Crossing the Border: Guatemala to Belize
Trip Start May 17, 2012
40Trip End Jul 29, 2012
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
I don't have a guidebook with me and I just have a vague idea how to get to Belize City and eventually reach Caye Caulker to spend a night there before heading back to Mexico via Chetumal.
Fellow travelers who knew where they were going and heading off in the same direction are better than guidebooks. I met Sarah (Austin, Texas) and David (Sydney, Australia) on the boat from Livingston, Guatemala to Punta Gorda, Belize. We didn't get introduced until we finally reached the harbor of Punta Gorda.
Boat to Punta Gorda has got to be the bumpiest boat ride of my life! I was literally on my feet most of the time, like riding a horse
At Punta Gorda, immigration and customs were right at the harbor. Going through customs was a fairly simple process. Nobody even checked my luggage.
We just missed the bus to Belize City by 10 mins. It was ok for me though because I had to change money. After queuing for a what seemed like half an hour at the bank, I was told they don't change currencies until 9:30AM. So I ended up withdrawing money with my cashcard. I preferred exchanging my Euros to avoid the hefty charges, but I found out the bank charges 15% service commission.
I still had few hundred Quetzales with me, so were lucky to find the local cafe where we had breakfast changes Qs to Belize $ for a good rate: 4 to 1.
Chicken Bus. I wasn't expecting that the "bus" headed for Belize city is a chicken bus! I've been avoiding them, but I guess it's good to experience one. I think anyone traveling in Mesoamerica should at least try the chicken bus once
The 6-hour bus ride wasn't so bad after all. It was good to see the countryside and also to experience people from different walks of life in Belize (as well as tourists) taking the ride.
Boat from Belize City to Caye Caulker. Arriving at Belize City, we had to take a cab for B$10 to the dock. For a very hot and humid day, it would have been a very long walk. From there, Sarah and I bought tickets to Caye Caulker followed by a boat to Chetumal. It cost B$70. At least, we don't need to worry for the rest of our Belize trip. The boat ride to Caye Caulker from Belize City was a pleasant hour of speedboat -- way much better than our morning boat!
San Ignacio's Cabins. David, Sarah and I didn't book any accomodation at Caye Caulker and we all thought we'd stay at a backpacker's hostel called Bella's. The place was fully booked. Asking around, we finally ended up in San Ignacio's cabins and got a good deal for a triple cabin. Later we found, it's a single + double bed. Sarah and I didn't mind sharing the double.
For B$17/night each for a private cabin to ourselves is great value here in the island
The day ended with a very beautiful sunset. We all went for a swim in the delicious lukewarm water of the Caribbean. After that we hunted for dinner of seafood. We were caught in a storm. It passed away eventually. We found a place, I was happy with my fish, though Sarah wasn't.
I went to the cabin earlier than the two, been a long day traveling on both boats and bus and I just wanted to hit the sack!