Spending Time in Central America
This fall has been pretty full for me: NOLA, NYC, personal commitments, fall cleaning and my trip to Central America. I’ll give you a few highlights and then I’ll be sharing some more detailed content soon so stay tuned!
Why I Went
I’ve loved Belize since my first trip there in 2015, as evidenced by my returning each year…..seriously, at some point we just need to buy property there as it feels like a great place to have a second home. So when planning some time off this year I realized that it was due time to head there again. I also wanted to check out Guatemala as it’s super close to Belize and is also home to one of my bucket list items (you can read more about that here). I really can’t imagine a year without a visit to Belize – that’s how much I love spending time in Central America!
A Quick Trip Summary
After flying into Belize City we did the drive over to Guatemala (about five or so hours), crossing the border at Benque and continuing on to the Petén District. I will admit that I was a bit apprehensive about my first land border crossing but it was so smooth (and so fast!). Just a quick word of advice: don’t forget about the departure tax when leaving Belize! It’s built into your plane tickets if you’re flying out of BZE but if you’re hopping over the border for a few days like we did you’ll have to pay up. There’s no exit fee for Guatemala, however.
Staying on Lago Petén Itza was one of the best decisions we could have made! The hotel, La Lancha, sits above the shores of the glittering teal waters of the lake and was a great first stop. You can read my review of La Lancha here. With only three nights until it was time to go back over the border to Belize I was determined to maximize the time available. Our time in Guatemala was filled with good food, incredible wildlife, a trip to Tikal, a day on the lake, temazcal sessions and some much needed downtime.
When we left Guatemala we did the border crossing again at Benque and then spent some time in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve at Blancaneaux Lodge before heading to a private island (seriously, we rented an island!) and then wrapped up our stay in Placencia. Belize, again, is one of my favorite spots so it’s no surprise that our time was spent enjoying all of it: food, hiking, swimming, snorkeling, visiting the San Ignacio market, Mayan ruins, cooking and checking out some conservation initiatives that are happening in the area.
I will absolutely take it as a sign from the Universe that when we left our flight was delayed for over five hours – pretty sure we were being told that we shouldn’t leave Belize! In all seriousness, the flight issues home were a bit annoying (like the overnight in Atlanta due to missing our connection) but nothing too crazy especially after the amazing two weeks spent. I’m already counting the days until I go back!
Like I mentioned earlier, I will be posting up lots of content from this trip (where to stay, what to do, what NOT to do, lodging reviews and tons of photos!) in the coming weeks. I’d love to hear from you, though! Have you visited Guatemala and/or Belize? If so, what were your favorite bits? If not, what would you like to know? Let me know in the comments! Also if you can’t wait for content you can always check out my 5 Things You Must do in Belize post now!