Please Belize Me: Ten Reasons to Put Ambergris Caye on Travel List
After a year of procrastination and poor planning, Belize finally made it on my to do list in 2018. I was fortunate that my friend Stephanie was not only celebrating another year of life, but picked the island of Ambergris Caye to bring current and former Chicago friends to do it in. She especially needed to make up for her missing our trip to Colombia in 2016 and this was the perfect time to do it.
I had previously heard nothing but great things about Belize and its island or caye (pronounced key) of Ambergris. I stayed in Belize City by myself for a day but to be honest, you can skip it. I don't feel as though myself or the group missed much by heading stratght over to Ambergris. A brief cab ride from Belize City airport, we boarded the ferry for the two hour ride to San Pedro, Ambergris for a vacation of relaxation and bonding, and of course supreme levels of turn up. We aren't new to this but very true to this meaning that we also boarded the ferry with 30+ bottles of champagne, whiskey, and coconut rum to be devoured during our five day stay. It took me a solid week to recover from the turmoil caused in Belize if we are being honest. I have the worst kind of amazing friends.
Over our short stint on the island, we did a lot because, well, that is who we are. We booked an amazing house via Homeaway (I can refer you) that was on our own island and included a driver to take us back and forth to the main island. We were also more than blessed to have an in-house chef that cooked us two meals a day that might have been some of the best food that I have ever had in my life, hands down. Everything about the country was beautiful. The people were more than welcoming, the drinks were strong, and the bond we built stronger. Here are ten reasons why San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize should be on your to do list in 2018
Flights may be pricey depending on where you are coming from, but once on the island you have a lot of room to have a budget trip. The exchange rate of Belize is $0.50 for every 1 Belize Dollar. The food/alcohol was very affordable. Even with the day that I had five cocktails and a full meal my tab was only $60. Most places take cards so money conversion wasn't even needed. The excursions are also price pretty well and a number of place offer great discounts for group rates as well.
Even though the food is cheap, the quality doesn't decline with the price. Entire Lobster meals were bought for under $30 USD. They bring in the seafood fresh every morning and even are able to pick out what you want by the pound for restaurants to cook it. Even the street vendors had tacos, bbq, and more that were full of flavor and great portion sizes for $5 USD. Each of the restaurants we visited had an extensive drink menu with specialty island flavors and liquors. Pro tip: Get the Panty Ripper but don't drink more than four. By #3 we were calling them panty droppers and slightly hazy. After four I am not sure how I lived the next day to tell any story. A filthy banana also has to be on your list of must haves.
There are a few hotels/resorts on the island that you can opt for, but go big or go home. As mentioned prior, we booked a house that was on it's own private island that had staff and private pool. The house was gorgeous, comfortable and great for large groups. I've recommended it to several people so far.
The island has a little bit of everything to build the trip that you want it to be. From massages by the sea and yoga to parasailing and flying over the Great Blue Hole, you can do as much or as little as you and/or your friends want tot do. After our morning massages and exploring the city, we did a sunset cruise with dinner and open bar that was a perfect mix of relaxation and turn up for us.
Belize is a beautiful country period. The turquoise water will draw you in bask in it. Visit the Cockscomb Wildlife Preserve which is the only Jaguar Preserve in the world, Great Blue Hole, Crocodile Education Sanctuary, or take a hike to take it all in.
Because Belize is the cradle of Mayan civilization but was once conquered by Spain, there is a mix of different cultures of people. To this day you can visit the Mayan Ruins there. Although that English is the official language, Kriol (Belizean Creole) is the most diverse language on the island.
If you have a time frame for extended travel, you can also get to other places such as Tulum, Cancun, Honduras and more. You can country hop from one location.
Although Ambergris and Caye Caulker are the more popular touristy islands, there are several options available to visit for a vastly different experience. Tobacco Caye, Glover's Reef Atoll, and South Water Caye are also ones that are known for travel but not as much because of size/lack of night life, etc but great adventure style activities. South Water specifically is great for travelers seeking solace and relaxation.
Outside of the not so secret Secret Beach, there are several smaller beaches that boast privacy, clean sand, and clear water all over the island that are the prefect golf cart trip or quick boat taxi ride to another side of the island.
If you go to Belize for this reason alone, it will be worth it. Ask around the island and people know who he is. If you stay in a rental property, please make sure you get him to cook you at least one meal. You won't regret it. HE MADE BREAD FROM SCRATCH IN FRONT OF US MAN
To get access to my FREE Belize Travel Guide, hit my resource library for information to download on things to know before you go, restaurants, activities, and more for Caye Caulker and Ambergris caye. If you aren't a memeber of the #BontheGeaux Community, sign up below to get access to other travel guides, packing lists and more.