Crossing the border from Chetumal, Mexico, we head out to the coast to the town of Sarteneja, then spend a few days exploring Caye Caulker. Returning back the mainland we head south through Altun Ha, the Belize Zoo and finally to San Ignacio.
Below you’ll find updates of places we’re visiting and our usual cheeky shenanigans. Also, we’ll try to add useful information about our budget and internet availability.
This article is part of our Budget and Money Report series.
Our per diem expenses cover food, lodging, gas and other supplies and travel costs for three people. We travel in a 1997 Toyota 4Runner, tent camp in paid facilities roughly 70% of our nights and eat less than 10% of our meals in restaurants. This budget does not reflect personal spending money, which is mostly used to buy souvenirs and booze. We don't track this money, but we do know we have not come close to spending our budgeted amount of $10 per person per day.
Another country, another budget recap. I'll keep this one short since you're probably still recovering from the awesomeness of my Mexico Budget Recap.
We only spent 11 days in Belize. Three days on the island of Caye Caulker and the the rest camping in the jungle. We were a bit over budget, but that's largely due to our decision to take an expensive ferry trip from Sarteneja to Caye Caulker.
This article is part of our Internet and Phone Report series.
General Availability: Medium to High
Quality of Bandwidth: Usually very bad. Few places pay for high speed. Unless you can get a hardline, count on painfully slow connections.
Frequency of internet in hotels: Medium. The more touristy the more likely to have internet. But if you need it, check in advance.
Frequency of internet in campgrounds: Surprisingly high. Most campgrounds were part of a hotel or wildlife sanctuary that also had restaurants with wifi. Every campground we stayed at had internet, but we planned it that way.
Average cost to connect: Free at hotels and campgrounds. $5-$15 BZ ($2.50-$7.50 USD) per hour otherwise. The cayes tend to be higher ($15bz per hour $7.50USD)
Disclaimer: We spent 10 short days in Belize. This report only covers the few areas we visited, Corozal, Sarteneja, San Pedro, Caye Caulker and San Ignacio. We did NOT spend any time in Belize city, the southern cayes, Orange Walk, Belmopan or the Toledo or Stann Creek states.
Start: January 21, Mayan Wells
Finish: January 24, San Jose Succotz
Jungle Cats Seen: 5
Monkeys Fed: 1
Days of Reliable Internet in Belize: 1
Price of Gas in Belize: $5.50/gallon
We wrap up our time in Belize with a trifecta of jungle campgrounds. First stop is Mayan Wells in the middle of the country, then it's on to the Belize Zoo education center, and finally The Trek Stop in San Jose Succotz near the Guatemalan border.
By far the highlight of our Belize experience was the zoo. It is unlike any other zoo I've ever been to. The jungle setting and the dozens of species of native animals, all rescued or given by other zoos, made it more than worth the $15 admission fee.
Start: January 12, Chetumal
Finish: January 20, Sarteneja, Belize
Borders Crossed: 1
Hands with Second Degree Burns: 2
Biting Insects: Entirely Too Many
Cups of Ceviche Made: 8
Sharks Petted: 1
Two countries down, eleven or twelve to go. After spending 70 days in Mexico we've finally made it to Central America! A week ago we crossed the border at Chetumal and headed back to the Caribbean coast. Unfortunately, we have less than two weeks in the tiny country of Belize, so we're doing our best to make the most of it.
We spent our first nights in Belize on the southeast peninsula in the small fishing village of Sarteneja (pronounced sar-ten-ay-ah). Then we left Blue behind and hopped on a boat out to the northern cayes (islands). Caye Caulker was our final destination, with a short stopover in San Pedro on Caye Ambergris. For three nights we relaxed on the Caribbean island - doing a bit of snorkeling, making ceviche and eating lots of good food.
This article is part of our Border Crossing Report series.
Border name: Santa Elena or simply Chetumal
Between cities: Subteniente López (Chetumal), Mexico and Santa Elena (Corozal), Belize
Cost for visas: $0
Cost for vehicle: $5 USD for fumigation, $23 USD for 2 weeks insurance
Total time: 45 minutes