I do want to write something about our trip. We were at the beach, but in the southern part of Belize--60% of the tourists go to the northern coast. The resort where we stayed had 8 cabins and was located in the hamlet of Maya Beach about 10 miles north of the town of Placentia. Placentia is at the southern tip of a peninsula served only by a dirt road. At our resort, there was special tap in each kitchen dispensing filtered rainwater, which they told us we could drink and we did. The rest of the water, including the showers, was groundwater and was brown and smelled distinctly like a swamp. There was indeed a long white beach right outside our front doors, and you could walk along it for miles, but it was narrow. Walking out in the water the bottom was sandy for a while, but became grassy maybe 50 feet out, before the water was waist deep. The food was of some local interest, but not plentiful or much variety.
The people were very friendly. Belize is much less poor than the countries around it, in fact the workers at the banana plantations in Belize come from Guatemala. Because Belize was isolated by its barrier reef, it ended up a British colony and has a large Afro-Caribbean population. Other people we talked to described themselves as Mayans. The area where we were was on its way to rapid development, although I think that will only happen if the road gets paved and the telephone service upgraded (the resort where we were said they could only get one phone line).
Guides took us on trips up a river to see howler monkeys, to the Jaguar preserve, and to the Mayan ruins at Xunantunich. Our favorite guide was Dwayne of Joy Tours.