Belize Island Adventure Blog


I’m 130 feet down in the throat of Belize’s most famous dive site-the Blue Hole-when a feeling of childhood déjà vu creeps into my head. Maybe it’s the two-story-tall stalactites hanging from the grotto walls like King Kong’s fangs, maybe it’s the ripped bull sharks that always seem to appear in the green fog behind me like ghostly gatekeepers. Or maybe it’s the fact that the ancient Maya believed caves like this were the portals to their underworld, Xibalba.

I know this place. It is torn from the pages of my favorite childhood story about naughty Max, who, when sent to his room, conjured up a surreal world where bedroom walls melted into vine-draped jungles and a stony moon glowed on fearsome-looking beasts.

See also: Snorkeling in Belize

I’m five days into a weeklong journey along the length of this former British colony wedged between Guatemala and Mexico, and it hasn’t taken me long to realize that it’s not just the Blue Hole that seems otherworldly. The whole country is the Yucatan on adrenaline-a natural theme park that’s a little weirder and a lot wilder than anywhere else in these parts. It’s a country where you can stalk gentle sharks the size of trawlers, dive South Pacific-like atolls in the Caribbean and swim deep into the Cave of the Crystal Maiden to uncover a chilling mystery more out of a gothic horror novel than a modern-day fairy tale.

Belize, I decide, watching the silver tinsel of bubbles pour out of the jaws of Xibalba and glitter to the surface like a reverse waterfall, is Where the Wild Things Are.

Stalking Giants

The evening I arrive in Placencia, a barefoot beach town in southern Belize, an Apocalypse Now sunset has ignited cloud castles in the sky-appropriate since director Francis Ford Coppola owns a Balinese-inspired resort on the edge of town.

I wander along a planked sidewalk and pass fishing shacks on stilts, hurricane shutters drawn, next to rebar quills poking out of time-share villa foundations. At the pier at the end of the road, sunburned Texan tourists in $200 Orvis fly-fishing vests unload coolers of empty Belikin beer from their boats, while local men hammer wayward nails back into fishing pangas turtled under coconut palms. Nearby, a European couple bickers over how to set up their North Face dome tent on the brown-sugar beach. The sidewalk winds past acupuncture clinics and Internet cafés, and a colorful hand-painted Creole sign admonishes potential litterbugs: “Sho Yur Luv Fo’ Di Bare Foot.”

See also: Scuba Diving in Belize

Placencia’s mellow vibe is lost on me two days later as I roll into the swell 25 miles offshore at the Gladden Spit Marine Reserve. I’m hot and cranky, my neck is covered with red pica-pica welts, and I’m well into my second unsuccessful day of whale shark diving.

Read more:


You can’t make this stuff up.

Jonathan Cain, the keyboard player for Journey and writer of perhaps the band’s biggest hit, “Don’t Stop Believing,” vacationed in Belize recently—and tweeted about what a fantastic experience it was.

The Belize Tourism Board got wind of this, and with help from its ad agency, Olson, orchestrated an elaborate thank-you to Cain—in the form of a cover song, “Don’t Stop Belizein.” Popular local Belizean group The Laru Beya Boys recorded the song, which you can hear below.

Olson and the Belize Tourism Board have collaborated on quirky campaigns in the past. Last year they offered free vacations to Vince Gilligan and eight members of the Breaking Bad cast—after the phrase “taking a trip to Belize” was used on the show as a euphemism for getting murdered.

The Belize Tourism Board – Don’t Stop Belizein’
― “Don’t Stop Belizein’” by The Belize Tourism Board

scuba diving in belize

1. The 2nd biggest barrier reef in the world and the biggest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere. The majority of tourists visit the Northern cayes. Visit Southern Belize and you can dive some of the best dive sites in the world and there are NO other divers!

2. Whale sharks! The Whale sharks migrate via the Sapodilla cayes to Gladden spit where they feed on the spawning Snappers. The season for Whale sharks at Gladden spit is March through till June. If you visit the Sapodilla cayes, you get the opportunity to swim with Whale sharks for at 6-8 months of the year!!!

3. Idyllic island locations. Southern Belize is scattered with paradise islands and coral cayes, surrounded by pristine coral reefs.

4. It’s an adventure! You get to spear the invasive Lionfish! The Lionfish are not indigenous to the Caribbean. They are feeding on key species and spell potential disaster to the health of the coral reefs in the area. If you visit Southern Belize, choose a dive operator that gives you the chance to help remove these invasive fish and have lots of fun at the same time!

5. It’s different! Divers are always looking for that new, unique location where the diving is excellent. Visit Southern Belize and go home and tell tales of a place that your friends have yet to visit?

See also: Scuba Diving in Belize

6. Never share a dive site!!! Are you tired of ‘diver soup’! Diving amazing dive sites that are ruined by other divers kicking up the reef, sand, silt and you! The roaring of boat engines, ruining your peaceful dive! Coming up under the wrong boat! If you visit the Sapodilla cayes marine reserve, situated at the foot of the barrier reef, you will NEVER share a dive site! There is one operator in the area, Reef Conservation International Ltd (ReefCI) they run unique scuba trips, for further information visit:

7. A focus on conservation! Want to help preserve the coral reefs that you love? Learn about marine life. Complete reef surveys and commercial species surveys. Help spear and remove the invasive Lionfish. You can do all of this while staying on Tom Owens caye with ReefCI.

8. Southern Belize is not just about the diving! There are an abundant of other activities including Mayan ruins, waterfalls, swimming in caves, visit cacao farms and see how chocolate is made, learn to play the Garifuna drums, jungle tours or spend you weekend at a jungle lodge or staying in a real Mayan village.

9. They speak English!

10. The people! Southern Belize has yet to be spoilt by tourism, people are genuinely friendly and helpful. Belize is a melting pot of different cultures. Get to know the Garifuna, Creole, Mayan, East Indian or the Mennonites and learn about the way they live, the food they eat and their incredible music.


By The Bare Pantry Show:


I wanted to honor the request of some of the viewers to make a video completely in Creole/Kriol. I decided to do Fry Jacks or Fry Cakes, but the 1/2 recipe because this meal is the reason why I started the show. Fry Jacks can be eaten with any meal, but primarily it is a breakfast dish. Normally we have eggs with Dutch Cheese, Avocado (pears) and re-fried beans for an old school Belizean breakfast.


At Blue Marlin Beach Resort, we serve some of the best Belizean meals and drinks. Learn more about our Restaurant here:



Discover Scuba Dive 3

Scuba Diving in South Water Caye

Many people who visit Belize normally scuba dive or snorkel in Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker or Placencia because those are the three destinations that are heavily marketed online and offline by the Belize Tourism Board, Guidebooks and Travel Magazines.

South Water Caye which is a 15 acre gem in the southern part of the country is also an ideal destination for snorkeling or scuba diving but doesn’t receive the amount of exposure from the organizations that I mention above thus we feel it is our job to write about it and tell the world how wonderful this island is for sea and reef adventures.

Another reason that we feel it is a perfect destination for scuba or snorkeling is because it is secluded and not crowded like Ambergris Caye or Placencia. In addition, South Water Caye is pristine and beautiful and just this year, it was voted as one of the top islands by Island’s Magazine.

If you are looking for spectacular scuba diving, snorkeling and salt water fishing then you might want to consider South Water Caye.

Here are some photos that illustrate the beauty of this gem:


Discover Scuba Dive 1

south water caye belize


schmidt_December 23, 2013_sw caye -2672