Ambergris Caye to San Ignacio: Bird’s-eye View
Our initial travel plan in Belize for the second time did not include flying from Ambergris Caye to San Ignacio. We visited Belize during the rainy season (June to October are rainy season in Belize) when sometimes include the tropical storms/hurricane. Dutchie and I planned our travel just to reach Ambergris Caye from Chetumal, Mexico then we would see if the “mother nature” would allow us to visit the mainland. The Hurricane Earl made landfall on Belize in 2016. It was hostile and caused extensive damages in Belize’s mainland and Ambergris Caye. We were still in Mexico during the hurricane, and the trip to Ambergris Caye was delayed, but we made it to Ambergris Caye.
After ten days in Ambergris Caye and convinced there would be no more hurricanes coming to Belize, we decided to continue our travel to San Ignacio by plane from a small airport (only two gates!!) owned by Tropic Air in San Pedro, the town in Ambergris Caye. It was last minute reservation, and we got a good deal tickets from Tropic Air. Not only that, we had the plane to ourselves. It was a small plane with four passengers including the pilot.
As we were up in the air, the view of Belize was astonishing. The first scenery was the view of Ambergris Caye from above. The colorful houses on the island were beautiful, utterly like a colorful idyllic drop in the ocean.
Then the airplane brought us to a fantastic view of the Belize Barrier Reef, part of the second largest barrier reef in the world, Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, after the Australian’s Great Barrier Reef.
The ocean was amazing to see from our small plane. It felt like we were close to the ocean yet it was so far above. We passed few islands, including the famous Caye Caulker.
A fascinating island that we passed, and I thought it was the Belizean Great Blue Hole. Later it was confirmed that we did not fly above the Great Blue Hole. It might be a deserted island, but I was not sure what “Caye” it was. The islands in Belize are called “Caye” or as in plural as “Cayes.”
The mainland Belize was as impressive as its ocean. The Sibun River was overlooking majestic in beauty from the sky, spreading its water through the land, and flowing its waters into the sea. In the end, all water leads to the sea.
Of course, we passed the cities, farming and forest area. Belize is one of the countries that takes reservation of its nature seriously. It has Jaguar reservation area called as Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary, and according to the World Bank data, the terrestrial protected areas are 36,6% of the total land area and the marine protected areas are 18% of the total territorial area. My home country, Indonesia, is sadly not even close to having the half percent of the Belizean protected areas.
Then finally we reached our destination: San Ignacio! The airport was even smaller than the one in San Pedro. It was located in the middle of nowhere. Forget taxis or any public transports at the airport – we saw none – and we were the only passengers arriving on that day. The flight made me feel like traveling to a remote place and certainly, it was an unforgettable one. Thank you, Belize, for not letting me down once again!
Information for Indonesian travelers who wish to visit Belize as tourists:
- Tourist visa should be obtained prior arrival. However, for Indonesian passport holders with the U.S. Permanent Resident Cards or, the U.S. Multiple Entries Visas do not require a visa to enter Belize for 30 business days.
- Do check with the Belizean Consulate/Embassy at your home country for the further update of the tourism and travel safety.