I'm not really sure why it takes me so long to write these posts after I get back from a trip. I think I try to soak it all in and get a clear picture of what I want to say so I don't type a book. But this will probably be a book. So apologies in advance.
Several months ago, Nick got a little itch for travel and decided to look up countries that were open and didn't have super strict travel restrictions. We're both vaccinated, don't get mad lol. Anyways, he found 9 countries, wrote them on pieces of paper, and put them in a hat. I had no idea what was happening when he came outside with a hat full of folded up papers and told me to pick one.
I picked Belize and cried when he said "Alright cool, that's where we're going next!" I cry at everything though, I feel like I should mention that. The rest of that night, we sat on the back porch drinking wine and planning our trip. Here's how it went.
We ended up finding a resort in Placencia, Belize. Placencia is either a 3 hour drive from the main airport or a 20 minute puddle jumper ride. We did the tiny plane and I thought Nick might actually have a heart attack. He considered renting a car to drive the 3 hours back to the airport on the way home haha. Placencia is a long strip on the peninsula. When driving down the road, you could look to your left and see the beach, and then the right and see the lagoon. And once you get a little more inland, the Maya Mountains.
We stayed at Sirenian Bay Resort & Villas and it was amazing. I couldn't recommend it more. It wasn't your typical overcrowded gigantic resort, it was super private and peaceful. Most of the accommodations were single villas with the bedroom downstairs and beautiful outdoor second floor complete with an outdoor shower and sitting area. I didn't take a single shower inside LOL. Our villa was ocean front and so so pretty. The resort had an amazing swimming pool, beach loungers, paddle boards, snorkel gear, literally anything you could want. Not only was it beautiful, but everyone who worked there went out of their way to make our stay the best. From setting up a table for us to eat breakfast on the beach, to driving us 3 hours away on a private cave tubing excursion, we had the best of the best.
Placencia relies on their tourism, and like many places, they really took a hit from the pandemic. Not to mention, most of their tourists come from Canada, and with the border still being closed, the village was pretty quiet. I didn't mind that at all, it made exploring so much easier and stress free, though it was sad to know businesses were struggling. Due to the town wanting to make sure they can could stay open to tourism, the mask laws were super strict. Even if you were outdoors, you were still required to wear a mask or face a fine. It was kind of strange seeing the locals in their tiny villages riding bikes in 95 degree weather with masks on. One of the bartenders told us you were more likely to get a $500 fine driving a golf cart without a mask than driving it while holding two beers. On the resort's property, they were a little more lax.
Back to the fun stuff. Most of our days were spent taking excursions or riding a golf cart around the village. The village is super cute and full of colorful restaurants and shops. The most popular spot, The Barefoot Bar, did not disappoint. We also did a couples spa treatment at the resort which was so relaxing and the perfect way to start the trip.
For excursions, we went to see Xunatunich (an ancient Mayan ruin), went cave tubing through the jungle, and hiked to a waterfall for a quick dip. The cave tubing was my favorite part of the entire trip. I've never seen water so clear and blue in my life. It felt out of this world.
We had the same tour guide for each excursion and he was the best. Bastillio works for Sirenian Bay's sister company, Captain Jak's, which is where we booked all of the tours. He is a Mayan local who was extremely knowledgeable about the ruins and was overall so fun to talk to. One of the days, he took us out of the way to a hidden gem shop where we could buy the best local Mayan chocolate and woven baskets. Like I said, we had the absolute best hosts!
As far as food goes, we decided on all-inclusive with the resort and I am so happy we did. The restaurant was fantastic and there was not a single meal I was disappointed in. The style of food was a mix of Latin/Caribbean. Lots of fresh fish and yummy spices. Oh, and the world's best hot sauce, Marie Sharp's. A Belizean treasure. We brought two bottles home with us. The all-inclusive didn't stop us from checking out other restaurants and bars in the village, though. Food and drinks in Belize are fantastic and pretty inexpensive. Side note; the exchange rate is set at 2BZD to 1USD so it was super easy to calculate what you were spending.
There's nothing I would have done differently and I feel so fortunate that I was able to explore another beautiful country with Nick. I just wish I could have taken that outdoor shower home with me.
If you're considering visiting Belize and have any questions about specifics of the trip (requirements, prices, flights, etc.), let me know! I'd be happy to help :).