If anyone had a chance to watch our short video about our time in Mexico you could see we had a great time! We wrapped up our stay in Mexico in Majahaul, Xcalak, Laguna de Bacalar and Chetumal. It was probably our favorite parts of Mexico as we enjoyed the super clear waters, white sandy beaches, reef at your finger tips, fishing and as always the awesome Mexican vibes. After emptying out our refrigerator (Belize doesn’t allow fruit, veg or meat to be brought into the country), changing the trucks’ oil and a quick stop at wally world (wal-mart) we crossed the border at Chetumal into Corozol, Belize!
The border was super quick and easy, maybe it was because we were traveling on Good Friday (whoops) but either way we lucked out. The only thing that was difficult was finding a store or restaurant that was open! Since we ate the camper dry we kind of had to find something or pasta it was! Luckily a smart family had their veggie stand open and we bought some eggs, potatoes and some fruit. Since we spent so much time on the Laguna in Mexico we did not stop on the Belize side, instead we headed for the Crooked Tree National Park. Locals were celebrating and we enjoyed the new green scenery and watched all the birds. This is when we wish we bought a better zoom lens, sorry guys not too may bird pictures from there. The first heavy rain of our trip came across us that first night in Belize and we slept like angels! We only had a little drip action from the sky light handle but nothing a bowl couldn’t fix.
Since it was Easter weekend we figured we would head back to the coast! When we stayed at the The Cavelands in Akumal, Mexico the owner Renzo told us about his friend Patricia (she really goes by Trish we found out) who owns and runs the Kismet Inn in Hopkins, Belize. We figured a good recommendation was a good idea on a holiday weekend! Trishs’ motto is “arrive as friends, leave as family” and that could not have been any more true! Rian and I had an amazing weekend chatting with Trish and fellow travelers, eating her delicious meals and cold Belekins and simply enjoying the Caribbean breeze. Trish gave us a few tips and told us a couple good stories to illustrate life in Belize a little better. Her hospitality and warmth made for such a special Easter. We will for sure cross paths with her again!
So really since Easter we have continuously met and hung out with amazing people in amazing places. After Hopkins we headed to the Placencia Peninsula in Belize where Rian proposed almost exactly two years ago. We caught up at the Parrot Bar in town and stayed at a great hotel on the beach called Mariposas. Rian and I chatted with the Canadian couple who own and run the property and gained some really useful knowledge. All the information we gain the better!
From there we headed south to Punta Gorda. There we stayed at the Sun Creek Lodge in the jungle owned by an amazing German family. The rain and cool shade from the huge trees was a nice change. We headed through the Mayan Kekchi village further East from Punta Gorda to get our waterfall site seeing on. It was amazing seeing how the local families live and work off the land, it really makes you think and opens your eyes and mind up a bit.
Continuing from there we headed back north since there is only one border crossing into Guatemala from Belize. Since we did the catamaran trip and the reef a few years ago we decided on this budget we would keep going. The highlight of going back north was going to the Pleasant Day waterfalls. This was was Rians’ original proposal destination of choice two years ago. Long story short, two years ago we were on our way to the waterfall via golf cart by a recommendation from someone at the Parott Bar the night before. After driving for what felt like forever I got way to hot and hungry and decided we should turn around, obviously not knowing what Rian was up to! He popped the question on the beach that night instead and it all worked out! But now that we finally made it to these waterfalls there was no way we were going to make it that day in a golf cart! But we finally made it two years later! The waterfalls are amazing and we were lucky enough to be able to camp at them for the night. It is a truly a magical feeling being by your self at a waterfall, the energy and peace is unreal.
Recharged and ready for more of Belize we headed west towards Blue Hole National Park. Here we stopped for a nice little hike through the jungle to a very deep cave and then to a perfectly clear and cool Cenote (Blue Hole).
From there we spent an unexpected three nights at the Belize Bird Rescue Sanctuary on Rock Farm just out side of Belmopan. It was such an awesome time to hang out with the rescued birds and to enjoy the very refreshing river. The birds there are mostly parrots that are found either abandon as babies or seized from people trying to smuggle them back into the States to sell. The English couple that runs and owns the property told us heaps of bird information we never would have known. We even held and fed a baby squirrel. I know its like a rodent but it was so tiny and cute!
Our last stop in Belize was at Clarissa Falls just out side of San Ignacio before the Guatemalan border. Again another stunner of a spot we found ourselves there for a few days as well. The camp spot was located on another awesome river with rapids. As much as we love the beach the coast of a crystal clear river is pretty good as well. Again there we meet and chatted with an amazing guy named Thor. He is originally from Chicago but has lived in Guatemala and the Yucatan area for the most part of 25 years in his truck camper. He is a photographer and publishes amazing books on the wildlife and culture of the region. We swapped ideas and thinkings and gained a lot of good information from him. Thor generously gave us a copy of one of his published books so now we don’t have to worry about getting any more close of photos, he has captured them all, thanks again Thor!
Off to Guatemala we went! Belize will always be a special spot for Rian and I. The more we chat and meet new people the more we learn. It is for sure one of the best things about traveling and we hope to keep learning!