Tag Archives: Belize

Belize-Snorkeling-Silk Cayes

So today was our last full day in Belize and we went snorkeling again. When I woke up my sunburn on my arms felt better and it wasn’t really red but the back of my thighs hurt like crazy! It was such a weird sunburn, none of it is very red. Maybe the medication I’m taking for Malaria prevention is making me sensitive to sun.

We were able to eat breakfast because Splash Diving wasn’t picking us up until 8. They had even called to see if we wanted to cancel because it was going to be rainy off and on. I’m so glad we didn’t cancel. The guy who picked us up was really cool. We talked to him a bit and found out he used to live in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

I thought the dive shop was a lot better looking than Avadon’s. It seemed newer and bigger. The boat we took today was much smaller though. The seats were a lot more comfortable though. The group we went with was also smaller, probably because of the weather. There were only 2 divers and 3 other snorkelers besides us. Everyone was from Spain also.

The weather was very stormy looking while we on the boat ride there. When we got to the island it was clearing up a little but still pretty overcast. This made me happy though because I didn’t know how much more sun I could take. The island was like nothing I’ve ever seen in real life. It was very small, like maybe 100 feet long…it was very picturesque. White sand, palm trees, a few picnic tables, one grill and one bathroom. That’s all.

We saw a lemon shark in the water off the shore immediately when we got off the boat. That was so cool. I love sharks but have only seen them on TV or in the aquarium. We got ready for our first snorkel of the day with our guide Brian. We saw a lot of sea life. Tons of different kinds of coral and fish, a lot more than the day before. We saw one sting ray that was pretty cool looking. It was light brown with black spots. We also saw little squid that looked like cuttlefish. We even saw jellyfish that didn’t sting and we could hold them in our hands.

Then we got out and I was applying sunscreen like crazy. The sun was hurting me so I was also trying to stay covered up. While we were waiting for lunch to be made Don got in the water and tried to get a picture of the lemon shark that kept coming close to shore. He never got a good shot though, but all throughout lunch we could see the shark. That was very cool. Lunch was bbq chicken, cole slaw, augratin potatoes and watermelon. It was much better than the lunch Avadon served us the day before.

We saw a bunch of the cutest hermit crabs on the island. I love hermit crabs! We stayed on shore for about an hour and then we got back in for our second snorkel. We saw more fish, but the highlight of the snorkel was seeing a nurse shark. It was so fast so we chased it for awhile. Finally we got close and it turned around. It was coming right at me from about 8 feet below. I got a picture of it. I thought I was taking a video of it swimming below me. It would have been such a cool video…but I guess in the excitement of it all I didn’t hit the record button. So then we went back to shore so we could get back on the boat.

We took the boat out a little ways to where another boat was throwing bait into the sea to attract turtles, rays, and sharks. When I jumped in the water I couldn’t believe what I saw! A huge sea turtle right next to me and about 8 nurse sharks all around. I was so excited! It was the coolest thing I have ever seen or done. When I went to the other side of the boat I could see there were about 4 sea turtles, 6 rays and maybe about a dozen nurse sharks total. We took a bunch of videos and pictures. It was amazing. The rays were giant. They were mostly Spotted Eagle Rays, there was a gray one there also that I didn’t catch the name of. We swam right next to the turtles and over the sharks. One of the coolest days ever!

When we got back we prepared for our last dinner in Belize. We couldn’t decide where to go but eventually decided on Mangos. We walked the beach there. I got a cheeseburger, it was very good. Don got the fried chicken and rice. It was a much better experience than last time at Mangos because there were hardly any fries. I love the waitress at Mangos she was so nice and cool. We decided to walk the beach back, it was pitch black. So Don used his flashlight on his phone. I have to admit it was a bit scary not knowing where you were putting your feet. We saw a ton of crabs! It was pretty cool. And there were so many stars in the sky. I’m glad we took the beach walk back to the hotel even though I was a little scared. It was a good end to our vacation.

Belize-Snorkeling South Water Caye

This morning we got picked up at 7 by Avadon Divers.  We didn’t have time for breakfast. We met another young couple that was staying at our hotel, Andrea and Kyle from Michigan.  They went on this snorkeling excursion with us.

Once we got to the dive shop we filled out paperwork and got sized for fins.  We brought our own snorkels and masks.  When we finally got on the boat, it was awesome.  It was a lot bigger than I thought it would be.   It had an upper deck and a bathroom.  They set out some coffee and banana bread for breakfast.  When the boat started moving we stayed mostly on the bottom.  We went up top for a little while, but I really wanted to stay out of the sun.

The first snorkel site was really cool.  It was a small island that had a marine biologist resort there along with a couple of other resorts.  Our guides James and Giovanni did their best to point out the different sea life. We saw a couple Barracudas and many smaller fish.  It was really cool to see the coral because I’ve never really seen anything like that in the wild.


The island looked so cool but after the first snorkel we got back on the boat for lunch.  They had made tuna, chicken and egg salad to choose from.  I had the chicken and the egg.  It was pretty good, although I have to say I was expecting a better lunch from some of the reviews I read.

For the next snorkel location we were in the middle of the sea and jumped off the boat.  The water was deep, probably around 15 feet, but you could still see the bottom perfectly.  There was so much coral and so many different types of fish.  We saw a sting ray!  And a lobster!
During about half way through the snorkel I could feel the back of my arms getting burnt.  It was such an intense burning feeling, like nothing I’ve ever felt.  Pretty much every time I’ve gotten burnt I haven’t felt it until afterwards.  This was like my skin was frying. It was pretty bad, some of the worst skin pain I’ve ever felt.  It made the snorkeling not so great but I didn’t want it to ruin my trip so I tried to ignore it.

We got back on the boat and James cut up a variety of fruits for us.  My arms felt like they were on fire.  I’ve really never felt anything like it.  If any sunlight touched me I felt like I was burning, like a vampire.  I sat with my towel draped around me.  It was so uncomfortable. Sometimes it felt like I was getting an Indian Burn over and over.

Once I got off the boat the sun was so intense I just wanted to hide from it.  We took a picture with the guides and got in the van to go back to the hotel.  By now I am feeling the burn on the back of my arms and the back up my legs right below my butt.

After getting cleaned up we biked to the grocery store to look for aloe.  There was none.  So we biked to Singing Sands Inn because Don said their gift shop had a lot of stuff.  Luckily they had a bottle of aloe.  We also bought tshirts from our hotel that we could wear the next day because we booked another snorkeling trip.

We ate dinner at the hotel.  I had a spicy chicken sandwich, which I didn’t really like at all.  Luckily Don shared half of his pork sandwich with me.  What a nice husband.  My sunburn just felt weird…and wasn’t very red when I went to bed.  I really lathered on the aloe.

Belize-Monkey River

We woke up this morning and had time to eat breakfast. Don had the Bacon Egg Burger that I had a few days ago and I just had a bagel. Then we had to walk to meet our guide at 745. We met him about 10 minutes away at a dock on the lagoon side. His name was Evaristo.

It took about an hour to reach Monkey River Town. On the way Evar pointed out many different types of birds. He was an expert at spotting them out. He was also an expert boater. We raced through the mangroves at high speeds. Sometimes we had to turn off the engine of the boat to hear if another boat was coming towards us through the mangroves. It was a little scary for me at first but he maneuvered the boat so freely.

Once we got to Monkey River Evar told us to go to Alice’s Restaurant and place our order otherwise it would not be ready for later. The village looked very small. The restaurant looked like someone’s house. We told the lady there that we were with Evar and wanted to place our lunch order she said “okay, I have rice beans with chicken and plantain.” And so that is what we ordered haha.

Then we got back into the boat to go down Monkey River slowly to try to see some wildlife. The first monkeys we saw were in a tree by an abandoned house. They were kind of far but you could see them. We saw several types of birds and their weird nests that they make. Then we saw a big iguana up high in a tree. How Evar spotted it, I have no idea. The guy was good. He pointed out a small crocodile just chilling in front of some tall grass. It was probably about 4 feet long.



Then we got off the boat for a walk in the jungle. We layered on the bug spray! Almost immediately we saw a big land crab. It was walking around a tree.

I was being careful where I stepped because who knows what is on the ground in the jungle. Evar warned us watch out for ants because they could be crawling on you and you might not notice until it was too late. I saw a big black spider crawl over Evar’s shoe and I told him. The spider was just sitting in some plants and I was trying to show him but he couldn’t see it. Finally he saw it and told me it was small. It was not small! This is when he learned I was afraid of spiders. He told me I should be afraid of snakes instead.

Then we came upon a family of monkeys high in the trees. They were pretty easy to spot though. Evar said he was going to scare another tour group coming at us so he got out his machete and started banging it against a tree. When he did this the monkeys started howling and screaming. They were called howler monkeys. The howling they did was so loud and so intense. It was awesome. I think we got some good video of this.

We saw a lot of cool plant life also. One of the coolest parts was the bamboo. At one point there was just bamboo towering over us.

Evar was always leading and at one point he started backing up and saying whoa whoa. He had walked into a big spider web with a big spider!! It was freaky. He said that this kind of spider makes a very strong web and he didn’t even break it.

Then we got back on the boat and continued down the river. We didn’t really get any bites in the jungle, which was cool. The rest of the trip we saw mostly birds.

Then we went back for lunch. I was so hungry and the food was really good.

Then we got back on the boat to go back to Maya Beach. But first we were going to look for manatees. Evar knew right where to go. Right when he stopped the boat we saw a manatee pop his head up for a breath. Another tour boat pulled up for a look at the manatees but they didn’t stay long and I think they missed a lot. We stuck around and saw manatees poking their noses up for air. It was very cool.

When we got back to our dock we saw a giant iguana. We saw everything on the tour that was listed except for dolphins.

On our walk home we made a detour to go to the grocery store. I got a Dr Pepper and we got some sunblock. We walked the beach home. Don was hoping the fins we had lost had washed up. When we got back we showered and then decided to take the bikes to Bonefish Grille. It was about 1.5 miles away. The bikes were good. Riding on mine made me want to get a new bike.

The Bonefish Grille is in the Singing Sands Resort. Right when we got there I got bit by a mosquito. We got bit here more than we did in the jungle! The restaurant was very dark and made you feel like you were in the jungle. It was really cool looking.
The waiter was really nice and we had some really good drinks. The restaurant was like an Asian Thai fusion. I had a spicy pork sandwich and Don had a Korean beef bbq sandwich. The food was really good and it was a really cool atmosphere. The only problem was there were a lot of mosquitoes and bugs that were biting us. The pool looked awesome and the resort itself looked really nice too. I picked up a brochure for the place and found out they have glass bottom kayaks!! That would be so cool. Then we came back and went to bed.



We slept a lot last night.  We finally got out of bed today around 8:30.  I know that doesn’t sound very late but I swear I fell asleep at 7:45 last night!

Once out of bed we decided we were gonna kayak.  There is an island about a mile from the shore here that has good snorkeling on the other side of it.  I wasn’t really sure of our kayaking abilities but we decided to go for it.  So we ate breakfast and then got ready to go out.  
Marlon gave us fins to snorkel with and life jackets.  He also put a cinder block on Don’s kayak in case we wanted to anchor somewhere.  Then we both got in our kayaks and started going.  It was a lot easier than I imagined it would be.  Before we knew it we were almost half way there.  I started getting somewhat tired at this point but really wanted to keep going.  Don said “I’m waiting on you! Every time I look at you, you are not paddling!”  I told him I was waiting on him because every time I looked at him he wasn’t doing anything!  So then I started paddling more.  All of the sudden I look back and Don is in the water.  The kayak had flipped!  I turned around and tried to get close to him but missed him…not really good at being precise with my direction.  Finally I got to him and I noticed there was another kayak coming towards us with a guy and a girl in it.  They asked us if we needed help and they stopped.  Don could not get his kayak to flip over.  Luckily his bag and his fins were still there strapped in.  The cinder block had fallen to the bottom though.  When Don finally got back on the kayak kept tipping up so the back was underwater and the top was upright in the air.  We thought maybe it was because of the anchor so the guy got the anchor up and we put in my kayak, but Don’s kayak still wouldn’t balance.  I put all of his stuff in my kayak….except his fins, we lost them.  Then Don got behind me and the guy told me to just paddle him in.  I tried paddling and couldn’t get anywhere.  So the guy tied his kayak to mine and they paddled us back to where we could touch.  I tried to help by paddling also.  I wish we could buy these people a beer or something.  
Once we were on shore Don was tired and disappointed.  I was just happy we got back and we had everything…except the fins.  I was really worried about our underwater camera but it was there in the bag.  Don’s kayak was so heavy!  Then we saw the plug in the back wasn’t screwed in and water was coming out.  So we drained it.  We are pretty sure that this was the problem; the plug wasn’t in so when we first started he had no problem but as time went on the kayak filled with water.  We drained the kayak for a good 15 minutes.  
We saw a pretty big fish right at the shore.  It looked like a baby or small shark but I’m sure it wasn’t.  As we were standing there the woman who we had saw the day before with her trinkets and crafts said hi.  She had a friend with her.  She asked if we were having fun we said yes but we tipped over.  She said “oh you’re the one that tipped!?” Then she asked if we wanted to look again at her things to buy….I couldn’t believe it haha but I told her we had no money on us.  Crazy woman.
Once the kayak was drained we needed to get back to the hotel’s beach. We were pretty far from there so we decided to get back in kayak back.  We had decided that the island was out of the question now…we were tired and it was far.  The kayak back to the hotel beach was fine…so now we know the problem. So always check to make sure your kayak’s plug is screwed in!!
We got back and swam for awhile then we told Marlon what happened and that we lost the fins.   He was nice about it but Don still felt bad.  Then we went out to swim more.  The water felt sooo good.  After that we dried off a bit and Don said he wanted to walk the beach back to where we came to shore and see if his fins had washed up.  I knew this was unlikely because I saw them sink.  They went pretty fast.  But we went and walked the beach.  On the way we saw some pretty big fish and Don pointed out a sting ray.  We also saw 2 crabs.  We looked along the shore and got in and snorkeled a bit but we never found the fins.  
Then we came back and swam in the pool.  After the pool we got cleaned up and decided to walk to the grocery store.  They had Dr Pepper so I got one.  Then we ate at the Green Parrot.  Don had a cheeseburger and I had shrimp and fries.  It was good but I think our restaurant is better.  We walked the beach back and decided to have the peanut brittle pie again.  Now we are relaxing in the room and getting ready for our Monkey River Tour tomorrow.


So last night we freaked ourselves out reading in a Belize guidebook about bugs and diseases you could get here! Not a good way to end the night!

We woke up early for our tour of the the Mayan site Xunantunich. We got a bagel from the restaurant here and our guide was here at 7:20. His name was Gilbert. There was a family of 3 in the van already which was surprising because we thought we would be the only ones on the tour. That was okay with me though because I thought an all day tour would be a little awkward just the two of us.

So we started the 3 hour drive to Xunantunich near San Ignacio. We stopped at a gas station about 45 min into the trip. We got some drinks and some breakfast sandwiches here. I wasn’t really hungry after having the bagel though. Then we just kept driving.

About an hour from our destination the driver pulled into a shopping center and dropped the family off. We thought that was weird, we thought they were going with us. So it was just 2 of us to the ruins.

We drove through the city of San Ignacio. It looked really different from anything we’ve seen so far. It has been so rural here in Belize. When we got to the ruins the driver explained to us that we would have to get out of the van and take the ferry across and then walk a mile to the ruins. I thought he meant he was not coming with us….so I was a little freaked out at first! But then I understood and we got out and waited for our turn for the ferry.

The ferry would take each tour bus one by one over the narrow river. It was powered by a man using a crank. It was pretty cool to see. People had little shops set up where they were selling their crafts. We looked around a bit but didn’t buy anything. Then we got on the ferry.


After the ferry we drove to the parking lot and got out. Then we hiked about a mile to Xunantunich. The site was really cool. We hiked to the top and got a view of Guatemala. Going down the ruin was a little difficult for me. I was afraid I was going to fall. Once at the bottom we went all around the site, learning about different things. We saw some leaf carrying ants. It was pretty cool they had a whole little hike they were doing. Our guide Gill showed us if you stomp around the opening of their homes the soldier ants would come out to defend it. I was looking at it and wondering where are the ants?! All the sudden I looked at my shoe and a giant ant was on it attacking my shoelace. They have giant pincers that will just cut things up. So that was cool. Luckily it didn’t get in my shoe.




Once we were done with the ruins we went for lunch. I had a traditional rice and beans with stewed chicken and Don had breakfast. It was pretty good. Then we started on the road again. We stopped at a gas station for a break and Gill told us he would be picking up a family on the way back. Once we got to the shopping mart again the same family got in. We couldn’t believe they had been shopping all day! The woman told us they were school shopping.

Then we started on the road again so we could make our last stop at The Blue Hole National Park. This is not to be confused with the Blue Hole that Belize is known for. This blue hole is in the jungle and you hike to it. The hike was only about 5 minutes though. Once you get there it’s a little lagoon that is deep blue. It’s blue because it’s about 100 feet deep in spots. It was kind of cold but once you got in you got used to it. It was cool to see the fish swimming around us. If you went further down you would come to the opening of Herman’s Cave. You could hike through Herman Cave to get to the blue hole, it’s about 2 miles. We didn’t do that though haha.


After we got done swimming we went back to the van for the ride home. It rained for about 30 seconds then it was sunny again. It was the first rain we had seen. Gill showed us this spot that is supposedly magnetic because if you put the car in neutral it goes back up the hill. It worked. I wanna know why it worked…is it really magnetic?

Once we got back I was so tired. We ate dinner. I had a personal pizza it was good and Don had fish and chips. Both were good. But we had an amazing dessert. It was peanut brittle ice cream pie. Neither of us like peanut brittle but we tried it. It was amazing! It had caramel and vanilla ice cream with the peanut brittle.

After dinner we saw this cool looking moth on the outside of the hotel.

That was pretty much our night because when we got back to the room I was out.