This is long overdue, but better late than never! For our honeymoon Erick and I decided to go to Belize and every day there was a once in a lifetime experience! A honeymoon is meant for newlyweds to celebrate their love and new bond, and what better way than going somewhere or doing doing something you’ve never done before?!
If you’re planning your Honeymoon, remember that you don’t always have to travel far for it to be nice. (Belize was just a 2 hour flight from Houston for us!) You just need to do something together that the two of you will remember and reminisce on as the years go by. Something you can experience with the one you love and have vowed to spend the rest of your life with. Something the two of you can share that no one else can.
When we arrived at our all-inclusive and tropical home away from home, Almond Beach Resort, we were greeted with refreshing rum punches and given a tour of the resort. (All transportation, including pick-up and drop-of at the airport was included with our stay.) REAL coconut trees flanked the sandy beaches and two swimming pools with swim-up bars and hot tubs. There were also kayaks and snorkel gear to use at our leisure, and an adventure tour desk where we could see what excursions were happening from day-to-day. Oh! And how could I forget a GORGEOUS view of the Caribbean Sea in the spacious panoramic dining area.
Fermin, if you’re reading this you are the best waiter in all of EVER and need a raise pronto! We loved you and even tried adding you as a friend on facebook, but there was a country restriction….??? Not sure, but if you find us, ADD US! We’d like to keep in touch.
When we got to our private beachfront casita that we would be staying in for 7 nights and eight days, we were surprised with a bottle of champagne, chocolates, those adorable towel animals (which happened every night!) and fresh hibiscus flowers. There was a large skylight over our bed that you could pen with a remote to look at the stars at nighttime and along with a roomy indoor shower, we also had a private outdoor one! It was unbelievable and so clean! The staff paid so much attention to detail and made our room and stay very special.
For our off-site excursions (more information below) there was an on-site staff member at the resort for most of the day there to answer questions we had, or sign us up for a tour. The Blue Hole actually wasn’t a standard tour this resort offered, but they arranged everything for Erick and I, from pick up and drop-off, to plane charter! Because it was our honeymoon and we had the inclusive **romantic** package, my husband and I got two of our tours private. We chose to do the snorkeling and hiking alone.
In retrospect, if you are considering visiting Belize, I do recommend staying at least two weeks. With a such a diverse ecosystem – jungle, mountains, beaches, and coral reefs – Erick and I didn’t get to see everything we wanted to in eight days. Also, I’d look into rooms with bathtubs or soaking tubs because some of the excursions do a number on you! Standing in the shower was just too……much…… worrrrkkkk. Zzzzzzzzzzz. If a hike says difficult in Belize, trust me. It will be difficult!!
Despite our limited time frame, Here is what we did discover, along with our tips and advice. 🙂
Day 1: Director’s vip tour at THE BELIZE ZOO in belmopan
Unlike a regular zoo you would see in the United States, The Belize Zoo is more of a conservation area inhabiting only native animals to Belize which were orphaned, rescued, born at the zoo, locally rehabilitated, or sent as donations from other zoological institutions. Plus, the animals are well taken care of and loved so much, which is sadly something rarely seen in San Antonio.
Sharon, our guide and owner/keeper of all the precious animals introduced us to several animal species, and because we did the Director’s VIP Tour, we got to feed and hold many of the animals! I am a HUGE animal lover, and I could tell the animals here ADORED Sharon. When she would call them by name, they would immediately come over, and many of the “enclosures” are actually open, meaning there is a fence to keep humans out instead of the reverse.
Her face also lit up as the animals approached – a true sign that she loved them as much as they loved her.
If there were enclosures, rest assured there was ample natural jungle terrain for the animals to thrive in. In fact, Erick and I were put into a cage to see the jaguar up close! Sharon made us both feel so comfortable and we learned so much from her. I would take this tour again tomorrow if I could!
Thank you Sharon for sharing your time and passion for animals with us! We had an INCREDIBLE and truly unforgettable experience.
Me feeding the jaguar – Yes, I was scared! Do you blame me?! It chomped right through that bone! (No audio on this video.)
Erick getting his head licked by the jaguar. I couldn’t do this because of my long hair. (Notice how WE were in the cage.)
Day 2: Couples Massage on the dock from BUTTERFLIES SPA & Kayaking & Dinner on the beach at ALMOND BEACH RESORT in Hopkins
Day 3: Snorkeling the Barrier Reefs
Snorkeling the barrier reefs was probably my favorite activity. Our guide took us by boat to different spots and even stopped on an island for a break in between and gave us snacks! (Snacks are kinda my thing, people! This was a big deal to me!)
Just getting to our destination was exciting! The water was so blue and clear that in some spots, you could see the white sand on the bottom at 35 feet deep!
It is so beautiful looking at the reefs and is like another whole world! The way the coral ebbs and flows is so graceful, and seeing how this is the home for so much marine life really put things in perspective. You hear about it on TV, but when you see a lobster crawl out or a fish take refuge, it really sinks in. Also, seeing brown spots where the coral is dying made my heart hurt. 🙁 Save it people… Your children and future children’s children will appreciate it!
We had an encounter with a GIANT sting ray and nurse shark! It was funny because I was trying to “tiptoe” with my fins by kicking softer and slower so I wouldn’t disturb them. Ha! 🙂
Day 4: cahal Pech & xunantunich Mayan Ruins
At the top of Xunantunich – Erick refused to stand.
Delicious Pibil for lunch in between sites. Those were the BEST corn tortillas I have ever tasted!
Day 5: Hike & Swim At Mayflower Bocawina National park in Hopkins
This hike was pretty rough and had us literally climbing straight up on ropes on some sections. Our tour guide carried a machete in case any jaguars came (which made us nervous and has apparently happened to him), but he was such a natural! He was nearly twice our age and was climbing and hiking better than Erick and I did! Haha!
The trek was well worth it when we reached the cool, relaxing and secluded waterfall at the top. It felt so good to swim after such a hard journey, and it was absolutely surreal to see. The water was clear and the sound of it so soothing.
We finally made it to the waterfall!
Day 6: Great Blue Hole (Off coast of Dangriga)
Day 7: Relaxation & Coco Locos at ALMOND BEACH RESORT in Hopkins
Yes, I took pictures with my coconut drink! Getting a drink inside a coconut that was picked from outside has been on my bucket list and it finally happened! I literally asked the bartender every day and on out last day there was a good coconut within reach! I’m not sure what is in a Coco Loco (besides coconut water and lots of rum), but I sure do wish I had that fresh drink here in Texas!
An overview of all of the tours, including further details, can be found here. Or, you can always shoot me a message with any questions or comments you have. I’d be more than happy to help!
Overall, I would give the Jaguar Reef and Almond Beach Resorts six stars for the genuine hospitality and effort they put forth in making our honeymoon a true once in a lifetime experience. It was my first time traveling outside the U.S., and after visiting the beautiful country and meeting the wonderful people, I have wanderlust to go back already!
If you’ve traveled somewhere neat you think my husband and I should visit, give me a recommendation.
Bon Voyage and Safe Travels!