This was our first cruise where we booked excursions prior to departure. One of the excursions we decided on was the Belize City & Rum Factory Tour offered through Way to Go Tours. Besides our snorkeling adventure in Cozumel, this was our most favorite tour. Our goal was to break up our excursions; we had snorkeled the first day in Cozumel and were planning for more sun in Roatan. It was hot in Belize so it helped that we were in an air conditioned vehicle the entire time, except for our stop at the Rum Tour. I took so many notes while on our tour because our guide gave us so much information. So. Much. Information. If you want a tour where you can travel around the city, seeing things you wouldn’t normally see and interacting with people you wouldn’t normally come across, then this tour is for you. The rum is a bonus. By far this was one of the best tours in Belize.
The Belize City Tour
The pickup spot was just outside the cruise terminal and our wait was short. Our whole tour group was only about ten of us so we all fit comfortably in the van. As we walked to the van, our guide, Cardinal, immediately started pointing out some of the beautiful plants that lined the walkway. One of them was called the Twelve O’clock plant. Mostly found in the rain forest, this plant has medicinal properties that promote sleep. The leaves are ‘alive’ and react when being touched, similar to a Venus Fly Trap. We then caught a rare glimpse of a HUGE lizard basking in the sun on a rock near the water. We loaded in the van and headed for the City!
Cardinal did not stop talking and it was definitely a good thing! He shared so many things that we would have NEVER learned while on our short time in port. If I could list it all, I would but that would be a very long history lesson! What I will say is there is an enormous amount of history that lives here, dating back thousands of years. (more to come on history of Belize!) Cardinal took us by the current Prime Minister’s home, the park where Charles Lindbergh landed and passed many schools. Our city tour wound through the heart of the city, neighborhoods, cemeteries (build smack dab in the middle of a highway!) and our last stop was at the Rum Factory.
The Rum Factory
The Traveler’s Liquor Rum Factory was small, but again full of rich history on the rum trade in Belize. Cardinal was our main guide through the factory and it was evident that he was not only a passionate Belizean but an incredibly well versed historian as well. The rum factory is where they make, bottle and sell rum. They had several different kinds, from mixing rum to top shelf rum and even a 15-year aged rum for sale. During the tour, Cardinal shared which rums were best for mixing and sipping. They also had rum tasting and for a $1 you can get two tastings of any kind you want, except don’t expect to taste the 15-year. It’s an expensive rum and can only be tasted if you buy the bottle. We left with the 5 year and 15 year rum. Jacob loved both; I preferred the 5-year over the 15-year.
On our way back to the cruise terminal, Cardinal found a roadside vendor selling fresh coconut water. He made a u-turn so we could stop and taste fresh Belizean coconut water. It was delicious! Definitely refreshing on a hot and humid day! Coconut water is the best hydration, even better than water so it’s available on just about every street corner in Belize. Winding through highways divided by cemeteries, we were headed back to the cruise terminal.
Our Review: Book This Tour
We couldn’t have asked for a better tour guide than Cardinal. He was passionate, knowledgeable and a true historian. He could have just as easily drove us to major landmarks and left it at that. Every place we drove past had a story and he shared it. I highly recommend this tour and for the prices that are advertised, it is worth every penny and more. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to hear more on the history of Belize! This will be our featured country in our January issue!