Eating good food is one of my favorite things in life, so anytime I find spots worth recommending I do so with a great deal of pleasure. One such spot exists every night in the main square across the street from Jaguar's Temple Bar. Burritos, rice and stewed chicken, tacos etc. it's all here minus the pretensions that exist in some restaurants. I can't suggest any one vendor as I'm sure their booths change places from time to time, just follow your nose and don't be afraid to ask questions. These people take great pride in their food and in my experience, they really enjoyed talking about their various dishes.
Oh. and the food is super super cheap.
For about $30-40, including snorkel gear, park fees, and tour fee, you can snorkel for a half day.... Usually, they split it between Hol Chans A site, and the D site (shark alley).... Its incredible... We actually saw more sharks at the first stop, but at Shark alley, they put down a feeding tube which attracted a swarm of various marine life, not limited to sharks and rays...
Dont miss this... its by far some of the best snorkeling ive ever done... Sharks, rays, baracudas, an overwhelming spectrum of fish..... its a truley amazing experience... there is no reason to fear the sharks, as nurse sharks are as docile as an old hound, and as skitish as cats....though bull and hammer heads are known to lurk around the island, we didnt see any and are supposedly rare enough at Hol Chan.... If your in Belize, dont leave without doing a little snorkeling off the Cayes....
After enjoying your private section of beach on the North Island, walk the pier to the Palapa Bar. Climb upstairs to the bar, order a Belikin, then grab a seat and gaze at the turquoise water. If you look off in the distance, you can see wear the waves break off the reef. Look down and you may see some rays or other beautiful fish. Absolutely breathtaking.
Although pricey ($135 US + tips), the long trip to Lamanai on the mainland was well worth it. You take a boat to the mainland, get in a van and drive on a bumpy path, then get on another boat to take you up the New River to the lagoon at Lamanai. It's long, but you see a lot. You get up close to the mangrove trees and get to see a ton of birds (if your group are "birders" like mine was). We was 61 different species of birds during the trip.
As previously mentioned, rent a bike and ride it up to the North Island. You'll cross the Split via a hand-drawn trolley (an experience in itself - $2 BZ round-trip), then head down the path 'til you get half-way. The road splits left to go farther or right towards Palapa Bar. There is a path along the coast, but it's hard to ride 'cause of the sand. You can walk it from there. You'll have the whole coast pretty much to yourself. And the view of the water is simply amazing.
Now we are back on the speed boat heading back to San Pedro. Do you remember those mangos that was bought from the lady on the road? Well, courtesy of our captain and co-captain, they were used to make mango daiquiri's. They were sooooooo gggggggggggggggoooooooooodddddddddd.
Hence the happy faces!
If you're afraid of heights DO NOT CLIMB THE RUINS!!!! We were stuck on this narrow stairway for 10 minutes because a few people were afraid to go down. Going up isn't bad at all, but going down is extremely steep, so be careful.
Gettiing to Altun Ha wasn't easy, but it was OH, SO MUCH FUN!!! In order to get there, we had to take several means of transportation. It consisted of first, taking a speed boat through the mangroves to Bomba village and then a bus ride to the ruin. We were picked up on the dock in front of our condo-hotel by SEArious Tours. Carlos and José introduced themselves as our guides and then we zipped off and zig zagged our way through the mangroves. It was interesting to see the color change of the water. Not to mention the color changes of the few people who got sea sick. You went from being able to see the bottom to not seeing anything at all. En route, we encountered, Howler Monkeys, tons of mosquitos, birds, iguanas and various orchids. Awaiting our arrival in Bomba Village, a green school bus took us on a very bumpy bus ride through various little villages. As we were driving along, one of my guests noticed a woman selling mangos on the side of the road. She kindly asked that our bus driver stop so that she could buy some mangos and he did. She bought all the mangos that the woman had. The woman was quite surprise and very grateful. We continued our bumpy bus ride and finally reached Altun Ha.
JUST A LITTLE HINT: Eat breakfast before you leave or you will be very hungry. And most importantly, go to the bathroom!!!!!!!
After visiting Altun Ha, we got back on the bus and went to Maruba Spa and Resort for lunch (this is where I had the"jungle rat"). It was really nice, but infested with mosquitos. So, if you decide to go, BRING LOTS OF REPELLANT WITH DEET AND BRING AT LEAST TWO BOTTLES!!!! You may think, I'm joking but I'm not. Those Mosquitos are vicious. I used up a whole bottle on my skin. Everyone was itching for the rest of the trip.
If you can manage to ignore the mosquitos that are sucking on your neck, this place is truely exotic and relaxing. The bathrooms are a real treat. Gotta see them.
Most of our guests are now drunk. Needless to say, we had a very comical bus ride. They really enjoyed us. I'm glad we were able to make them laugh. But unfortunately, I can't tell you what happened. We took a pack....what happens in Belize stays in Belize
We saw this creature in Bomba Village. It was kept as a pet, but it can be eaten. I forget the real name of it, but it's nickname the jungle rat. NO!!! It's not really a rat. It's good too, I tried it for lunch!!!!
If you're looking for a nice day trip, this is definately worth it. I think Altun Ha is one of the smaller ruins, but it does have character. In order to get there from Ambergris Caye, we took a boat to the village of Bomba and then a bus ride in order to reach Altun Ha.
While at Bomba Village we were able to shop for wood artifacts and to see how they make these things from trees. The amazing things is, it's all done by hand!!!!
One benefit of being woken up at 4:30 am by the local fisherman is that you are up in time to watch the sun rise. It's beautiful to see the sun light up the morning sky.
This is a picture of us and all of our guests, with the exception of four people who weren't up for the hike.
I was sitting on top of the ruin when I took this picture, it was sureal. Just to think, the Mayans did this without machinery. Go Mayans!!!