My very first solo trip out of the USA
Belize. This is where it all began. I wanted to travel, but I had no one to go with me. After immersing myself in Instagram, I found several female bloggers that were traveling the world. Alone! I got super inspired! I wanted to be like them. They were having so much fun! Here are a few of my favorite inspirations: The Blonde Abroad, Travel in Her Shoes & Chelsea Kauai. Love, love, love these ladies! Check them out if you dare to get inspired.
I chose to go to Belize for a few reasons
There are several Maya ruins and that fabulous clear blue water for snorkeling and diving. It is a fairly short, five hour flight from Los Angeles. I could do this! So, I started my research on Belize. If I were to do it again, I would probably change a couple of things, but for the most part, I did a great job piecing my trip together all by myself.
Transportation from the airport to my hotel
I took William’s Belize Shuttle from the airport to the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. What a hoot that ride was. Just after we left the airport I noticed a tall, blonde man standing on the side of the road. He had celery in his hands. I asked William about the man as I thought this was an unusual site. He told me that the man was from the local Amish community. Really? There was an Amish community on Belize. I had no idea. A little further down the road we came across an Amish horse and buggy. Wow! I thought this was super cool. We kept driving and I kept looking all around at this new and interesting place. Then, in front of us was a pickup truck with a couple of very dark skinned men sitting in the back of the pickup truck. I asked William about them. He said, ‘Oh, they are part of our Creole population’. Creole population? Again, I was blown away. I had no idea. I was having so much fun already and I wasn’t even at my hotel yet.
Here is where I stayed the first two nights
The first couple of nights I stayed at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Fabulous chic, boutique hotel located in the jungle close to the Guatemalan border and about a two hour drive from the airport. There is a scrumptious restaurant inside, The Running W Steakhouse & Restaurant, serving local Belizean food, a spa and a Green Iguana Conservation Project on site.I arrived at The San Ignacio Resort Hotel in the early evening. My room was super cute. Located down the hall close to the front desk. It had two twin beds and an adorable bathroom. There were bars on the window that looked out the front of the hotel. I felt completely safe. After settling down in my room I went to the The Running W Steakhouse & Restaurant to have some dinner. The restaurant looked out over the jungle. It was dark, so I had to wait until morning to really see the jungle. The restaurant service was superb! The food was delicious. I had a glass of wine, chicken, beans and rice and Belizean Creole buns. I was in heaven and ready for a good nights sleep. The next morning I had breakfast at the same one and only place to eat inside my resort. I didn’t mind that! My breakfast was also super delicious. They served fry jacks (deep fried dough). Oh my goodness, delicious! I was ready to take on the day and my first outing.
My first outings
My first outing was to Actun Tunichil Muknal, also known locally as ATM, a cave in Belize, near San Ignacio, Cayo District, notable as a Maya archaeological site that includes skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware. I went with Pacz Tours. We hiked about one hour through the jungle and waded across Barton Creek three times before getting to the entrance to the cave were we had to swim in. No cameras are allowed inside. Climbing through the cave wearing helmets with headlamps we saw stalactites, stalagmites, skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware. A once in a lifetime experience for sure. The next day I went with Pacz Tours across the border into Guatemala to see Tikal, an ancient Mayan citadel in the rain forests of Northern Guatemala. Sitting atop Temple IV, which 70 meters high and the tallest pre-Columbian structure in the Americas, I could hear the Howler monkeys in the distance.
Off to the coast
On the third day, I took Tropic Air to the San Pedro Town on the coast of Belize where I spent the next three nights.The place I stayed at I would not recommend, so I’m not going to mention it. There are much better places to stay like Ramon’s Village Resort. I ate at Ramon’s a couple of times and really enjoyed it. The first day on the coast, I went snuba diving with Discovery Expeditions to Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley. It was my first time ever snuba diving. The water was so crystal clear and there was an unbelievable amount of fish. I will definitely snuba dive again. The second day on the coast I went with Island Dream Tours on a catamaran over to Ambergris Caye, Belize’s largest island. It was another beautiful day of snorkeling and exploring island life on Amergris Caye. Belize is a must see destination. I will go back one day. It is home to The Belize Blue Hole, explored by Jacques Cousteau, one of the Top Ten Dive Destinations in the world. Part of the Barrier Reef eco-system it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I definitely want to experience that.