May 21, 2009

Travel Log: Belize, Ambergris Caye Belize (May 2009)

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There are a lot of things I want to do and places to visit. I must admit, Belize was not on the first page. I didn't know a lot about Belize and traveling to areas that are more or less third world never captured my imagination. But here I am - sitting on the eastern edge of Central America, on a quiet romantic coastal town under picture perfect palm trees drinking Belikin beer with Tee ... and her whole family. Her parents are scuba junkies and Belize has the 2nd largest coral reef system within eyesight of the shoreline (2nd only to The Great Barrier Reef). Who knew?

We've been staying at the Xanadu Resort in Ambergris Caye. Over the past 4 days we've explored San Pedro (the only town on the caye) via foot, bike and boat; devoured a lot of seafood (snapper seems to be the local fav); found the locals to be very friendly and helpful (even the ones that aren't trying to sell us a tour); and jumped into snorkeling.
I've never snorkeled before, but was interested in trying it. After taking in more than my fair share of the sea, I got the hang of it and loved it. We 1st went out to Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The coral was neat, but the fish stole the show. The diversity was amazing. From what I can remember we saw angelfish, a couple types of grouper, snapper, several types of parrotfish (really neat), tarpin (~4 ft), southern rays, barracuda (those catch your attention!), a green turtle (very cool!) and dozens of friendly horse-eyed jack swam around us (1-2 ft). It was a blas.

To top that, the whole clan took a day trip on Tuesday in a small boat further south for more adventure. Our fist stop consisted of visit with manatees amongst the mangroves. Goff's CayeThen we skirted southeast to Goff's Caye, a 1 acre island we had all to ourselves.This was amazing.

While one guide took us snorkeling around the island, another prepared lunch on the fire pit (fish stew, coconut rice, potatoes, homemade tortillas and brownies). Words don't do it justice. On the way back we stopped at another snorkeling hot spot and jumped in with a dozen friendly southern rays - one goosed Tee pretty good!

We loved the snorkeling so much (and we can't do this back in Raleigh, NC), so we ventured out again one more morning. This time highlights included a moray eel and nurse sharks.

To top off the evening and stay in Ambergris, we enjoyed a sunset catamaran sail this evening.

We'll be up early Thursday to switch gears - time to head into the jungle!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Sounds cool! Enjoy the snoekling and be sure to grab some bananas in the jungle!