It was another
blue ski sunny day in Belize City. The taxis were ferrying about
their passengers to points unknown. The locals were on their
way out for the morning shopping or the job. A handful of tourist
were standing on the corner at the swinging bridge with their
guidebook in hand trying desperately to determine their next
I have just returned by way of the 6:30am first water taxi
of the day following a relaxing week on the island of Caye Caulker.
As I walked out the door from the marine terminal, I immediately
cut a deal with an aging man leaning against a station wagon
he used as a taxi. Seconds later I was on my way to the Belize
City Municipal Airport.
It’s less than ten minutes by taxi from the marine terminal
to the airport. The ride is a pleasant one as it takes you along
the newly constructed sea front are, then by the Princess Hotel
and Casino, then down a few side streets and you’re there.
Once inside the Maya Island
Air terminal, a modern comfortable building with a passenger’s
lounge area complete with a television. At the counter I queried
the clerk regarding the next flight to Punta Gorda. As luck
would have it I had just enough time to catch the next flight.
I paid my the one way ticket fare of US$88.00 and within ten
minutes my luggage and I were onboard the 8am flight.
From Belize City the plane headed south along the shoreline.
The first stop was Dangriga where two men got off while one
local lady and two backpackers with floppy hats and Teva sandals
got on. The turnaround on the ground in Dangriga was less than
Soon after we were once again airborne. From Dangriga the flight
headed a little inland. In the distance you could easily make
out Victoria Peak, some say the highest peak in the Maya Mountains
range. As I was looking off into the distance I realized we
were banking again and heading for another landing. This time
we were arriving into the Savannah Airport at Big Creek near
the village of Independence. The Belizean lady that had boarded
in Dangriga departed.
With no other passengers to board in Big Creek, my fellow passengers
were up and away in seconds. And just as quick as we were up
we were again heading back down. This time the pilot was aiming
for a thin strip of runway. As we flew low over the water you
could see over the pilots shoulder that at the other end of
the runway separated only by a stretch of dirt road was water.
We had now parked at the terminal in Placencia. Everyone on
the plane offloaded except me and the pilot. I then asked if
a I could sit in the co-pilot seat and the pilot said “yes
After about ten minutes on the ground in Placencia, we taxied
down the runway and headed off again into the wild blue yonder.
The flight further south to the last outpost in Belize took
about fifteen minutes. Down below the pilot pointed out Monkey
River and the village of Monkey River Town. Soon after over
to the left he pointed out the Snake Cayes and then the idyllic
paradise of Moho Caye.
As we made the approach to Punta Gorda the pilot pointed out
the Golden Stream and the Rio Grande River that drained into
the Port of Honduras marine Reserve. We hard bank to the left
we landed into the Punta Gorda Airport exactly one hour and
twenty after we departed Belize City.