I just returned from a delightful time in the country of Belize. This marked my first international excursion for 2016, and my first visit to the Central American country. Belize and Panamá were the only Central American countries on my travel list. I crossed out Panamá in 2015, so when the opportunity presented itself to head to Belize (i.e., a reasonably priced flight), I took it. My mom wasn’t too thrilled about it. When I told her I was going, her exact words were, “somebody’s gonna kidnap yo ass.”
My arrival at the BZE airport went very quickly. I went through immigration and customs in 7 minutes. The immigration officer didn’t even speak to me. Buster! There were about 8 people ahead of me in the immigration line, and it moved quickly. There’s 3 or 4 lines for arriving visitors, with 2 agents working each line. I glanced behind me as I left, and the line had gotten very long, so I somehow lucked out with my placement and the timing was just right so that I didn’t have to wait.
Luckily for me, I didn’t have to go through baggage claim. That would have been another wait. Yes for #teamcarryon! I continued on to customs which went even quicker. There were 2 people ahead of me, but I don’t think I stood there for 7 full seconds. The officer took my passport and declaration form, asked where I was going, signed it, and sent me on my way. I took about 7 steps and was outside the airport where my driver, Modesto, was waiting for me.
I booked a shared shuttle transfer via Viator in order for the 2-hour journey from the airport to the Clarissa Falls Resort just outside of San Ignacio. I’m not a beachy person, so a visit to the cayes didn’t really entice me. Staying inland near Mayan ruins and in the midst of locals was more my speed, so I chose to stay in the Cayo district. Modesto offered to stop for bathroom breaks, snacks, and an ATM on the way. The USD is widely accepted in the country, but I felt that I should have some of the local currency, especially since I was staying inland rather than at some of the more touristy cayes. Queen Elizabeth is the face of Belizean currency. Although the country obtained their independence in 1981, she is still considered the official Queen of Belize. She’s only visited the country twice, her last visit being in the 90s.