It was hard leaving Bacalar. We enjoyed our short time there. Bacalar is a place we will return to in the future. For now, onward to Belize.

Our friends

Before continuing, Charo, Marco, Daniela, Mateo, and I have to acknowledge and thank our good friends Marcos and Audrey. We met through our children who are in the same grades. Zach is the same age as Marco, while Emery is the same age as Daniela and Mateo. On at least two different occasions, I remember being invited to their house for dinner. The kids played while we spent hours planning our time in Belize. After we hammered out a rough itinerary, Marcos took it steps further by contacting his family to get us places to stay in both Xaibe and San Ignacio. To outdo himself, he made sure we didn’t have to take any public transportation while we there and arranged for his brother to lend us a car! I can safely say, our experience could not have been possible without their help.

Arriving to Belize

We ended up taking a taxi to the frontier (the border) from Bacalar. It was about a 30-minute drive at the cost of 300 pesos. When we got out of the taxi, we were greeted by someone who identified themselves as a border agent, and we found out shortly after he was a taxi driver looking for a fare. He followed us through immigration and helped us exchange money. To say he was pushy was an understatement. We were going to take a bus to Xiabe, but we ended up hiring him for $20 US. We probably could have done better for a taxi, perhaps a lot better on the local bus but it was nice not to have to walk all the bags any further than we had to.


We arrived in Xaibe excited. We were going to stay with Marcos’ mother, and we had her address. Unfortunately, our taxi driver nor we knew where the address was. After about a minute past the Xaibe sign, I noticed a lady walking out of her house looking at cars as they went by. I have to pat myself on the back here, I noticed correctly. It was Carmen, our host for the next couple of days.

Carmen was an amazing host, coming with us everywhere in Xaibe and Corozal.

She took us swimming in Corozal.

She took us to a fantastic restaurant locals go to as well.


Carmen even took us to visit the doctor’s office. Charo arrived sick from Mexico.

Staying at friends

Our experiences around town with Carmen were nothing in compared to the experiences of living with her family. All of Carmen’s children are adults now, but she does help in the care of her two grandchildren and Kevin and Ryan. These two boys were the highlights of my kids’ trip to Xaibe. Mateo started by saying hi, and that was the beginning of a great relationship. The kids were inseparable while they were there. If you didn’t find them jumping on the trampoline together, you’d find them cooling off with a game of monopoly deal. There was even a night where all the adults were ready for bed and the house rang with the kids laughter.


While we were in her home, Carmen and her daughter made breakfast and lunches for us, and to say they were tasty would be an understatement. Rice and beans is a staple dish here, and to watch them grind the coconut, to add to the rice was amazing. We watched while they made tortillas and fried up plantain.


Carmen’s husband even took the time to take Marco out to cut a piece of sugarcane and gave us each a bit to try.


Marco decided to tell us about the sugar cane.


All in all, our experiences in Xaibe was genuinely fantastic. Our time in Mexico was great, but to be able to live as the locals do is a different experience altogether, one that my whole family would recommend.

Marco, Mateo, and Daniela have now given Carmen a new name, Abuelita 2.0. If you know my kids, you know that is probably the highest compliment they could have given her.

Thanks for reading and happy adventuring.

Next up: The Belize Zoo

We just arrived from: Bacalar, Mexico