Un-BELIZE-Able: Day 1
The country of Belize had been a bucket list destination for me for many years. My visit exceeded all of my expectations. Every moment of my time there was meaningful and joyous.
Belize lies on the eastern coast of Central America, bordered by Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the south and west and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Some interesting facts about Belize are that it has the lowest population density and is the only English-speaking country in Central America. In addition to English, you will most commonly hear Kriol, Spanish, Maya and Garifuna spoken there.
From the jungle to the ocean, the swamps to the hills, and the Mayan ruins to the barrier reef, this place is spectacular!
After a seven hour flight from the west coast of the United States, I arrived in beautiful Belize, Central America. From the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City, I rented a car and tackled the last segment of my journey, which was a three and a half hour drive to my hotel in the city of Placencia.
The scenery on the way to Placencia via the Hummingbird and Southern Highways was stunning and the roads were easy to navigate. I found that the trick was to drive behind the locals because they knew where all the speed bumps were located. Speed bumps in Belize are extremely large by U.S. standards, plentiful (even on freeways) and have a tendency to sneak up on you. I was definitely surprised by a few.
I reached Placencia and caught my first glimpse of the Caribbean Sea from Belize.
My first stop in Placencia was at Rum Fish y Vino to grab a bite after a long day of travel. I was cautiously optimistic that I would get a table because I didn't have a reservation and all my research told me that this place was phenomenal and visited by locals, tourists, and celebrities, including Reese Witherspoon. She was reported to have eaten here almost every night while on her honeymoon. I expected the place to be packed.
Instead, this is what I found. Unintentionally, I booked my trip during the off-season. I highly recommend this as the weather is still beautiful, but the crowds have dwindled, allowing you to enjoy the country peacefully and restaurants like this, without a wait.
I started with a ginger caipirinha. A little bit spicy and a lot refreshing, this drink did not disappoint.
Al Pastor and Fish Taco
Al Pastor: 24-hour, slow-cooked pork with guacamole, cilantro, jalapeño sauce and pickled onions.
Fish: Local, beer-battered fish filet with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and secret sauce.
The tacos were incredible and, for both plus my cocktail, I paid less than $20 USD!
On my way from dinner to check into my hotel, I saw...
...my first Jamaican ackee tree and...
...my first sunset over the Placencia lagoon.
That more or less concluded my first day in Belize. Lots more about this trip coming up so, stay tuned.