Belize it! The logistics of getting there and what to do once there

Belize it! The logistics of getting there and what to do once there

 

 

 

 

Hopefully, you’re getting excited about the Belize Birthday Bash/Journaling Retreat coming up!

 

If you haven’t already read my FIRST BLOG REGARDING OUR BELIZE TRIP, please do so here:

http://trawblogs-belize-it.

Now, first and foremost, about your traveling info…

You haven’t gotten your ticket yet? What are you waiting for? Here’s some tidbits of helpful information if you’re still at that juncture of your planning.

 

Right away, you must book your flight! For the best flight prices, check out Cheap Tickets http://cheaptickets.com. Hopper is a great app to download to your phone for cheap fares as well. After you sign up and enter your destination, Hopper will ding you anytime it finds cheaper rates among all the airlines for your destination so you can keep comparing prices until you’re ready to book the flight. Also, what has helped me find cheaper rates is to piece together my itinerary. For instance, I booked a one-way ticket from Las Vegas to Belize, then a one-way ticket back home. Don’t ask me why but it’s worked in my favor twice for me now.

Second most importantly, make sure you have a valid passport. That’s all that is needed—no Visa. If you haven’t used your passport in a while, doublecheck the date to make sure it’s not expired. It would be horrible to discover at the last minute that your passport is no good. Processing time to get a new one varies tremendously.

 All US flights into Belize come into Belize city (BZE), Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport. Once you arrive at BZE (9 miles north of the city), we will all head to the island of Ambergris Caye (pronounced am-BER-gris kee) together via flight (in a puddle jumper plane) or water taxi. That is where we will spend the majority, if not all, of our time—there in the town of San Pedro.

The island of Ambergris Caye, and its town of San Pedro, are 35 miles northeast of Belize City. The island is 25 miles long and only 4.5 miles at its widest point. It is considered the “Queen of the Cayes.” So that should tell you there is lots to do there.

My preference is to get there by way of water taxi, but I still need to weigh all the options of cost and convenience. Either way, ideally, if everyone can arrive on Thurs June 20th, somewhere between 10am and 4pm, we can all travel to the island together—unless, of course, you are okay with going on your own to the destination on the island. Once I get a solid headcount, I can start sending you more succinct information about getting to our final destination in San Pedro.

 If your flight gets in early in the day (around 10am ish) and you want to wait around for the later folks to arrive from the US around 4pm, there are day tours to the ruins and other points of interest there near Belize City we can have set up through my local contact there. Again, once it gets closer to that day and I have a better headcount, I’ll share some adventure options.

 The two options for getting to Ambergris Caye…           

  • Fly Tropic Air or Maya Air (in country puddle jumpers).
    1. You can board them from right inside the international airport
      1. Flight time: approx. 20 minutes
      2. Fare/person: approx. $65 there and $125 return.
    2. You can travel about a mile north of the city center to the Belize City municipal airport and take those two domestic flights from there.
      1. Flight time: approx. 20 minutes
      2. Fare: $37.50 there and $72.50 return (10% to 40% cheaper than the flights at the international airport). Plus, don’t forget to factor in a fixed fare taxi cost of $25 each way between the international and the municipal airport.
  • Travel on a fast ferry-type boat that holds 50 to 100 people. Six to seven trips per day.
    1. San Pedro Belize Express boats depart from a nearby Brown Sugar dock at 111 North Front Street near the Tourism Village.
      1. Travel time: 75-90 mins (with a drop off at one of the other islands)
      2. Fare: $27.50 roundtrip. Plus, don’t forget to factor in a $30 taxi ride to the water taxi terminal.

Closer to the date, I’ll take a poll on this travel biz between Belize and the island. No need to fret over it right now. Whew, it can certainly have your head spinning if you’re not careful.

Next, your sleeping accommodations…

Accommodations are very inexpensive there around in Belize. San Pedro is much the same price-wise but slightly more when it comes to food because of everything having to be shipped there to the island.

I have an AirBNB secured already. It sleeps 4 and I believe at this point is full. I am in the process of securing a second unit by that same AirBNB property owner, so have no fear, there’s still room for you!
The cost is approx $200/person for the entire four days. Whoohoo! Can’t beat that! Here’s a photo of the unit that is already full. The other location should be similar.

Finally, just some fun stuff for you to know about!

The best sources of information, regarding the island where we will be staying, are online. Here are three that will give you plenty of insight.

1) The number one source with thousands of pages of info on San Pedro is http://www.ambergriscaye.com.

2) You can also check out American expat, Rebecca Coutant’s blog, The San Pedro Scoop (http://sanpedroscoop.com)  I enjoyed this particular blog of hers because it gives you a handy map of the area as well: https://www.sanpedroscoop.com/2015/05/map-of-san-pedro-walking-panades.html

3) This link gives plenty of Belizean things to do for the more adventurist type. https://www.belizeadventure.ca/things-to-do-in-san-pedro-ambergris-caye/

Writefully yours,

Terri, aka t-RAW

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Join Me In Belize!

About Me

Terri Eileen Liggins is a writer, editor, and blogger for a billion dollar online retailer, Zappos, Inc. She is also Founder and Publisher at The Literary Front Publishing Company and Founder at The Law & Raw Institute for Balanced Healthy Living.

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Belize it!

Belize it!

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine your ideal day.

Mine would be to wake up to the brightness of the sunrise and the clashing of the ocean waves and not have to do anything all day except meditate and explore my deepest thoughts with paper and pen in hand.

I’m going to come real close to that ideal day of mine during the four days I plan to spend in Central America, June 20-24, 2019, celebrating my 60th trip around the sun. San Pedro, to be exact. On the island of Ambergris Caye, in the country of Belize.

First of all, I would love to have YOU celebrate alongside me! Mark your calendar; book your flight and come on down. The American dollar is very strong there (for every Belizian dollar, you pay only 50 cents in US dollars). So even though you haven’t had a really long time to plan this trip (it’s still 90 days out, though), it won’t break your bank. I have a beautiful, modern AirBNB apartment that sleeps four for $195 per night. First come, first served, for sharing it with me. There are other nearby inexpensive places as well.

Secondly, your days there can be as laid back or as touristy as you want. You get the best of both worlds. During the time we’re there, San Pedro will be hosting their annual LobsterFest. Even though my actual birthday is May 28th, I delayed going on this trip until LobsterFest because I heard and read about how fun that festival is. Now mind you, as a near-seven-year rawtarian (eating raw, plant-based foods; no meat, no fish) I haven’t eaten lobster in seven or more years. So, I was truly thinking about my lobster-loving friends when including this activity. And who knows? With the clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, I just may try and eat a couple forkfuls of it.

Finally, because journaling on the beach is such a relaxing, self-care, self-reflective thing to do, I thought how appropriate it’d be to engage in this as a group. It’s strictly volunteer, but during our four days spent there, I’m hosting a FREE ($79 value) two-day, four-hour per day journaling session. A time for Writing Out The Storms of your life in such a peaceful place. I’ll provide the journaling sheets, pens and writing exercises–you bring your thoughts, issues and even struggles if you have them (and who doesn’t?).

So, how ’bout it? Are you in? Whether you are or not, comment on my “Contact” page (click CONTACT tab at the top). I have several follow-up emails to send out sharing about where to go and what to do on the island; and all about that famous Chocolate Factory there (mmm mmm).

I’d hate to bombard people in a group email with info they don’t want, so let me hear from you.

Thanks!

RAWspectfully yours,

Terri

P.s. When checking flights, book to Belize City (BZE) only, NOT San Pedro. (Once in Belize, we then take a one-hour water taxis to the island ($27 round trip).) You may still catch some flight deals but hurry, as prices are going up due to LobsterFest. Save time and start with cheaptickets.com (trust me, I’ve spent hours searching around). Also, booking outbound and return flights separately as one-way tickets may save you money like it did for me.

Remember, send me a message on my CONTACT page, letting me know if 1) You’re in Like Flynn, 3) Maybe You’ll Go, or 4) Not at All Interested. Thanks!

Join Me In Belize!

What’s That Under the Golden Gate Bridge?

What’s That Under the Golden Gate Bridge?

This is a brochure from Fort Point.

 

Referred to as the key to the whole Pacific Coast

…and to think most people don’t know it even exists. To say “most people” may be an exaggeration but I don’t think it would be too far a cry from the truth as this place is so hidden—literally right under the Golden Gate Bridge.

I lived in San Francisco back in the 80’s and have visited it many times thereafter but never heard of this wonderful historic site until my most recent visit during the 4th of July holiday, visiting my son, now a Bay Area resident. I had Googled best sites to watch the fireworks and Fort Point came up. I began reading about it and was very intrigued.  While we didn’t go there for the fireworks (chose Crissy Field instead, which was an excellent spot), I made it a point to put Fort Point on our to-do list when my daughter joined us a couple days later. And boy, was I glad we went!

 

View from atop Fort Point. That arch structure above is the bottom of the Golden Gate Bridge.

 

A Golden Treasure

In 1933, as foundation construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge, this now 157-year-old fort was right smack in the way and therefore scheduled to meet its demise. Because of its excellent military architecture, the American Institute of Architects had proposed preservation of Fort Point in 1926 but funds were not available to carry out that gesture. At the threat of its removal, Joseph Strauss, Chief Engineer of the bridge project, redesigned the Golden Gate Bridge to be built over Fort Point; thereby, saving the structure. How cool is that?

On October 16, 1970, President Nixon signed the bill making Fort Point a National Historic Site. After sustaining only moderate damage in the devastating 7.9 level San Francisco earthquake in 1906, this building’s use over the next 40 years was for barracks, military training and storage. Then, during World War II, soldiers from the US Coast Artillery were stationed there to guard minefields and anti-submarine net. It currently serves to guard the Golden Gate Bridge and to welcome hundreds of guests daily, most days of the year.

Here’s a brief history of how this masterpiece came to be, without ever really serving its initial purpose…

 

A funny thing happened on the way to war 

Between 1817 and 1867, to protect United States harbors, the coastal defense system built some 30 forts along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and only one—Fort Point—on the West Coast.  California had just become the 31st state in 1850, after the US won the Mexican-American war in 1848. During that time, the US Army and Navy officials had set up strategic points to secure the San Francisco Bay. Those points consisted of Lime Point, Angel Island, Alcatraz, Point San Jose, Presidio and Fort Point.

However, construction on Fort Point didn’t began until 1853, at the outbreak of the Civil War, by the US Army Corps of Engineers. A 90-foot cliff at the entrance to the San Francisco Bay was blasted 30 feet below sea level to make way for the fort’s foundation. In 1861, 200 previously unemployed miners, who labored for eight years on this project, finally mounted the fort’s first cannon.  It was the US Army’s most sophisticated coastal fortification, yet this massive, impenetrable brick-walled structure, with new artillery including 102 smooth-bore cannons mounted atop, never saw action.

In August 1865, the captain and crew of the Confederate raider, C.S.S. Shenandoah prowled the waters of the Pacific looking for Yankee whaling ships.  They planned an attack on San Francisco. On their way to the harbor, the captain was informed by a British vessel that the South had lost and the Civil War was now over. Whew! Talk about being saved by the bell.

 

So, there you have it

To this day, Fort Point, an impressive survivor of weather and war, remains the admiration and pride of the Pacific Coast. Standing inside its massive and unscathed courtyard was quite humbling–especially when thinking about the labor required to build this and the eight million bricks that perfectly hold it together a century and a half later.

Wow! Fort Point. Certainly a point of interest worthy of your visit.

 

 

Writefully yours,

Terri Liggins, aka t-RAW

Reach And Win your transition to a healthier, wealthier you!

 

 

Fort Point National Historic Site

Bldg. 201, Fort Mason

San Francisco, CA  94123

415-556-1693

www.nps.gov/fogo

For current hours of operation call 1-415-556-1693.

 

 

 

 

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