Stevie Wanders to… Belize
Soaking up the sun
This past holiday season, my boyfriend and I decided to forego the traditional gifts and give each other the gift of travel. How we decided on Belize is beyond me (knowing us it most likely started with a bottle of wine), but it ended up being the best vacation I could imagine! To give you an idea, my favorite highlight of the trip was conquering my deeply rooted fear of sharks (thanks, Jaws!)- but I’ll get to that later.
We started our journey in Belize City where Jhan, our Air BnB host, became our tour guide. Through him, we were able to experience Belize like locals. We toured the city and some local neighborhoods, ate at a local food stand, and even explored some old Mayan ruins (that was Nate’s favorite part!). While Belize City had it’s own sense of magic, we decided to spend the majority of our trip soaking up the sun and drinking out of coconuts in Caye Caulker, which was exactly what we were looking as Denver residents. It was a full-scale winter we were escaping from!
When we arrived in Caye Caulker, we were greeted by smiling faces and the smell of the ocean. Recently PADI scuba certified, we knew our main goal of this trip was to go diving- so our first mission was to scout out a dive shop. As someone who is always looking to conquer my fears, of course we picked the one that scared me the most- the shark dive. We put down our deposit, filled out some paper work, got fitted for wet suits and gear. All the while, mentally preparing for our dive. I was surprised at how calm I was being that it was my first dive and waters were pretty rough (and, um, sharks…), but I was excited to get in the water! After my first run in with a shark (okay, it was just a nurse shark, but it was still a shark!), I felt right at home. We saw eels, colorful fish, reef sharks, and coral worth swooning over. There is no feeling like breathing underwater and having time seem to completely stop- and for that reason, it was the most incredible part of my trip.
Caye Caulker also boasted some of the best seafood I have ever had- and we didn’t break the bank to eat like royalty! My favorite dish came from a restaurant right on the beach- a whole lobster with two sides and a rum punch- all for $15! Aside from eating our way through the island, we enjoyed other activities Caye Caulker had to offer such as paddle boarding, snorkeling, and bar hopping on the beach.
For those of you that are like myself and have a severe case of wanderlust but don’t think you have the money to make your dream vacation happen, do your research. We were able to book our island getaway at a fraction of what I thought it would cost by booking our flights during the time that we could secure the lowest fares, researched lodging to keep that cost down, and went to several dive shops to find the best bang for our buck. Take your dream trip- you’ll be glad you did.