When Colin and I got engaged, we spent months agonizing over which country to travel to for our Honeymoon.
At the last minute (read: two weeks before our epic wedding) I impluse-bought us two cheap plane tickets to Belize, a country I knew very little about. It turns out, Belize was a PERFECT Honeymoon destination for us.
Bop through these 12 reasons why we loved Belize, and see if you might like it, too!
1. Belize travel is easy. I’ve voyaged all over the world, including destinations that are notoriously frustrating for tourists, and I declare Belize travel a smooth joy. It’s not just that English is the official language, it’s that Belize has invested real thought and effort into its tourist industry. Signs are clear, there’s plenty of travel guidance online, and employees that we met from all levels of Belize’s tourist industry were wonderful. Which leads to the next point…
2. The people of Belize are great. How people treat you when you travel through a country can make or break your visit, and across the board, Belizeans made us happy. Everyone we interacted with was kind, knowledgable, and eager to help.
When we got stranded miles from our San Pedro hotel in a downpour, a woman and her husband who were driving by picked us up in their van and brought us to safety. When we got badly sunburned, an Ambergris Caye hotel employee gave us his giant bottle of aloe vera, saving our skin. And whenever we were curious about a historical fact, or a type of tree, or a statistic about Belize, we were able to ask whoever was nearby and get an informed, fascinating answer.
The people in Belize were also fun and friendly. More than one Belizean said to us, “I’ve been to America and liked it, but the thing that upset me was that no one in your country greets each other on the street.” In Belize, they do!
3. Belize is quite safe. Naturally, no country is 100% crime-free, but I’ve been to 11 countries in Latin America, and I felt safest in Belize, BY FAR. I love Latin America, but there has always been a feeling of tension there for me, as people warn you of this or that attack which recently happened, and shady characters skulk around, eyeing your bags and cat-calling. In contrast, I was able to totally relax in Belize, despite being a normally paranoid traveler. There were also hardly any street vendors or tourist hasslers (a HUGE and refreshing departure from my other travels). Finally, the people in Belize are so friendly that whenever we got in a pickle, there was someone around to help us.
4. Belize is a manageable size. Part of what adds to the feeling of safety of Belize is its sweet little size. Everyone knows everyone else. When we’d check in at one hotel hours from another, we would learn that hotel clerk was the brother of the clerk we’d just left. Or we’d say, “We took the shuttle here with a guy from Holland,” and whoever we were talking to knew exactly the man we were referring to. Originally, we were planning on Honeymooning in Tanzania, but to get from one part of that large country to another would have been a full day’s journey. In contrast, Belize is the size of my beloved state, Massachusetts, which is a 3.5 hour drive across at its longest point. This means you can really get a feel for different parts of the country in a short amount of time, without major regret that you’re missing out.
5. Belize is interesting, unique, and has a fascinating history. Belize doesn’t feel, look, or act like America. It is not one of those countries where you arrive, see a strip mall, and grumble, “I could have seen this in Cleveland.”
That said, Belize has enough in common with our home country that we felt the perfect combination of comfortable and interested. We were never bored in Belize, and were fascinated both to explore close to our hotels, and to venture out on epic day tours.
Oooh, and those wonderful accents the people have! As my friend explained, “Belize is like Honduras plus Jamaica.” Unique, right?
6. Belize is close to America. We were looking into Fiji for our Honeymoon, but that flight would have been a full day and $1,500 each. Instead, we paid less than $500 each for our flights, left Boston in the morning, traveled for fewer hours than it takes to visit my brother in California, and were on the beach by 1pm.
7. Belize is beautiful. After 11 days in Belize, my computer now holds 1,000 photos, the majority of which could be sold as desktop screensavers representing “Tranquil Paradise.” We loved the variety of the beauty, too, from tropical beaches with azure water, to Mayan ruins in thick emerald jungle. The vistas were so perfectly romantic for a Honeymoon!
8. Belize cares about the environment. Throughout my travels, the sight of trash on the ground has been common, hurting the heart of this Earth-loving tourist. In Belize, however, signs abounded urging people to protect the environment by throwing garbage away properly, conserving energy by turning off lights, and so on. Yay!
9. Belize has options for many different budgets. Colin and I were staying and eating in high-end tourist areas due to my glamorous travel blogger connections, and prices were roughly equivalent to Boston. If we’d ventured out a bit more, however, we could have found budget food and lodging of all kinds.
Further, we were visiting during Belize’s “low season” (the rainy months in summer) when you can get even better deals, but I point out that Belize’s “worst” season was more than fine. It rained maybe an hour a day, but the majority of the time was sun-filled glorious.
10. Belize is a melting pot of races, and embraces that. I have observed way too much racism on my travels. I didn’t realize how sickeningly accustomed I’d grown to races hating each other until I arrived in Belize and noted the complete absence of enmity. What a wonderful thing! Looking around a single street in Belize, you will see Latino, Black, Indigenous Mayan, White, Mixed Race, Asian, and Arab people (not to mention the Mennonites!), all coexisting happily. Even the bottled water labels sing the praises of diversity. LOVE IT!
11. Food and water safety are good in Belize. We drank bottled water our whole time in Belize, though we were told the country actually has all right water quality. That said, we never even got a stomach ache from the food and drink we consumed… except for the night one of us ate two bags of microwave popcorn and a jumbo bag of chips. (Can’t blame Belize for that.) Plus, the seafood is AMAZING!
12. Belize is uncrowded and relaxed. Exactly a year ago, Colin and I were traveling arduously through China, being jostled at every turn by the 1.34 BILLION people in that country. Truly, China feels crowded. Belize is the antithesis of that; it has only 356,000 inhabitants, total (Boston alone has double that) and most of the time when you look around, you see few people.
On our longest drive across the country (3.5 hours), we just passed far-reaching fields of green under blue skies (so unlike the mega-cities and thick smog of China) with a very small town now and then. Even the most bustling tourist beach town of San Pedro is calming and relaxed. Belize is a great Honeymoon destination for couples who want quality time together without crowds.
In sum, we were highly pleased with our choice of Belize for our Honeymooon destination.
Now what about YOU? Do you agree about these Belize perks, or would you modify any? Where did you go on your Honeymoon, or where do you dream of spending it? Do share!