Lisa Breckenridge with sunglasses on beach in belize

Belize Travel Guide: Rainforest to the Beach

Welcome to Belize!  From the jungle to the Caribbean Sea…I’ve got you covered! First up, beach time! We stayed at Las Terrazas Resort right on the white sandy beach of the Caribbean Sea. It was magical and oh-so-relaxing! If you’re not familiar with Belize it’s bordered on the north by Mexico, on the south and west by Guatemala, and of course the Caribbean Sea on the east. It’s a gorgeous place to vacation. The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest in the world, after Australia’s.  Maybe next time we’ll try scuba diving, but for this trip, we stuck to kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and snorkeling and we weren’t disappointed!

One of the highlights was the day spent at Hol Chan Marine Reserve with its sharks and stingrays.  Trust me, this is no fish tale, our underwater disposable cameras failed us, we were surrounded by 20 Nurse sharks and stingrays, it was truly a crazy experience! San Pedro Town itself is where you’ll find all types of seafood restaurants and bars. The kids and I of course found the Belize Chocolate Company, a really cute family-owned bean-to-bar artisan chocolate maker. Even the ice tea tasted like chocolate!

I also really loved all the brightly colored buildings…so cue the shots of me posing in front of a bunch of them!

The basic way to get around the island of Ambergris Caye is by golf carts. The roads are a bit bumpy but we had a blast exploring all the cool little areas, including the Secret Beach. We also made a couple of stops by The Truck Stop which is this funky little outdoor food court on the side of the road, consisting of shipping containers instead of food trucks. There’s a bar, of course, and you can choose from ice cream, pizza, South American-inspired cuisine, and spicy Asian fusion dishes. But I have to say, one of our favorite nights was spent walking down the beach not far from our hotel where we found this cute bar and restaurant complete with a volleyball court. It definitely kept the kids entertained!

Now onto the Rainforest…Let me just get this part out of the way: there are bugs, really really big bugs, the kind of bugs you’ve never seen before! Having said that, we loved exploring the dense rainforest of Belize. It was such a contrast from the time we spent by the beach. We stayed at The Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge which is a luxury resort dedicated to sustainable tourism.  The rooms have air conditioning which was amazing, but no TV and no Wifi so it was truly a chance to disconnect for my entire family.  Which is really something when you’ve got twins about to turn 13! Our rooms were at the top of the longest and steepest stairway we’d ever seen. It was kind of like staying in a treehouse, with beautiful views of the Sleeping Giant mountain range.

Elsie and I decided to explore St. Herman’s Ceremonial Cave.  This is where Mayan Shamans came to enter the underworld and perform their sacrifices. It felt like we were stepping into a scene from an “Indiana Jones” movie.  I highly recommend a guide for this excursion as it’s beyond dark, steep and slippery. Be careful!  And as long as you don’t mind dark places, completely filled with bats, this truly is a magical expedition as you float amongst the stalagmites and stalactites. Another magical part from this corner of the world: the people. From those who worked at the resort, who are truly the friendliest people I’ve ever met, to the families living without electricity on the outskirts of the rainforest…this is one adventure we’ll never forget.