Belize: A friend’s journey

By Sally J.

When I first heard that my friend was going to visit Belize, I thought that she was referring to a small and unknown local restaurant. I had never heard of this tiny country before, which is located in the heart of Central America. Due to a family emergency, my friend was unable to go on her journey as originally scheduled; however, she was smart enough to purchase travel insurance.

Thankfully, she was able to postpone her trip without losing her investment. She spent a significant amount of time and money planning her Belize vacation, so spending a few extra dollars on travel insurance was definitely a wise investment on her part. When she finally returned back home, she had dozens of interesting stories to share about some of the unique things that she saw and did on her vacation.

She raved about the beautiful and historic Mayan Ruins. Having always been a big history buff, she claimed that the view was even better in person than in her huge, glossy picture books. I also heard stories of her visit to the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. Apparently, this sanctuary was originally established in the mid-1980s in an effort to protect a variety of different bird species, such as storks, wild ducks and egrets. Now, it has expanded into a beautiful location that houses different bodies of water such as swamps, lakes and lagoons and their respective inhabitants. I have never been much of a nature fan myself, but the way she described the natural beauty of this sanctuary definitely piqued my curiosity. The sanctuary is located approximately 30 miles northwest of Belize City, but she said that the extended trek was well worth the experience.

Belize is so much more than just a small country bordering Mexico and Guatemala. It is an eclectic collection of many different cultures and diverse traditions that meld together like multiple, delicate flavors in a gourmet dessert.

Speaking of food, I hear that the food in Belize is simply amazing. It is a delicious culmination of Creole, Spanish, East Indian, Chinese and European food. As one would expect from a country bordered by water, the fresh fish and seafood is scrumptious and plentiful. My friend told me that one of the things she regrets most about her visit is not having enough time to sample all of the tiny restaurants and their local cuisine. Sometimes, it is the small places that give you the biggest taste of the local culture and fare.

The Belize barrier reef is one of the largest reefs in the world and highlights the epitome of what a natural, unaltered reef should look like. From what I understand, the water is a deep shade of serene blue, the coral is gorgeous and the opportunities for diving are everywhere. My friend only went diving twice during her stay in Belize, but she claims that both dives were almost magical. She couldn’t get over all of the different varieties of fish and interesting sea creatures that inhabited the reef. I look forward to seeing some of the under-water pictures as soon as they are developed. Actually, come to think about it, I might want to seriously considering accompanying my friend next time she decides to go visit Belize to experience it for myself.

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