104 Belize City, Belize Excursions
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We enjoyed Belize surprisingly considering we were not going to get off the boat because of others reviews...however why go to another country and not?? So we did. Was our first tender we ever had to take and was about 15-20 long but not bad at all. We did some shopping and then decided to take trolley tour through the city since we would be with many other people and not by ourselves. Stopped by the Rum factory for tasting and got some drinks (strong ones I must say) then finished tour which was very informative and eye opening of life in Belize. Tour guide recommended Ms Patty's belizean food when we got off of trolley. Ms Patty was so welcoming and nice! The food was amazing and cheap and was right outside of port where we did more shopping before entering back through port. We sat and talk with some locals that were on their lunch break while we ate. Never felt unsafe even though it was only us four females, two of which being teenage girls for a graduation trip. Dont let others reviews discourage you from exploring and supporting these people in this country. As we were we told on the tour that the tourists are their main source of income and would not want anything bad to happen to tourists because that would be taken away. Made us very appreciative and grateful for our very prilvedged lives.
I read so many bad reviews of this port that I was very surprised to see how beautiful it actually was. We didn't do an excursion, but we just tendered over and shopped. The people were nice, the atmosphere was fun and inviting, and the scenery of the shopping port was very culturally beautiful. The water is not as blue as most people like, but it's not ugly at all. Don't shrug this port off based on reviews, take a chance and discover it for yourself. It's part of the experience.
This was my second time at this port and it is actually one of my favorite ports in the Carribean! The people are so friendly and enthusiastic about sharing their country with all of it's natural wonders, culture, & history. They want your $$ of course but you get your money's worth and then some! The long tender ride is worth it if you book an excursion. You must see their jungle and either experience the cave tubing or Mayan ruins (I have now done both through the cruise line with no regrets). Very memorable if you like adventure. I usually don't book excursions through the cruise line but I would here because there is a long travel time for all worthwhile excursions & you want priority Debarkation & to make sure the ship is waiting on a long bus or boat ride. I also usually don't buy souvenirs but I bought some at this port both times just to commemorate my fabulous experiences. I could easily spend a week here as well. Most of the people speak English well so its also very easy to communicate & get the most out of your time here.
Belize is only accessible with tender boats, about 10 to 30 minutes depending on the boat and the captain, lol. Once again, very well organized by the Vista crew to get thousands of vacationers off the ship. Unfortunately our (in advance) booked excursion got cancelled due to not enough participants. We really looked forward to the Belize City highlights, traditional dances and music and learning about Belize’s rum making history. Not to forget to sample the award winning One Barrel Rum and other unique blends. But: We explored Belize on our own and walked away from the busy tourist port. We met Jason, a young cab driver who drove us to a very unique restaurant at the beach after we told him we would like to enjoy some real Belizean food and yes, we heard about the Belizean brewed beer, the Belikin, and about Belize’s Baron Gin. We sat on the restaurant’s patio right at the beach and enjoyed the food, the view and the drinks. Good thing we set the alarm to call Jason to get us back to the port on time. He was not just a cab driver. He told us a lot about the city and history. He turned our disappointment about the cancelled tour around and was our personal tour guide. In return we exchange our refund into a great tip and a gift certificate to spend a night out with his wife. One day we will come back and tour Belize with Jason an drink Belikin beer because we cannot find that beer anywhere in the USA...
The cave tubing in Belize is really amazing! The tour we went on we booked ourselves and not from the ship. We did zip lining and cave tubing. For the cave, bring your own water shoes that are hefty. It's a 40 walk along rocks and stream beds and my son had blisters and was miserable because the shoes they rent you don't have padding. TRUST me on this!
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