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#86617 - 05/21/04 10:54 AM honeymoon report Ek' Tun & VH (w/photos & reviews)
4.24.04 Offline
Belizean Honeymoon May 4-14
We, Dave & Melody, are a young couple from Philadelphia. Our honeymoon was our first trip to Central America. We read a lot on here during the planning of our trip and wanted to share our wonderful experience to help someone in the future!

***Excerpts from our travel journal***

Tuesday- arrival
Phyllis from Ek’ Tun www.ektunbelize.com picked us up at the airport in her Defender 110 and took us on our long journey through the Belizean countryside to San Ignacio, and eventually through Negroman Farms, over a stream/waterfall, and up the mountain to her parking spot. There we climbed down next to a waterfall and saw her sweet German Shepard, Killer, and his monkey friend waiting for us across the river. We boarded a motorboat and crossed the river to Ek’ Tun. Gorgeous!! The grounds were truly amazing-beautiful flowers and greenery everywhere. Our cabana, which was the perfect balance of rustic and comfort, sat atop a hill overlooking the Black Rock rapids. We had a delicious meal of salad, herb pasta, grilled vegetables, and warm bananas with coconut for dessert. From the open air cabana we fell asleep to the sound of the river flowing over the rocks.

Wednesday-swimming in the mineral pool, kayaking, 4 WD
We woke up at 6am to the sounds of nature from every angle. We found the mineral pool after a short hike through the beautiful grounds! Wow!! We had never seen a more beautiful creation. It fit in so well with its surroundings. We jumped in and enjoyed the refreshing water and climbed up the waterfalls. We hiked back to Phyllis’ for breakfast, which was tropical eggs (pineapple, pepper, & cheese), bacon, fresh fruit, and fresh pineapple juice.

We headed down to the river for our 4 hour kayak trip to San Ignacio. It was a great way to see the area. There were a few areas where the river had rapids which was a fun diversion from the monotonous paddling otherwise. A rainstorm refreshed us as we paddled down to Chaa Creek for lunch and the Medicine Trail. Chaa Creek is beautiful and obviously a great place to stay, but we agreed that we preferred the less manicured look and privacy at Ek’ Tun. We enjoyed stewed beef with fried plantains, rice & beans, and a Ceasar salad. When we started the Medicine Trail it started to pour again, but we continued along anyway eager to learn about the cures we could find in the jungle. Nature is amazing! The second half of the ride was less adventurous, but still beautiful. We passed a small village washing their clothing & bathing in the river. The children were so friendly and waved as we passed.

Phyllis and the other guests, Megan & Rob picked us up in San Ignacio. M& R had some exciting news about their day- they were engaged! Congrats guys smile We hung out in town for awhile and then headed back to Ek’ Tun with Dave driving the LandRover! He was thrilled to have this opportunity! This time dinner was a vegetable sushi, grilled chicken with mango salsa, grilled plantains & pineapple, and garlic bread, followed by an ice cream sundae for dessert! Once again it was delicious!

Thursday- horseback riding with Charlie from Easy Rider
We had French toast, fresh fruit, and sausage for breakfast. Then we headed to Charlie’s ranch for our ride. Charlie was great! She re-taught us some skills about riding, especially for the distance we planned to ride that day. We had a four hour ride with her in which we toured the countryside, went into a Mayan cave, passed Cahal Pech, learned about jungle remedies, and had a blast! Charlie was so informative and we really enjoyed ourselves. We went into town and had lunch at a little stand across from the Furniture store, I can’t recall the name, but the burritos and fresh juice were great!! It has a sign that says “fast food”. We ended the day with another swim at Ek’ Tun and a great dinner of salad, pork loin, corn on the cob, garlic mashed potatoes, and key lime pie.

Friday- Actun Tunichil Muknal with Patrick Warrior of Paz Tours
Breakfast was eggs with tomatoes & onions, bacon, and fresh fruit.
How can we describe such an incredible experience? Just do it, is all I can say!! And do it with Patrick- we are sure he is the best. We feel blessed to have experienced something so amazing in this world. Some moments that spark memories for us are: slipping through the tiny spaces in the formations, swimming through the crystal waters, listening to the sounds of Patrick playing the stalactite as the Mayans had thousands of years earlier, realizing we were 1200 feet in the earth’s bowels, viewing a woman’s skeleton fully intact after all these years. This is an experience we will never, ever forget!

We returned “home”, and Phyllis had dinner waiting for us. We had onion soup, grilled chicken, rice & beans, and an amazing coconut chocolate crepe-yum!

Saturday- Vaca Falls
We had a cheese omelet and fresh fruit for breakfast. We hiked for about an hour through a cow pasture, over a stream to come to large rock formations which led to several beautiful falls. We had the entire area to ourselves, so we decided to hang out and eat lunch on one of the rocks. Where else in the world can you find complete privacy in such a naturally beautiful place? If we were in the US, there would be a line down the river, but in Belize we shared the scenery with only the birds, the insects, and some unseen animals. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing at our cabana and had a delicious dinner of salad, grilled veggies, pasta with sausage sauce, and a Kahlua sundae.

Sunday- Xunantunich, Belize Zoo & Ambergris Caye
We awoke to a new sound-howler monkeys! As if they knew it was our last day in the jungle, they sang to us for about 2 hours. We had a quiche and fresh fruit and then headed to the ruins. It was our first visit to any Mayan ruins, and it was exactly what we needed. There were 3 large ruins, and several smaller ones. Once again, we were among the only people around. We climbed to the top of each structure and took some great photos. To me, the ruins were amazing because of their age, but less amazing than the natural wonders we had seen. Still, we were really glad to have the experience. We stopped at the Belize Zoo on our way to the airport, and it was great to see all the animals of Belize up close and personal.

We flew out of Municipal to San Pedro. The flight was breathtaking! We could see to the bottom of the ocean, amazing! The country was gorgeous inland, and now we could see that it is equally gorgeous on the reef. In San Pedro, everyone greeted us with a warmth that I haven’t ever seen. When we saw Victoria House www.victoria-house.com we were so glad we decided to stay there. It reads “honeymoon” all the way! When we arrived in our room, we were blown away by the soft, luxurious look and the bright flowers placed throughout the suite. We decided to stroll down the beach in search of a place for dinner and ended up at Caliente-which was great!

Monday-Sunset Sail with George from Rum Punch II
We spent the day exploring town by bike and then hung out under a thatch umbrella at VH’s beach. George picked us up at around 5 and we set sail towards the North. It was a beautiful sight to see the sun setting behind San Pedro, and the sail was nice and relaxing. George was great! We approached Capricorn which was all lit up and had a very dreamy glow from the sea. We took a table right next to the beach, enjoyed our dinner,, and then George sailed us home.

Tuesday- SCUBA with Fantaseas through VH
We had breakfast at VH and then headed to the dock for our Resort course with Rene. We took a boat out to Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Rene was a great instructor-very patient and informative. The area was so beautiful too! We had a great dive and saw lots of coral and marine life. After our dive we returned to VH and we a delicious lunch at Mickey’s. We rode bikes up the island and stopped at this little stand called Boca del Rio (right near the ferry) to visit with our little friends we met the day before. We met Barnabee from Eva’s gift shop, which is a little room in the house with a simple sign that says “open”. Barnabee showed us his jewelry shop and explained how he makes all different types of jewelry. He was so proud to talk about his craft, and a true pleasure to hear. On our way back we stopped at our favorite spot Menally’s Ice Cream for some coconut ice cream! After relaxing on the beach and by the pool with some Panty Rippers, we went to Casa Picasso for dinner.

Wednesday- Manatee tour through Seaduced
This is a great tour! The boat picked us up at VH and we headed out to the reserve. On the way we stopped by some local fisherman cleaning conch and saw a huge sea turtle! Our boat hovered over the gorgeous turquoise waters and we were blessed to see a family of 3 dolphins! Once at the reserve we saw quite a few sets of manatee mother & baby, as well as some single manatees. Our next stop was this small, uninhabited island in the middle of the reef where we pulled up to shore and walked out to snorkel. Apparently, we didn’t go to Goffs Caye as originally planned because today a cruise ship unloaded hundreds of people there frown Unfortunate for Belize. We were still lucky to have a quiet day of snorkeling. We saw many colorful fish, but the real star of the show was the variety of live coral. We took the boat over to this small lobster island that was apparently created by our guide’s uncle. We had a delicious BBQ on the island and just hung out and relaxed for awhile. After lunch, we took the boat over to Shark Ray Alley and had some more great snorkeling. Lastly, we went to Caye Caulker to walk around. The island was very quiet and nice. We headed around to the back of the island by boat, and our guide showed us some seahorses that were hanging out there. Then we finally headed back to VH. What a long, but fun day!

Thursday-golf cart up the island, trampoline at Caribe Island
We wanted to make the most of our last full day, so we woke up early, rented a golf cart, and went to Estel’s for breakfast. We then headed over the cut to the Northern side of the island, where we enjoyed a very bumpy ride all the way up to Portofino. It was an adventure we are glad we took, but for the first time on the whole trip, I ended up very sore the next day…We went back to the Southern end and passed VH to figure out where the ocean trampolines were that we saw the day before from the boat. Our first try was right, Caribe Island Resort! They told us we could swim and and enjoy the trampoline, so we were so excited. This brought out the inner child in us both! I headed out first and started jumping around and Dave followed shortly after. About halfway there, he started freaking out in the water and swam quickly to me. When he got up on the trampoline, he said something stung him and showed me his arm, which was wrapped in something that looked like blue beads. He started getting light-headed and dizzy, so we decided to we better swim back before it was too late. We swam faster than ever before! The waiter at Caribe helped us by getting vinegar, glass cleaner, and pain killer for him. Luckily, he was very nice and helpful. We decided we couldn’t hang out and eat because Dave felt really ill, so we went back to VH and talked to the dive shop there. They told us to just rest and keep putting ammonia on it. So, we retired to our veranda and relaxed with Pina Coladas, nachos, and some glass cleaner…
Dave felt better that evening so we took a water taxi as planned to Mata Chica! I forgot to write that we had met a few other honeymooners that were staying there on the manatee tour, as well as the new managers. They all raved about the place, so we decided to check it out.

Our amazing trip had to end…We woke up early and went to Estel’s again for breakfast. Then we did a little shopping for gifts and found a beautiful Belizean crafted album for our honeymoon photos. We headed to the airport and were off to International. There we hung out at Jet’s Bar drinking “famous” Rum Punch until our flight.

Belize is a truly unique place with natural beauty everywhere, kind & generous people, and an untarnished spirit that I hope remains throughout the increased tourism they are undergoing. Something tells me that I will never return to the same Belize that we experienced in the past 10 days; that their laid-back, easy-going spirits will be diffused over time. All I can do is hope for it to remain and feel blessed for having seen it now.

Photos from Jungle

Photos from Island

#86618 - 05/21/04 10:56 AM Re: honeymoon report Ek' Tun & VH (w/photos & reviews)
4.24.04 Offline

Ek' Tun- Fabulous! One of a kind retreat in a beyond beautiful setting. Phyllis was a great hostess, and we are so glad we chose Ek' Tun. The food was always delicious-the perfect balance between interesting and comfortable. The portions were plentiful.

Victoria House- paradise without any worries! Service was great. The accommodations are gorgeous with fine linens, nice bath products, a mini-bar, everything we could have wanted. The restaurant was very reliable for good food breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The molten chocolate dessert was to die for!

Caliente- nice atmosphere, right on the beach. We had margaritas and pina coladas, flautas, conch ceviche, steak adoba & Cere with coconut sauce, all of which was delicious. we were too stuffed for dessert.

Rasta Pasta- neither of us really cared for our lunch there, but the nachos were good! Dave ordered some Cajun pasta, which was oily and hot, but not too tasty. I had a fish burger. This is also on the beach, but we had a problem with bugs at our table.

Capricorn- It was beautiful, but unfortunately the night we were there was windy and they had the plastic protection down. so, our view of the ocean was distorted through the plastic. The service was great! For me, it didn't live up to its reputation. They didn't have any beef on the menu because of USDA problems, so Dave had to order the pasta. I ordered a seafood platter, which was bland. The portions were also disappointingly tiny. We wanted dessert, but nothing on the menu was very interesting...

Mickey's Yum! great beef tacos and stewed beef. good prices. We ate lunch there early in the week, and almost went back for a second time.

Casa Picasso-beautiful atmosphere! Chris was a great host. There was a cool film of a reef on a large screen playing, and colorful walls. we loved the tapas we ordered including: garlic bulbs, potatas fritas, sangria chicken, stuffed peppers, and pasta bolognese. I didn't like the crab salad though. The martinis were unique and very tasty. The cracked coconut dessert was the best thing I ate ever! It is coconut ice cream in a chocolate shell with toasted coconut.

Seaduced- awesome tour! Great BBQ! We had chicken, coconut rice, potatoes, pasta salad, and delicious coconut brownies.

Estels delicious breakfast! This is the only place we went back (besides VH). Estel is a sweetheart and the breakfast burritos were huge and very tasty. Also, the pineapple juice was the best. We had leisurely breakfast right on the beach looking at the beautiful sea.

Mambo @ Mata Chica our favorite! We had the most relaxing, laid-back evening there. We hung out in the lounge first and had some great drinks, then we sat next to the jacuzzi for calamari, shrimp & scallop ceviche, snapper carpaccio, and fettucine with homemade tomatoe sauce. It was all great! Then we played pool for a while and finally sat back down for dessert which was the best flan we ever had! Awesome place, great food, and great service! Good luck to Emily & Scott, the new managers there smile

#86619 - 05/21/04 01:07 PM Re: honeymoon report Ek' Tun & VH (w/photos & reviews)
Chemics Offline
Congratulations on your marriage! Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I really enjoyed reading your trip report. We will be on AC June 17-25, with our family. I'll have to take my Dad to Estels for breakfast, perhaps as a Father's Day treat.
Joy smile

#86620 - 05/21/04 01:14 PM Re: honeymoon report Ek' Tun & VH (w/photos & reviews)
Kathy F. Offline

Thanks for your great trip report and pictures!!!!

#86621 - 05/22/04 03:15 PM Re: honeymoon report Ek' Tun & VH (w/photos & reviews)
Communik8r Offline
Hey Melody and Dave, Great report. Terri and I were with you on the SeaDuced trip. Terri gave you some stuff for that nasty rash that Dave had on his arm.. That will teach you to play with the monkeys!! LOL When I get some time, I'll put up a few pics and a trip report. I think you and Dave even found your way into a couple of our pics on the boat and on the BBQ island. It was great fun and I'm glad you guys had such a nice honeymoon.

#86622 - 05/22/04 04:43 PM Re: honeymoon report Ek' Tun & VH (w/photos & reviews)
wannaBEthere Offline
Thanks for "taking us all on your honeymoon with you" ... you have some wonderful photos!

"The truly happy person is the one who can enjoy the scenery even when he must take a detour"

#86623 - 05/22/04 05:43 PM Re: honeymoon report Ek' Tun & VH (w/photos & reviews)
Chloe Offline
Enjoyed reading your honeymoon report. Noted you enjoyed some of my favorites, Caliente's Estele's and Ice Cream.

Best Wishes to a very handsome couple. Life is good, enjoy.
Dare To Deviate

#86624 - 05/23/04 11:10 AM Re: honeymoon report Ek' Tun & VH (w/photos & reviews)
SanHam Offline
What a great honeymoon and trip report. I especially loved your pics of the Cayo area. I stayed in this area my last trip also before heading to san pedro. I learned I love cave exploring and birding. Can you tell me how hard is the cave trip you did with Patrick Warrior. Also, did you have a guide for the Panty Trail or did you explore on your own. Thanks for sharing.

#86625 - 05/24/04 07:22 PM Re: honeymoon report Ek' Tun & VH (w/photos & reviews)
lolamae Offline
Congratulations to you both and thanks so much for the honeymoon report. It was very informative and your pictures were great. I was glad to see there were so many of them. We only have 46 days to go until our first visit to Belize and AC! How was your day in Caye Caulker? Is it a definate must see?

#86626 - 05/25/04 09:38 AM Re: honeymoon report Ek' Tun & VH (w/photos & reviews)
danb Offline

Thanks for the great report, and congratulations! My wife and I will be staying at the Victoria House in November and are very excited. Just curious, what type of room you two had for your stay at VH, Plantation or State Room? We are booked in a State Room for our trip and I was wondering what they looked like. Thanks again!

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