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Why you should spend your next weekend trip at Hotel “Die Wasnerin” in Styria, Austria

Autumn in Austria, especially in the region of Salzkammergut, is incredibly beautiful. Colourful forests and the white glacier of Dachstein and all other surrounding summits turn the landscape into a magnifique painting, which we would directly put on our bedroom wall. The surrounding around the hotel Die Wasnerin is simply breath-taking.

Mid October is usually a time you only spent outside with a jacket and where foggy and cold days tend to create this urge for your next holiday, or at least just a break from stressful working days. But since most people spend their holidays during summer, there is this long-lasting holiday break until Christmas.

Since we are holiday and especially spa lovers, we decided to spend a short holiday in the beautiful region of Bad Aussee at the hotel Die Wasnerin. Here is why this was the perfect choice to take a break from work:

1. Specialised on Yoga retreats – this holiday will bring you back to yourself

Die Waserin is really a heaven for a yoga lovers and all those who every wanted to try it out or get started with it. Yoga – well known as a physical, mental and spiritual practice – aims to unite body, mind and soul. The goal is to find a way to reconnect with your inner-self.

Since the hotel is all about taking a time out, this practice fits just perfectly into your relaxing holiday. We can’t imagine a better place to take some time for yourself than surrounding yourself with beautiful mountains and having the chance to practice yoga at the beautiful lakes of Salzkammergut during summer.

Everything at this hotel aims at you taking time for yourself and letting go of all outside stress factors. The offer reaches from several daily yoga classes with different focus to aerial yoga classes.

2. Offering relaxing alternative medicine spa treatments

Since I (Andi) used to be a workaholic years ago, I know exactly what it means not being able to unwind and relax. Your body and mind are permanently in tension, which makes relaxation and letting go the hardest possible “task”. Die Wasnerin therefore offeres special spa treatments called tranquillity; helping you let go finally and fully relax.

Tranquillity treatments work on different levels: First of all, it´s a massage technique, also triggering special acupoints, which are especially known from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The massage is supported by essential oils that reach your limbic system and thereby support your calm and inner wellbeing. Thirdly, the massage is partly conducted with a special jade stone also helping you to centre yourself and finding inner calm.

Cory on the other hand, who has a lot of experience with alternative medicine practices, got the opportunity to try out something very special, a lomi lomi nui treatment.

Lomi lomi is a beautiful, powerful, transformational healing art from Hawaii. The 7 Principles of Huna are the centrepiece of the practice, which are as follows:

IKE – The world is what you think it is.
KALA – There are no limits, everything is possible.
MAKIA – Energy flows where attention goes.
MANAWA – Now is the moment of power.
ALOHA – To love is to be happy with. (Meaning much more than just saying “hi”.)
MANA – All power comes from within.

3. The place to go for spa lovers

No matter which season you are in, going to a spa is something that’s always high up on our favourite things to do list. It´s probably one of the main reasons why most hotel guests come here and also why the hotel Die Wasnerin was awarded with three lilies and lists among the top wellness resorts within Austria.     

The 2400 m² SPA & wellness area, designed in a natural style, offers a variety of comforts and extras, plus breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The whole concept until the very last detail is there for you to fully relax and to feel the harmony between yourself and nature. The spa offers a variety of saunas, a steam room, an indoor and outdoor pool as well as luxury whirlpools and lounge areas with epic views.

We loved to chill out at the roof terrace where we could take a nice sun bath while looking at the snow-covered mountain of Dachstein glacier. We could also appreciate the natural tee selection, juices as well as dry fruits a lot as a refreshment after every sauna session.

4. It’s the place to go for literature lovers

The hotel Die Wasnerin has a long-lasting history going back even to the 15th century. Especially the region around Salzkammergut used to be a hotspot for writers and literature. Embracing this wonderful piece of history, the hotel created lot’s of creative spaces. For example, it has a open bar area with an own small library on the first floor.

There is also the “Alpen-Worte-Garten” which is a beautiful oasis of piece and calmness outside the hotel. Several readings and literature events are held there on a regular basis.

Some of the well-known writers might also stay in the beautiful “Seufzer Suite.” The whole room is lovely equipped with famous classic comic books and lots of interesting furniture. They called it “Seufzer” since among writers, comics are probably the more light and easy form of literature. But even they can be witty and some of them where translated into sublime language including phrases of Faust and Shakespeare.

5. Check out the breathtaking views over the Salzkammergut lakes

It was a beautiful autumn day and we couldn´t stop staring into the mirror lake of Grundlsee. Since the surrounding mountains are all covered with red coloured leaves, the colourful forest was reflected in the deep blue water of the lake.

At the end of Grundlsee we parked our car and walked further to Toplitzsee. This pretty deep lake is also famous for it’s myth that treasures from 2nd world war can be found somewhere on the bottom of the lake. But even if you are not a deep diver, the really nice traditional Austrian restaurant at the lake is worth a visit.

Additionally, you just walk along a massive stone wall, when walking from one lake to another. If you’d find the same landscape in New Zealand, tons of tourists would flood the area to get a glance of this spectacular view. But fortunately lots of gems are still not that well known in Austria, even for our own citizens.

So don’t miss this amazing place and take your time to really embrace it’s energy. Stunning places like this can only be reveal it’s magic when your fully there, with all your presence and thoughts.

Massive thanks again to hotel Die Wasnerin; we really had an amazing time and will surely come back. 🙂 If you want to get a better feeling why Austria for us is a true PARADISE for Spa lovers; make sure to check out below recent blog posts:

Blog article written as part of a paid collaboration with Die Wasnerin

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Hotel Edelweiss in Wagrain, Salzburg Top Wellness Resort in Austria |

Introducing you to one of our favourite ways to spend an epic, super relaxing, summer weekend in our beautiful home country Austria. A way where you can connect with nature, focus on things that truly matter to you, and come back super recharged and ready to take on the world. Spending time in a top wellness resort in Austria – Hotel Edelweiss in Wagrain, Salzburg.

If you live in Austria or Germany, have you ever had this amazing weekend plan, where you plan to drive from Central Europe a few hours either to Croatia or Italy to have a relaxing weekend near the sea? Well, it might turn out, that you find yourself stuck in a massive traffic jam, enjoying a wonderful and hot summer on the blocked highway. And when you finally arrive at your dream destination, you find yourself laying next to hundreds of other tourists in a row at the beach, sleeping in an overpriced hotel. And if you finally realize that this wasn’t as relaxing as you have initially wished for, you are already on your way back figuring out that the traffic jam is now even worse.

Since we have been through this scenario a lot, we were looking for another way to spend a relaxing summer weekend. Far away from mass tourism, connecting with beautiful nature, re-aligning and focusing on our inner true values, eating regional delicatessens, taking in breath-taking views of the mountains, while still enjoying the warmth of the summer sun on our skin.

On the edge of the Austrian alps, we have found an oasis for relaxation, and in our view one of top wellness resorts in Austria – Hotel Edelweiss in Wagrain, Salzburg. Here are our top 5 reasons why should choose to spend your summer weekends at this wellness resort in Austria over a beach holiday near the sea.

6 reasons why you should spend a summer weekend at Hotel Edelweiss – a top wellness resort in Austria

#1 Perfect temperatures

Actually most people rather avoid boiling hot summer sun. The percentage of people worshiping extreme temperatures and sun at the beach without any shade, especially in Central Europe, is fairly low. (Although, Cory is one of those people. ;-)) So one might ask himself the question: why do I drive for so many hours or even flying to the sea to actually find myself hiding from the sun, while in most cases paying a lot for it?

Wagrain in Austria has perfectly warm summer temperatures, so you can enjoy the summer sun without the need of hiding until the evening comes. We have been there in late August and enjoyed the sunrays all day. The sunbeds at Hotel Edelweiss have a mesmerizing view of the mountains and are surrounded by an idyllic natural swimming pond. The area is spacious and open, but still the sun beds are completely private, hiding behind the reed of the swimming pond.

#2 Super relaxing, recharging and cleansing nature around Hotel Edelweiss

As you make your way up to the wellness resort Hotel Edelweiss in the mountains, you can start to feel its energy. Everything feels super relaxed, calm and cleansing. You immediately feel the energy of this beautiful place on planet earth.

As we are very spiritual people, we are very sensitive to the energy of places we travel to. And from our heart we can tell you that there is a huge difference between the energy you receive on this particular mountain resort and its environment, and the energy you feel when you are on a crowded beach.

Even if you don’t have many touchpoints to the energy of places or spiritualism in general, you will be able to tell the difference in a second. The view of the wellness resort Hotel Edelweiss in Austria is also breathtaking, since you can see the beautiful valley of Wagrain and the surrounding mountains from over 1200m of altitude.

#4 Green Spa in the mountains

We have to admit, we are absolutely spa lovers. And the best thing about this is that we live in a country that really knows “how to spa”. Since we have been in a lot of spa hotels or day spas around the globe, we can really tell from experience, that Hotel Edelweiss offers a truly incredible spa area. They offer different saunas, a steam room, and even a heated, quiet room where you are treated with alpha waves that truly bring your relaxation to a different sphere.

The heated indoor swimming pool offers amazing views of the area, as well as a whirlpool area to get an intense, free back massage as well. In terms of messages and treatments, the hotel offers a lot of holistic treatments and activity for the well-being of your body and soul. Aryuveda Gentle Touch, herbal messages or Qi Qong are only a few examples of the broad offer you get to reconnect with your true self and nature.

Since we both are highly aware and concerned of the resources modern lifestyle consume, we love the fact that Hotel Edelweiss has an incredible low energy consumption due to geothermal heat. It is built with the highest standards of natural materials from the surrounding areas. Frankly spoken, we were blown away as soon as we entered the hotel lobby. Walls, doors, our bed, everything is made with love and covered with natural wood from the region. You can feel it, you can smell it and you will appreciate it even more after your first super relaxing night there. Personally, for us, this is the highest amount of comfort and atmosphere a hotel can offer.

#5 Heaven for food lovers

Every booking at Hotel Edelweiss includes a full board. They offer an amazing, high-qualty breakfast with a ton of fresh fruit juices, vegetables and all kinds of biological products from nearby farmers. They also offer gluten-free products and vegan choices. In the afternoon you are treated to a light snack with a soup, a warm dish and a whole variety of desserts and fruits. Dinner is always a five-meal course – all dishes are served except the salad and starter.

#6 Perfect place for an active holiday

Every person reacts differently to stress and therefore needs their own way to fully recharge after a stressful working period or the routine of everyday’s life. Some might just want to do nothing, expect relaxing in the spa or reading a book, others get super bored after a couple of hours doing so and need some activities in between.

The area around Hotel Edelweiss offers so many activities, that it is super hard to choose. Since we only had two full days after a super stressful week at work, we decided to just relax at the hotel and get spoiled by all the offerings. It was super needed by our bodies. The third day we decided to visit a nearby natural beauty – the Jägersee. After a slow-paced walk around the idyllic lake, we made a stop at what we cherish so much about our home country Austria – a real country-side restaurant. Having delicious traditional food and drinks, while watching a whole family of swans and ducks fooling around some meters away.

Since Cory brought a cold from home, we decided to keep it easy that day. Even though we would have loved to do the famous hike from Jägersee to the incredible viewpoint of a second lake 1762m up in the mountains called Tappenkarsee. Check out the route here if you are interested.

Besides amazing hikes, climbing routes and all kinds of adventure sports like canyoning, paragliding or rafting, there is another thing Wagrain is really the perfect place for. They have a really cool bike park and a massive variety of bike trails. Check it out here.

When to visit Wagrain in Salzburg, Austria?

Places like Wagrain in Austria are pretty crowded during winter, since tourism is mainly focused on skiing and other winter sports. However, the best time to visit jewels like the wellness resort Edelweiss is in our opinion from late spring to early autumn. When you are skiing all day long, you are hardly able to make use of the amazing offer of the hotel. Plus during this season it’s far less crowded and a bit cheaper too.

We can highly recommend spending your next summer holiday in the mountains of Salzburg. Hence, it is no surprise that this wellness resort in Austria – Hotel Edelweiss in Wagrain – just jumped directly into our favourite short holiday destinations list.

Let us know if you have any questions regarding your next summer holiday in Austria. We are happy to help. Check out our other spa hotel reviews for Austria:

Blog article written as part of a paid collaboration with Hotel Edelweiss

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5 reasons why diving in Cozumel should be on your bucket list

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When it comes to the most amazing diving locations worldwide, Cozumel in Mexico should definitely be high up on your diving bucket list.

The great thing about the island of Cozumel is that it offers so many additional reasons to visit besides diving. If you want to take a break from the underwater wonderland, you can rent a scooter, explore the island and its paradise beaches and resorts, or just simply relax while enjoying authentic Mexican cuisine. Can’t say no to tacos, right?

We have been diving at lots of places around the world such as Egypt, Fiji, Lombok, Belize, South Africa and even at the cenotes in Tulum. Still diving in Cozumel blew our minds. Here are the reasons why:

  1. Marine life is flourishing since Mexico declared the reef around Cozumel as a protected marine park. We have never seen so many turtles, octopus (go for a night dive), sea horses and many colorful fish. We also found a ton of reef sharks and stingrays. For the first time, we saw giant lobsters hiding in the middle of the reef. These creatures really seem like they do not belong onto this planet and once you have seen their beauty in nature, you might think twice before supporting the fishing industry and having them served on your plate.

  2. We have seen many barrier reefs, but the one around Cozumel definitely is our favorite in terms of coral formations. The reef creates fascinating underwater labyrinths and lots of stunning swim throughs. Get your buoyancy under control and enjoy diving in one Cozumel’s many cave formations, while spotting gorgeous corals and a ton of marine life.

  3. Diving in Cozumel is easy, but super fun. The island is known for its currents, and almost each dive is a slow drift dive. Pretty amazing as you just have to keep your buoyancy in check and float along the reef while enjoying the underwater show.

  4. The reef is relatively shallow; we mostly stayed at around 12-20 meters of depth. If you plan to dive for a couple of days, it definitely helps you to feel less exhausted after two daily dives and still ready to hit one of the many gorgeous beaches.

  5. The city of Playa del Carmen on the mainland is only a 30 mins boat ride away. There you can find many activities, such as bull shark diving in winter, snorkeling with whale sharks in summer, and also cavern diving in one of the many cenotes in Yucatan.

Why we can highly recommend you to go diving with ScubaTony

There are several companies you can go dive with, but we can highly recommend you to do your diving trip with the guys from ScubaTony. The company has already been in place for 15 years and more than 1500 TripAdvisor recommendations feel the same way as we do. Below you can find all the reasons why for us personally it has been one of the most enjoyable diving trips we have ever had:

  • The dive guides are incredibly uplifting and spreading lots of positive energy, so that really everyone on the boat has a smile on their face.
  • ScubaTony has a small, but comfortable boat, meaning less people will be on your trip. This almost gives you the feeling that you have a personal guide with you that honors all your wishes and even takes into account, which dives site you want to go. Moreover, we got heaps of tips for improving our buoyancy and diving performance in general.

  • We have never had such a personal diving service before. The dive master even sets up your entire equipment, so the only thing you need to do yourself is what you truly came here for – enjoying the gorgeous underwater life of Cozumel. Sure, checking your equipment yourself is necessary to practice, but still this will be a service that you will enjoy.

  • It’s the only company, we have seen so far, that offers a romantic sunset boat ride accompanied with two epic dives. It’s called twilight dive and you do a dive before sunset and one after. You will spend the sunset on the boat or island, whatever you prefer, and just take in all the views. We saw so many turtles on the first dive that we had to stop counting. The night dive was even more epic; lots of octopus came out to greet us and the plankton created a magical underwater lightning that left us in awe.

  • ScubaTony takes the environment and its protection very seriously. You can see that in so many small things. They only use smaller, reef-friendly boats, you will get your own reusable water bottle and a ton of fresh fruits. The owner Adam took over three years ago and puts so much dedication into this company creating the best possible diving experience, but also into the protection of the reef and marine park.

  • If you are lucky enough to meet the ownder Adam or dive master Marc, you will find yourself accompanied with the most amazing diving guides in whole Cozumel, if not in the entire Carribean. You will have some incredible dives, but also an amazing time with people you will definitely remember.

Where to stay in Cozumel

We absolutely love to meet locals, share stories, but also cook for ourselves – something we really learned to appreciate during our worldtrip. We therefore always prefer to book an apartment.

We made the amazing choice and stayed in one of the condos of Fulvio Cozumel Rentals. He has a wide range of apartments for you to choose from. The whole place was incredibly well maintained; a house cleaner service is offered twice per week and you can also wash and dry your clothes – both included in the price.

The kitchen was fully stocked with absolutely everything you could ever need. Something special for us, since most places often lack the most basic utensils. The condo also had a private pool, which we basically at all times had for ourselves.

And probably one of the best things, Fulvio is a truly cool guy, will instantly make you feel at home and spoil you rotten. You are definitely in for a treat!

Conclusion

Including Cozumel in your upcoming trip to Mexico is totally worth it – for so many reasons. Have the best time either chilling out on the paradise beaches, enjoy the crystal clear blue water and one of the most supreme diving sites in the world.

Disclaimer: Our diving trips with ScubaTony and our stay with Fulvio Cozumel Rentals were covered by the individual parties. Nevertheless, we are only promoting hotels and tours where we truly had a great time. It’s super important for us to be authentic and provide you only with the best recommendations.

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Safety in Brazil and important things to know before visiting

Brazil such as most countries in South America have serious issues with all sorts of crime. They are generally safe to visit, if you follow the some basic safety rules, which are mostly common sense. But you should definitely put Brazil high up on your bucketlist, because it is freaking amazing. Check out our article on top 10 things to do in Brazil. We have put together some tips regarding safety in Brazil – here are some specialties of this country you should definitely consider:

Where to stay and how to book hotels

Booking.com is a reliable source for hotel bookings. It is just especially important to check the reviews. If there are none or only a few available, we would advise not to stay there. Just to be double safe.

Don’t make the same mistake as we did, and do not book any motels in Brazil. In contrast to lots of other countries, motel means sex hotel in Brazil and you will find yourself in a room with plastic blankets and a menu where you can order adult toys as room service. It is usually also a place where you find lots of drug use, criminals and people you don’t want to get involved with.

Always check which areas of a city are safe to stay at and avoid non-touristy areas. Be especially aware when booking hotels close to GRU airport in Sao Paolo; this area is not safe as this place is the home of some local gangs. We tried twice to avoid the very expensive hotels directly at the airport, and as a result found ourselves in hotels which weren’t exactly any different than a motel.

How to travel around Brazil safely

Depending where you want to go, the safest way to travel around the country is by plane. Busses in general are prone for all sorts of crime;, reaching from simply thefts to armed robberies or even worse. Fortunately, the government has instated a law as a consequence of this issues, and companies are now responsible for the safety of their passengers and can be sued for it. The big intercity busses are now travelling with armed convoys at night. Hence this has become one of the safest ways to travel in Brazil. Although, these security efforts only apply for touristic bus companies and not the local ones.

Traveling by car in Brazil is relatively safe during daylight apart from driving in the big cities. We have heard that there is a high risk of robbery and car hijacking if you do get tuck in a traffic jam. It is even legal to drive over red lights at night if any danger occurs. We did rent a car, because we like to keep matters in our own hands. It is a bit pricey though – considering you should definitely get a third party insurance.

If you decide to rent a car you should also know that only the main intercity connections have very good road conditions. However, we were surpised how much and how often you pay for tolls. (Note: they only accept cash) The huge majority of the roads in Brazil are either unpaved or in very bad conditions. Especially on the North East Coast (around Lencois Maranhenses), we struggled with massive potholes on the streets.

How to communicate with Brazilian people

Apart from Rio de Janeiro, not a lot people speak English or Spanish. The only officially spoken language is Portuguese. And in combination with their strong dialects, it makes your Spanish skills pretty useless. Therefore make sure you get the offline version of Google Translate or buy a prepaid sim card to have internet access.

Strangest question of our Brazil trip: Gunshots or fireworks?

If you travel in Brazil, we can almost guarantee you, that at one point you will hear something that sounds alarmingly close to gunshots. But we can assure you, it is most certainly fireworks. It is a huge thing in Brazil to shoot fireworks at all sorts of occasions such as sport games, birthdays and all kinds of parties. So you can calm down – everything is okay. Expect if you decide to stay close to GRU airport in Sao Paolo, where gun shots and violence occasionally happen between gangs.

Best way for you to stay safe is not go out at night, except at tourist spots. If you are travelling alone, especially as a woman, make some friends at your hostel and always stay in groups. Being a girl alone in such countries, attracts more attention and makes you an easy target.

In general: listen to your intuition and go with your gut feeling. If you adhere to some basic safety guidelines, there is not much to worry about. We wish you the trip of a lifetime.

PS: If you have any questions regarding safety in Brazil, we are happy to help. Leave us a comment below or send us a DM on one of our social media channels. 🙂

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Travel Belize: Things to know before visiting and basic safety guidelines

Belize is an El Dorado for diving and snorkeling. It is an underwater paradise and is home to the second biggest and in our opinion the most beautiful, barrier reef in the world. Unsurprisingly it is therefore super high on everyone’s bucketlist that loves underwater sports and wants to explore the most gorgeous places on earth. Check out our 5 most favourite things to do in Belize here or see which places we recommend for diving. If you want to travel Belize or backpack through this amazing country, make sure to read further and get our tips for safety in Belize and also on how to travel the country in the best way.

How safe is Belize really?

Since the country is majorly depending on tourism, they make great efforts to keep their income sources safe. Hence there is an unwritten law within the country not to cause any kind of trouble with tourists. Penalties for crimes affecting tourists are considerably higher than crimes done to any local inhabitants. We are not sure if we should think that is a good thing or not. Either way, it is probably one of the safer countries within Latin America due to this fact. Nevertheless, unspoken rules like that one wouldn’t be necessary at all if the country wouldn’t have to fight its own battles.

We felt completely safe at tourist hotspots such as Caye Caulker or San Pedro – even at night. From our personal experience, we cannot say the same about the capital Belize City and the less touristy diving place Placencia though. We rather wondered why almost every restaurant closed in the late afternoon. Cory experienced a pretty scary and harassing situation, when I left her alone at a local restaurant for five minutes at around 8pm. We know that such incidents can happy everywhere and anytime, and this does not automatically reflect for the whole country, but also the bar owner told us afterwards that it is not a time for a girl to be out alone. This kept us thinking that this probably was not a single incident.

How expensive is Belize?

Price levels are similar to Central Europe, although comfort and infrastructure are very … lets say different. We normally book basic, but clean and air-conditioned rooms, especially in hot countries like Belize. Unfortunately, our travel budget did not allow us to sleep in a room with the luxury of an air-conditioning. At the places we slept at an AC was an additional 10 USD per night. A private room without a shared bathroom ranked at 40 USD per night.

What we found a bit unfortunate as well is that prices for eating out at tourist hot spots are comparable to Central Europe or even Australia. Grocery shopping stores have a very limited offer while being super expensive as well. We later found out that Belize has very strict import regulations and high import taxes, which in combination with their small number of inhabitants have led to very little competition between shop owners. We even met some locals that are driving to Mexico to pile up on cheap food. Being located next to Central America and Mexico while having a limited supply or incredible high prices on many fresh fruits or vegetables kept us really wondering what are the issues with this country’s economy.

Economy in Belize

Even though the World Bank considers Belize on of the upper middle income countries, poverty is extremely high – 43% of the inhabitants live under the national poverty line. The government has also high debts and is dependent on donors to fight poverty. The tourism industry and all directly related industries account for approximately 1/3 of the country’s GDP as well as employment. The gap between rich and poor is tremendous.

We didn’t find reliable background information that explains why a country, which is surrounded by much cheaper countries, has created themselves an economy where many locals have to live very poorly. Most of the agriculture land is unused in Belize thus the dependency of imports is high. (The main export goods are citrus, bananas and sugar.) Tourism has allowed prices to reach peaks that it seems to us that everyone who is not directly benefiting from tourism or another high income industry is suffering from the consequences. It also appeared to us that there is a very limited number of shop owners that are controlling the market. Bigger suppliers have no interest in going into such a small market, so prices stay at a level which tourists are willing to pay.

What to eat in Belize – especially being vegetarian or even vegan?

As vegetarians and foodies we had a pretty hard time eating out in Belize. Local food is generally heavy loaded with meat. Nevertheless, we always found a vegetarian option, which in 90% of the time was either a taco or burrito filled with rice, beans and onions. If you are travelling on a budget like we do, we highly recommend you to eat the local food trucks for the best value deals.

How to get around and travel Belize?

The most affordable way to get around Belize is by taking the local bus. Due to Belize’s small population, some city connections such as Belize City to Placencia are only operated once or twice per day. Shuttles between tourist hubs such as Belize City to Caye Caulker or San Pedro are operated very frequently during the day. In order to reach your target destination on time, better check the bus schedule a day before.

If you travel from Belize City to Mexico, we can strongly advise you to take the local bus to Chetumal and from there jump into the ADO bus to reach any other cities in Mexico. Do not make the mistake and take the ADO bus directly from Belize City. This way we saved around 50 USD per person, since the ADO boarding crossing is a bit of a tourist scam. They are basically charging you extra money to make your life easier.

Basic facts about Belize

Population:385.854 – July 2018
Offical language:English (super convenient)
Capital:Belmopan
Currency:Belize Dollar (1 USD = 2 BZD)

Disclaimer: This are our experiences with this country, and definitely nothing written in stone. We encourage everyone to see a country on their own and make up their own mind. Belize definitely is a beautiful place to visit – especially for divers.

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Top 5 things to do in Belize

Besides the fact that there is a massive blue hole out in the ocean, Belize has not really made it onto our radar before visiting it as a part of our world trip and travelling through Latin America. Our view on this country changed dramatically after a couple of days as Belize is a true underwater paradise.

1. Go snorkeling in Hol Chan Marine Reserve

Hands down, one of the best snorkeling spots worldwide. You will see more underwater life than on any dives you can possible do. And trust us, we have seen a lot.

Holan Chan is Mayan and means little channel. The 18km2 area and its marine life is heavily protected, hence underwater life is more than flourishing. You will see nurse sharks, manta rayes, big turtles, swarms of huge fishes, and in our opinion the intact coral gardens possible.

Snorkeling tours can either be booked from San Pedro or Caye Caulker, and cost you approximately 60 USD for a full-day trip including 5 different snorkeling spots.

2. Go snorkeling or diving at the Silk Cayes near Placencia

The Silk Cayes are three tiny islands that are surrounded by an incredible colorful reef. And by tiny we mean that you can literally walk around the whole main island in like 15 seconds. From Placencia, the hotspot for all kinds of diving located south of Belize City, it is only 60 minutes away by boat. Read our article here to get more details on the epic diving we did there and how to even get an opportunity to spot whale sharks.

3. Take a sailing trip from Caye Caulker or stay at a remote island resort around the reef

The highlight of Belize is definitely the incredible reef which stretches along the whole coastline of the country. If you want to check out the remote islands, avoid other tourists and basically have no idea what to do else with your money – this is the trip for you. If you got the hint, we did not do it, since prices seem unrealistically high. Like 400 USD for a 3D2N trip including staying in dorms.

4. Go see the Blue Hole

To really get the vast beauty of this place, you either have to take a helicopter flight, which will set your travel budget back by 500 USD, or take a boat there and fly a drone. And if you don’t have a drone, we suggest you make a friend quickly that does.

The blue hole is surrounded by two small islands, where you can have your lunch break on if you go diving or snorkeling. Snorkeling trips leave from Caye Caulker and cost around 260 USD. Diving is double. At the diving trips, you have the amazing experience to see the majestic stalactites and also highly likely to get to see some sharks.

5. Visit the Belizian Maya temples

If you are not into watersport, there is only one inland highlight in this country to visit. Belize is known as the epicenter of the ancient Maya world and was the home of more than 2 million Mayas. Today there are many Mayan temples that you can visit; Caracol is the biggest one and Xunantunich is the second tallest temple in all of Belize.

Nevertheless and important to know, you can also find other beautiful Maya temples in Guatemala and México for cheaper entrance fees. So if you are also visiting those countries, we would probably recommend you to skip it.

To conclude, as the whole article is mainly about snorkeling and diving, you probably get the idea what Belize mainly is about. To be honest, if you are not into these two things or willing to spend your money on it, than we would not recommend you to visit this country after all.

Due to long stretching reef none of the islands have real beaches; they are all man-made and filled up by artificial sand. Belize is also dealing with lots of economic issues and missing infrastructure. For example, there is no mail delivery, places have no address and prices for basic things like groceries are insanely high as the Chinese reign all the markets. Due to those issues and the popularity of the reef, the prices in the country exploded, while still having a fairly low or even lower standard compared to all the other Latin American countries.

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