BootsnAll Travel Network

Belize Sticker Shock and Safe Sex!

Quick update for this Monday, since Internet is quite expensive. Not the $10 per hour in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye I saw, just a little slightly less.


Not much happening to see or do in Belize City. I spent most of my day just walking around. I met a PeaceCorps fellow a few weeks back in San Cristobal who works in Belize City, and he said that it is quite a dangerous place after dark. So I stayed out only until the last rays of light before I headed back to the hostel, and watched a little TV before turning to bed. Hadn’t watched the tele for so long, and all I really did was flip channels anyways to see all that they were playing. English is a primary language here, but many people also speak Spanish and Kriol, a strange mixture of West African English that is difficult to follow, for me anyways. The day I was in Belize City was also a Cruise Ship port day, so mingled with a bunch of other tourists along the wharf and declined many offers of tours and taxis. There were plenty of cruise ship passengers in their wheelchairs, walkers, Hawaiian shirts and many more that looked like lobsters–obviously being out in the sun way longer than they should have. Food and restaurants are quite expensive, so I spent my eating times grazing at the various street stalls eating fruit, snowcones, burritos and tacos.


View from the verandah of my hostel in Belize City.


From the Swing Bridge. Water taxis take passengers out to the Cayes.


This place was the most expensive I’ve been to on my travels so far. The cheapest room I could find was $20 a night for a stiff bed and shared bathroom. Restaurant prices were exhorbinant, so I thought I’d be smart and only eat from the big supermarket on the island. Now, get this….(all prices are in Belize dollars, which at the current exchange is 2 Belize dollars equals one US dollar)

– small can of tuna, $5
– Kraft macaroni and cheese box, $4
– canned vegetables, $4
– Ragu spaghetti sauce, $8
– bottle of ketchup, $6
– 8 oz yogurt $4!
– small tub of cream cheese, $7
– 1 lb. of cheddar cheese, $14
– 6 oz Lays potato chips, $8
– 11 oz bag of Doritos, $13
– 15 oz bag of Cheetos, $17
– can of Progresso soup, $9
– instant cup o noodles, $2.50
– can of fruit cocktail, $5

So I didn’t eat much on San Pedro. I rented a bicycle and spent most of my day cycling the island, or at least trying to. After San Pedro, the one road heads north 22 miles. I only made it to mile 8 before turning back, as it is difficult trying to ride a bike in the sand.


Bridge over “The Cut” dividing the town of San Pedro with the Northern reaches of the island.


Map of the northern island resorts and the only road there. Man, that was a very hot day!


Beaches are different than in Mexico’s Playa Del Carmen, for example. There aren’t many wide swaths of sand and not too many people swim because of the grass on the bottom. There are plenty of docks that extend out all along the shoreline.


Another view of the shoreline.


My bike path. This is the only road to the northern part of the island, the primary mode of transport is the bicycle and golf carts and ATVs.


On the east and west side of the island lies the Carribean Sea. In the middle of Ambergris Caye lies the San Pedro Lagoon.


Walking back to my hostel along the shore as the sun sets to the west.

One goes to the Cayes to relax and to partake in watersports — jet skiing, sailing, diving, snorkeling, swimming, boating, parasailing, etc. So of course I had to go snorkeling. I was able to find an outfitter that had prescription snorkeling masks. It didn’t match my exact prescription, but it was powerful enough for me to actually see the fish under the shallow waters and the coral reefs. It was a little scary at first being amongst huge stingrays, nursesharks and other big fish just arms length away. Our half day tour took us to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Shark Ray Alley and another area that I forgot the name of where we find sea turtles.


Me and my prescription swim mask. The $45 tour was well worth it because I could actually see!


Our boat was a “glass bottom” boat so those that didn’t want to get in the water (everybody on this trip snorkeled) could still view fish underneath.


After my sucky swimming experiences over the past 2 months, I’m not ashamed to admit that I used a lifejacket while I was in the water. Hey, the 4 year old kid had one, why can’t I? And you can keep those “Man Edwin, you’re skinny” comments to yerself!


The little kid, Logan, watching his dad and another dude dive for conch shells. They were able to gather 12 of these shells, to make Cerviche later on (a Belizian seafood salad specialty).


The reef is 180 miles long, the longest in the Western Hemisphere. To the west of the reef the sea is shallow–from 5 to 15 feet deep, which makes it ideal for snorkeling and diving.



Caye Caulker is considered the budget, backpacker’s island for enjoying the Cayes.  A 30 minute lancha ride south of San Pedro, this is a smaller island with cheaper accomodations, but you’ll still find food to be a little on the spendy side.  My hostel was right on the beach, and after 2 days of cycling and snorkeling, I was ready to just take it easy and relax.



When going to Caye Caulker, the pace of life is definitely slow and laid back, as evident by this huge ground market set just off the dock as you step onto the island.



“Tina’s Backpackers Hostel,” just $10 per night and very popular with the budget crowd.



View from the upper deck, lying on the hammock.  I’ve become quite attached to hammocks for sleeping and lounging in, I’ll certainly be buying one before I head back to the States.



Caye Caulker basically has 3 streets — Front, Middle and Back (seriously, those are the names).  Front street is where all the bars, restaurants and dive tour shops are located.  Just like in San Pedro, the primary mode of transportation is by foot, by bike and/or by golf cart.



In the morning you can watch the sunrise in the East, and in the evening you can walk to the other side of the island in 7 minutes to watch the sunset from the edge of this dock.




Yesterday I arrvied in Dangria, the largest town in Southern Belize, with a population of around 9,000.  It is a quiet, friendly place that doesn’t offer a whole lot as far as tourist activities, so I spent the day walking around and reading.  The hostel is just a block away from the Gulf of Honduras, with a soccer field in between the two.  Life is decidingly on a very slow scale.



This main dock is used for fishing and for crabbing.  The people just ahead were crabbing with their nets and it was surprising for me to see them using chicken’s feet as bait.



Main street, Dangria.



The soccer field and the Gulf of Honduras. 



This is my next stop, my bus leaves in about an hour.  I may stay 2 nights depending on how my money situation goes, and then it will be back on the road towards Guatemala.



The Belizean government takes this quite seriously.  From the moment I crossed the border there are signs and messages everywhere encouraging safe and responsible health habits.  George W would have a cow.













Condoms and karaoke, what a combination!


Enjoy the week everyone, check back on Wednesday for more!


4 responses to “Belize Sticker Shock and Safe Sex!”

  1. Katie says:

    Yep, you are skinny and look like a damn hippy! Dude, I could not handle the ticks. That is sooooo nasty. You better shave your head and look for them.

  2. Lisa says:

    Per your request, I will refrain from any comments on your weight (or lack thereof), but I can’t help but notice (and comment on) has large your head looks….
    Can’t wait to see you!

  3. The Bomb says:

    HOLY COW! You did lose some weight. Teach me the Edwin Diet. You should write a book like Robert Atkins.

  4. Shawn says:

    Taking a year off to travel the world sounds like a great idea. I might do the same…grab a Hawaiian t-shirt and shorts and kick back on some beaches.

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