Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Trip to Belize

In February, myself and two friends, Rob Scott and Rob Bertolo spent 11 days in Belize. 8 of those days we spent kayaking and snorkeling around the cayes off the coast of Dangriga, just south of Belize City. I've been meaning to post a trip report ever since we got back, but with so many pictures and things to say, its been a daunting task that I have been putting off. I think I will break it up into several posts, or I'll never get it done!

With WestJet offering a direct flight from Toronto to Belize City twice a week, it makes getting there from Canada cheaper and faster. From Belize City, we needed to get to Dangriga. We had the option of a 4 hour bus ride or a 15 minute flight with TropicAir, so we opted for the flight. Once we arrived in Dangriga, we checked in at Pal's Guesthouse and headed over to Island Expeditions (IE) to sort out our kayak rentals and find out where the market was. Leif at IE was super helpful with everything. Can't say enough good about the people at IE.

Pal's Guesthouse. The office in in the house across the street from it. Nice beachfront location!

We headed out to get some food and drink at Island Bar. Traditional Belizean fare, rice &beans with stewed chicken, covered in Marie Sharps hot sauce, washed down with a couple Belikan.
Belizean Food. It was delicious!

The two Robs

There is a shop close by called The Price Is Right, and they have pretty much everything you could need, including booze. I highly recommend you buy double the amount of rum you think you will need, we ran out of our supply a little too early.

Dangriga is a working town of about 10,000. There is almost no tourist infrastructure, which was kind of interesting to see. There are no franchises, except a bank. You couldn't find so much as a refrigerator magnet in any of the shops, which are mostly located on the main drag of the town, near the bridge. The shops are usually open until 8pm, which is nice if you arrive late. The good folks at IE can pick up fruits and veggies for you ahead of time from the market, which usually closes at 4pm. Pineapple and cantaloupe keep best in this climate. Limes are also nice in your rum.

Some other useful notes, the drinking water is potable in Dangriga. We drank straight from the tap in the bathroom at Pals. IE will provide all the water you will need in dromedary bags. Be sure to check for leaks, as the covers of these can often leak. IE also provided white gas and MSR fuel bottles, which was good because airlines don't like fuel bottles, even when they are empty.

The next morning we met at IE just before 9am to get geared up and shuttled out to the cayes. Didn't take long to get squared away. Leif gave us a good briefing of the area, where to camp, where the best snorkeling places are, etc...

Island Expeditions Office and our boat charter
The Information board at IE

Ready to hit the water
Tobacco Caye
Always fun packing 8 days of food and water into your boat

All ready to start the adventure, stay tuned!

That's all the time I have for now. Another post to follow tomorrow hopefully!


BrokenWing said...

Hi Brian, loved reading your blog about Belize. My wife and I are from Ireland and we’re heading there in 3 weeks time with IE as well. Super excited but we’d love to pick your brains about getting by on the cayes. This is a little outside our comfort zone as we’re mountaineers who’ve just got into kayaking the past few years. Plus the trip is for my wife’s 50th birthday so hoping to avoid potential pitfalls, such as running out of rum!

I could let you know my email address. Hopefully get a reply soon, thanks.

Brian Newhook said...

Hello BrokenWing,

I'm happy to answer any questions you might have. You have picked a fantastic location to celebrate your wife's 50th!

you can post your questions here, or send me an email brian_newhook@hotmail.com