First thing’s first, let me answer the question I’ve been asked repeatedly when chatting to friends and family about my most recent holiday.
‘It’s in Central America… just below Mexico.’
I can understand the puzzled looks. After all, Belize isn’t your typical holiday destination. There are no direct flights from the UK, so getting there can be a bit tricky. But if you put in the miles (I took a flight from Gatwick to Cancun, then hopped on an overly-air-conditioned night bus from Cancun to Belize City) the rewards are more than worth it.
Belize boasts almost 250 miles of Caribbean coastline and is home to the second-longest barrier reef in the country, so most trips here involve a heavy dose of beach time. In order to see as much of it as possible, I kicked off my holiday with a three-day sailing trip run by Raggamuffin Tours http://raggamuffintours.com/. I boarded the catamaran in Caye Caulker – a chilled island that’s a favourite with backpackers – and set out to sea with 18 other guests and 4 crew members.
There was a lot of snorkeling, a lot of reggae music, and a lot of rum punch. But the highlight for me was spending two nights camping on the tiny (and I mean tiny) uninhabited islands of Rendezvous Caye and Ragga Caye.
First up was Rendezvous Caye. Nothing more than a strip of sand punctuated with palm trees and a few thatched umbrellas, this place is the stuff of tropical island fantasies. There’s no electricity, no showers and – gasp! – no Wi-Fi. I fell asleep to the sound of the waves lapping the shore, and woke up to a spectacular sunrise.
The second night of the trip was spent on Ragga Caye – another impossibly beautiful island you can circumnavigate in approximately 30 seconds. Here, there’s the option to swap the tent for an over-the-water dormitory or private cabana. Either way, you’re surrounded with views like this. Life could be worse, hey?
The tour ends at the beach port of Dangriga and, from here, I took a local bus to neighboring Placencia. It was time to continue my un-Belize-able adventure…