Our Routes in Belize

May 9, 2024
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Costa Rica, Latin America, Our Routes

…with Senior Product Manager, Cat

In the latest instalment of the popular Our Routes series, our senior product manager Cat Davies explains how her trip to this Caribbean gem included an all-time highlight in travel after discovering Belize’s Great Blue Hole, plus what other wonders await those lucky enough to take a trip to this magical country.

Cat enjoying the views up high in Xunantunich
Cat enjoying the views up high in Xunantunich


San Ignacio/Cayo District, Placencia, Ambergris Caye.

Cat's photo of the tropical views in Placencia
Cat’s photo of the tropical views in Placencia


I flew with United Airlines via Houston – an overnight stay on the outbound journey is usually necessary but the timings work very well with an early morning flight to Belize City the following day, so no time is really lost from the itinerary in Belize. Sleeping in a proper bed also actually means you are already starting to adjust to a new body clock, and you arrive in Belize feeling much more refreshed!


First time but I’m already desperate to go back to discover more of the amazing country!

Cat's view from the plane circling over the Great Blue Hole
Cat’s view from the plane circling over the Great Blue Hole


I always love being by the coast, and I especially enjoyed the laidback vibe of Placencia, but my favourite area of this trip was definitely the Cayo District as it offered an authentic cultural and wilder side to Belize that I wasn’t expecting, and provided access to so many different experiences – jungle, wildlife spotting, adventure activities, Maya sites, and community experiences.  

Xunantunich's intricate details captured by Cat
Xunantunich’s intricate details captured by Cat


Taking a scenic flight over the Great Blue Hole is one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had, let alone just in Belize. The whole journey was incredible, with spectacular aerial views of the barrier reef long before we even reached the Blue Hole itself; the vibrant blues and turquoise didn’t look real! As it first came into view, the deep blue circle of the sinkhole initially looked quite small against the vastness of the barrier reef, but as we drew nearer, I spotted the tiny speck of a diving boat within its perimeter, giving so much more perspective of just how huge it is. It’s definitely one of those moments I’ve had that makes you realise just how insignificant we are amongst such incredible natural wonders in the world. It was a real pinch-me moment and one I’ll never forget.

The Great Blue Hole viewed from the plane
The Great Blue Hole viewed from the plane


The Great Blue Hole flyover could easily be the answer to this question too, but there were some other fantastic experiences I had in Belize’s interior that offered a completely different insight to the country and made me realise there is just so much more to the country than its beautiful beaches.

Xunantunich is an incredible Maya archaeological site that draws very few crowds, so it almost felt like we had the place to ourselves. The stone structures are so impressive and provide incredible views of the surrounding jungle as well as being a great viewpoint to observe howler monkeys, toucans and other wildlife around the complex.

One of my other favourite experiences was a visit to the San Antonio Women’s Cooperative. This project does wonderful work to preserve traditional Maya techniques in local crafts, as well as educating, empowering and providing employment for local women. During our visit we enjoyed a mesmerising pottery demonstration with the opportunity to turn our hand at the local craft, followed by an interactive cooking demonstration of how to prepare corn tortillas using the traditional method of grinding maize on a stone block called a metate. The lunch that was prepared for us was absolutely delicious, easily my favourite meal I had in Belize.

Cat enjoys a pottery class at the San Antonio Women’s Cooperative
Cat enjoys a pottery class at the San Antonio Women’s Cooperative


Cool, loose, comfortable clothing, insect repellent and lots of sunscreen. Belize has a tropical climate so packing appropriately helps to acclimatise as much as possible.

Strolling through the streets of Placencia
Strolling through the streets of Placencia


Lunch at the San Antonio Women’s Cooperative was delicious, and extra special having participated in preparing it and having it cooked in front of us. We also had a street food tour in San Pedro (Ambergris Caye) that was a really fun way to experience authentic local eateries and try new dishes where the locals dine, whilst learning about different delicacies. Other than that, I enjoyed any meal in Belize as long as it was accompanied by the renowned, flavoursome Marie Sharp’s hot sauce, washed down with some Belizean rum!

Food being served at the San Antonio Women’s Cooperative
Food being served at the San Antonio Women’s Cooperative


Pretty much any photo or video of the Great Blue Hole (and there were many!) but I particularly like the video that came out with the silhouette of our tiny plane on the water beneath, reminding us of how small and insignificant we really were against such an incredible natural wonder.

Cat’s video of the incredible view over the shimmering sea


Beautiful. Awe-inspiring. Enriching. Or, as the locals say, simply “un-Belieze-able”!

Cat loving life in Xunantunich
Cat loving life in Xunantunich

Ready to book your trip to Belize? Get in touch with one of our specialists today on 020 3820 0885, or complete the enquiry form to get in touch.


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