1. The Belize Travelcast
  2. Episode 31

Three Perfect Days in Belize with Ali Wunderman

Ali Wunderman 29 minutes


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Ali Wunderman is back in the studio of the Belize Travelcast to update us on what she's been up to since her last visit back in January 2020. She tells us what it's like being stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and how she misses Belize dearly and must come back to her second home. Not only is Ali in Belize to rekindle her love for Belize's nature and people, she's also working on a new piece, called "Three Perfect Days in Belize," that will be the cover article for United Airline's inflight magazine's, Hemispheres, April issue. For the article, she explores Belize's beautiful San Pedro Town as well as adventure-filled San Ignacio Town and the scenic journey down the Hummingbird Highway to Placencia.

Day 1

Ali's Three Perfect Days in Belize starts with jumping into the warm, clear waters at Mexico Rocks, which is a relatively new marine reserve located north of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. Mexico Rocks is often compared to an aquarium as snorkelers get to see lots of juvenile fishes and many colorful coral formations that you don't really get to see at Hol Chan Marine Reserve or Tres Cocos Channel. Surely, aside from snorkeling, Ali enjoyed the warm sunshine and fun activities happening in town and at the popular Truck Stop.


Birds of Belize provides the first complete guide to the identification of all currently known species. The birds are grouped by families, with an introduction to each family that ... morehighlights its uniquely identifying characteristics and behaviors.
by Ali Wunderman
Belize is a rising star. With all of the natural allure of Costa Rica, it adds to the mix towering ancient pyramids, superb scuba diving and snorkeling (along the world’s second-longest ... morecoral reef system), and a culture that’s warm and welcoming. Author Ali Wunderman has been covering the country for years and uses her expertise to help you craft the vacation of your dreams.


Day 2

With day one completed, Ali flies inland and makes her way to San Ignacio Town with Zhawn Poot, one of Belize's best tour guides, for her second perfect day in Belize. But, before she gets to San Ignacio, she couldn't resist making a stop at the Belize Zoo to see majestic birds, such as the Scarlet Macaw and Harpy Eagle, and Belize's 5 big cats (jaguar, puma, ocelot, jaguarundi, and margay). Making her way to town, Ali enjoys delicious fry jacks from Pop's Restaurant and sweet local fruits from the San Ignacio Farmer's Market. She also explores Cahal Pech Archaeological Site, which is only a few minutes away from town, and ventures into the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve to swim under waterfalls at Big Rock Falls.

Day 3

For her third, and final, day in Belize, Ali had to do some birding at Black Rock Lodge, which neighbors the Don Elijio Panti National Park. There, Ali got the opportunity to hike beautiful trails at Don Elijio Panti Nature Reserve and see Scarlet Macaws glide through the sky. After hiking and birding Ali road-tripped down the Hummingbird Highway to Placencia with Zhawn. The Hummingbird Highway is notorious for breathtaking views from the Sleeping Giant and tasty bites from Miss Martha'Belize Belizean Fyah Haat Tamales, local fruit stands offering the sweetest pineapples anyone could taste, and creamy homemade ice cream from The Country Barn. Ali and Zhawn also experienced the anomaly on the road known as "Magnetic Hill," where your car - when set on neutral - can slowly roll backward uphill. With much to eat, see, and do along the Hummingbird Highway, Ali and Zhawn make it safely to Placencia just in time to see the sunset.

If this doesn't sound like the three most perfect days to you, then I don't know what is. Listen to the full episode of this podcast on all major streaming platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. You can also hear more from Zhawn on Episode 6 of the podcast.
Information
Recommended Hotels
 (1)
Private Riverside Villas
Aliana's is a vacation rental property located near San Ignacio, Cayo. Aliana's sits on a 50-acre farm and includes three private riverfront villas. ... more

Gold Standard Transportation is provided via Belize Ground Shuttle.
Relax on the banks of the Mopan river just outside your doorstep and enjoy bird watching or take a refreshing swim to cool off at your pleasure. We have canoes and floating tubes available. A popular guest activity is to float down the Mopan river from the village of Bullet Tree Falls. The float takes about two hours. You can spot monkeys and a variety of bird species along the river. We also have an outdoor grill and brick oven available for use by all guests.

Each unit includes air-conditioned bedrooms for your comfort. The property is filled with many tropical fruit trees that you can enjoy when in season, such as mangoes, breadfruit, plums, star fruit, and others. The property may be booked for private events subject to availability.
Gold Certified:
Yes
Area:
San Ignacio
Region:
Western Belize
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Established in 1976, San Ignacio Resort Hotel is a Belizean and family-owned boutique Hotel located in the Cayo District, Western Belize. The Resort is centrally situated on a 17-acre ... moreprivate estate, 5-minutes away of Cahal Pech Maya temple and the popular San Ignacio Town—an area that features a variety of cultural, adventurous, and culinary experiences. This characteristic has dubbed the Resort as “the only jungle in town”.

The 27-room Resort is renowned for its hospitality services and features the award-winning Running W Restaurant (which showcases meats from the family’s ranch), an on-site tour company (Cayo Gial Tours), in-room wellness treatments, an outdoor swimming pool and tennis court area, the largest event facilities in the District, and the #1 Activity in San Ignacio, the Green Iguana Conservation Project.
Gold Certified:
Yes
Area:
San Ignacio
Region:
Western Belize
Learn More
Recommended Activities
$
104
/ Adult
Departs From:
San Pedro (Ambergris Caye)
The Northern coast of Ambergris Caye has amazing blue waters and beautiful views along the way. The Mexico Rocks Day Sail starts with sailing to Mexico Rocks, that in the end of 2015 ... morebecame a part of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, to protect its rich marine life and precious corals. We do our first stop for snorkeling there and then continue to our favorite spot - a shallow area close by the reef, that is just like a natural pool (great for non-swimmers as well)! Here we make a break to relax in the shallow warm water, while the crew prepares our famous Belizean buffet on-board. Traditional Belizean dishes like stewed chicken and rice and beans with our Captain’s secret recipe BBQ fish! After lunch we return South doing a second snorkel stop at Tres Cocos. Open bar featuring local rum drinks like rum punch and "panty rippers" is included all day.
$
30
-
$
55
/ Person
$
35
-
$
55
/ Adult
Type of Vehicle:
Full Size Van
 (4)
Belize Water Taxi terminal to San Ignacio One Way Shuttle from the Water Taxi terminal in Belize City (San Pedro Express or Ocean Ferry) to San Ignacio.... more

Shuttle arrives at Hode's Place near downtown San Ignacio. Optional hotel drop-off within San Ignacio town limits available for a small fee. 

This is a shared shuttle service. Ride in style in our brand new vans, with complimentary wifi and refreshments.

NOTE: Shuttle may stop briefly at the Philip Goldson International Airport, then to San Ignacio.
$
70
-
$
110
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve is also known for its spectacular waterfalls, mountain views, nature trails, and rich diversity of over 290 species of birds. The tracks of wildcats, tapir, ... moredeer, and other wildlife are often seen on hiking trails. As jaguars and other cats are nocturnal, it is unlikely that you will see them, but you can spot fresh tracks.

The trip begins with a stop at the traditional village of Maya Center which is at the entrance of the preserve. Here, you will find Mayan arts and crafts are for sale. 

The park offers a wide variety of hikes of varying lengths and difficulty, including to Ben’s Bluff, which has a spectacular view of the entire Basin, and to a waterfall where you can enjoy a refreshing swim.
Restaurants
A must-stop on the Hummingbird Highway, it would be hard to miss this white shack surrounded by cars, in a small clearing immediately next to the road under the shade of a very large ... moretree.

Ms. Bertha’s Tamales are said to be the best in Belize. One of her spiced, gooey chicken-and-corn tamales is a perfect break. Pair it with a hot sauce she has been making almost as long as the tamales, and a cold soda in a glass bottle. Since

The small shack can serve hundreds of tamales a day during peak season yet each one is prepared with the same attention and love. Everyone sits on benches, patiently waiting their turn. There aren’t many places to stop along the Hummingbird Highway, but that’s not the only reason you shouldn’t pass by Bertha’s without turning in.
Category:
Street Vendor
Cuisine Type:
Belizean
Price Range:
Cheap Eats $
Phone:
+501 631-8412
District/Region:
Stann Creek
The first shipping container food park in Belize is The Truck Stop. Try the unique and flavorful food options from one of the many food trucks, or treat the kids with some ice cream. ... moreIn addition, help yourself to the sunset deck, firepit and games all included. And remember, Sundays bring with them live music and a mouth-watering pig roast.
Category:
Full Service Restaurant
Cuisine Type:
Multi-cuisine
Price Range:
Mid-Range $$
Phone:
226-3663
District/Region:
Ambergris Caye

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Guest Picture

Ali Wunderman

Ali Wunderman is a freelance travel and wildlife journalist with work in Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, and Lonely Planet, among many others. She is the author of Frommer's guidebook to Belize, as well as a contributing author for Fodor's Iceland. Originally from San Francisco, Ali now lives in rural Montana. Follow her travel adventures on Instagram @aliwunderman.

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