Why pick Belize over the thousands of other spots that you can visit? Well…I moved to San Pedro, Belize only 6 months after my first visit. Here are a few reasons why…
1. The 2nd largest barrier reef in the world runs all along our coast. Snorkeling along the reef, swimming with sting rays & nurse sharks, scuba diving the Blue Hole and reef & flats fishing are some of the most popular activities for both visitors and locals. (Here’s your view on Tropic Air while flying over Caye Caulker with the reef just off shore…not bad, right?)
2. The people. I’ve visited a bunch of countries. 40 to be exact…and I’ve never met a friendlier or more welcoming bunch. Locals want to recommend their favorite bar, restaurant, dive trip, just chat or in some cases, invite you over for lunch. This is not a vacation where you will be stuck inside an all inclusive resort with other tourists.
3. We speak your language (well…if you are one of the 6% of humans that speak English as a first language)…and some other really cool ones. Spanish, Mayan (in certain parts of the country) and, my favorite, Kriol/Creole. Based mainly in English but heavily accented with lots of cool new words and phrases, you can keep yourself busy for hours working on the basics. There are few things more amusing to Belizeans than laughing with (or at) visitors testing the language out. Here is a very cute video to get you started.
4. The weather. Ranging from warm and breezy to a bit more muggy and hot, Belize does have its seasons. Thankfully none of them include snow or anything close to it. In the years that I’ve lived in San Pedro, the weather has never dipped below 65 degrees. And for that, I will remain eternally grateful.
5. The food. Fresh fish. High end restaurants and delicious street food. Pupusas, barbecue, fry jacks, johnny cakes, tamales, lobster season, conch season…you honestly can’t go wrong. Whenever I have friends visit, it’s the #1 thing that they rave about.
6. History and the Mayan ruins. Belize and the surrounding countries have some serious history. The Mayan people flourished in this area for hundreds of years. In fact, in 1000AD, the population of Belize is estimated to have been significantly greater than it is today. Leaving behind pyramids and temples, pottery and jewelry, the countryside (and even the island of Ambergris) is scattered with impressive Mayan relics and scenic sites.
7. Beauty, variety and accessibility of the mainland from the cayes and the cayes from the mainland. The entire country of Belize is slightly smaller than the state of Massachusetts, only about 9,000 square miles. Water falls, the amazing Belize zoo, tubing through underground caves… Belize is a country where you can go from a sandy beach to a wild life filled jungle in a few hours (or less).
8. The holidays and the festivals. (These reasons are not ranked because if they were, this would be at the top of my list.) From the Chocolate Festival in Southern Belize to Carnaval in San Pedro to Lobsterfest on Caye Caulker to the HUGE September Independence celebrations countrywide, Belize loves to party. And there are very few months of the year where you won’t encounter something.
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