For our first vacation since our honeymoon 1.5 years ago, we chose Belize and Mexico. We flew out of Seattle (much cheaper than flying out of Vancouver) but back into Vancouver (same price as returning to Seattle). We picked up a one-way rental car at YVR and drove to Seattle, arriving a few hours before our midnight flight.
We stopped at the Capital Grille for dinner (truffled mac & cheese and mixed wild mushrooms … insane!) …
before returning the car at Seatac and settling in for a couple of hours’ wait in the terminal.
We flew overnight via Atlanta, arriving in Belize City the next morning.
In Belize City, we picked up a $13 bottle of Bacardi at the inbound duty free shop (genius idea!) at the airport and then got on a Maya Island Air plane (a Cessna Caravan seating a max. of 9 passengers + 1 pilot) and flew to Ambergris Caye.
This was the most beautiful flight I’ve ever been on. We both got to sit right behind the pilot. The entire flight was about 20 minutes long, all under 1,000 ft in altitude and we could see all the detail in the reef and the turqouise Caribbean and the islands we flew over. This is the same barrier reef that runs from Cancun down to Honduras.
We stopped in Caye Chapel to drop off a passenger who was going golfing, then took off again for Ambergris.
(We later found out that Caye Chapel is not just any island, but a private island consisting of a super nice golf course and a handful of private villas. You can rent one or all of them, and you get your own golf cart and staff, and never have to sign up for tee times … just walk out from your villa and start hitting some balls. Apparently it’s for sale for $75,000,000USD.)
Ambergris is the Isla Bonita from that Madonna song. We chose to spend our 9 nights in Belize on Ambergris because we had heard it was not too small (i.e. it has a couple of ATMs and a small town) and not too big (people ride bikes, drive golf carts, or take the water taxi around) and of course, because we had heard the diving was great.
Ambergris should be the southern tip of Mexicoâ€™s Xcalac Peninsula, except a channel dug by the Mayans about 1500 years ago at the north tip turned Ambergris into an island.
We landed uneventfully in San Pedro and waited for our suitcases to be brought to the baggage claim area. The Maya Island Air staff insisted on checking each tag against our boarding passes â€¦ even though there were only 6 passengers and 7 suitcases total.
More about our 10 days on La Isla Bonita in our next post.