As many of you know Brian and I recently went to Belize. We had a “break” in wedding season and decided we must celebrate our wedding anniversary early rather than taking a really short trip to an easily accessible location. We went on our honeymoon a year after we were married for just 3 days to Turks & Caicos because it was only a 3+ hour direct flight from JFK. Many of you know how hard we work and how busy we are and we are very proud of that, but we needed more than 3 days this time – so we went for 4 days! (haha) Belize is where we originally wanted to go so we figured – why not now? Getting there was most definitely not as quick and easy but man oh man was it worth it.
We had the first flight out of Laguardia with a connecting flight in Houston, TX (my birth land!) with just minutes in between flights. We RAN to our connecting plane and just barely made it. When we arrived we had a taxi waiting for us to bring us to the Belize Express Water Taxi (1.5 hours from Belize City to the island of San Pedro), from there we got on another 2 water taxis, and finally we reached X’Tan Ha – our home for the next few days. From the second we got off that water taxi we were treated with nothing but true kindness and hospitality. I could go on for days about the staff of X’tan Ha and in fact we did go on and on to them about how thankful we are the morning we left. (Writing a good review is not the same as personally thanking people! I recommend everyone do this.) After they helped us bring our bags in, they put up a hammock on our porch. Nothing says vacation quite like your very own hammock.
The main mode of transportation on San Pedro are golf carts and boats. Within minutes of arriving we rented a golf cart and drove wherever we could. Our resort was 7.5 miles north of town so our golf cart ride was a little over 30 minutes to get there. The roads consist of sand, rocks, and potholes. haha Unless you are in town – the golf cart centric roads are smooth. Throughout our stay we ate the most delicious food we could ever imagine. Big shout outs to Itza Belizean Place, The Truck Stop, Latitudes Cafe, and Brisas del Mar (on Caye Caulker).
Something that really surprised us was that San Pedro & the neighboring islands were absolutely obliterated by Hurricane Earl in August of 2016. We had endless conversations with people recollecting rebuilding their docks, which ultimately means rebuilding their livelihoods and businesses. The entire island and those around it have almost entirely rebuilt themselves from the devastation in such a small period of time that you would never guess it ever happened. Even our resort was explaining that they just reopened in December from all the devastation.
One of our fondest memories of our trip was an all day snorkeling excursion with Searious Adventures. We were taken on a guided snorkel tour by James through Hol Chan Marine Reserve, swam with nurse sharks at Shark Ray Alley, and got to visit the island of Caye Caulker (aka where I want to live forever and ever and ever.). Caye Caulker’s roads are made of sand, the main mode of transportation is riding a bicycle, and you can find surf boards resting on the outside of restaurants almost everywhere.
The last full day we had in Belize we decided to stay around X’Tan Ha and do everything they have to offer. We kayaked 200+ yards out to the reef, jumped off, and swam all the way back to shore finding sea stars, conch, sting rays, and various fish along the way. I finally got to Stand-Up-Paddle board and it was all I had imagined and more. We jumped like kids on the floating trampoline, and just overall had a slow day taking it all in before we had to leave early the next morning. The next day our journey began at 8:oo am and via 2 water taxis, the ferry to Belize City, taxi ride to the Belize City airport, getting through customs in Houston (never easy or fast with a foreigner husband!), almost missing our layover (again), flying into Laguardia, and finally reaching home at 2:00 am. All 100% worth it.
These photographs were taken with a Canon 5d mark iii (50mm lens), GoPro Hero 5, our underwater point and shoot Fuji digital camera, and our iPhone 7 Plus’.
Resort : X’tan Ha
Ferry, Water Taxis, & Car Taxis: Belize Express Water Taxi
Snorkel Adventure : Searious Adventures Belize