Belize Journals

Life in Belize

Best of IgoUgo

A January 2005 trip to Belize by fionademp

The Black Hole Photo, Belize, Central America More Photos
Quote: Six months of living and travelling Belize has given me a unique insight into the country and culture, my journal will recount the best bits.
De Real Macaw Photo, Caye Caulker, Belize
Quote:
De Real Macaw is a wonderful place to stay. It's on the main street in Belize looking out towards the sea. There are 11 rooms and all are charming. I stayed in the downstairs room which sleeps 3. It was nicely furnished and included a fridge, a real treat. The balcony had hammocks and seats the perfect way to spend a night relaxing with a bottle of rum. The owners Jeff and Jessie are friendly Americans and the cost won't break the bank. It's about a 5-minute walk from the arrival point and booking in advance is advisable as it can get busy.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 19, 2007

De Real Macaw
Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker, Belize

Happy Lobster

Restaurant | "The Happy Lobster"

Happy Lobster Photo, Belize, Central America
Quote:
The Happy Lobster serves typical Belizean fare in the wonderful surroundings of Caye Caulker. The service can be slow but in Belize this is not unusual as everyone runs to Belize time. If you are visiting Caye Caulker during lobster season then give the restaurant's namesake a go. The lobster platter is good and if lobster doesn't tickle your taste buds there's plenty on the platter that will. The fish included will depend on local catches but feel free to ask what's available. The prices are reasonable and it's a nice place to hang out. On rainy days refugee can be taken here and they serve some good sized breakfasts.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 19, 2007

Happy Lobster

Caye Caulker, Belize

Various Restaurants

Restaurant

Quote:
For eating out Sea Rock provides good Indian cuisine. Dits is good, especially for Empanada’s and typical Belizean fare. It’s quite dark inside but is cheap and they have good puddings like coconut pie. If you are working in the area and have lunch with you, the Bellevue Hotel has an outside bar area and they are normally happy for you to sit and eat lunch if you buy a drink. They also have a pool, which they let you swim in, or they used to. The Smokey Mermaid, in the courtyard of The Great House, does good, but expensive food. It’s a nice place for a drink in the evening though if the budget doesn’t stretch that far. I had lunch in the Radisson twice and that was really good, work was paying though ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 22, 2007

Placencia

Story/Tip

Quote:
The beaches in Placencia are possibly not the best you will find in the world but its unique diving experiences make it a must if you crave the open sea. Placencia offers the ultimate diving experience - Whale Sharks. Swimming with whale sharks is a magical experience and seems to be almost a guaranteed experience in Placenica. Several local boats will take divers and snorkelers on trips lasting a full day and including lunch. You can normally find trips without booking but head to the dock early. Trips start from around $40BZ. On my trip we headed out in the morning and spent a fruitless morning diving. We headed back over the reef for a spot of lunch and a swim. During the lunch time swim we spotted...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 19, 2007

Mayflower Bocawina National Park

Attraction | "Mayflower National Park"

Mayflower Bocawina National Park Photo, Belize, Central America
Quote:
Mayflower park is a great way to spend a day if you fancy seeing some of Belize's wonderful wildlife and swimming in waterfalls. The park can be accessed by buses heading between Dangriga and Hopkins, just ask the driver to stop by the park. The walk into the park is a 4 mile trek but it has stunning views and is surrounded by orange groves. Once in the park there is a small cabin containing toilets and a rest stop. There are several walks that can be taken and camping is permitted in the park. I spent a night in Hopkins and travelled to the park for the day. The path we took led us up very steep hills that were cliff edges. There are ropes on the paths to help pull yourself up but I would only recomm...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 19, 2007

Mayflower Bocawina National Park
Southern Highway
Stann Creek District, Belize

Princess Casino

Attraction

Quote:
The casino is located in the Princes Hotel. To get in ID is required so make sure you take your passport. The casino is open to non hotel residents. Whilst there are far better things to do in Belize if you are only staying for a short time, longer term visitors might enjoy a night in the casino. There isn't much to do in Belize City after dark and the casino can be a good fun, cheap night out. Once in drinks are free and there is waitress service. You can spend very little, depending on your luck and budget but $10BZ spent wisely can last some time. I prefer the slots and there is a good range of machines available. There are also tables if you fancy your hand at blackjack or roulette. The casino att...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 19, 2007

Princess Casino

Belize City, Belize
+501-223-2670

The Black Hole

Attraction

The Black Hole Photo, Belize, Central America
Quote:
The Black Hole is an abseiling experience to be remembered. Located in Caves branch off the Hummingbird Highway the Black Hole is a 300 feet drop in the jungle. Caves branch can be located on the bus from Belmopan to Dangriga, just ask the driver to drop you there. The site offers a range of activities including tubing, walks and abseiling. The Black Hole trip is a hike through the jungle with a guide up to a hole in the jungle floor where you abseil the 300 feet drop. Be warned this is not a trip for the faint hearted and the jungle walk can be difficult, especially carrying the 3 litres of water required for the trip. The jungle can have 100% humidity making it feel difficult to breathe at times. On...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 19, 2007

Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center

Attraction | "Belize Zoo"

Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center Photo, Belize City, Belize
Quote:
Belize Zoo is a short journey from Belize City and can be reached by bus, as always just ask the driver to stop. I went with the family I lived with in Belize. The zoo contains animals local to the region rather than elephants, etc., so if you are after polar bears don't go here. If, however, you are more culturally savvy and fancy seeing animals that Belizeans know and love try the zoo. The zoo starts with the reptile house, not one for me as a snake hater but you do get to see the famous fleur de lise or jumping snake - an animal that haunts my dreams. It jumps at its prey and holds on so unlike with most snakes, where wearing good boots should protect you, it doesn't work with the fleur de lise as ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 21, 2007

Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center
Mile 29 Western Highway
Belize City, Belize
(0)220 8004

Waterfalls and Pools

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Rio Frio Polls Photo, Belize, Central America
Quote:
Take a trip to see Belize's waterfalls and you'll not be disappointed. They may not be grand in scale but they are still a great day out. We took a trip organised by a company based in San Igancio. There are loads around so I would say just go with the one you like best and if there is somewhere specific you want to go get them to tailor it to you.We started our trip with a visit to some caves and a walk through the jungle. The walk isn't too intense. There was amazing thunder that day which gave a really charged atmosphere, we'd also been warned before hand about wild pigs so we spent a lot of time looking out for them. If you are interested in wildlife there are some really good ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 21, 2007

Island of Tobacco Caye

Attraction | "Tobacco Caye "

Island of Tobacco Caye Photo, Belize, Central America
Quote:
Tobacco Caye is a tiny eco Island of the coast of Belize. It can be reached from Dangriga, I would recommend arranging transport in advance, as being such a small island there are not regular crossings. The Riverside restaurant can normally advise but if you book your accommodation in advance they can arrange transport for you. We stayed at the Gaviota resort who arranged our transport. The boat costs $30BZ each way and takes about 40 minutes. If you’re lucky you might see dolphins on the way out. The lodge is made up of small cabins on the sand, which are very basic and good value. There are shared bathrooms and showers and a main eating area with hammocks outside. Being an eco island, th...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 22, 2007

Island of Tobacco Caye
10 Miles East of Dangriga
Belize

Sharks - caye caulker Photo, Caye Caulker, Belize
Quote:
There are lots of places to take snorkeling trips in Caye Culker, but I would recommend using the company opposite Da Real Mccaw hotel. It's run by a friendly Canadian woman, with the trips being led by a local called Ian. The trip is really good fun and no where near as scary as it sounds. The trip starts with snorkeling around a reef, where lots of fish and different types of coral will be pointed out. Ian will tell you about the fish and coral and the names of them.Once the boat arrives at the alley, a short journey, food will be placed into the water attracting nurse sharks and stingrays. Then you just get in swim around and marvel at being so close to these creatures. It sound...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 22, 2007

Quote:
It gets dark in the city from pretty early at night, around 6.30pm. I used to go running in the athletics track, near the university and it’s a good way of working off the rice and beans. The Radisson is good for after dinner drinks and on Fridays they have a happy hour affairs with free food and music, often with a DJ and live music. The Princess Hotel can also be a good night out – see separate review. The cinema here has two screens with new films from America. The films change about once a month. I saw The Ring 2 here, which was hilarious due to all the Belizeans screaming at the screen and actively engaging in a ‘he’s behind you’ type style. There was a new cocktail style bar just opened when I w...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 22, 2007

San Ignacio

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Chillin in San Ignacio  Photo, Belize, Central America
Quote:
San Ignacio is a place you can truly come to love. It provides a vast change from the beaches of Belize and provides a completely different array of trips. There are trips to suit all people, from caving and waterfalls (see separate review) to the medical trail and botanical gardens. The mountain pine ridge with its lush trees and great history is a short ride from San Ignacio so it provides a great base for day trips. San Ignacio itself really comes alive at night. I stayed in a couple of places but would recommend by far Cahal Pech. It’s at the top of the hill about a 15-minute walk from town. Taxis are cheap so if you can’t face the walk then this is a good alternative. The rooms are clean and h...Read More

San Pedro

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

San Pedro Photo, Belize, Central America
Quote:
San Pedro is the liveliest island in Belize and full of passing travellers. If you are travelling round Belize and have time to spare a couple of days then take the trip but if you are not up for meeting fellow travellers, drinking, partying and basically doing everything you could do at home then steer clear. San Pedro itself is a lovely island and had has some good beaches. The water off the coast is full of seaweed and not the clear blue of Caye Caulker but it’s definitely a better place for sunbathing. The main street is full of bars, clubs, and restaurants, and there are plenty of places to stay for all budgets. We stayed at Ruby’s, not in the beachfront ones though, there is separate accommod...Read More

Caye Caulker

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Caye Caulker Photo, Belize, Central America
Quote:
Caye Caulker is wonderful. It’s the most relaxed, chilled out place possible. You cannot fail to have a good time here. There are loads of places to stay, check out my review of De Real Maccaw or try the Mirramar if your on a tighter budget. The Mirrimar offer some good cheap rooms upstairs which are pretty sparse and some more upmarket rooms downstairs with TVs. The yard outside and upstairs balcony are good for hanging out or eating if you get food from one of the local barbecues. The nightlife is generally quite chilled, there are some bars on the main street, one offers live music. I&I is at the opposite end of the street from the Spit (the main swimming and beach area). It has a nice upsta...Read More

Belize City

Story/Tip

Quote:
Belize City probably doesn’t have the best rap for places in Belize. There is no beach, no diving trips, there is a high crime rate, the streets are dusty, and local men might hiss at you. Despite what you may have heard don’t be put off. I lived on the north side of Belize City for 6 months and it holds a very special place in my heart. I lived with a local family sharing the upstairs of the house with the grandparents, while their children and grandchildren lived downstairs. They had a house load of pets, including 4 dogs, some turtles and birds, and served food to people from the local community so there was never a dull moment. I was doing volunteer work in the city, which there are pl...Read More

Hopkins

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Hopkins Photo, Belize, Central America
Quote:
Hopkins can be reached by bus from Dangriga at 12:15pm and 5pm. We stayed at Kismit, which I would thoroughly recommend. We stayed in the main house, as there was a large group of us. They also have cabanas and offer camping. The house is a beautiful wooden structure on the beach, it contains two bedrooms and the front room also has beds. The rates were very reasonable, we paid about $20BZ each for the night and also had dinner and breakfast there. It is trying to be ecological and the shower is outdoors with views towards the sea. There is also a lovely garden. The food is wonderful, the best food I ate in 6 months in Belize. Tricia, the owner, does all the cooking and uses local food to prepare h...Read More