Turtles, beaches, jungle Exploring Belize


| January 28, 2014

Angela Pullinger, Latin America team leader for Cox & Kings, recently travelled to Belize. Here she recounts her journey and why she’s so glad she finally made it to the diverse country.

Lush, green, tropical, jungle. These are the words that spring to mind when thinking of Belize. For me, it’s the penultimate country to visit in Central America, and I'd been desperate to go ever since I spent too much time in Mexico, and had to cancel my visit. Thankfully, Belize did not disappoint.

After arriving in Belize City, I hopped in the car and was driven west for three hours to the Cayo district, through a haven of pure green. The Cayo district has a lot to offer, with Xunantunich and Caracol – two impressive ancient Mayan archaeological sites – and lots of jungle walks, waterfalls and hiking.

After exploring the Cayo district, I headed south to the district of Toledo, where I was fortunate enough to stay in the rarely visited region of Punta Gorda, an area rich in Mayan culture.

I had a fantastic excursion to the Agouti Cacao Farm, located in the nearby San Pedro de Columbia village. Touring around the grounds with some other visitors to the farm, we munched on fresh vegetables along the way. The local farm owner, Eladio, is so passionate about his land and farming life that he oozes enthusiasm – and you can’t help but catch it.

We were then treated to one of the best meals of the tour; a home-cooked dish prepared by Eladio’s family and then privileged enough to see one of his daughters grinding cacao into chocolate, right in front of our eyes –the smell was tantalising.

The next stop was San Pedro, the only town on Ambergris Caye, the largest island in Belize. I flew from Toledo, via Belize airport, which takes just over 1.5 hours. Flying directly from Belize airport to San Pedro, takes around 15 minutes only. Then it’s just a quick transfer to the boats, and a short boat ride to the beach hotels.

I’m not normally a beach person, but San Pedro and Ambergris Caye had me converted.

The sun was shining; and snorkelling along Shark Ray Alley was really exciting. I was fortunate enough to share the waters with some glorious sea turtles.

The food in our hotel and the local town was exquisite, and I stuffed myself on succulent fish, plantains, beans and rice. The most memorable meal was the cashew-crusted grouper at Victoria House; followed by dinner in town at El Gogon restaurant.

Another restaurant in the area, Elvi’s Kitchen, was just as charming and the food delicious; it’s no wonder the place is always full. If you ever want to dine there yourself, be sure to book ahead!

Overall, I have many fond memories of Belize, and I cannot wait to go back to explore some more.

View Cox & Kings' holidays to Belize.

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