Traveling Cleverly Since 2001

on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 | 2 comments
After our long morning of travel, we were excited to see Matachica Resort. I'd poured over where to stay for this trip, and was very excited about our choice. Matachica is a small resort comprised of about twenty casitas, eight of which are directly on the beach. We were lucky enough to book one of these. We stayed in a Deluxe Beachfront Casita called Strawberry (all the casitas have fruit names like Mango, Lime, Papaya, etc).


As we settled in, I realized it was hot. Like, really, really hot. Our first day was sultry, to put it mildly, with nary a breeze in the air. We proceeded to take our overheated selves to the main palapa for lunch and to book some excursions for the week. After a lunch of chicken quesadilla and caesar salad at Mambo restaurant, we booked a snorkel excursion to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley for the following afternoon.

The rest of our day was of little note. I recall a cocktail and a nap and dinner in there somewhere. We slept the whole night through (yay for no kids!) and woke up early for our first full day.

After enjoying Matachica's complimentary continental breakfast (cereal, fresh fruit, yogurt and egg), we laid around and read. We much appreciated the breeze that was blowing consistently off the ocean.

I'm sure it hasn't escaped notice that the sea seems to be filled with seagrass near the shore. It is. That's how Ambergris Caye is. The reef is very close to the shore (you can see the breakers from the sand) and the sea inside the reef is filled with life. There are designated swimming areas off the docks, but Ambergris Caye is NOT for people who need a beach you can wade into.

We had scheduled a snorkel trip for the afternoon. Snorkeling is abundant off Ambergris Caye, though generally not accessible by swimming from shore. You have to take a boat or kayak to various spots along the reef. We wanted to snorkel the popular Hol Chan Marine Reserve, which has 24/7 protection from marine patrol. You have to go with a guide (as it is protected) and you receive all kinds of warnings about not harrassing the wildlife, etc. This location was about a 30 minute boat ride from Matachica. We had hoped for a private charter, but we couldn't make it worthwhile, cost-wise. So, we opted to go with a trip that left from our resort.

This trip had two stops: Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley. Our boat got to Hol Chan about 45 minutes before a big rush of boats showed up. Our group had only eight people, but it was too crowded for my liking. I frankly would have loved a private snorkel at Hol Chan, but it is costly. We saw a few things I haven't seen before, like a green turtle and a moray eel (a very large one). Though I've seen many, many stingrays, the spotted eagle ray has always eluded me. Not any longer! It was a great hour long snorkel, and the channel was very calm on the day we went. Belize has recently had some tourist deaths at Hol Chan, as I understand the current can get strong at times. It was like a big pool the day we went.

Our next stop was Shark Ray Alley, where I finally got some footage. Behold, the nurse shark feeding frenzy!

We were able to get in with these guys and swim around for a while. Though the largest nurse sharks I've ever swam with, these guys weren't scary. No teeth, so they are just big fish. It sure looks impressive from the boat, though.

After our snorkel, we had a nice boat ride back. We went into town that evening and ate at Elvi's Kitchen. Belize is not known for it's fine cuisine, but we had a great meal of stewed chicken and battered coconut/ginger shrimp at Elvi's. Definitely the best meal with had while on AC.


mohona akter said...

Most of the naming process is finding names with meaning, and making sure those meanings stack up with what I want that character to represent.
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Mahi Seo said...

Travel is the movement of people between relatively distant geographical locations, and can involve travel by foot, bicycle, automobile, train, boat, airplane, or other means, with or without luggage, and can be one way or round trip.
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