There are many reasons for coming to The Trek Stop, a backpacker classic just across the river from the Xunantunich pyramid, on the road to Guatemala. There are the homey little cabins which, at US$10 a night, are the cheapest, best-value accommodations in the country. There is the lush setting, wildlife, and open air hang spaces in which I’ve done so much typing, reading, and chatting; there’s the nine-hole jungle disk golf course; the Tropical Wings Nature Center and Butterfly House; there is wireless internet in my open-air “office.” There are Trek Stop creators John and Judy Yaeger (pictured above) who are nothing less than family to me (along with Tino, Flora, Marta, and Rogelio). But the best part about the Trek Stop is the opportunity to meet travelers from all over the world, who are in Belize for all kinds of reasons, and by all kinds of means.
Take Jess Sullivan and Adam Tinkle. They decided to come to Belize during their semester off â€” so they drove here from Portland, Maine! After two months crossing the US and Mexico, they arrived in Belize a few days ago, then after celebrating Jess’ birthday at the Belize Zoo, they made a beeline for the Trek Stop. Jess and Adam are also voluntourists, having worked with Heifer International for a few weeks in California and next week, are going to spend a week on an organic farm as part of the WWOOFER program.
As for me, I arrive at the Trek Stop to relax, catch up on my notes, and spend time with the folks. My first day, Jess and Adam show up and we chat while they set up their tent. The next morning, another couple, Paul and Sue, roll in, canoe on top of their vehicle, looking for another tent site. These crazy Canucks drove here from Alberta, down the entire Pacific Coast, and have been paddling and bopping around Belize for weeks.
I pump all four of my fellow Trek Stoppers for details about their drive: price of insurance at the Belize border, how they dealt with the hucksters there, did they have to get the car sprayed, etc. I’m also curious about their budget â€” after some figuring (over beers and jungle juice), Sue says they’ve spent an average of US$66/day for both of them for everything. That’s gas, camping, food (both couples cook most of their own meals), the odd trip or canoe shuttle, and other random expenses. Pretty damn good.
Then another group shows up from Guatemala: eight women on a 17-day GAP Adventure. They’re bound for Caye Caulker after a cave trip and some horseback riding.
The other thing all these travelers have in common besides choosing the Trek Stop: they’re all carrying Moon Handbooks Belize. Word.