Belize - Snorkeling with Sting Rays

Trip Start Oct 10, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Belize  ,
Wednesday, April 11, 2007

We decided to take a short trip to Belize as it was easier to get to Guatemala from here (border wise). It was a great decision as we just loved Belize altogether. The first thing that amazed us is there language. They speak English here, with a thick Jamaican accent!  Wellcom too da Caribbeeean, Mon?! 

Our first stop was Corozol where we spent the night in a fabulous Guest House with a lovely family.  We'd been traveling all day, so we didn't get up to much that night. The next morning we went out to Ambergris island and stayed in San Pedro. The high speed water taxi over to the island shook the sleepy cobwebs out of us that morning..   We hit Belize during Easter, so there was a real party vibe about the place. The islands have a mix of wonderful people with a fantastic zest for life. They love to party and at 9am it was normal to see someone walking around with a cold beer in hand.  San Pedro is a busy spot this time of year, lots of Americans come down to their holiday homes for Spring break. It was a bit too busy for us. We strolled around San Pedro, watched the sun go down and basically did all there is to do here, Chill, which is practically the national past time here!!!.  
Belize is blessed with the world´s second largest Barrier reef and the next day we caught another water taxi to the next island, Caye Caulker where we planned to snorkel over the Barrier Reef. This place used to be one island but it was hit hard by a Hurricane Hattie a few years ago and the island was split in two, the main island is tiny and you can walk around all day in bare feet. Its incredible how relaxed and easy going it is there, the mode of transport is Golf Carts and bikes. The island is full of Bob Marley look a likes, his music is played constantly. These Rastafarian's totally live the Bob Marley life style too, spending most days spaced out.
We organised a snorkeling trip with three stops, the first one was over the actual reef where the coral was stunning and the fish were plentiful, big and colourful. The second stop proved to be the most amazing when we swam with sharks and sting rays. This stop is called sting ray alley for obvious reasons, your surrouned by sting rays. At times it got a bit scary as there must have been at least 20 of them swimming around us at one point.  We couldn`t help but think of Steve Irwin.
We only (which was more than enough!) saw two sharks..... Before you all scream in horror, they were Nurse Sharks, who don't have teeth and are harmless enough.. but all the same, they are sharks and they were over 2 meters long!! It was so cool swimming with such big creatures, and a bit scary too!  The last stop was a free for all, we choose to snorkel back over the reef as we've never experienced anything like it before -it was fascinating how alive the reef is with all different entities of life living there and off it.

The Caye's are stunning with amazing snorkeling but the one thing the islands lack are beaches. It is surrounded by sea grass which isn't very nice to swim in, so we decided to take a bus ride down to Placencia for a bit of beach life before hitting Guatemala.  It was so hot when we arrived, that when we dropped our bags, we made straight for the sea to cool down. We had a lovely few day relaxing on the beach.  There was a heatwave here at the time of our visit, knocking the temperature up into the early 40`s.  Even the locals where complaining it was to hot! You can imagine how it was for us Paddies. We didn't complain though as we haven't had a lot of serious sun for the last 6 months.
Next stop is Guatemala!  
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