I can’t believe I made it to Belize. There’s nothing better than vocalizing and visualizing and it coming true. Belize has definitely been in my bucket list – not for long! But that’s the point. Make a list, do it and check it off! That’s what I did.
This trip was A M A Z I N G!!!!
I purchased a Groupon for my trip to Belize with separate airfare. And let me give you a little heads up about trips on Groupon (in case you don’t already know). I love Groupon, HOWEVER, read the fine print or call the destination before purchasing. I DID NOT! and so even though the Groupon was a great deal, there were a few hidden fees and additional costs that we did not find out about until we were locked into the Groupon.
The package included accommodations for two nights and ziplining (and equipment) at the Bocawina Rainforest Resort and two nights at Tobacco Caye (pronounced key). Tobacco Caye is home to the second largest barrier reef- second to of course Australia so we also had access to snorkeling equipment as well as paddle boarding (bucket list item √)!!! Transportation from Dandriga to Bocawina and back to Dandriga for our ride to Tobacco Caye was also included. That’s it! Everything else was out of pocket!
Let me tell you what those costs were. We had to pay for transportation from airport to the town of Dandriga (which FYI was about a three hour ride in some serious August heat in a what resembled a beat-up school bus… no lie! lol). This ride was $20 (all these fees are in US dollars and per person). Belize has the Belizean dollar which is basically US money, but you get 2 for 1 which is nice). You could also fly in a prop airplane for about $90. No thanks! We chose the bus. There is a 20 minute boat ride from Dandriga to Tobacco Caye. FYI, this is a dingy with a motor attached, expect nothing else. Which consequently got stuck about 5 minutes out from the island and we had to wait to be towed in. Only ME! This ride cost $10-15. Food was not included at either location. Bocawina had a very nice restaurant and the cost of food is comparable to a nice restaurant here.
At Tobacco Caye we were required to purchase a meal plan which included breakfast, lunch and dinner served in the dining hall of the main cabin. This was at a cost of about $36 per day and is paid upon check in. This was something I didn’t like as I don’t necessarily eat three meals a day on vacation, but whatever. There was also a tourist fee paid upon entrance to both Bocawina and Tobacco Caye. All in all we paid an additional $200 in extra costs not including our airfare which averaged about $440 roundtrip. On the flip side, the cost of food in the local town of Dandriga was very inexpensive. Their local beer Belikin was about $2, not bad as you stroll through the town in 90 degree weather. We went in August, it was HOT, which I love, some of you may not and may want to research cooler time to visit.
Both Tobacco Caye and Bocawina are heaven on earth. Considering we were in a dense rainforest and no air conditioning in our cabin (just ceiling fans) surprisingly we didn’t encounter too many bug bites.
Anyway, I got a chance to zipline in Bocawina . OMG I thought I was going to die!!!! I still can’t believe I did it, and I would be scared to do it again, but wouldn’t hesitate! What a thrill zipping through those tree tops. Bocawina has the longest zipline in Belize! It’s also home to like 200 different species of birds. The only thing I would have liked was a pool or hot tub on site, but our cabana was perfect. High ceilings, ceiling fan and a beautiful veranda with a hammock. We took a hookah (of course), liquor, playing cards, snacks, so our two nights there were perfect!
Our second night we hung out at the restaurant bar and our bartender let us sample different proofs of their Old Master Rum, let’s just say I remember very little of that night. I did pick up some bottles of Belize Rum to bring home, that was more to my liking. Didn’t burn a whole in my esophagus! Leaving was bittersweet. The staff at the resort were amazing including, Wilson, our driver/ziplining guide/drinking partner/ everything else he did there. Wilson spoke 7 languages!!!! sorry the teacher in me loves that!
Off we were to our island paradise! We had to take a bus to the dock for our trip to Tobacco Caye. After getting stuck in the ocean and me having visions of sharks circling us, we were rescued and tugged in to the island. Belize was hit by Hurricane Irma back in 2017. Irma wreaked havoc on this little island, so it leaves a lot to be desired as you pull up. Our accommodations were at the Tobacco Caye (clearly) Lodge). This island is a mix of tourists (us), the staff who run the facilities, and some locals that live there. We were placed in a one room hut facing the ocean with a door in back which led to a cute little porch. The running water in the hut is provided from a tank that collects rain water. There is a fan in the room. Again no air conditioner, but honestly being so close to the ocean, the breeze that flowed was more than enough for me. I know it sounds bareboned and if you’re used to luxurious accomodations, then this is not the place to stay at. If you’re looking for an organic experience connecting with your surroundings – then this is it!!! Go for it! I can be a little bougee on vacation, but I really loved this place.
The island is so small you can literally walk from end to end in less than 10 minutes. The water is so clear and in some parts so shallow you can walk out 50 feet and water is still knee level. Of course that’s only if you don’t mind dodging the stingrays (that I thought were manatees) that swim back and forth, back and forth all day. Literally! I have a whole new respect for the ocean and its inhabitants. At the Caye you can pay the locals to go and dive for fresh lobster for about $20US which is then cooked for you in the dining hall.
Overall, two thumbs up for my trip to Belize. Definitely would like to go back and visit the city and do some nightlife. This vacation was chill. Loved every second of it and would go back in heartbeat.