Our first trip to Belize for our 5-year anniversary was fabulous! We were there for 2 weeks. We spent a few days at Paradise Villas and a few days at Costa Maya, 3 nights on the mainland in San Ignacio and then the final couple days back at Paradise Villas until heading home.

We arrived on February 6. I don't like to fly so I was a little leary of the puddle jumper to A.C. but I loved it. The views were spectacular!

Feb. 6 - 10
We arrived around 6 p.m. The hospitality was unbeatable. Alejandro from Nellie's Management picked us up from the airport and took us to Paradise Villas which we rented through Capt'n Ron's.

Paradise Villas was a wonderful place to stay. Great pool, excellent location, decent units. Very convenient to town, right on the edge.

Our first night we were starving so we wandered out to find dinner. Not having been to A.C. before, we wanted to find some place close to eat so we wouldn't get lost. We found Caramba and it was fabulous! What a great first impression!

The next day we slept in and went to breakfast at Lily's. Food was okay. Took 1 1/2 hours to get food but we weren't in a hurry. We went on a several-mile walk down the beach and took pictures of all the properties for future reference. We visited several during our stay on A.C.

Most of our days involved diving. We dove with Reef Adventures right in front of Paradise Villas and they were wonderful. The whole crew was great! It was nice to have small groups diving. Boats with 8 or more people are just not that much fun.

It rained one day so we shopped and visited the internet cafe. We also walked up to the cut to see the bridge being built. It wasn't raining real hard so we just walked around. For dinner we went to El Patio and I have to say, out of all the restaurants we were at, they had the best coconut rice. I love coconut rice! I need a recipe.

We rented bikes one day to bike to the end of the island. What a hoot! It was great. Except we got to the water tower and my husband got a flat tire so we had to walk the bikes back and get another one. Once we got a new bike we continued south to check out all the properties. We came across the crocodile feeding on our way back to town at the water tower. Very interesting!!

We went to Blue Water Grill one night and it was great! We also caught the Chicken Drop on the way back from Blue Water Grill, which I had heard about but forgot which night it was held on. It was hilarious! That's a must-do activity on A.C. I have to say I've never seen that before. Only on A.C.

Had dinner one night at Elvi's. Mine was okay and my Husband didn't like his food. Just a bad day, I guess.

We ate breakfast at Estel's several times. That place is AWESOME! I'm addicted to Fry Jacks. I need the recipe. I ate fry jacks almost every morning with apples and cinnamon.

Feb. 11 - 16

Onto Costa Maya, after a morning dive of course! Very nice resort. Our unit was very nice and the grounds are nice. Small pool.
It seemed very quiet there. It was weird. I felt like we were the only people there. There is nothing up there. But we got a steal of a deal for 7 nights. Otherwise we probably wouldn't have stayed here. It was so cheap, we decided to go inland for 4 days and have our hotels overlap and not feel guilty about it.

Our first night we had the buffet and it was good but pricey. Luckily we brought some groceries with us after hearing about no stores up north and the little shop at the resort was expensive and stuff was outdated. They were the only ones that had Diet Mt. Dew but it was $5 (american) a can and it had expired in September. Even after pointing out the expired date they left it the same price. I was surprised to even find Diet Mt. Dew, though. I'm sure they pay a pretty good price for it.

We rented bikes our second day and rode all the way to town. We checked out all the properties along the way. On our way back we stopped at Hamilton's because we heard they had really good pizza. We got there after they closed for the afternoon but they offered to make us a pizza anyway. Now that's hospitality! The pizza was fabulous. I think it's the best pizza on the island. Trixie the puppy was so cute!!!

Feb. 13-16. We left for the mainland. Thank goodness! Glad to get away from Costa Maya! (at least for a few days). Had a run-in with the resort manager or timeshare boss or manager, a timeshare rep, and the event coordinator. After they said nasty comments about some of our favorite places in town and insulted us, we were ready to get out of there.

We went to town and took the water taxi to Belize City, after getting some of Estel's fry jacks and a burrito for my husband to go. We were picked up at the water terminal in Belize City and off to Cahal Pech in San Ignacio we went. It was about a 2 hour drive. Nice resort. The little cabanas are pretty neat. Very economical place to stay.

We went ziplining at Jaguar Paw. It was okay. We've ziplined before. We also went canoeing at Barton Creek Cave. Very cool! Our tour guides stopped off to pick oranges on our way back to the resort. It was funny. They're all so laid back there! It's so cool. I didn't mind. We got some oranges too. Except my husband stepped on the EDGE of a fire ant mound (luckily) and got a few fire ant bites on his foot. I've never seen him move so fast. It was hilarious! I've got photos too! See my prior post in this section of photos.

We also went to Tikal in Guatamala. This was the main reason we came to the mainland. We wanted to visit Tikal. I'm somewhat of a history buff and we figured we were this close, we couldn't pass it up. It was amazing. I highly recommend it.

We also visited the Belize Zoo on our way back to the water taxi terminal. Very neat. Bummer we have to go back to Costa Maya.

I e-mailed Capt'n Ron while at Cahal Pech to see if he had an opening a day earlier because we wanted to get away from Costa Maya and luckily he did. He made our day. We were originally not scheduled back at Paradise Villas until the 18th but we were definitely not spending any more time at Costa Maya.

Feb. 17-21
Ah, it was good to be back near town! It's very nice up north of the cut but we prefer being close to town. We like to whoop it up a little bit. We ended up having to ride in the water shuttle with our 3 favorite people from Costa Maya to Paradise Villas, though. When they dropped us off at Paradise Villas, they made snide comments about the resort. Needless to say, we won't be visiting them again any time soon.

We went right to Phillip at Reef Adventures and got us booked on a Blue Hole trip for the next day. Spent a full day diving the Blue Hole and Lighthouse Reef. Another fabulous day of diving!
I didn't get seasick, which I usually do. I had gone to the drug store and got some Bonine and it worked!

Some other places we ate: We had the best chicken ever at Ali Baba! We also ate at Jambel Jerk Pit. That was fabulous. We love spicey food! Also ate at Jade Garden. It was okay. Went to BC's the day before we had to go home and had a really good time. Don't want to leave!

We spent time at the pool and did some shopping and hung out one night on our pier while Jerry Jeff Walker played at Wet Willy's. Oh, we went to Wet Willy's one night on Lady's Night too. I'm trying to shorten this very long post.

Our last day we ran to Estel's for my final order of fry jacks with the usual apple & cinnamon and my husband's favorite burrito thingy before we had to be at the airport at 10 a.m. Said good-bye to the guys at Reef Adventures and headed home. Boo-hoo.

A wonderful vacation! What a jewel! I hope it stays that way. Belize gets in your soul. There's only one other place that's in my soul after 20 years of traveling and that's Hawaii. That says a lot about Belize. It is a very special place, as everyone on this board already knows.

I am so glad I didn't let the negative people on this message board sway my decision on whether to come to Belize. After visiting the board the first few times, I was totally turned off by Belize. But after lurking awhile and figuring out who was who and where people were actually from, yada, yada, yada, I knew it would be fine.

If you're a first-timer to Belize, you won't regret it!

Thank you everyone!