Travel Belize Like a Local

Most people have heard of Belize, a small third world country in Central America, but to consider Belize as a major tourist destination is not common. Belize is not a tourist destination that most people would place on their list of top tropical choices. Maybe a closer look at Belize will reveal a hidden gem in the maze of all the various tropical opportunities available.

Most people looking for a tropical experience think first of the Caribbean Islands from the Virgin Islands to Argentina, the Hawaiian islands, the other Pacific islands, or the other more notable islands catered to by the main stream tropical adventurers. The locals of Belize would have you know their tropical paradise is second to none.

If you are looking to enjoy a tropical experience, and want to save quite a bit from the cost that a typical tropical adventure would cost, consider Belize. This is not to say that Belize is a second class destination, but Belize is a location much overlooked. If you travel to Belize you will have a host of travel options and surely you will not be disappointed if you decide to go there, and you may be truly amazed. However, if you do go, always consider asking a Belize local and travel like a local.

Belize is a tropical country situated on the eastern coast of Central America. You will find Belize right below Mexico facing the Caribbean Sea. Belize has the second longest barrier reef in the world. Belize’s reef is second only to Australia’s Great barrier reef. Belize’s magnificent barrier reef creates some of the best deep-sea fishing, skin diving and snorkeling in the world. It’s mainlands consist of tropical rivers and exotic jungles.

One of the great attractions of Belize is that the local language is English, even though the country is located in Spanish Central America. Once a British Colony, Belize was granted its independence in 1964 from Great Britain. Belize is also extremely close for most Americans, compared to other tropical destinations. Belize is roughly a two hour flight out of Houston, and Belize City is serviced by several major international carriers. Belize is also a relatively short boat ride to southern Mexico and Cancun, Mexico. Many of the locals of Belize actually travel by boat or car to southern Mexico on a regular basis to shop and trade.

Belize has far more territory for the average tourist to cover on a short vacation than what you will find on most tropical islands. The mainland has the capital, Belize City, an international seaport. Belize City is actually about the size of a mid-size city in the United States, with considerable poverty and crime. Belize City doesn’t have much to offer for a traveler. Most travelers will have to travel to Belize City first, as Belize City is the entry point to Belize. South of Belize City is the mainland consisting of small tropical villages, and along the eastern caribbean coast you will find quaint coastal villages and gentle beaches. The interior offers the tropical jungles and the pre-historic Mayan ruins, and adventurers can find many caves, tropical rivers, exotic animals and quaint villages to explore throughout the mainland.

For the typical tropical island experience most travelers head directly out of Belize City to one of the cays (small islands) just off Belize’s eastern borders in the Caribbean Sea. You can arrive at these small cays by boat or plane. The trip is a one hour boat ride out of Belize City or a twenty minute plane ride on a small plane. These small cays are the base for most travelers coming to Belize to either skin dive or enjoy the great deep sea fishing, as the barrier reef is just within sight of the shores of these small island cays.

The two main cays along the barrier reef are Caye Caulker, a small quaint island with modest accommodations and modest cafes. The main cay that most tourist end up settling is called Ambergris Cay. San Pedro is the main and only town on Ambergris Cay, and actually San Pedro is the biggest part of the island. On Ambergris Cay you can find all range of accommodations, from a small very inexpensve hotel right on the ocean, to luxury resorts and condos, and likewise with restaurants and cafes. Being somewhat different than most tropical islands, most accommodations on the cays are right on the ocean. The beaches are scattered with quaint bars and nice cafes that offer very good food at reasonable prices. There is always a live local band close by every night. Everything is very close and very easy to reach. The locals and tourist actually travel for the most part by golf carts on the sandy narrow roads.

If you set up base in one of the two cays mentioned, you are probably planning on spending some time fishing, snorkeling or skin diving. To go to Belize and not spend some time exploring Belize’s magnificent barrier reef would truly be a great opportunity missed.The aquatic life along this reef is amazing and beyond words. In the town of San Pedro you will find a number of charter operations to take you to the barrier reef to skin dive, snorkel or deep sea fish. Depending on your budget, the prices are more than reasonable even for the top class charters and unbelievable low for the lower end charters, who may just pick you up in only a twelve foot boat.

Belize has much to offer to a tropical adventurer. Whether you just want to relax and enjoy the sun and surf, or whether you traveled there to conquer the magnificent barrier reef and catch the big marlin, Belize is inexpensive, the locals speak English and they are friendly. Belize is just a short flight from the mainland, and the life is easy. If you go, just remember to ask a local travel guide first.

If your planning ant trip please be sure to check out this website, it can make the trip the best you ever had. Just go to:.. Smooth sailing. D. Burlison, JD, Belize traveler.

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