New Year in Belize

Full disclosure, I am writing this mostly from memory (on Sept 3 2018) as I explore returning to Belize. Belize is easy in that the official language is English and if you know some Spanish too, you are golden. The Belizean dollar is pegged 2 per 1 US dollar and just about everyone will accept USD instead of BZD; pack small bills.

Our trip was a few days in the mountainous Cayo District and a few days in the lowland and beachy Stann Creek area.

Getting There

Most airlines will require you to get to Belize City (Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport) through Dallas or Houston. At time of writing American Airlines and United Airlines offer round trip from Denver to Belize City for $800 during the first week of January.

There are a variety of rental car options and we ended up renting something close to a Land Cruiser, making it easier to traverse the country at our pace.


You can stay at the Belize Zoo and get a night tour!

Right before the roundabout to Belmopan, there is Guanacaste National Park on the North side of the Western Highway; for a few hours of rainforest hiking.

Grab groceries in Belmopan, at a place like The Mall, if you are looking for the easy American grocery store experience. Complement that with a farmer’s market in town and you will be good to go for days. Most of the big grocery stores seems to be run by Han Chinese?

Stayed at for a night while hanging around Belmopan.

Rolling through Spanish Lookout you would think you were in Iowa aside from the palm trees. Ice cream at Western Dairies.

Pay a few dollars to check out the Cahal Pech Archaeological Reserve. It sits on one of the hills in San Ignacio and has a great interpretive museum and outdoor Mayan excavations.

We wondered around the ridiculous Blancaneaux Lodge property one morning, down to the creek gorge, and ate at the only on-site restaurant that was open during the wet season.

Xunantunich has to be some of the most imposing Mayan pyramids I have seen in person.


We stayed in the Lower Family Suite at the Maya Beach Hotel and Bistro. The hotel has a collection of activity gear that we used every day. I love kayaking and heading North to the next marina on the coast was quite the adventure.

Snorkeling at Laughing Bird Caye National Park was a real treat. Rolling around in the waves for a half-day with Belizean comfort food for lunch is totally my jam.

The pub grub and drinks just down the road at Mango’s was solid.