This past week we returned to Cayo Espanto in Belize. This is our 4th time visiting, be sure to read our previous posts about our experiences. The best thing about this trip Is that nothing has changed, Cayo still provides excellent service and food.

The beginning of the trip was rough, super rough! American Airlines issued a travel alert for our flight due to winter storms. We opted to move up our departure to Miami a day early. The problem was there were no flights to Miami, so we had to fly to Fort Meyers Florida, rent a car, and drive to Miami at midnight. American Airlines decided to kick us off our connecting flight from Miami to Belize since it was oversold and put us on a later flight. After much back and forth with American Airline (even after we returned from the trip), they admitted this should not have happened and provided some compensation. Nothing can compensate for the anxiety!

We packed our bags early, and checked on traffic. Of course there was an accident on the turnpike causing issues, and President Biden was in Philly at the time too. We left early and let Waze guide us as it thought best. We arrived at the airport and as we tried to check in at the airport we ran into a problem. AA messed up moving our flight segments and didn’t connect them together. I have no idea what any of it meant, but Gloria could not check us in. She called someone at a call center, spent 25 minutes explaining and being put on hold only to be told no, can’t be fixed. Gloria was super annoyed and talked to her manager Wendy, who helped fix the issue in 5 minutes.

Since we were so early, we went to Concourse A to go up to the Centurion Lounge. Boy was It packed. We were told we might not find two seats together. Covid protocols are non existent here anymore. There is a help yourself buffet with shared utensils to get food and the seats were crammed together. We had some chicken, rice, and cookies. I feel like seats were closer together now than before the pandemic.

Because of the last minute change, my wife and I got bulkhead seats so I was worried about bin space for my camera bag. I had to be one of those people who stalk the front of the gate for boarding. Super annoying, but I was already stressed to the max from the earlier events. We also were separated on different sides of the aisle, but we worked it out with the friendly passengers.

As the time approached for our flight, I started to worry our flight to fort myers would be delayed due to bad weather in Florida. We taxied forever and took off 30 minutes late. Of course the pilot said we would make up time in the air. This always reminds me of the Seinfeld episode about them flying as fast as they can all the time!

As I started writing this on our first flight, I realize I didn’t take pictures of anything so far except the Centurion Entrance, which was a poor shot anyway. I think I was just so stressed out from all thing we had to go through. We just ate a asparagus salad with potatoes, blue cheese, and a desert cake. Forgot that picture too!

We landed around 11pm. We quickly headed to Hertz rental car since both Avis and National did not have one way rentals to Miami available. The drive to Miami was a long straight flat drive on 75 south to miami. It only took about 2 hours and we arrived at 1:30 am. Straight to bed as we were exhausted.

Apparently my lack of photos continue, no pictures of the hotel room or breakfast. We had a Buffet breakfast with eggs, muffins, bagels, etc. We waited about 2 hours and headed to drop off the rental car and go to the airport. Our hotel was only 2 miles from the airport.

The Checkin was chaos at Miami D concourse. We could barely walk through the crowds. We found the Precheck lane, breezed through and went straight to the Centurion lounge.

And to continue the travel misery, our Belize flight was delayed 35 minutes. They said the pilot was coming in on other flight. Delay after delay. 1:45p. Then 2p. Finally wheels up at 2:38 pm. We actually departed 5 minutes before the flight we were previously on (that AA kicked us off) which was supposed to have left at noon.

We landed at 3:30p and headed to immigration. This was by far our worst arrival experience in Belize. There were six commercial flights that have recently arrived. The line at Immigration took over an hour. It was chaos with no order and no actual lines in the beginning. One line would move much faster than the other. Of course we were in “the other” line. Once we got through, we started all over in the declare goods line.

It was about 4:52pm when we made it though and met with Emilio, our guide that would take us to our helicopter. There was a bit of panic and urgency in his demeanor. He explained the Pilot cannot leave after 5pm as it would be too dark to return, and he was running us to the helicopter as he is calling the Pilot. We made it with less than 5 minutes to spare. I have a photo of us taking off at exactly 5pm.

Cayo Espanto Island
Cayo Espanto Island

We were greeted by Rosita as always, and our housemen Carlos and Ronnie provided us with some signature Espanto Wave drinks. We scheduled our dinner and headed to our room to start relaxing.

After dinner, we were exhausted and went to bed. Apparently the storm from Miami caught up to us and there was insane wind all night. It was making the metal villa doors bang around and was near impossible to sleep. The nights improved a lot after this noisy night.

On our first full day, we saw an osprey fly over during breakfast. On our second day, we saw two fly over and I got some good pictures. It kept getting better because we were visited by Yellow Warblers, Yellow-throated Warblers, and a Hooded Oriole! At 4:30pm, I left for a boat trip to some small islands where birds are nested. You can see the post about the boat trip here.

The first full day was also our 13th Wedding Anniversary which was recognized by Carlos and Ronnie, as always. We had another amazing dinner setup.

The food continued to be amazing. Here are some pictures of our meals during our stay.

I asked Carlos if there were any other types of beers available besides Lighthouse and Belikin. He said that they would pick up some new local types from the main island and present them tomorrow. Sure enough, this arrived the next day.

On our 3rd day, it was starting to get hotter, and the wind was reduced to almost nothing. The 4th day even hotter. For the first time ever, they put out a blower fan for me. I didn’t ask for it, so I must have looked as hot as I felt. I definitely struggled through the day as there was little relief from the heat until sundown.

The property is still amazing and the lunch and dinner locations continue to impress us.

And just like that, our trip is over. Our flight left on time to Miami, but our Miami to Philly flight was delayed about 2 hours. We got home in the early hours on Friday.

Photos from trips to Cayo Espanto, Belize