After months and months of planning and penny pinching and dreaming we finally boarded our flight to Belize and thus began our seven-month backpacker honeymoon extravaganza!
Our original flight was scheduled to leave Denver at 7:55 am on New Year’s Day, but in the weeks leading up to our trip the departure time for the flight was changed FOUR TIMES, landing us with a horrifying 5:48 AM takeoff. Yikes! Not-so-shockingly there are no buses to the airport at two in the morning, so our initial plan of starting our trip by taking public transport to our very first flight went out the window, leaving us the delightful task of finding someone wiling to give up their New Year’s, stay sober, and drive us to the airport (which is an hour each way) in the middle of the night. Thanks a lot United Airlines!
Luckily I have the best best friend in the world who was willing to make the sacrifice and spend New Year’s on the couch, not drinking, hanging out with her boring married friends (although we are not THAT boring, cue seven month backpacking Honeymoon). The three of us pulled an all-nighter and left for the airport at 2:30 in the morning after ringing in the New Year together (What does that even mean? “ringing in the New Year…” Or is the expression “bringing in the New Year??”).
Our first flight was only two hours, but felt an excruciating amount longer due three very adorable, but VERY loud, toddlers sitting in our row who did not care at all that we had gotten literally (LITERARLLY) no sleep the night before. After a 4-hour layover at the Houston airport we boarded our second two-hour flight (which we were thankfully able to sleep through), which landed us in our first foreign country as a couple: BELIZE!!
There were no buses running from the airport to the city (not sure whether that was because of the holiday or if that is just how it is), so after exchanging some money we hopped into a taxi. Our taxi driver was thrilled to have two Americans in his car, and even more thrilled when we asked about the trees we were driving past. It turns out they were mangrove trees and we had chosen a cab with a mangrove aficionado on board. We learned A LOT about mangroves as we drove into the city.
He also shared his not so positive opinions on the state of Belize City and how dangerous it has become, making the comment that he won’t pick up fares at night, no matter how much they offer, because of the potential danger. He warned us to always take a cab and that going out at night is generally unwise. Welcome to Belize, I guess?
Our educational cab ride ended when we arrived at our hotel, The Belcove Inn, which was the only reservation I had made ahead of time for the Central American portion of our trip. At $33 a night our tiny room was not the greatest deal, but the hotel is located less than a five minute walk from the ferry terminal. Our ferry was at 8 am the next morning, so the location was perfect. The staff was very nice, and the room was clean, so it was a fine choice for what we needed.
Since it was New Year’s Day we had trouble finding an open restaurant near our hotel. The closet one was a 15 minute cab ride away, and it was Chinese, which was not what we had in mind for our first Central American meal. But we lucked out and a taco cart popped up spitting distance from our hotel (Welcome to Belize!). Beyond our hotel, the delicious street tacos and a very short walk to keep ourselves awake a bit longer we didn’t see much in Belize City. What we did see was pretty dirty and a little scary, so we didn’t feel too bad about busting out of there quickly.
On to our REAL first destination, the tiny backpacker island of CAYE CAULKER!!
Dollars and Sense
Taxi from Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport to ferry terminal- $25
Cost of 14 street tacos (that’s right, we ate 14 tacos)- $3.50
TIP: Don’t linger in Belize City.