Blogs from Orange Walk, Orange Walk District, Belize, Central America Caribbean

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And then it was time for our first little adventure - crossing the border to Belize! Despite all the internet research we'd done, there seemed to be no clarity around what the official rules were around paying exit and entrance fees, and whether they'd be included in the flight price or not. Being very persistent seemed to be at least worth a shot though, and indeed, with some crappy Spanish (es incluido en el precio del vuelo, estoy seguro!!) we were in the end made to sign the back of the supposed to be official receipt, and the 15 gbp fee per person was waved. Victory! No clue what we'll need to do on the way back, but we'll figure it out. We also managed to avoid the overpriced insurance scams, thanks to the information provided ... read more
More Altun-Ha
A local on the river to Lamanai
Locals fishing on the river


So our last day on Caye Caulker was spent eating and sleeping. Thursday we checked out of the hotel and wheeled our bags down the dirt street back to the boat dock. We could have used a taxi which was a golf cart but it was just as easy to walk. We took the next boat leaving the island for Belize City. In Belize City we took a cab to the local bus station and got on the next chicken bus to Orange Walk. No there weren't any chickens on the bus but there could have been. Two and a half hours later after picking up and dropping people off every couple of miles we finally made it to Orange Walk. We had a map with the bus station shown on it but the bus dropped ... read more
Dave on the boat
Shana at boat dock
Lamani temple


Happy 2012 to all our blog readers! We were greeted into Belize in English, Spanish, Creole, Q'eqchi' and several other Mayan languages. As we got off a somewhat overcrowded ex-American yellow school bus in Orange Walk a nice gentleman with his wife and daughter ask us if we were looking for somewhere cheap to stay and offered us a ride to his friends hotel. He dropped us off and wished us happy travels. This kind of encounter has happened several times in almost every place we've been in this small nation. F.Y.I., The Hotel in Orange Walk was indeed very cheap (and clean), but 'basic' barely touches the edges when trying to describe this place... we especially will have fond memories of the sink built under the shower and we will remember our special stance so ... read more
Orange Iguana.
Croc!
Birds Eye View Lodge.


It's been a long day, but we are finally here! Our flights went well and ran pretty much on time. We landed in Belize at 2:55p and our luggage came out within the first five bags. Incredible. The airport is very small, and there was a reggae band playing music around the baggage claim. It was a kind of fun way to be greeted. We zipped through customs and walked outside and found our driver. We had read enough things about not staying in Belize City and decided to head straight to Orange Walk. The drive from the airport took about 80 minutes. Our driver was really nice and informative. The drive was nice - it's really pretty around here. Lots of lush green jungle/trees all around. It is definitely warm and humid too, but not ... read more
Ke'Ken
Chicken Fajitas
Nahil Mayab Restaurant


After my brief stint in Mexico I retraced my steps south into Belize; having skipped straight across the country on the way to Caye Caulker my plan was to travel overland north-to-south taking in as many sights as possible along the way. Lamanai My first call was the town of Orange Walk in northern Belize, the town itself is not much to write home about (literally) but is situated close to the New River from where one can take a boat trip to see Lamanai, Belize's most famous Mayan ruin. I joined the other day trippers just outside town & we all piled into a 20 seater launch with our guide. The river is surrounded by forests and an impressive collection of flora and fauna abides close to the waterway, within minutes of departure we were ... read more
Mask Temple
Steep Climb
Spider Monkey

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A person's first introduction to the Belizean bus system can come as a bit of a shock, particularly to someone used to the Mexican system of tickets and actual bus terminals. The bus from Vallodolid to Chetumal, the last town before the Belizean border, was much as any other. It stopped at a terminal of sorts, and we got off, fighting with pushy Mexicans to get our bags from underneath. With a slight hiccup it eventuated that we had got off at the wrong place, but a short taxi ride sorted that out. The taxi pulled up at Mercado Nuevo, and I looked at the cabbie quizzically. “Eso es?” “Si, allá esta los autobuses para Belize.” What we were looking at was a confusing mess of very old American ex-schoolbuses parked with no discernible pattern along ... read more
Horse Balls Tree, Lamanai
Path, Lamanai
Mayan Mask, Lamanai


so it has been a while since my last update. Maybe I’m adjusting to belize time a bit easier than expected… so since New Years at Sarteneja: 02 Jan - we scored a free ride from a couple from Montreal that were heading to Belize City. They were kind enough to drop us off in Orange Walk Town. The trip in their VW was slower than the public bus, but we imagine far more comfortable and more enjoyable. Our trip to Orange Walk was the start of our ‘no longer on vacation’ time, so everything had to be looked at in terms of business potential. However, arriving in the town we immediately knew it wasn’t for us. Can’t really explain what it was - just wasn’t right. So we wandered around, took in the limited sites ... read more
Photo 3


Carlos, the boat driver swore us to secrecy - don´t tell the ´rich´tourists who we were picking up 8 miles downstream how much we paid for the boat trip and the tour to Lamanai. We paid 80 Belizean dollars, the folks coming in from the Cayes (small islands just off the east coast of Belize) paid 260! Bargain. The 8 miles on the speed boat, powered by 2 massive outboard engines, were exhilarating. Snaking around river bends and small islands, my hair was truly windswept and blow dried after just 3 minutes. Skipper Carlos was an experienced and informed wildlife spotter. For no apparent reason to James and myself, he would suddenly drop the revs and direct the boat towards the shoreline. "Shh," he whisphered, "Do you see?". All I could see were trees and plants ... read more
Spot anything?
The green iguana
Croc!


Well crossing the border to Belize turned out to be a mini-adventure. We were too late to get a bus across so had to get a taxi from Chetumal in Mexico to the 'frontera'. After exiting the mexican bit, we crossed to the Belize side and got our stamps, said adios to the taxi driver and then realized that it was half nine at night, there was nobody about and we were standing outside the Belize border control with no transport to the next town (about 15km away). In the end this old guy and his friends arrived in a pick up and asked if we wanted a lift to Corozal, the next town, so the three of us hopped in the back and took the bumpy lift to the next town..fair play to them they ... read more
Living it up in a hotel with a pool-luxury!
Mennonite in Belize
Lamanai


From Playa del Carmen I took a bus down to the Mexican border and changed onto a Belizean bus to take me across the border, which was a completely painless experience. The change from Mexico to Belize was immediately noticeable - Belize was certainly more rustic and had a Carribean feel to it (not that I've ever been there!). The racial mix was also noticeable too, it is a complete melting pot, with the largest racial group being Creole (decendents of British pirates and African slaves) who speak a strange (and indeciphable) dialect of English, blacks and then amongst others - Chinese (not many, but there were a few Chinese restaurants around!) and Mennonites. My first port of call was a town called Orange Walk so i could visit some Maya ruins at Lamanai. There wasn't ... read more
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