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This tiny English-speaking country nestles on the Carribean coast between Mexico and Guatemala.  It is famous for it´s world-class diving and the second largest Barrier Reef in the World.  Because of fixed exchange rate it is expensive but worth it.
In Belize I traveled with Kristine and Cecilia.  Kristine had her passport stolen and crossing the border from Mexico to Belize turned out to be difficult with her temporary passport.  It took a lot of explaining and crying to get the Mexicans to let her out, but only if Belize will let her in.  Unlikely, they said, but give it a try.  But the Belizean guy looked really bored and gave in quite quickly, after all 3 of us started talking at the same time.  We boarded an old American school bus, commonly called "chicken bus".  It stopped every 5 min to pick someone up.  However, it was a good way to see the country.  It was very green, hot and humid.  The houses often wooden, some look new but the majority are old.  After 4h we arrived in Belize City.  The name is misleading.  It is the biggest in the country, but looks like a small town.  After all, it only has 60,000 inhabitants.  From there we caught a fast boat to the beautiful island of Caye Caulker.

Caye Caulker

When we got of the boat, we were greeted by the sign "Caye Caulker.  Go slow".  That´s what it is all about.  The locals are super friendly and remind you if you walk too fast.  There are virtually no cars on the island, only battery-powered golf cars.  After a day we felt like we know everyone.  In the evening a local fat guy grilled fish and lobster in the main street.  His "restaurant" constituted of a long table where happy travelers consumed delicious, fresh seafood and, of course, local beer.
After we had our lobsters, one drunk local guy came up to us and said "welcome to Caye Caulker.  When you go, we will miss you".  He went on saying he was the captain of a boat, and did snorkeling tours.  We thought: any tour but not with this drunk man.  The next day we booked our snorkeling trip, we boarded the boat and there was our Captain!  He shouted "ambush" (thats how the locals greet themselves) and we knew it was going to be fun.

We snorkeled in 3 different places.  The corals were amazing and I was stunned by this underwater world.  Thousands of colorful fish, blue, yellow, red, big and small, swimming around us!  The coral in amazing variety of shapes, provided them with a place to hide.  The main attraction for me were the nurse sharks and big stingrays.  The sharks are harmless but quite big, one was about 2m.  Big Steve, our true captain, caught one and brought it to the surface.  The sharks didn´t escape, just swam in front of us as fast as we did.  So we were following them until out of oxygen.

One time I dived about 5m to an open cave and there I came face to face with a nurse shark.  It scared me but the shark just slowly moved away.  Probably was used to strange creatures invading it´s home from time to time.
Sadly, we had to go back.  The Captain prepared a delicious ceviche.  He dived for 8 huge seashells, 1 for each of us.  He broke them and got out 8 alien-like creatures.  He cleaned them and cut them to pieces, making the freshest ceviche I have ever had.
We went back slowly, in true Caye Caulker style.  The Sun was low, reggae music was playing, and we were drinking mango juice with rum.  The captain made sure we had our caps full all the time.  Later that evening in the bar he told us stories about how he went to Hollywood.  Apparently, he was teaching Eddie Murphy how to speak Creole.  Next time I see Eddie, I´m going to shout "ambush!" to him haha.

Next 2 days we were walking, kayaking and snorkeling.  In the evenings, we were drinking rum in the garden of our hostel.  It was full of palm trees and had hammocks between them.  Finally, on the 4th day, we went back to Belize City.  From there the girls went South, and I went west to Guatemala, where we would meet 3 weeks later.

Belize summary

For such a small country, Belize offers a fantastic variety of landscapes.  There are mountains, tropical rain forests with abundant wildlife and hundreds of small islands with beautiful beaches.  Because of fixed exchange rate it doesn´t offer good value for money like it´s neighbors.  However, I had a fantastic time in Belize and it was worth it.   photos