A Private Island AirBnb in Belize during Covid
Updated: Mar 16, 2021
In addition to the number of Covid protocols to gain access and stay as a tourist in Belize, we decided it would be extra vigilant to stay somewhere as remote as possible - the less people, the better. After an extensive web search, we found Little Peter Oasis, a private island rental for 2-4 people, 25 minutes off the coast of Hopkins in the southern region of Belize. Have a read of our blog on Planning a Covid Safe Journey to Belize.
The island rental came complete with return airport transfer from the local airstrip in Dangriga to the Hopkins marina, a boat transfer to and from the island, and island staff consisting of a concierge, grounds keeper and a chef who prepared three locally sourced meals a day, along with local beer, spirits and wine. Straight away we knew this was the place for our first international holiday since the pandemic, and so, we promptly booked it, with fingers crossed all would go well.
We were well prepared to meet all of the entry criteria and quickly made our way through customs and passport control to check in for our commuter flight to Dangriga in a dangerously small prop plane. The fifteen minute flight from Belize International Airport to the Dangriga airstrip was unnerving, but at least we were able to take in gorgeous views of the Belizean coast from about 10,000 feet in the air.
The prop plane touched down on an airstrip flanked by lush jungle, where we were simply handed our luggage as we disembarked down a rickety mobile staircase and made our way to an arrivals hall resembling a small hotel room. Here, our island concierge had arranged a transfer to the nearby marina in Hopkins. We took in local history as we passed through small and underdeveloped, yet intriguing towns, adorned with brightly colored stilted homes and the vibrant, diverse local population. Our driver, Manny, pointed out an array of fruit farms as we passed through exuberant agricultural sections on our drive, realizing that practically every type of tropical fruit is grown in abundance in Belize. After about an hour, we arrived at the marina situated on the Sittee River with access to the Caribbean just past the popular town of Hopkins. The island staff greeted us and we introduced ourselves as they quickly loaded us and our luggage onto the small speed boat, preparing for the journey ahead.
It was a ten minute boat ride along the Sitee River, surrounded by luscious mangroves and topped off with a lucky sighting of a Manatee. Once we reached the open sea the waters got a bit rough as we passed by various islands, both developed and uninhabited, arriving finally to our very own island after about 25 minutes on the open water.
We were greeted by the grounds keeper, a mint chilled towel to wipe away the sea salt and a delightfully suiting rum cocktail. We embarked on a tour of the tiny island we’d call home for a week - complete with an overwater bungalow perched on a 30 foot deep blue lagoon surrounded by coral reef, a beach area on the west side of the island for prime sunset viewing and the staff quarters set just beyond the pier on the south side of the island. In addition, we took in other features such as the firepit area walled in massive conch shells, a hammock relaxation space under one of many palm cabanas and a quick overview of the snorkel and kayaking gear.
After our tour we leisurely made our way to the balcony overlooking the lagoon to take in swaying views of the Caribbean, without a neighbor in sight and sunk into the reality after nine hours of travel, we’ve made it to our own private island.
Throughout our stay it was the island staff that really made our experience special - from a dedicated menu filled with locally sourced seafood and farm fresh fruit and veg, to demonstrating how to deshell a conch for our dinner, along with tours to Belize’s barrier reef, excursions to the Mayan ruins of Xunantunich, chauffeuring us around to surrounding islands and sorting out a Covid test for us before we headed home - the staff were simply stellar.
One of the absolute highlights of the trip came on our last day when we ended a day of island hopping to go lobster hunting among a local reef. We both had a go, but it was impossible to spot the lobster on the reef, it took a real pro not only to spot them, but to also use the spear gun underwater. With that, we left it to Manny, a man of many hats on the island, and in a matter of time he had brought back four lobsters to the boat. Later that evening, the staff surprised us by setting up a dining experience on the west side of the island during sunset. Under the fading light we enjoyed wine sourced by the chef, fresh conch calamari to start, and filet with lobster caught that day.
We had an absolutely wonderful and unforgettable time during our stay on Little Peter Oasis. The dedicated staff make every step a breeze from the time we touched down in Belize until we departed the beautiful Caribbean nation. It’s a long journey from California, but the value and experience are second to none and you can book your stay directly on Airbnb.