TraveLinkSites has an interview for you today with Marina of Travel Experta. Her blog follows her and family on their travels around Latin America. Looks like Belize has really won her over…
1. Could you briefly introduce yourself, your site and your experience travelling in Belize?
I’m Marina K. Villatoro. I’ve been living with my family (Guatemalan husband and two sons – 8 years old and 2 years old) for almost 10 years in Central America and we love traveling all over this neck of the woods.
My website TravelExperta.com is all about traveling to these countries and Cuba. Plus, I have family travel guides for these countries to inspire and help families who want to visit and have a totally family-friendly and kid-friendly adventure.
2. What made you choose to travel to Belize and what were your first impressions?
I’ve heard sooo much about Belize for years. But you only really hear little snippets and until you actually visit the country you really don’t know what you’re about to see.
I have to say, Belize is definitely one of our absolute favorite countries in Central America. There are so many reasons behind this:
1. It’s soooo gorgeous with so much to see, yet small enough to see it all – you have the beaches, rain forest, Mayan ruins, caves and so much more within 2-3 hours of driving in each direction.
2. The people are amazing, fun, kind, super laid back and open.
3. There is very little crime. We felt super safe in the whole country.
4. We have never seen such beaches, crystal clear waters and sunsets as we did in Belize.
5. There is one traffic light in the whole country of 300,000 people. That alone is a great sign of tranquility, lack of commercialism and feeling you’ve stepped back in time since there is little progression.
3. How much money can someone travel around Belize for? What are the greatest expenses? What things are relatively cheap?
I have to say Belize is NOT at all cheap. Traveling with kids, we don’t stay in hostels anymore, and try to find more comfortable lodging. And it’s expensive for a decent hotel room you’re looking at anywhere from $150 and up.
However, it’s the eating out that really adds up. We compared going out to eat with eating out in the US. You can easily spend over $20 per person on lunch with a drink and that will be normal.
But you can eat cheap if you eat at very local like eateries, street food and if you have a kitchen in the hotel, it helps save money.
Also, tours on a whole are costly, so the more you can do on your own the better off you’ll be without breaking the bank.
4. What is the local cuisine like? Did you find yourself trying new things or pining for the familiars of home?
I love Belizean food. It’s soul food with plenty of grease and fried goodness to go around. Their main food is chicken and seafood and lots of fried dough versions called Fried Jacks.
What’s great about Belize, being so small there are no fast food chains at all. Even if you’re in the mood for crap food, you are forced to eat at tasty restaurants realizing how great their food can really be.
5. What cultural activities and events would you suggest everyone seeing or taking part in while travelling in Belize and why?
When staying at the beach you have to snorkel! The water is sooo clear it’s hard not to want to be in it all the time. Plus, Belize is surrounded by the second largest barrier reef in the world so the marine life is amazing!
If you’re traveling more inland, in the rain forest, you need to check out the Maya ruins. Also caves are a huge hit here.
But mainly Belize is a beach country and just enjoying the Caribbean sea is without a doubt one of the best things to do. Here you’ll hear drumming of all sorts from the Creole music to Garifuna traditional drumming sessions.
6. What is your favourite thing about travelling this country? What is your least favourite thing?
My favorite by far was the lack of commercialism and lack of crowds. The laid back beach culture is contagious and you fully de-stress and never want to leave. We are literally contemplating moving to Caye Caulker, the cutest Caye in Belize.
My least favorite thing? How expensive it was. For a Central American country the prices for most things didn’t make any sense at all.
7. What things do you focus on most when you blog about this country? Why do you choose these things?
Belize is so easy to blog about. It’s got an interesting culture, the country is so small with so much to do and see that there is no shortage of fun ideas.
The most focused on topics when it comes to Belize are: snorkeling, scuba diving, Caribbean Sea and lack of stress this country offers.
8. What’s one thing you can’t travel around Belize without?
Beside my laptop:) I personally needed bug spray or cream. The sand flies and mosquitoes truly loved me! Also sunscreen is essential, the sun is way too strong without it.
9. What kind of response have you had to your blogs about Belize? What post had the most interest?
Belize is a popular country to visit, but a lot of people simply don’t know what to do when they are there. Especially family travelers who have younger kids. I wrote an article: 7 Activities To Do in Belize which is definitely the more popular post for this country.
10. If you could think of one thing you wished someone told you before you started travelling in Belize what would it be?
To spend way more time on Caye Caulker. We didn’t know how amazing this place was going to be and didn’t stay as long as it deserved.
Thanks Marina! Life by the Caribbean Sea doesn’t sound too shabby does it?
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