Backpacking-Trip Central America
Backpacking Belize in 4 weeks
Not a Tatonka-Team-Member talking to you, today it’s us on this keyboard! We are Ania & Daniel running the german travel blog and Youtube Channel Geh Mal Reisen! It was in 2016 when we decided to live the adventure of our lifetime: I quit my job and Daniel finished his studies to travel the world together! No route, no plan but with lots of curiosity for our beautiful world!
Today, we want to tell you about our curiosity for Belize! About 4 weeks of traveling through Belize with our Yukon backpacks and why this tiny country will let you feel like a real explorer...
Belize is not the country you are thinking of in first place, when it comes to Central America.
Thinking about the region, these are the countries you are most likely to have in mind.
We have to admit:
It was just a year ago, we didn’t know anything about Belize.
I mean, Belize is as big as Hessen (a state in Germany) and has half the amount of inhabitants as our hometown Düsseldorf in Germany.
On the first glimpse it is fair enough to say: Belize pressures nobody for attention.
So, why Belize?
Because you ask yourself that very question. As simple as that.
“Why Belize? What is going on there?”
Sometimes it is the charm of the unknown which is pulling you into countries like that.
And sometimes it is most appealing to visit places nobody can tell you anything about.
“Oh, you visit XY? Then you HAVE to see this, book a tour for that and make sure you won’t miss XY! It is a must see – trust me!”
Chances are high, you won’t come across reactions like this when it comes to Belize.
It is places like Belize that can let you feel like a real adventurer and let you be an explorer for days, or even weeks. You discover it all by yourself.
So it came we booked our flights to Belize and packed our bags.
Daniel was traveling with his Yukon 60l and his Vibe 25, I carried the Yukon 50l on my back. Enough space for hiking boots, swim suits, hammocks and of course all our camera stuff to capture all our great discoveries.
One week later (Yes, it was quite a spontaneous journey) we set our feet on the ground of this unknown country for the very first time.
Our 4-week-roundtrip started - we were ready to explore Belize!
We explored the Caribbean Paradise
Belize consists of the mainland and an uncountable amount of medium, small and tiny islands in front. This kind of islands you usually use for your desktop background or you are dreaming about to visit once in your life. And we promise, if you ever happen to visit Belize, you are getting the proof that these islands are not just built in Photoshop – they actually do exist. Like… really.
We were sitting in a water taxi on our way to Caye Caulker when Belize started to show us the beauty of its Caribbean Paradise. We passed several small islands which carried not more than a tiny house and four palm trees. Almost too perfect. Best thing: we knew, that this was just the beginning of our trip.
We explored the Belizean Jungle
More than 40% of Belize is protected area and here it is where you can find the largest connected rainforest in whole Central America.
And yes, you see it! “Wow, just look how green it is!” That was probably our most said sentence in Belize. It started with the first view out of the window airplane during landing, continued during the bus rides where we passed nothing but green landscapes and was most used in Cockscomb Nationalpark where we were surrounded by… just green.
The Cockscomb Nationalpark is the world’s only jaguar preserve. A small part is open for tourists to go hiking in the jungle and swimming in waterfalls and natural pools. It is the perfect location to get in touch with the Belizean Jungle and untouched, green nature!
We explored the underwater paradise
You have probably heard about the great barrier reef in Australia, the biggest coral reef in the world, right? But do you also know where to find the second largest coral reef in the world? A few weeks ago we did not neither, but now we do – it is right in front of the coast of Belize.
Diving there was definitely one of our highlights during our roundtrip! The coral reef was unbelievable colorful, vivid and the water was just crystal clear. It’s no wonder this reef is known as one of the world’s best dive sites. It doesn’t matter if you’re a scuba diver or if you’re more into snorkeling - the underwater world will leave you speechless. Oh, and if you’re visiting the country between March and June chances are not bad to meet whale sharks! Sadly, we missed this time. But we went scuba diving at Glover’s Atoll and snorkeling at Laughing Bird Caye. Two island that let us completely fell in love with these paradisiac landscapes!
We explored the Maya-Ruins
The Maya Culture is famous for its knowledge about agriculture, nature and astronomy. The scientists of today still wonder, how the Maya have been able to collect all their knowledge without any help of the modern technique that we have now.
For us, it was the first time visiting a maya site. Now picture this: You’re entering a small boat, heading down the river surrounded by jungle and suddenly… pooring rain is coming down on you. But it’s not the rain you’re familiar to – it is the heaviest rainforest rain. The boat arrives. You step out of the boat, making the first steps into the jungle. Howler monkeys are welcoming you with dark and heavy howls and in the treetops tucans are watching you. You keep on going while in front of you this big maya site is emerging between the leafs and tree branches of the jungle. A gentle mist is lying in the air, you listen the sound of the jungle and it is raining softly through the treetops above your head. The whole situation was simply perfect and mystic. That is how our day at the Lamanai Maya Ruins was like…
We explored the country’s attitude towards life
As we mentioned before, Belize is not the place to see the biggest buildings, visit world famous sights or enjoy a vibrant metropolis. Even the second largest city (Orange Walk Town) feels like a small village.
In Belize the clock seems to be ticking slower - if it is ticking at all. People don’t get in any rush. And if you like it or not, you’re going to adapt to it. It feels like the country is taking you by the hand and teaches you how to enjoy life, how to enjoy the ocean, nature and most important: how to enjoy time.
So here are some things you won’t see in Belizean everyday life:
Big crowds of people.
Belize has three major paved highways connecting the most important places in the country. From there you continue your journey most times on dirt roads. It was new to us not to do some sightseeing in a country. It took us some time but then we understood:
If you are searching for the sights of Belize, you have to search in the origin.
In nature itself.
In the jungle.
In the ocean.
At the coast.
And in the Belizean attitude towards life.
Those who have explored this, they have discovered a calm and hidden gem of Central America.
Our journey isn’t over. There is a lot more to see in our world and we can’t wait to start our next journey with our Yukons and discover more of this Earth’s beauty! Ah, dear Tatonka-Team, the backpacks are going through hard times with us – but they deliver what they promise!