My husband and I left Miami, taking the morning flight directly to Belize City.
From there we needed to get to San Ignacio (locally referred to as Cayo), our base for traveling to the Caracol Mayan ruins. Although we are clearly tourists, I like to travel through Belize like most Belizeans – via the bus. The school buses, owned by private and collective groups, shuttle people all over the country off their main 4 highways. So we took a 2.5 hour bus from Belize City to San Ignacio. I love travelling this way, as you get to have conversations with Belizeans (as well as other tourists) and can become more familiar with local culture and customs.
It isn’t the most glamorous or even the fastest way to travel in the country, but it is what I prefer. In fact when I am in Belize (I think this is my 15th trip!) I can’t help but take on the Belizean perspective. I find that they are very easy going and live life at a peaceful pace. Things aren’t hectic and frenetic here.
Belize can be very budget friendly or unfriendly, depending on how luxe you want to your experience (i.e. hotels can go for $8 to over $500/night). I once traveled across the country for a week for under $400, including all food, lodging, travel, guided tours, and gifts for loved ones. While we are not traveling on this low of a budget now, we are still traveling modestly and are not staying in resorts.
For our stay in San Ignacio, we settled on the Casa Blanca Guesthouse, situated in a slightly more quiet end of the city. Although the rooms are modest, they are clean, and the hotel has lovely common areas.
I am actually writing this from the breezy veranda while listening to reggae from the restaurant a few streets away and drinking a Belikan. Not a bad first day in Belize!
Up next… touring Caracol!