As some of you might be aware, I just returned home from a vacation in Belize. My man and I had a wonderful time exploring the country, and did as much as we could to see the sights. We stayed at four different hotels over the course of two weeks, and while we definitely had days we relaxed and did nothing, we also went snorkeling, caving, hiking, bird watched, walked through towns, talked to the local people, drove across the country, and experienced both planes and ferries.
While our hotels had wi-fi, I kept my phone turned off the entire time, and only went online a couple of times when my honey lent me his iPad. It was a wonderful feeling to not be so attached to my phone. While I know I can't completely detach here in the "real" world, now that we're back I plan to make an effort to not be so obsessive about checking my phone all the time. Taking the time to appreciate the moment and my surroundings is important.
Some quick facts about Belize:
- The country is roughly 174 miles long by 62 miles wide, excluding the 400 cayes on the reef.
- Population in 2012 was about 328,000 people. That's only slightly larger than Marin county!
- Belize has flat marsh, scrubland, lowland forest, thick jungles, mountains, and agricultural areas.
- Belize is the birthplace of chewing gum, called "Chicle."
- Belize has the second largest barrier reef in the world, after Australia's.
- It's estimated that only about 10% of the species living on the reef have been cataloged.
- It is a truly diverse country: Mexican, Guatemalan, Mayan, Spanish, African, Caribbean, Creole, Garifuna, Mestizo, English, Chinese, and North Americans have all had influence here.
- Very little food is imported, Belizeans eat what they have in the country, and that's a lot!
- Rice & Beans is a different dish than Beans & Rice.
- Belizeans speak multiple languages, English, Spanish and at least one more. Truly impressive.
Here are some photos from our trip:
|So lucky we were there for lobster season!!|
|Lobster tails with rice and beans. Yum!|
|A typical Central American meal: Rice and beans with Stew Chicken.|
|One of our favorite spots: Robins Kitchen on Ambergris Caye.|
|This is a Belizean highway.|
Our hotel in San Ignacio was home to The Iguana Project. We had fun playing with the critters!
|We think this is a Collard Aracari.|
We explored the Mayan ruins at Xunantunich and Cahal Pech. Amazing places!
|This was the "ferry" that took our car across the river to the Xunantunich site.|
|Taking a breather at Xunantunich.|
|Mayan carvings on the side of the temple.|
|The view from the top was pretty amazing!|
|An ice cold coconut water was SO refreshing after hiking around!|
|The ruins at Cahal Pech are still being excavated by groups of students.|
The Botanical Garden at DuPlooy's (outside San Ignacio) was really cool!
|The view from the fire lookout.|
|Grass-fed beef company. The meat was delicious!|
|Cows out grazing, as they should be.|
|The plane we took from the mainland to Caye Caulker took less than 10 minutes!|
|Lobster ceviche? Yes, please!|
What vacation have you/will you take this year? Near or far, it doesn't matter. How do you plan to relax and recharge? Tell us in the comments below!