Monday, September 14, 2009

It's in the details....

Now we had picked our hotels and in my eyes they were going to be the greatest!  In the jungle we chose Chaa Creek.  Not only is Chaa Creek an amazing lodge, but its been recognized by several magazines such as Travel and Leisure and Conde Naste as one of the best places in Central America to stay.  They've won awards for their environmental standards and the owners have over 300 acres of land they use as a nature preserve. 

On Ambergris Caye we chose Portofino which is a small beach resort with thatched roof cottages steps away from the ocean.  It's accessable only by a fifteen minute boat ride from San Pedro, which is the main town on Ambergris Caye. 

The details we had to figure out would be of course, how many nights would we stay at each place?  How would we get from the airport to Chaa Creek, which we had decided would be our first destination.  Then how do we get from Chaa Creek to Portofino?  Each resort offers packages and even a package that combines stays at the two together - do we take a package and is it the best option? 

Well, knowing me...and if you don't you will soon learn that I like to stretch my trips as long as possible.  We weren't able to take our kids on this trip.  We tossed the idea around, but the deciding factors were that the few main excursions just didn't seem to be ones that were 100% kid friendly.  Sure, they could do it, but would it make our vacation what we wanted it to be?  Add to that the fact that airfare was really expensive for us to get to Belize and our decision was made.  This became a grown up vacation.  Next time they get to go.  Our kids are great travellers....but that's another story!  So, not having to fit kid schedules into the trip plan, we just had to figure our work schedules in - darn those real world committments!  We decided ten nights would be ideal.  Five inland and five nights at the beach.  A perfect split.  This gives us travel days and still allows for plenty of time to have a great trip!   

Once we figured out the number of days, we found that the multi-hotel packages didn't work since they were mainly 7 day split packages.  Too short for us this time.  However, Chaa Creek offered a great package called their Inland Adventure Package.  Knowing we wanted to do excursions and that it was fairly remote, we booked this for five nights.  It included two full day trips, a half day trip, our transfers to and from the airport and all of our meals!  Awesome!  

At Portofino we found a package for five nights that included a few snorkel trips, a Sunset Cruise and breakfast as well as our round trip flights from Belize City to Ambergris Caye.  Sounds perfect right? 

The great thing is that in emailing these resorts the communication was excellent.  Always a quick and friendly response and they both answered any questions we had very thoroughly.  Those things really make me feel confident before booking a trip.

Another detail, seems small, but this really was something that has bugged me on the past few trips - We travel with large, rolling duffel bags.  They're lightweight which is a necessity on in-country flights with baggage weight limits.  I'm not a good carry on only traveller - it's just not for me.  So, in my rolling duffle bag, everything seems to be a mess by the time my trip is half over.  Especially if I have to change hotels more than once.  Clean clothes, dirty clothes, toiletries - nothing is organized because things just get tossed around.  So this trip I got packing cubes!  They're the best!  Our clothes stayed organized the entire trip!  And when I unpacked, I just took out a whole cube at a time!  Loved, loved, loved them! 
Next's about time to travel!


  1. is that all your are pretty amazing..before i dreamed to be a photographer but i only have my own cam last year so maybe its impossible for me to be a good one like you now..

  2. Thanks for the compliment! I've always loved photography, so sharing my shots with people is a great joy!

    Just keep taking pictures of things you love and things that inspire you and you can be a great photographer!