Any New Yorker will tell you. February is brutal. So our quick trip to tropical Belize this winter was a much welcomed trade from snow-lined streets of NYC.
Technically this was a work trip - although it never quite felt like work. Commissioned by Travel Belize to capture beautiful images and share them on my Instagram. For five days we explored the island-dotted coastlines of Belize and it's barrier reef - highlighted by a four-hour boat ride to The Great Blue Hole - a place I've dreamt of visiting for many years. And It did not disappoint.
I'd been granted special permission by the Belize government to bring in and fly my drone. I also purchased a GoProHero6 and $35 dome housing to try an capture some underwater images - including some so-called 50/50 shots (half underwater, half above water). I wouldn't say I nailed it - but we had fun trying.
We spent a great deal of our time snorkeling - which was a new experience for us. I think we were shocked at the amount of aquatic life just beneath the surface. We even swam with a nurse shark!
Belize, at times, felt wild and untouched - teaming with wildlife, tiny tropical islands and vast jungle canopy. We didn't have time to explore the mountainous interior - perhaps next time. The city of San Pedro is charming and colorful - a bit touristy for our liking - but that was offset by it's friendly people and the fact that almost everyone drives a golf cart to get around the small island community.
Belize's true hidden gem - we discovered - was waiting for us at Thatch Caye, a private island of quaint bungalows, communal diners, easy-going staff, and a mascot-like dog named Dewey. A true paradise. We could have spent days doing absolutely nothing.