How to get to Belize on a budget

Hey Guys! It’s time to take you on Caribbean Tour. Here we Go :

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We were advised by my girlfriend’s university that to extend our tourist visas, all we need to do is exit the country and then re-enter… simple. We chose Belize. Belize is a Caribbean country just outside of Mexico. It has the lowest population in Central America and to my great excitement – having spent six months in Mexico where I am still learning the language – the primary language is English.

As students, we wanted to go in the most economical way possible and with a direct plane costing about £800 for the both of us, we decided to find another way. We found we could get a plane to Chetumal (a small city within Mexico, with flights costing £30 each!) and from there get a taxi to the border where we would meet another taxi. This sounds quite complicated, but to sustain a full year of living abroad we must be quite tight and have grown accustomed to budgeting during a trip.

Overall, with the hotels (in Mexico City and Chetumal) and aeroplanes, the costs of getting there and back were roughly £300 for us both. Quite a good result.

We awoke and had a smooth journey to Chetumal. Chetumal’s airport was tiny, and we appeared to be the only plane there. When we arrived we walked 35 minutes to our hotel. Throughout the walk, we saw a starking contrast between well built, highly populated military bases and empty dilapidated buildings. We reached our hotel then made our way out, enjoying our one night in Chetumal.

To enter Belize, you have to get a taxi to the border, where a very stern immigration man with a very big gun will stare you down and let you pass. You will then not realise there is a one-hour time difference between Belize and Chetumal and subsequently must wait an hour in a rusted petrol station for the border to open, but perhaps that was just us. Check your time zones people! Then the pcr’s begin. Initially, you must fill out a health form, then wait for your taxi, which will take you to the PCR testing area. A PCR test is $50 US each. After the test, you are in for an anxiety-ridden 30-minute wait in a shake, until you get your results. You then enter your taxi and drive wherever you may be staying; we chose Corozal.

Though this was quite a tough process it felt reasonably smooth. The taxi drivers and testers were all very militaristic about it and got everyone through as quickly as they could. I would definitely recommend getting to the border early so you receive the first PCR and can fill out the immigration forms first, also it means your taxi driver does not have to wait hours for you, resulting in a far more pleasant drive I am sure. The whole process probably took around 3 hours (2 if you don’t make the mistake we did and forget about the time difference).

Another important note is that due to covid guidelines we needed to book a gold standard taxi and hotel in Belize. Though this seemed scary, it soon became clear there were many holding this certificate.

Our taxi driver Jesus was a short portly man with a kind face and a strong Caribbean accent and he spoke to us about Belize, he said “everyone here speaks English, Spanish and Creole. Creole is not classed as a certified language, but it is how we speak to our close friends. It came from our great grandfathers and theirs who were slaves here”.

I looked out of the window and to our right, we saw the buildings, which were significantly faded and chipped and had a colonial style. Many had completely fallen down due to storms and age. We saw a few bars and a couple of vendors selling fried chicken on the side of the road. To our left, we saw the ocean which was a clear blue. A few people were swimming and sitting with their feet in the water. Having not seen the ocean for about seven months it was euphoric to see it again.

Our hotel was named the sunshine view hotel, named so due to it being right next to the ocean with its own private beach. To stay there for the week was roughly £290. It was a beautiful place and located right next to the best restaurants in Corozal. The hotel we stayed at offered free access to bikes, so we spent a lot of time cycling around Belize. The people were immensely kind and everyone greeted us as we cycled past. A man at the start of our cycle shouted to us and alerted us that if we don’t put our mask on, we would be charged $500 Belizean (roughly £188) and that the police patrol all through the day. The wearing of the mask at all times was tough in the heat, but it certainly was better than losing $500. We cycled with a view of the ocean on one side and buildings, dense forests and wildlife on the other. We cycled to a Caribbean restaurant and got to try the rice, beans and chicken which was incredible. We tried a bar where you could buy your drinks, then go sit by the sea. Here we enjoyed the local lagers (the best lagers I think I have ever had) and the cocktails (the strongest cocktails I have ever had). We met a few interesting characters, one of which could not hold his excitement when he found out we were from England, he spent a lot of time showing us his English accent (one that was somehow more Caribbean than when he spoke in his normal accent) and enjoyed discussing ‘the crown’ in-depth with Molly. Another was named Willy and unfortunately, I do not have space to talk about him, but if you would like to hear the strange tale of Willy and the cutting of his dreadlocks, then leave a comment.

It was then time to leave Belize. We planned the same route out as we had in. we would renew our visas, return to Cholula and remain there the rest of the year, however, the immigration lady had other plans. We reached immigration and after a long wait, the lady entered the office. In fast Spanish, she exclaimed how due to molly being a student, we should not have been in the country with a tourist visa anyway and that to stay we would have to acquire a student visa (the only way of doing this is returning to England and sending a request as we later found out). She looked up at us both maliciously, then stamped 30 days on our immigration forms.

We decided to make the most of this situation. Now we are now living very happily in Argentina and we have plans to visit Lima. We have found travelling to be incredibly hectic, especially with covid. Without adaptability budgeting and travelling is impossible, however, if you have both the time and the effort, it does offer some amazing experiences and some of the best I have ever had.

I have found blogs a very useful tool for staying up to date with travelling and the accessibility of certain places. I thoroughly hope I have done the same within this blog, or at the very least, just given an entertaining anecdote of an adventure.

Thanks for giving it a read.  

Author Credit: Ollie Heginbotham

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So this was it for this time guys. If you too wish to share your stories with us, then reach us at insideoutwithrahulyuvi@gmail.com . We will publish the best ones here on our Blog & on our social media handles.

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Check out our latest Travel Blogs, written straight from the heart :

Travel is all that we do !!

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on Mollys misadventures and travels ❤ and commented:
    #travel #belize #belizeguide #covid #sea #islandlife #students #livinglife

    Like

  2. Thank you for sharing your wonderful travel story with us .Keep writing, Keep Rocking !

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ollie says:

    Thanks so much for the shoutout! I really appreciate it and hope everyone enjoyed the blog!

    Like

  4. Ollie says:

    Thanks for the shoutout – I appreciate it and I hope everyone enjoyed the blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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