Belize at its Best

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So, this was my first blog while on vacation. I have a lot to say but the good news is I have a lot of pictures! We arrived at Blancaneaux, our rainforest retreat, after a two-hour car ride from the Belize airport. The first-hour was a paved highway but the second half was a kidney killer of rock on a compacted dirt road. Bumpier and certainly dusty! Blancaneaux feels like it’s at the end of the earth. There isn’t anything around but wild Belize and an airstrip! We were offered the opportunity to avoid the two-hour car ride and take a little plane to the airstrip…We opted out…phew. We have never stayed at any of the Copolla properties in Belize. Well, the place was really beautiful.

Tired and dirty, and we were greeted with a cold lavender scented towel to wipe our faces. I have decided to instate this custom at our home – anyone that visits our house gets a cool scented towel.

The rooms were comfortable and spacious. There wasn’t any air conditioning but with a ceiling fan and the breeze from the forest, we were very comfortable. The cabins are separated from each other, so you feel like you have your own private getaway.

After a quick overview by the lovely staff on services and check-in usuals, we were showed to our room. OMG. There was an outdoor shower and a flower adorned pail of water to wash off your feet but most importantly we had our own private dipping pool.

The food was very good. Breakfast always consisted of fried jacks, Belize breakfast stable– basically like our fried bread or funnel cake but for breakfast! Eggs, snickerdoodles (posted that recipe!) and coffee. We ate very well. Blancaneaux had an onsite Guatemalan restaurant that we ate in for two of the four nights that we were there.

We did a hike to the great falls. The hike takes you along the river and up and down some narrow and difficult trails. Not very hard, but certainly not for someone who isn’t prepared for a strenuous hike. The hike is about two miles, and at the end, you walk down a long steep set of steps. When you come out onto the river you are right below this amazing waterfall and pristine lake. It takes your breath away a little – me I was already huffing from the hike down so….

Once we had our fill of the great pine forest, we made the two hour trek back to the Belize Airport for a quick 15-minute flight to San Pedro, Belize.

On San Pedro Island, which is one of the islands that make up the Ambergris Caye in Belize, we stayed at the Victoria House where we have stayed in the past.

The Victoria House feels like it’s built on the very tip of San Pedro – it’s not but it is away from town. We would walk out to the beach and go all the way into town. This last year though, the beaches were plagued with a sea grass problem that is affecting almost all of the Caribbean. The sea grass is choking the shores so the already narrow beaches of San Pedro became impossible to walk on, so we couldn’t make that yearly trek to the restaurants.

The Victoria House is what is implied in its name. An old wonderfully maintained inn that has expanded but has kept its small inn feel. Right on the water’s edge, the beach is manicured and its truly one place where you can find a chair and read all day. The restaurant where we had breakfast everyday was on the beach. Coffee, fried jacks and this guy:

San Pedro has a variety of restaurants mostly serving fish. The food is mostly Caribbean and Spanish inspired. One restaurant we always make sure we go to is Wild Mango. Tacos, ceviche and fresh vegetables. It’s a go to restaurant that you know you are going to have a great meal.

We had our last meal of the trip at the El Fogon restaurant that’s downtown and one of the oldest on the island. The floors are sand and the open face fire “stove top” sits as a centerpiece in the dining room. Every day the specials change – in other words what’s in the pots that day is what is for dinner! This time I had pork pil pil which is a very traditional dish made with meat or chicken and is full of spices and citrus and cooked all day long.

So, this is where we wound down our trip to Belize. Two extremes of habitats and both terrific. Huffing bike rides and waterfalls, to 3 books on a beach – sounds like the perfect vacation!

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