaacreek.com/ It was much less crowded than the coastal resorts and if you want to see some spectacular Mayan they offer guided day trips to Tikal.

You may be interested in reading Long Reach by Mike Lunnon-Wood. It’s about an invasion of Belize by Guatemala.

I spent about 2 weeks in Belize shooting video for a distance learning science program based at a large university. We had a guide and got to spend time in the rainforest and on Ambergris Caye. I enjoyed the trip very much. Plenty to see and do. Swimming with the nurse sharks and rays was pretty cool. Also, pretty much everyone speaks English.

I know a boring old gay couple who go all the time, and love it. They’ve never had any problems.

I was there on a cruise just a few weeks ago, but only for the day. It seemed pretty typically Caribbean, from that very limited view. Bacab EcoPark was a beautiful place.