Why Belize is the Perfect Priceless Vacation

Happy New Year! Last year, I wrote about the baecation goals PJ and I (really just me) had set for us. Those goals were to take a road trip, fly to another US city, and travel internationally. I’m happy to say we accomplished this goal with our last trip of 2016 to the beautiful Central American country of Belize. Rather than insulating ourselves from the Belizean culture by staying on an island resort we chose to stay on the mainland at a resort off Hopkins Village, a quiet fishing town near the beach. Here are some highlights from our trip:

The Beach

Our trip to Belize was part of PJ’s 30th birthday celebration. Since he is a December baby he wanted to escape the cold and head to the beach. Not only did our resort, Villa Margarita, give us a beach front room, but it also provided us with beautiful views everyday we were there. The water was the perfect shade of blue and the waves provided relaxing background noise for days we were beach bums.

Views from the Villa
His and Her hammocks

The Culture

While we wanted a relaxing trip, we also wanted to get a cultural experience. Belize is the perfect destination if you want both. Days we weren’t chilling on the beach we were climbing ancient Mayan temples, riding through the countryside, and exploring the local village. The last night of the trip we were able to see a local dance group do traditional dances. I wish we had a few more days to experience more!

Xunantunich, Ancient Maya archaeological site

The People

When I tell you Belize has the nicest people you will ever meet I am not lying. From the resort to the village every person we met was genuine and happy to tell you what Belize had to offer. A couple of nights we went out to some local bars and were able to interact with locals and learn more about Belizean culture. If you end up at Belizean Dreams be sure to tell my friend Sergio hi!

Our Xunantunich guide, Eric

The Food

The food in Belize is some of the best food I have ever had. If you love Caribbean and Latino food, you’ll love Belizean cuisine. We saw Fried plantains, ceviche, and rice and beans on most restaurant menus. Our favorite dishes included friend fish, steak with Belizean rice and beans, and Cochinita Pibil, a traditional Mayan pork dish that is slow roasted in a clay pot underground (SO GOOD)! We got a little adventurous and tried the local favorite, the Gibnut, aka the Royal Rat. It’s basically a chipmunk that taste like pork. It wasn’t bad! Whatever you eat, make sure you order a Belikin beer to go with it.

Cochinita Pibil served with avocados, salsa, and tortillas
Fried fish with fried plantains
Hudut, a traditional Garífuna stew made with coconut milk and fish, served with mashed plantains

The Drinks

If we weren’t drinking a Belikin, we were drinking different rum infused drinks most of our trip. We were greeted with a drink called Purple Rain when we arrived at our hotel and were given a complimentary bottle of rum when we got to our room. Since the exchange rate is 2:1 the drinks are super cheap!

Belikin Beer, the only beer brewed in Belize
Our welcome drink Purple Rain
A birthday shot made just for PJ 🙂

The best thing about this trip is you can make it even if you’re on a budget. Most of your cost will be your flight but you can find all inclusive deals through sites like Groupon. Once you’re in Belize you won’t break the bank. As I mentioned earlier, the exchange rate is 2/1 US dollars to Belizean dollars. Be sure to have both currencies handy, but most businesses are happy to except US dollars. We were able to use our credit cards with little issue, but again having some cash is smart. If you want a relaxing vacation with cultural elements, Belize is where you want to be. This was definitely a #priceless experience and a great way to finish the year.

What are your 2017 baecation plans? Share your experience in the comments!

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