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Travel to Belize Islands

Travel to Belize Cayos Cays Keys Islands BELIZE CAYOS, Belize — On my third incident of travel through the tapering isthmus of Central America, I have finally set foot on Belizean soil. I helped lead a tour out from the Finca Tatin in Guatemala to the southern cayos of Belize. A two hour speed boat [...]

Travel to Belize Cayos Cays Keys Islands

BELIZE CAYOS, Belize — On my third incident of travel through the tapering isthmus of Central America, I have finally set foot on Belizean soil. I helped lead a tour out from the Finca Tatin in Guatemala to the southern cayos of Belize. A two hour speed boat ride out to sea, and I was disembarking onto a pure white sandy island. After handing some paperwork over to an immigration official, I was floating around in the waters of Belize, snorkeling.

Technically, I was working. In reality, I was a tourist.

After dispersing some flippers and snorkeling masks to a group of French tourists who funding the trip, I was free to dive at will.

What I saw beneath the shallow waters of the reefs would best be told with photographs. It is with due misfortune that I must report that my “underwater camera” was no longer equipped to go under water any more. After one attempt at snapping a photo of a blue/ green parrot fish the camera fried.

A long letter to the Olympus electronics company is in due order. Their Stylus cameras say that they can go underwater, and they can — until the day that they leak and fry. I submerged the camera beneath the sea, focused in on a reef, and the LCD screen flashed black. The shutter refused to close. The camera leaked full of water. My “underwater” camera, apparently, no longer wanted to function under water. It fried.

I lost the opportunity to record some of the most beautiful scenes of nature that I have yet seen in 11 years of travel, I lost an SD card of documentation.

Onward.

The snorkeling off these virtually abandon keys in the south of Belize was as good as I could imagine it to be. Fish, coral, sharks, ocean things colorful, interesting, frightening abounded. I bobbed around clearing my snorkel at various intervals. The tourists bobbed around too, all with their faces down and butts up, looking at the fishes, plants, urchins, and the indescribable below.

A beautiful, other world exists below the sea.

I made the tourists ham sandwiches for lunch on a virtually abandoned cayo.

Two old hermits and a few crabs were the only inhabitants.

With my own boat I could access islands like these on my own whenever I choose for ever on after. With my own boat I could access parts of the world that are only accessible to me on those rare occurrences when a group of French tourists pay my way to help lead a tour to the Belize cayos.

Belize Travel Guide

Filed under: Beaches, Belize, Boat Travel, Caribbean, Central America

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 88 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3413 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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3 comments… add one

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  • Bob L August 22, 2010, 9:11 am

    How about looking into the differences in costs between a livable sail boat and a livable motor boat. Not just buying, but total costs and complications. Relative costs are OK. As I understand it, most of the people living in sail boats don’t sail often. Even when they move, it seems most of the time they use the motor. There are huge amounts of maintenance with each, but I wonder how they compare. I would think that a motor boat would be better for getting around, but it is not obvious to me which would end up being the “better” choice. Just because most people do this on sailboats does not mean this is the best way to go. How about house boats? Could a house boat bought locally make sense? I visited somebody on one in the Florida Keys and I thought it could easily handle a good weather day in the Caribbean. Just wondering.

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com August 24, 2010, 10:41 pm

      I think a motor boat would be a lot more expensive. The real sailors tend to sail a lot — some that I have met don’t have or rarely use their motors. It is my impression that you can sail mostly anywhere if you are patient enough, though the motor — in my opinion — is an essential piece of gear. I also like the idea of traveling free by sail haha. I also like the idea of having two locomotion methods on the same boat — sail and motor. I can just picture me now floating around in the middle of the sea with a dead engine hahaha. I want my sails haha. I was just driving a small boat the other day when the motor staled. No problem, it happens all the time, but when I went to pull the motor cord it broke free from the spinny thing. I had no tools to open it up to resind the cord. I had to row back to shore haha. Yeah, I want my sails.

      A houseboat on a river may be a good idea though. I can picture just going up and down a few of the great rivers of the world like this.

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  • Kris Kemp February 22, 2011, 6:43 pm

    wow. thanks for the picture!

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