From our first taxi driver Jacinto giving us a miniature tour of Belize City, to our driver Mingy buying us exotic fruits and getting us to try sorrel/cashew/berry wine on the side of a rural Belizean highway, to the sweet lady at our favorite burrito cart. Belize was one of the dreamiest and most hospitible places I’ve ever visted. I’m so late on writing this because I’ve truly struggled to figure out how to capture just how amazing such a small country was for us, especially considering we were only in one small area!
Riding in the back of Jacinto’s taxi as he bobbed and weaved through traffic, I couldn’t help but stare at the sun bleached neon-turned pastel homes with delicate white wooden filigree adorning porches and roofs. He gave us a crash course on Belize City while getting us from the airport to the water taxi in under 20 minutes–way faster than we had expected! Getting a taxi at the airport was incredibly easy, as they’re everywhere, and a one-way ride from the airport to the water taxis is $25US/$50BZ, so don’t let anyone tell you other wise (not that they would). A round trip ticket on the San Pedro Express (one of two water taxis that travel between Belize City, Caye Caulker, and San Pedro) was around $30 per person, and you can even book the tickets online in advance! It’s not very well organized in terms of luggage and passengers, so if possible I’d recommend packing light so that you can just slide your bag under the seat you end up on and not having to wait for it to eventually arrive on the dock.
The only way to get from Phillip Goldson International Airport to Belize City is by taxi, which is $25US/$50BZ one way. Our taxi driver Jacinto was an absolute doll! He gave us a crash course in Belizean history/culture and a mini tour of Belize City while bobbing and weaving through traffic (there’s literally no traffic law enforcement that we saw). There are two water taxi companies that run between Belize City, Caye Caulker (our destination), and San Pedro-the San Pedro Belize Express and Ocean Ferry Belize, both running around $30US round trip for Belize City-Caye Caulker. Chances are, you’ll end up on a regular speed boat instead of the bigger ferry, as San Pedro is a very popular destination and the bigger boat fills up quick, so be prepared to hold onto your hat and get some wind in your face while cruising to paradise! The trip takes anywhere from 30-50 minutes, depending on a multitude of factors, so try and factor that in-both companies have their timetables available online, so be sure to check and make sure you won’t miss your boat!
Once you arrive on Caye Caulker, know that there are no cars-the only forms of transportation are golf cart, bicycles, and walking. The island is pretty small and very walkable-we never had to bike or hail a cart the whole week there! Nothing is paved, so be prepared to have your feet in the sand the entire week (is that really a bad thing, though?).
There are a number of hostels on the island that I would have LOVED to stay at, but since Kyle and I were together we decided on an Airbnb which was great. Our host Erica was a lovely Canadian professor who always made sure we were taken care of, had clean, cold water, and was situated in the perfect location-3 blocks from The Split, a block away from Wish Willy’s, and directly next door to Maggie’s Sunset Kitchen. We couldn’t have asked for a better place to spend our week.
This was the first vacation we took where our main goal was to relax and just enjoy the sun, sand, and ocean. Most days were spent lazing down at The Split with a few drinks and some ceviche or snorkeling. We did a snorkeling tour through Tsunami Adventures to the Hol Chan Marin Reserve, where we got to dive among the coral, hang out with nurse sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles, and even explore what we could of a sunken barge! It was such an unforgettable day led by our amazing guide Rodrigo.
For our trip to the mainland to see Maya temples and go cave tubing, we again arranged our day through Tsunami Adventures, though we were actually with a company called Major Tom’s and we had an absolutely INCREDIBLE driver named Mingy. I could go on and on for ages singing praises about Mingy and her hospitality. Not only was she an informative driver (not guide!), she also arranged for our Altun Ha and cave tubing tours with amazing guides, but she also stopped often to make sure we got to try Belizean specialties like fresh coconuts, berry/cashew/sorel wine, custard apples, golden plums (with salt), and authentic creole dishes. I couldn’t believe the day that we had with her, and I would return to Belize just to do it all over. If you’re in the area, I couldn’t recommend her more, so I’ll post her info down below!
Mingy Martinez-Tranfer/City Tour Driver (THE BEST!!!)