Belize Islands: San Pedro Vs. Caye Caulker

Which one should I visit? Will there be more to do on San Pedro or Caye Caulker? Do I need to rent a golf cart or will I be fine walking everywhere/taking taxis? These are some of the many questions I asked myself when trying to decide which island to visit. Keep reading and I’ll tell you more about each and which was my favorite.

San Pedro

After Tikal, the plan was to head to one of the islands. I went back and forth, before booking, trying to decie which one to go to. In the end I chose San Pedro. I had heard it was a lot bigger than Caye Caulker and that there was more to do. Hannah, Hector, and I took the water taxi from Belize city, which takes about an hour, over to San Pedro. It was pretty busy at the port, but we did have time to get some ok Indian food right before leaving. The ride was a bit bumpy but nothing that would make me see the Indian food again!

When we got off the water taxi the first thing we needed to do was find a place to stay so we could drop our bags. We found a small place on the beach called Hotel Coastal Bay. We only stayed there one night and then moved to Amelia’s Guesthouse. Amelia’s Guesthouse was a few blocks over and had a bigger room with AC (even though it died in the middle of the night)! After dropping our bags, we set out to explore. First, we walked around looking at some of the shops and seeing what there was to do. We walked all the way to the cinema, it took about 25 minutes, to see if it was open (hoping to see something that evening) but it was closed. 

The walk to the cinema was not a complete loss because we stopped at a Playa Bar and Grill on the beach for some fruit juice. 

That night we found a small local ‘hole in the wall’ (I wish I could remember the name!) place for dinner. We tried many of the dishes they had to offer and everything was delicious. It was also so cheap compared to American prices. After eating, we walked around to some of the bars/restaurants to see what was going on. It wasn’t very busy and we decided to go back to the hotel so we could plan for the next day.

Sunglasses // Sunglasses // Bathing Suit (Reversible) – Similar Top // Bottom

The next morning we took a taxi to ‘The Secret Beach’. Be careful when taking taxis! Our taxi driver ripped us off by changing the price half way through the journey! We spent the day at “The Secret Beach” playing in the clear water, eating lunch, and having (more!) fruit juice (it’s so refreshing).

That night we found dinner at a restaurant called Caramba a few blocks from the center. The food was great but the Oreo cheesecake for dessert was Amazing! I’m not even a huge fan of Oreo’s but this stuff was ‘perfection’ (friends anyone?).

Caye Caulker

A few months later while on the way to and from Tulum, Mexico, my faithful traveling partners and I stopped by Caye Caulker. We ended up having one full day (and a few half days) in Caye Caulker because I didn’t realize there were 2 water taxi companies that went to Chetumal, which was how we were getting to Tulum. They each service the island (at least when I was there) on alternate days.

We found Vista Del Mar Guesthouse when we got off the water taxi and booked ourselves for two nights there. Caye Caulker is very small, and everything is in walking distance. That night we ate at a Bambooze restaurant across the street. It was right on the beach! The benches for the tables were swings which sold me right away on going there! After that we walked to the end of the island before going to the hotel.

We shared the seafood platter and it was so big that there was food left over!

The next morning, after buying our water taxi tickets and eating breakfast at Amor y Cafe we decided to spend the day at Koko King beach. It is only a 2-minute water taxi ride over to the beach. Be aware: here you have to spend a certain amount at the beach for the taxi ride there and back to be free! We paid for the loungers, a hammock, food and drinks which was all more than what was needed to meet the minimum. They play loud music and have lots of (drinking) competitions (if that is your thing – not really ours) plus inflatable water toys (they were fun!).

Bathing suite (reversible) – Similar

The next morning, we were up early for the water taxi to Chetumal – a whole other story – coming soon!

On the way back from Mexico we stayed on Caye Caulker for another night. We stayed at the same place but ate dinner at Godfrey’s Seaside Grill. The food here was ok. I would recommend Bambooze over it!

Which did I like better?

Overall, I liked Caye Caulker better. Their Motto is ‘go slow’ and you really feel that on the island. I felt it was more laid back and less ‘party town’ then San Pedro. However, if you are looking for a place with an active nightlife I would say go to San Pedro, there are a lot more bars and restaurants to choose from. I went in the slow season (San Pedro – July, Caye Caulker – September) so things were a lot less crowded and slower on both islands compared to what I would think they would be in the high season. I believe the high (dry) season is November to around April.

Golf carts – They are all over the place in San Pedro! It was one of the things I didn’t really like. When I was walking down the street I always felt I may get run over by one. In comparison, I only saw the odd one here and there in Caye Caulker. Caye Caulker is so small that it only takes about 15 mins to walk (slowly) from one end to the other.

Both islands seem to offer tours if that is something you are interested in. If I had had a couple more days at each I probably would have booked a tour. However, we just had a day or two and it was nice to take time to walk around the islands. We saw a lot of snorkeling, diving, and wildlife (sharks, stingrays, and manatee) tours. I even saw some caving (ATM), tubing and zip-lining tours where they take you back to the mainland to explore.

Neither island lacks for things to do and both are beautiful!

Make sure to check them out if you are in Belize!

Buffy xx

Exploring Tikal

Heading to Tikal

Hannah and I found ourselves back in Belize a month and a half later. This time to go to Tikal. Tikal (once thought to be known as Yax Mutal) is an ancient Mayan city found in the Guatemalan rainforest. It was once one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya and is thought to date back to 4th Century B.C.

We spent a few days in Belize (where we went zip lining and cave tubing) before heading to northern Guatemala.

Belmopan Bus Station – Talking to my alarm company…

We set off from Belmopan around 11am after a bit of confusion on the bus. I think we got on and off about two times over confusion if this was the right bus or not and if another one was leaving sooner. It took us about an hour to get to San Ignacio (a town on the border of Belize and Guatemala). There we had a quick lunch before getting in a taxi that would take us to the border. It only took about 15 minutes with the taxi and the border crossing didn’t take that long either, I even got to get another stamp for my passport!

Guatemala

Looks like a crocodile head

On the other side of the border we debated between taking a bus or a taxi to Tikal. In the end we decided to take a taxi because we realized we didn’t have time to go into the town to try and find the bus stop. If we took a taxi, we could be dropped off right inside the park (we were going to try and stay at one of the 2 hotels inside the park). Our taxi driver also helped us get tickets to enter Tikal as we entered the park. We discovered that the entrance is quite a way from where the hotels and the actual entrance of Tikal are located.

We were relived to find a room at the 1sthotel we tried. It was called the Jaguar inn and we booked one of their bungalows. It was basic but nice. They informed us that the lights and hot water are shut off at certain times of the day to help save power. The gentleman at the front desk was helpful and explained all our different options for visiting the park (sunrise, sunset, guided and non-guided tours). We decided to do a non-guided tour because to do any of the other options would have meant sending a taxi back to the gate to get a guide and an extra ticket. Tickets to the park are about $20.

Exploring Tikal National Park

After setting our stuff down in the room we decided to go explore the area around the hotel before dinner. Crocodile Lake was only a 5-minute walk away. A few minutes in the other direction was a model of Tikal; so, deciding we had to check both out we set off! After seeing the model we wanted to go see the lake. We had to go back and ask for directions after realizing than none of us knew which direction to head. After finally finding the path we were on our way. However, we apparently missed the sign to the lake because we kept walking deeper into the jungle. After 45 minutes and the path starting to narrow we decided to turn around. We found the lake on the way back after acquiring about 30 bug bites on each foot!

Leggings // Top // Sunglasses // Necklace (same brand)// Sandals

Dinner at the inn was relaxing. We ate pasta (lol) and drank fruit juice and after we ate we stayed until it got dark playing checkers and dominos.

We arouse the next morning around 5:30am so that we could enter Tikal as soon as it opened (6am). It wasn’t until we were heading to the park that I realized my purse (with all my cards, cash, passport, and sunglasses) was missing. I am usually very good at keeping up with things and couldn’t think what had happened. We asked anyone we saw walking around if they had seen a purse and looked everywhere. The inn wasn’t even open yet. Right before 7am (and when it opens) we saw someone who works there walking by. He told us he had found the purse last night and handed it in; I had apparently left it on the back of my chair. When the lady showed up to unlock and set up the reception area she got it out of their safe for me and thankfully nothing was missing!

Tikal

After that slight scare we headed to the Tikal!

We headed for the largest temple first. You are not able to climb up the front of the high temples. You have to up the back via a wooden stairway. The views are amazing. You feel so small because all you see is jungle with a few temples sticking out the top. I couldn’t believe that we were finally here! We walked around and explored the whole area. I would definitely recommend visiting Tikal if you have a chance. I just read about El Mirador (after I finished the lost city trek-I’m on a trekking kick lol) and have already added it to my list!

Shorts // Top (old – Victoria Secret, Similar)

Heading back…

Having been so stressed that morning, with losing my purse, I had left my GoPro in the room so don’t have any footage of our adventure but I did get a lot of pictures. When we came out of the park we didn’t know if we wanted to stay an extra night and try to see Flores the next day or head back to Belize and go to one of the islands. There was a shuttle right as we were leaving and so we hopped on and the decision was made to head to San Pedro. Flores is still on my list – I’ve decided to put it and El Mirodor together! The shuttle dropped us at a cross roads between the border and Flores. Since it was a Sunday we would have to wait for a local shuttle to go by. Luckily, after only about 5 minutes one arrived.

I have never seen so many people crammed on to a shuttle, I think I lost count at 23 (it sat 16). People were wedged in every way possible! Once back at the border we crossed and headed back to Belize the same way. We realized we didn’t have time to try and get to San Pedro that day so we found a hotel in Belize and decided we would set off first thing in the morning! Stay Tuned. I will write a post about San Pedro and Caye Caulker together having visited them both on separate occasions.

Check back soon!

Buffy xx

River Cave Tubing – Footprint Cave

On our last full day in Belize we decide to go cave tubing. When I was looking at booking a trip to Belize cave tubing is what I heard about the most. Everyone who went said I needed to book to go cave tubing. Caves Branch offer 2 cave tubing excursions. However, only one was offered at the time of year we went (on a second trip back I was able to do the other one). The one that was available in May/June actually included seeing some Mayan ruins which I enjoyed.

After breakfast we headed to the meeting place. Of all three tours we did this was the largest group. I think there were about 8-9 of us on the tour. We all loaded onto a bus and drove for about 15-20 minutes through private land. The short drive was beautiful. It was very similar to the one to the Black Hold Drop. We drove through the orange groves and crossed a small river before unloaded and getting our gear. Anything you don’t want to get wet you can had to the guide because the company have a dry bag they take. Once you grab a helmet, headlamp and tube you start making your way down to where the river and Footprint Cave start.

This cave is called Footprint Cave because way in the back a footprint was found that dates back to the Mayans. The minerals of a stalactite dripped on the footprints for 1000s of years calcifying the footprints in the clay and preserving there. This is not part of the tour since they want to preserve the area.

You start by floating slowly into the cave.  As it gets darker they ask you to turn on your headlamp. The inside of the cave is beautiful. There are so many beautiful features to look at and the water is crystal clear.

Once further in (about a mile), you stop to explore. The guide leads you to many of the interesting structures. He also provides you with some history about how the Mayans may used the cave. They think it was a fertility chamber due to a mask found carved on the wall. When archaeologists mapped the cave in 1973 they found pottery with pictures/hieroglyphics depicting what was going on and the archaeologists came to the conclusion that it was a fertility chamber.

Archaeologists have only discovered three of these masks so far according to the guide. Two were found in temples. One in Copan (Honduras) and the other one in Tikal (Guatemala). The last one in this cave. We got to see some of these pots as well as carvings of formations that, with a light (fire), shadows are cast depicting two people dancing (or you can use your imagination)!

For lunch they set up a small picnic with tortillas, meat, cheese, eggs and vegetables plus some juice. Hannah and I sat in our inner tubes on the bank with the group and ate lunch. After they packed up you head back into the water. On the way back they ask you to turn off your head lamp for a portion of the way. That was you can experience it in the dark!

Once you are out of the cave you float a short portion of the river back to where you started. One last stop before the end of the tour: a spot where you can jump off the bank and into the river!

Once back at the lodge Hannah and I changed and packed all our belonging because we were heading back to Belize city for the night before our flight the next day. I would not recommend this unless you have a very early flight. I would stay the night in Belmopan and take the bus early the next morning.*

*In Belize city neither Hannah or I felt very safe. On the way to the hotel two police men stopped us. They said they were responding to a call in the area and were we ok? We had not called them and were not sure who did. Once we got to our hotel we didn’t know where to even begin to find dinner.

On the drive back home the next day Hannah and I were already planning the next trip. We had gone all the way to Belize (which was so much fun we didn’t want to leave) to try and go to Tikal in Guatemala and hadn’t (there was too much to do in Belize). We had the next trip planned by the time we were home!

Lots of Love,

Buffy xx

Xunantunich & Cahal Pech

We thought about going to Tikal the next day on a tour with Caves branch (tour) but we decided we really didn’t want to be in a van for 5 hours each way. Instead we decided we would go see some of the local ruins. We left early and headed for San Ignacia where Xunantunich (Stone Lady) is located. We walked around learning about the different structures and hearing about the history of the city. The last stop of the tour was climbing the highest temple. The views were amazing. You could see all the way into Guatemala!

Shorts // Top (similar) // Sandals (similar) // Sunglasses // Dry Bag (similar)

Termite Nest

After looking around Xunantunich we headed for Cahal Pech. Cahal Pech was a smaller (less manpower) Mayan city but it was wealthier than Xunantunich. It is one of the few Mayan ruins where the roofs are still there and you are allowed in the rooms. Other Mayan sites have the roofs but you are not allowed inside.

Then it was off to lunch at Hode’s Place Bar & Grill. and from there back to Caves Branch.

Before dinner we stopped by the Blue hole. The water was so blue!

We had one more tour booked with Caves Branch. Check back to see which one it was!

Lots of Love,

Buffy x

Caves Branch – Overnight Caving Expedition – Belize

One of my news year’s resolutions was to travel more often…or I should say as much as possible. I had a long weekend coming up and a friend and I were trying to decide where we should go. Recently we had read about Mayan ruins and thought it would be fun to go explore some. We had planned to go somewhere for about 5 days but didn’t know if 5 days was enough time to travel to Belize and Guatemala. We also had as an option – Cuba. After doing some research we found that the flights to Belize and/or Guatemala were going to be too high for just a few days.

Fast forward a week and less than a month before we were going to go….we lucked out and found some cheap flights to Belize! The plan was to fly into Belize and then make our way to Guatemala to visit Tikal. When I got more into planning I thought it may be nice to have a day or two in Belize so that we were not just heading all the way to Guatemala without stopping.

I stumbled upon a lodge called Caves Branch that was on the way to Tikal (somewhat) and had lots of tours on offer. I thought we could stay there a day or 2 and do a tour and then head onto Tikal. Well let’s just say we had some much fun in Belize that we never even made it to Guatemala on this trip…stay tuned though because we make it there on our next trip over!

I found the overnight caving expedition tour and after much persuasion that we should do it my friend and I booked it!

Backpack LL Bean (similar) // Dry Bag (similar) // Boots // Leggings // Top – Academy // Sweater

This was the lightest I had ever packed for a trip!

We flew into Belize (I couldn’t believe how clear the water looked from the plane) and took a taxi to the bus terminal in Belize city. From there we got a bus to Belmopan. It was about a 2-hour bus ride. Once in Belmopan we boarded another bus to Dangriga. On that bus, you get off at the Caves Branch stop and walk the last bit to the lodge. We got off a bit to early….we started walking but were picked up by a passing van (scary I know) which dropped us at the long drive way to Caves Branch. After checking in and signing our life away (for the tour the next day) we headed to our room. We were both exhausted from traveling all day and getting to sleep. After a family style dinner, we went to bed early so we could be up and ready for tomorrow.

The tour starts out with a hike up 3 peaks. Here we got to try termites (they taste like carrots), all spice, and Cohune nuts. We also saw copal (which is good to start a camp fire), Howler monkeys, an inch worm and Lucy!

Lucy

What I didn’t mention about the tour is that it involves a 300 ft. repel down the blackhole. Once down there you eat lunch, set up camp, and go explore the caves.

Once in the cave there is some repelling but lots of climbing, maneuvering through rocks and formations, river swimming and one of my favourites – climbing a clay mound and sliding down it. You also get to see some Mayan bones and pottery!

We also got to see and hold a scorpion spider!

After exploring the cave for hours, we made our way out and back to the camp. I remember as we got closer to the outside hearing all this noise. We came out to a dark sky where it was thundering and lightening.

We slept that night in covered hammocks and listened the noises of the jungle! It was one of the most amazing places I have stayed. We were woken bright and early by all the animals noises!

The hike out involves a 30 ft. ladder you have to climb up but carrying a lot less weight since much of the water we were carrying the day before we have drank. Before heading back to the lodge, we stopped to pick oranges from the orange trees at the start of the blackhole hike. We used machetes to peel them. From there we went to the river to swim about and cool off!

This was hands down one of the best tours I have ever done!

Once back at Caves Branch we showered, ate lunch and got ready to set off to Tikal…

We had a slight change of plans when we realized how late it was and how long it would take us to cross the border and get to Tikal!

Check back to see what we got up to instead!

Lots of Love,

Buffy xx

Yeezy Sock Boots

I have a thing for boots! And these are not exception. However, I feel like these fall under the same category as my Gucci Marmont Pumps (post here). You either love them or hate them. I personally love these sock boots! The sock material was a lot softer than I expected it to be. It is nice because the material is actually thin like socks! On my Balmain sock boots the material is a lot tighter.

I paired mine with a zara button up skirt. I got this right before Christmas and wore it a lot while I was in Costa Rica for Christmas. This blue sweater was a top I had my eye on for ages. I only bought it after it went on mayor sale and I got down to my goal weight. It is open on each side with ties. I would just throw on a blazer or leather jacket and this lipstick before heading out!

Boots // Skirt – Zara (similar) // Top (similar) // Bag

And one more close up of the boots…

What do you think of sock boots?

Buffy xx

Wish List

Wish List

Jacket // Heeled Sandals // Shorts // Love Ring // Skirt // Flat Sandals

Loafers // Moon, Triangle & Bar Earrings // Backpack

Here are a few things I have been looking at lately and that are on my ‘wish list’. Since I have gotten rid of a lot of stuff when and if I do buy new items I want to make sure that #1 I will use the items for years to come, #2 that I do not have anything too similar to it already and #3 that it will be classic and not go out of style.

I realize with this wish list there is a theme of black and gold. I’ve noticed that when going through my stuff I tend to lean towards the neutral colors. I do not mind a pop of color now and them but I like to stick to black, white, tan, grey and navy.

I think this jacket would be a great alternative to a leather jacket while also staying classic. I love the slip on version of these shoes so I would imagine the loafers are just as nice! You can’t go wrong with this ring! As it starts to get warmer i’m looking forward to wearing shorts, denim skirts and sandals. I like that this black denim skirt has a zip down the side! I use to live in denim skirts when I was in university. I have these shorts in black and wore them the whole time I was in Costa Rica this past Christmas. I think the lower heel on these sandals makes them so practical.

I just got my conch pierced and want to go back and get my 2nd and 3rd holes done. I love the idea of just having small studs like the ones above to wear in the holes. Lastly, I have been thinking of getting a backpack and saw this one. I use to have the small Chloe Faye but sold it because it did not work for me. I’m trying to decide if I will like this backpack or not. Does anyone have it? thoughts?

Buffy xx

Balmain Boots

Looking back at these pictures I probably would have paired these boots with some black jeans that are tighter around the ankle. However, I was going through a lot of my clothes and found these black jeans (in the picture). I was excited because I had not worn them in years! On the shirt, I like the detail – from the zip down the back to the leather cut out print on the front!

Jeans – Old Miss Sixty (similar, similarsimilar) // Top – Greylin (similar) // Bag – Boy bag in small

These Balmain boots follow the “sock boot” trend but I think are classic enough that they will not go out of style. I like to wear them with an all black outfit because they are quite sleek. With slightly tighter black jeans they really elongate the legs! That is always a good thing. They have nice details on them – the gold heel, leather strip down the back as well as the netting material. I would not say they are walking boots though!

Boots (Brown version – on sale!)

I paired it with my boy bag because it has the gold hardware. It was a bit more edgy.

I hope you all had a nice Easter weekend!

Lots of love,

Buffy xx

Minimalism…

Okay, so I’ve been struggling and putting off writing this post for about two weeks now…not because it’s hard, but because I am so new to minimalism that I didn’t know where to start. As you know the past year has been filled with a lot of changes. My most recent one? Trying to embrace minimalism!

Over the past couple of months I have been redecorating my condo; I was looking around at all this stuff I had that I just didn’t need! Whilst some of it brought back memories, some good and others not, most of it was just filling space. Sub-consciously it was also filling unnecessary space in my head, I had the same feeling when I was looking at my wardrobe. I saw I had my favourite pieces, and that the rest was just taking up more space.

Immediately I started going through my clothes and removing anything and everything that didn’t fit (which was actually a lot, shopping trip- just joking) or things I just didn’t enjoy wearing. I did the same with my home décor. As I moved pieces and clothes to the ‘donate/sell’ pile I felt more and more free; literal and emotional weight being lifted with every item! Currently it’s all sitting in my dining room – you should see my dining room, or maybe you shouldn’t on second thoughts. (I will admit that room stresses me out, but that stuff is almost gone!)

I enjoy the idea of minimalism because in my head, less stuff = more time!! It means spending less time picking out clothes, worrying about all the options only to choose the same items over and over again. The lack of ‘stuff’ taking up my space also means I can clean easier – so adult, eurgh I know! The space in my head, and home, gives me the time to try new things and/or spend time doing activities I didn’t previously have time for. I think our society has pushes this mentality that we have to have all these new gadgets. We spend so much time working towards that and not enjoying what we have right infront of us. 

There is nothing wrong about working towards goals, but I don’t feel these should all be materialistic. I don’t want to live to work, I have experiences to go out and get!!

On that train of thought, I recently started working towards my private pilot’s license. I really think the beginning of embracing minimalism made me realize life is short (such a cliché I know!), but there is no time like the present. I don’t want to put off doing things anymore. The past ten years I have been waiting for the right time for various things and I regret that.

I’m only about a month into trying to declutter and embrace minimalism. So far it has brought up a lot of life’s questions. However, right now I would not change that for the world. It’s hard but I know that’s a big part of change! 

I’ll keep you updated as things progress!

Lots of Love,

Buffy x

Current Products….

Mousse // Oil // Face cleanser // Dry Shampoo // Deodorant – Not Available  // Shampoo

Here are a few new products I am currently using. I tried this shampoo because I like to wash my hair everyday. It is nice because it does not cause any build up in my hair. I bought this mousse at the same time as the shampoo. I like it ok. It feels very light in my hair but does not provide a whole lot of lift. I am on the fence about this dry shampoo. I can’t decide if I like it enough to purchase again….

This deodorant is great because it is a natural deodorant that uses essential oils. I don’t think it is available any longer but this one looks good. This oil feels amazing on your legs and it smells wonderful. I’m not sure I would buy it again based on the price point but it was a nice splurge item at the time! The last item on my list is this face cleanser. It is definitely one I would buy again!

One of the things I like about minimalism is that I do not keep back up of products so once I finish something I have the choice or repurchasing or trying something new!

Lots of Love,

Buffy x