One of my first impressions was simply awe at the natural beauty and numerous wonders of Belize. I loved drawing and painting my surroundings, especially all of the beautiful wildlife that I was able to see. However,  the best part of all was the snorkeling. 

We went on 2-3 hour group snorkels in the mornings, and it was almost like a “Ocean hike” through the sea, looking at all the amazing coral structures and colorful fish. The fish didn’t even seem to mind us, I was able to get so close to many of them, and I ended up with some incredible pictures. I cannot describe how beautiful everything was. When the sunlight hit the coral just right, it was like I was in a real life desktop background. It was hard to believe it was even real, that something like this could exist, and that I was getting to see it.

It’s amazing how fast we all learned the names of the fish and the corals, by the end of the trip I could confidently identify almost every species I saw. Several things I saw were “bucket list” items for me. I have always wanted to see a wild sea turtle, and not only did I see one, I saw at least five different turtles throughout the trip, a total of 3 different species. We also got to see many sharks and stingrays! I know that might sound scary, but sharks and rays are just as scared of you as you are of them. Most of the sharks we saw were also nurse sharks, which can’t really hurt you.