Local Tourist: Belize “Let’s Go Slow”

The hustle and bustle of the city life can be an over whelming whirl wind.  One has to remind themselves that slowing down and letting life sink in is a necessity to calm the mind, calm the heart and reenergize the spirit.  To take a few breaths and appreciate what you have presently.  It can be difficult to do so with our surroundings, not just environmental, but also what’s in your mind as well.  Because really, the chaos is really created with what’s within your head. I’m fortunate enough to travel to places that can help be create that calm, easy flow ambiance.  I flew to Belize with two of my closest friends from college.  Though we all have individual crazy, busy lives, we were all in agreeance to slow things down and celebrate friendship and gratitude.

Belize is not only beautiful, but the people and the community really made me feel like an islander.  My friends and I stayed at Ramon’s Village in San Pedro, Amergris Caye Island. Individual huts that was equipped with a working air conditioner and clean! Very important.  Beach front view didn’t hurt either.  Hospitality from the staff was exceptional.

Ambergris Caye is about 37 miles big, there’s only three main streets. Renting out a golf car is the best way to explore the island from North to South and all over, not to mention how fun driving around a golf cart can. The best deal we found on the island was at Moncho Rentals.  

Bars & Restaurants: 

Palapa Bar: Breath taking water view when sipping on your Belikin Beer (local beer).  Friendly staff with good bar food.  The best part of Palapa Bar is that you have two choices, hang out upstairs at the bar and enjoy the Caribbean vibe or lay back and soak up the sun with their “water tube” seating on the water.  They serve you a bucket of beer/cocktails by a pulling system.

Fidos: Local hang out with live music while you enjoy local eats. Fun place to interact and meet locals.

Rain Rooftop: I’m from Downtown Los Angeles, I love rooftop spots and this is definitely a hotspot to check out.

El Fogon: This was my favorite local restaurant. Friendliest service.  The atmosphere was so comfortable, I actually felt like I was coming over a good friend’s house for dinner and drinks.

Pupuseria Savadoreno: Local street food and the best Pupusas, not to mention you get a bargain for your Belizean buck.  Each pupusa was about $1-2 US. These pancake-like, savory treats are filled with island love.

Blue Water Grill: Very charming ambiance.  Beach front, open patio dining.  What I love about BWG is the decor and scenery . “I (heart) Belize” largely displayed on the wall, and that’s exactly what you feel when dining.

Activities & Sites:

Secret Beach: Disclaimer, take a local. You’ll get lost trying to find this place and you’ll feel lost, hence, secret beach. It’s a beautiful sanctuary where you can picnic, play a friendly game of soccer and dip in the still water.

Water Activities: The water is so clear and there’s so much marine life, this is a must when in Belize.  Snorkling, Swimming with the Nurse sharks (don’t worry, they’re vegetarian), jet skiing, paddle boarding and if you have a  diving license, visit the Blue Hole.  The best deal we got was through, Ecologic Divers.  A bonus, a free spirited, Californian woman owns it. She was a character!

Caye Caulker:  Take a fairy to Caye Caulker.  A near by island, but much smaller.  It’s about five miles big.  My friends and I went here the last day and this is the reason why I love the essence of traveling, and I’ll tell you why.  In Caye Caulker, every body goes to The Split.  And it so happens that the guest staying at the hostile on the island go to The Split.  There, we met fellow wanderlusters from all over the world, Belgium, London, Australia.  Belize as a common ground amongst us, we we’re able to connect and make friends from around the world. We connected with a local fisherman and his wife. This is my local tip, make friends with a local fisherman.  We went out fishing, caught an abundant amount of lobster and fish and we cooked it, “Belizian Style” and had a family dinner.  The comfort of island hospitality at its finest.  We shared stories, shared jokes, shared memories.  Dinner ended late, so we missed our fairy back, but with a local fisherman who’s familiar with navigating the water like the back of his hand, there was no worrying.  We set out on a boat in the pitch dark and sailed across and star-lit sky.  No moon, just stars, no sound except the sound of the Caribbean  sea and the fresh wind against our faces. A moment that I was completely in the present. A moment that help me rejuvenate my mind and spirit.  This is what I love about traveling, the people you run into, the randomness that make up the unforgettable moments.  It’s truly a beautiful gift. 

Extra Tip:

Bug spray! Bug spray! Bug spray! The mesquitos out there attack and leave their mark! My friends and I probably went through four to five cans of bug repellent spray. Don’t know how good that was for us though.

No need to buy international data from your cellular provider.  Every hotel, business and restaurant/bar offers wifi.  Even their fairy/water taxis provide wi-fi.

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And to all a still night.

Photos: Aphril Santa Ana

 

 

 

 

 

 

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