Theme: Central American Adventure Tour Country: Belize Languages: Belizean Creole, English, & Spanish Unit of Currency: Belize dollar Locations: Belize City, Belmopan, Caye Caulker, & San Ignacio Year: 2013 Bucket list: Visiting Central America for the first time; Exploring wet and dry caving expeditions
Video: Snorkeling with Green Sea Turtles
DO: CATCH WATER TAXIS TO THE NEARBY ISLANDS FROM BELIZE CITY
- Catching San Pedro express water taxi to Caye Caulker
- Meeting Major Tom for zip lining adrenaline activity
- Watching hurricane hit Belize City and blocking all pathways to the ferry services
DO: SNORKEL WITH GREEN SEA TURTLES
- Snorkeling in Hol Chan Reef Marine Reserve, Shark & Ray Alley, and Ambergis Caye
- Swimming with green sea turtles, nurse sharks, sting rays, and manatees
- Being part of a rescue team when a nearby boat sunk – passengers were scattered in the water (in the end, everyone was okay)
- Fishing for yellowtail snapper, lane snapper, & strawberry grouper (released juveniles)
- Trolling for greater barracuda
- Golf carting around the island
- Purchasing local wooden carvings for wedding presents (Skerponator’s and Matt’s wedding in the states)
Restaurants & Pubs:
- Eating best Belizean food at Bambooze Beach Bar & Grill – chicken tostados for lunch & lobster with mango sauce for dinner
- Indulging in seafood ceviche at Happy Lobster and drinking Lighthouse Lager
- Drinking the local’s favorite beer of Belize – Belikin (Beer of Belize)
- Roof top drinking at a reggae pub
- BBQing on the island – tried greater barracuda for the first time
- Feeling like a local – a lot of honey moon couples, and few solo travelers; the locals made me feel like I belonged there
DO: GO CAVE TUBING IN THE BELIZE JUNGLE
- Cave tubing with torches on head
- Jungle trekking through Belize’s terrain
- Jumping off 3m cliff into a small deep opening (between several rocks)
- Zip lining through jungle (wet ride due to heavy rainstorm)
Caye Caulker Highlights:
As my week came to an end, I sat there and reflected on my time in Caye Caulker and within the Caribbean Islands off the coast of Belize.
These were the best highlights:
1) Being introduced to this beautiful country – I will be honest, I did not know much about the surrounding islands off of the mainland of Belize City. I was definitely pleasantly surprised of how amazing and kind the people are here. When speaking with the locals and hearing their Creole language, I can not help to smile and think of how lucky I was to be here at that very moment.
2) Snorkeling with Belize’s most magnificent creatures – green sea turtles, manatees, nurse sharks, white-spotted eagle rays, and greater barracudas. I have never had the opportunity to be as close as I was during my snorkeling trip. On top of this, I learned more about the coral reef species that inhabit this coastal area.
3) Cave tubing & Zip lining – As I was putting together my Central America Adventure Tour, it was evident that a wet adventure would be on the itinerary! Though I was utterly soaked for 12.5 hours from 0630 to 1900, I had a blast! I would not suggest zip lining in the rain, as a dad in my group smashed his knee off the tree (this is how he stopped!); luckily he was okay, but quite sore! As far as the cave tubing, it was brilliant to hear about these mysterious caves embedded in the jungle of Belize. A 3 meter cliff jump ended a great day on the water!
4) Meeting fun and intelligent travelers – It is always nice to meet other fellow travelers, especially those who are really cool to hang out with and love to travel as much I do. My doctor friends were a prime example of the sweet people that I met on the island – A special thanks to Nicola, Dawn, Mark, Emma, George, and Jenna! I hope to see you in Honduras! Also, a kick-ass brother and sister team that made my snorkeling day – A shout out to Craig and Cailan!
5) Feeling like a local – After fishing for the day and educating myself on the fish that call Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and San Pedro home, I attempted to snag one of the largest barracudas that I have set eyes on! As I was close to reeling a 10lb one in, it got the best of me and I was physically exhausted struggling to bring it onboard. I will have my revenge next time! Either way, I caught some yellowtail snapper and lane snapper to make up for my loss! A BBQ was created in honour of catching barracudas on our fishing trip! It was the first time on the island when I felt that I blended in and felt “like a local!” The barracuda was delicious, and was the first time that I had it! Most importantly, thank you to Tsunami Adventures and all the crew, especially Heather & Briony for making my time on the island unforgettable!
Despite the hurricane weather, cancellation of Blue Hole snorkel/dive trip & Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) archeology caving tour, being “stuck” on the mainland for a night, sniffling uncontrollably, sunburnt aloe vera smelling skin and lips, mosquito bites that trail up and down my arms, legs, stomach, back, and face, one thing is certain – I will come back in non-hurricane weather and soak up the sun on this lovely island again!
Farewell Belize – I will miss you and your ridiculous weather!
The Crystal Cave Expedition:
As I am sitting here documenting my current Central America Adventure Tour, I am trying to not get blood on my new Macbook air! My last caving experience was nothing like I had imagined – as soon as we hiked 20 minutes (normally takes 45 minutes, but was slowly jogging through the jungle due to the ridiculous amounts of mosquitoes hovering from above & attacking every angle of me!), I have found the ultimate adventure that I have been seeking ALL of my life!
Throughout the course of 4 hours, I found myself propelling 200ft into a cave, jumping from formations to the next, leaping on rocks to get across the puddles of water that formed in the caves depths, plummeting and praying that my feet landed in the right spot for me to continue this adventure, rope climbing so that I was able to pull myself up and not fall directly 100ft into the bottom of the rock formations, trekking miles further into darkness, crawling on my legs and stomach to fit into tight holes beaming from the crystallization of the cave’s minerals, and free climbing (while using the formations to grab onto and pull myself up the thick clay paths)!
Most importantly, I ventured 1500ft into one of Central America’s deepest and most “active” caves in Belize!
Bitten, cut, scraped, bruised, and physically exhausted is the result of trekking to one of the most adventurous cave expeditions in Belize! You may ask was it worth it?!?
Of course, it was!!