Central America

The magnificent Great Blue Hole

One of the main attraction of Belize is its reef and the Great Blue Hole.  The Belize Reef is the world’s second longest (after the Great Barrier Reef) and offers some truly amazing sights including coral canyons, an astonishing range of tropical fish, manta rays, sharks and barracudas.

The Great Blue hole is located around 100 kilometers off the coast of Belize. Its one of the Must-Sees for divers therefore I took the opportunity to go on a daily diving trip (including 2 more dives at the barrier reef), while Niels viewed it on a bird’s eye view. It is circular in shape (over 300 meters in diameter and 125 meters deep), in the middle its dark blue and surrounded by an atoll with light turquoise water. The sinkhole originally formed as a limestone cave during a time when sea levels were much lower. As the ocean began to rise, the cave system flooded and eventually collapsed, creating a "vertical cave" in the ocean. To be honest the marine life inside the Blue Hole is not very interesting, besides some fish, barracudas and reef-sharks there was not much to see. Its more about the geological formations that now lie in the ocean's depths. Going down to 35 m huge stalactites and stalagmites arise, some reaching 9-12 meters  in length. We got the opportunity to dive through them.

"Captain MueWi speaking - do you all feel save?"IMG_4306Blue Hole from the bird´s eye viewIMG_3914

Diving the Blue Hole was dark and a little creepy GOPR0505 GOPR0511 GOPR0507GOPR0519 GOPR0536

We did it 35 meters in the Blue HoleGOPR0539 GOPR0550

After the Blue hole we did two more dives at great dive sitesGOPR0572 GOPR0579 GOPR0591

After the second dive we had a lunch stop at this nice little islandGOPR0623 GOPR0624

Hermit crabs everywhereGOPR0626

Third dive GOPR0686 GOPR0712

After the diving we received a reward for the exhausting day (rum punch served by my dive buddy)GOPR0724

Some more impressions from Niels bird´s eye viewIMG_4288IMG_3921 IMG_4296 IMG_4299

The Split IMG_3920

A fantasitic snorkling trip

Sailing off for a daily-snorkeling trip around Caye Caulker visiting 3 amazing snorkeling sites:

At the first spot (Hol Chan Marine Reserve) we got really lucky to see the by now very rare manatees. He greeted us with a full view as he swam by very close. But my personal highlight was the second stop @ Shark n Ray Alley, where we snorkeled with friendly nurse sharks and stingrays. Coral Gardens was also a great place to see: colorful tropical fish, turtles, eagle rays and more.

We finished this perfect day, cruising back to Caye Caulker while sipping rum punch and enjoying some snacks.

My first video cut (hope you still like it)

Some friendly nurse sharksIMG_2038_CopyIMG_2039DSCN1248P7010215P7010283

Stingrays all over P7010246 P7010253

A huge conch shellP7010276 P7010293 P7010325


Green moray eelDSCN1284

A lot of tunasIMG_5294

Green sea turtleRSCN1311

Enjoying the sailing trip 😉IMG_0714 IMG_0717  IMG_2034

Goodbye snorklingIMG_0745

Arriving in Paradise - Caye Caulker

Caye Caulker is a relaxed and easy going island approximately 20 miles north-northeast of Belize City in the Caribbean Sea with a reggae-tinged vibe. The local residents a very friendly and welcoming. The main street is a sandy pathway through the center of town surrounded by restaurants, seafood stands and bars. It’s the ideal place to snorkel, dive and enjoy life!

First sight of Caye CaulkerIMG_3858IMG_3870 IMG_3872 IMG_3873 IMG_3876 IMG_3883 The Split was created by Hurricane Hattie in 1961 and is now a norraow waterway which divides the island in two. At this side of the island there is a nice bar also called the Split, we we spend most of the time 😉IMG_5245 IMG_5259

San Ignacio

Arriving in Belize in the town of San Ignacio we experienced a completly different country to the rest of Central America: it is English speaking and more a Caribbean nation than  Latin. On the other hand, it has plenty of distinctively Central American characteristics. It offers a unique blend of cultures that includes, in a tiny population, people of Maya, Mestizo, African, European, Asian and Arab descent. Aside from the local Creole, Spanish is also spoken throughout the country.

We stayed in a very basic Ecolodge with dumping toilets and a lot of "small scale" animals (see below). Again Niels and I were lucky because we had a bathroom in our small house which originally was a honey moon suit and further in the forest than the rest of the houses.

Belize is famous for cave adventures, therefore we singned in for the most extreme one in Belize, the Crystal Cave: a challenge for our physical fitness and our spirit of adventure. From the Ecolodge it’s a 1 ½ drive to the Blue Hole National Park. After arriving there the tour starts with a 50 minute hike through lush rainforest and steep terrain which was considered challenging by most already. Arriving at the entrance of the cave it’s a 15-foot steep climb down into the mouth of the Crystal Cave where we entered the underworld of Xibalba (what the ancient Mayas believed to be the domain of their gods).

The expedition took us through narrow passages to magnificent cathedral-like caverns. Along the way we have seen shimmering stalactites & stalagmites, massive crystal formations, ancient ceremonial fire pits, charcoal and ash, pottery, and other remainings of the Mayan sacrificial victims.  After a two hours hike through the cave we had to decide to go further into the stunning wonderland of the underworld or go back. All of us were haven’t had enough of caving yet and decided to go further.  The so called “Wonderland” was worth every step we made. It’s a huge hall were we had to walk barefoot or only with socks because of untouched beauty of the white crystals.

After our adventure in the Crystal Cave we had dirt all over, hiked back to the park facilities and took a refreshing swim in the cool waters of the inland Blue Hole.


Our little friends walking aroundIMG_20140628_210910IMG_1921 IMG_1929 IMG_1939 IMG_1948

Skull at Crystal CaveIMG_1953 IMG_1955 IMG_1961 IMG_1973 IMG_1984 IMG_1990

Magnificent WonderlandIMG_1998 IMG_2010 IMG_2012 IMG_2015 IMG_2018 IMG_2021

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