A few years ago, a decision was made to start a new decade of life in another country. My best friend and I new that with time we would quickly be turning forty and needed to be ready with a plan of action. I thankfully had several countries of travel under my belt and new exactly the vibe I wanted for the celebration. Last year, we were able to narrow down our travel options and finally decided on the perfect location for both relaxation and adventure, Belize.
Belize, is a Central American cornucopia of cultures. It is the less populated of Central American countries, but provides an even more unique experience with its character and history. Belize has a rich Mayan heritage, but also has a past of British colonization. Queen Elizabeth is still on the currency of Belize currently. I was looking forward to visiting Belize to soak up as much sun and culture as possible. I knew that Belize was known for its large barrier reef and a great destination for snorkeling along with other outdoor activities. I wanted to not only enjoy being outside in the sun exploring the country, but also relaxing and basking on the beach.
After completing my research on the Caribbean gem that is Belize, I decided that staying on the island of San Pedro would be the best option for peace and exploration. The island of San Pedro is a known laid back town where the beaches outnumber the cars. I loved all the colorful older buildings of downtown and the overall feel of the city.
My visit to Belize for my fortieth birthday was everything I expected and more. I was able to start a new decade not only in a new country, but a newer and better mindset. Belize allowed me an opportunity to relax, reset and revive my spirit for my present and my future. Belize is a must visit destination if you want to really disconnect and delve into your soul.
I highly recommend Belize to you, so I tried to provide as much information for you.
Helpful hints for Belize
- Most places take belizean (BZD) and American money (USD).
- English is the official language, but most locals speak Spanish as well from surrounding countries.
- Sunscreen is a must!
- Belizeans eat a lot of seafood so best time to visit is during lobster and conch season (Oct.- Dec.)
- Belize is on CST but doesn’t recognize daylight savings time (shorter days).
- Drones are NOT allowed.
Please see my Belize Travel Guide and Travel Itinerary below.
Transportation: Belize is made of many islands. The only international airport located in the country is in Belize City. Once you arrive to the most populated city of Belize you’ll most likely need to take an additional flight to your final destination. There are two main airlines of Belize, Tropic Air and Maya Air. Our accommodations were able to reserve roundtrip flights to / from San Pedro to Belize City. My roundtrip flight from Belize City to San Pedro cost around $120 USD. If you’re not able to catch a flight to the island, there is a water taxi available as well. The San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi offers many arrival and departure times to the island of Caye Caulker and San Pedro. A roundtrip taxi from Belize City to/ from San Pedro cost $57 USD. You can purchase tickets online ahead of time or once you arrive to the taxi port in either city. Once on the island of San Pedro/ Ambergris Caye our main mode of transportation was a golf cart. San Pedro only allows very limited use of cars on the island. I thoroughly enjoyed whipping the golf cart across the island. San Pedro is also a very walkable island as well, despite limited sidewalks and some narrow dirt roads.
Money: Belize uses Belizean dollars as its currency. $1 USD = $2.0118 BZDs. Most places on the island take both Belizean dollars and US dollars. We stayed in San Pedro, which honestly is the most touristy and expensive location in Belize. I noticed that the prices for food and other items were comparably higher than when we were in Belize City and other places in the country. Dinner in San Pedro averaged close to $40-50 a night with the high prices and %12.5 sales tax. Alcoholic drinks cost $12-15 USD a beverage. I highly suggest buying liquor at the duty-free shops located in the Belize City airport by baggage claim before leaving to San Pedro to save some coins. Our gold cart rental cost $350 USD for the week. We had to put some gas in it from all our adventuring and it was about $30 USD to fill it up. Cash was only accepted at the gas station and other places on the island, so I kept cash on hand at all times. All in all Belize is not the most money saving holiday, but is still worth every penny.
Language: Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official language. Belize is surrounded by Spanish speaking countries Mexico and Guatemala, so many locals are fluent in Spanish as well. Other languages spoken in Belize include creole patois, and many Belizeans are multilingual. Yucatec, Mopán, and Kekchí are spoken by the Maya in Belize.
Food: Belize is made of many islands and is located directly on the Caribbean Sea, so seafood is king. Belize has a well known lobster festival and conch season. The best time to visit for lobster is from July 1st- February 15th. Conch season typical runs from October – June. October- January may be the best time to visit Belize since both seafood seasons overlap. Belize also has plenty of fresh produce. Belize grows 28 varieties of mangoes. There are also plenty of plantains, bananas, papaya, watermelon, pineapple and cashews that grow on the land to enjoy. I really enjoyed all the food in Belize. Everything was super fresh and well seasoned.
𝗙𝗼𝗼𝗱𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗕𝗲𝗹𝗶𝘇𝗲
ᴍᴀʀɢᴀʀɪᴛᴀ ᴀɴᴅ ɢʀɪʟʟᴇᴅ ғɪsʜ sᴀɴᴅᴡɪᴄʜ @303belize ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5/5)
ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀᴍᴇʟᴏɴ ᴍᴀʀɢᴀʀɪᴛᴀ ᴀɴᴅ ғɪsʜ ᴛᴀᴄᴏs 🍉🌮@maxies_restaurant_belize ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.5/5)
sᴇᴀғᴏᴏᴅ ᴘᴀᴇʟʟᴀ 🥘🐠Aji Tapa Bar & Restaurant ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.5/5)
ʙᴇʟɪᴢᴇᴀɴ ᴄᴏsᴍᴏ 🍸The Last Drop Cafe & Bar (Caye Caulker)⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3/5)
ғɪsʜ ʙᴀʟʟs, ғɪsʜ ᴄᴜʀʀʏ & ғʀᴇsʜ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀᴍᴇʟᴏɴ ᴊᴜɪᴄᴇ @elfogonbelize ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5)
ɢʀɪʟʟᴇᴅ ғɪsʜ ᴅɪɴɴᴇʀ 🐟🎣 El Patio Grill ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3/5)
ɪᴄᴇ ᴄʀᴇᴀᴍ ᴄᴏɴᴇ🍦 Sarita Ice Cream ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5)
ʙᴇʟɪᴢᴇᴀɴ sᴀʟʙᴜᴛᴇs & ᴘɪɴᴀ ᴄᴏʟᴀᴅᴀ🍍From cooking class in Belize City ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5)
ᴍᴇʀɪɴɢᴜᴇs & ʙʀᴇᴀᴅ ᴘᴜᴅᴅɪɴɢ 🥖🍞Casa Pan Dulce Bakery ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5)
ʙᴇʟɪᴢᴇᴀɴ ᴅʀᴇᴀᴍ ᴄᴏᴄᴋᴛᴀɪʟ & ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀᴍᴇʟᴏɴ sᴀʟᴀᴅ 🍹🥗 Aji Tapa Bar & Restaurant ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.5/5)
ᴄᴀʀɪʙʙᴇᴀɴ ᴄᴜʀʀʏ 🍛 Hidden Treasure Restaurant ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.5/5)
ᴘɪɴᴀ ᴄᴏʟᴀᴅᴀ 🥥🍹@trescocosresortbelize ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5)
7 Day Belize Travel Itinerary
Day 1: Flight from Belize City to San Pedro, Belize. Approximately 1 hour
Belize City to San Pedro: 1 hour via Tropic Air.
Check in to hotel.
Where we stayed? We stayed at Tres Coco Resort. We decided on this location because it’s directly on the beach. The resort is located on the north side of San Pedro island. Our room had a wonderful view with a large patio facing the Caribbean Sea. The spacious accommodations also had a full kitchen, a large bedroom and bathroom. What was also nice about Tres Coco was that the resort was able to arrange and assist us ahead of time with our flight to the island from Belize City and our weekly gold cart rental. We were also able to purchase some items ahead of time for our large kitchen, which were waiting for us upon arrival such as fresh coffee, breakfast items and snacks.
Day 2: San Pedro beach and city day.
This was our first day in the city. We had a chance to get acquainted with our golf cart and the city. The downtown area of San Pedro was a quick 10 minute drive via gold cart. You can also walk to downtown (which I did one day) from most of the island, it takes about 30 minutes and is safe without a sidewalk. Downtown San Pedro is where you’ll find most our your shops and restaurants on the island. If you’re looking to purchase souvenirs or more gas for your gold cart, you’ll also find it downtown. Downtown San Pedro also has the water taxi ferry port and an ATMs if you need cash.
Our Hol Chan tour departed from Caye Caulker in the morning. We were able to take the 7AM water taxi from San Pedro to Caye Caulker, which took approximately 30 minutes. We had enough time before our tour to stop by Ice n Beans Cafe (see below) to have breakfast. From there it was a 2 minutes walk to our destination point.
The Hol Chan full day tour was amazing! Our guides were very knowledgeable and made sure everyone was safe during the entire voyage. During our tour I was able to see lots of coral, plenty of colorful fish, tortoises, stingrays, a manatee and sharks. The tour also included lunch. I ended up getting motion sick, so I passed on lunch, but my friend said that it was tasty.
This tour departed from Belize City at 9AM. The ferry ride from San Pedro to Belize City took approximately an hour and a half. Our guide was able to pick us up from the water ferry port in the city. Our drive to the Nohoch Che’en Nature Reserve was over an hour so our guide was thoughtful enough to stop for the bathroom and snacks prior to the drive. Once we arrived to the nature reserve our guide made sure everyone safely made their journey through the jungle to get to our kayaks. He really took his time with my friend, who needed some additional attention, which I truly appreciated. The scenery on the reserve made the entire trek worth it. The land of Belize is so lush and you truly get to experience it on this tour. This tour also included a drive to Altun Ha Mayan ruins. We got to the site in the afternoon and we were the only group there. It felt like a true VIP experience. I really enjoyed this tour and would highly recommend it to any adventurous person.
Day 5: San Pedro Secret Beach Day
Day 6: Belize City Cooking Class
This tour was located on the outskirts of Belize City. We took a taxi from the water ferry port which cost us $40 BZDs. The host of the tour offered to arrange transportation prior to our arrival, but it was a bit more costly. During this class we learned to make Belizean salbutes, which is like an open face taco snack (see video). The class had less cooking than I expected, but there was the bonus of access to the pool and the drinks being served at the end.
Day 7: Breakfast in San Pedro
Head back to Belize City for departure home via Tropic Air
* If you have additional time in Belize you recommend you check out other areas of the country: