While I was on my National Geographic Journeys trip with G Adventures in Costa Rica, I was looking on instagram at hashtags #Gadv and #natgeojourneys to see who else was travelling with G the same time I was. I came across a Canadian Freelance Journalist from Toronto who was travelling in Central America on her 10 day ‘Explore Belize’ trip with their National Geographic Journeys travel style. I reached out to Freelancer Waheeda Harris asking her if she could tell me more about her experience as Belize is on my bucket list in the near future; she gladly gave me very intriguing info.
The National Geographic Journeys Exclusives of ‘Explore Belize’ are:
- Garifuna Drumming Lesson and Performance, Hopkins
- Howler Monkey Experience, San Ignacio
- Belize Women’s Pottery Cooperative and Local Lunch, San Ignacio
Waheeda expected Belize to be similar to Costa Rica, but she found it different from her prediction. She said it’s not as built up and no hotel zones or tourist areas. It felt more relaxed and authentic, with more Caribbean influences. Belize offers a great mix of culture, history, adventure and Caribbean beach areas. Travellers can find locally-run accommodations, eat affordable meals, and purchase souvenirs of local influence.
Great Food Spot: Tina’s Kitchen in Hopkins – Belizean seafood dishes made to order by Chef Tina. It’s an unpretentious restaurant influenced by the local Garifuna culture.
Excursions: You can go to see the Howler Monkeys in northern Belize, swim and snorkel at the MesoAmerican Barrier Reef, and take time to wander through the small cities such as San Ignacio, Hopkins, and Caye Caulker. Doing the ATM cave in San Ignacio for Waheeda was challenging, fascinating, interesting, and pushed her out of her comfort zone.
Cultural Encounters: Waheeda liked learning about the Garifuna culture in Hopkins and taking a drumming class with a professional Garifuna drummer. She also met the ladies of the Cayo Womens Cooperative which was a great experience seeing how they have figured out themselves how to bring the Mayan culture back into their everyday life and share their culture with visitors.
Souvenirs: At Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods Waheeda bought hot sauce and jam, all made from fruits and vegetables grown on the surrounding farmland owned by Ms. Marie Sharp. She also brought home tamarind candy and a coconut shell necklace from San Ignacio, and locally-grown coffee as a gift.
Items To Bring: Hat, sunblock, bug spray, waterproof camera, walking or hiking shoes/sandals, and hydration tablets.
Travel Tip from Waheeda: Always have your camera ready as there are so many beautiful landscapes, creatures, and towns.
–No Ordinary Adventure & G Adventures have partnered together to offer travellers an exclusive adventure on this 10 day tour in January 2018! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details/reservations or click here. Space is limited!–
More About Waheeda: Waheeda loves to swim and snorkel, she’s addicted to her Fitbit, and is always happy to spend time in a bookstore or looking at art whether it’s a gallery or an alley. Her favourite country visited is South Africa, where she was born. The combination of cultures, cuisine, wildlife and natural landscapes are unforgettable to her. Last year in 2016 Waheeda visited 20 countries.
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