Ambergris Cay, Belize
We loved the quaintness of the island. The locals are almost indifferent to you, there were no street peddlers. Not that they were not nice. We just felt safe there. Plus, by day 2 we were drinking the water and eating at hole-in-the-wall shops on one of the back streets, and we were fine. IT's supposed to be very sanitary there. So, go to the hole-in-the-wall restuarants, you get a MUCH better deal (I think it was like $4 for a huge lobster burrito we got at one place). Get some roasted chicken at the vendor on the street (delicious). THis is just a very relaxing town, we didn't feel out of our element at all. And visit the bakery on the very north of the island, you can get there by bike or go cart.
Fondest memory: Snorkeling on a private island on a day trip with sting rays. The guides cooked lunch for us (fish and plantains over open fire) on the island. On the way back we were in middle of the ocean and all of a sudden you see this house on stilts with 2 fisherman, but there is no land in sight! they were fishing on one of the bars. It looked so crazy. Wish I had my camera.
If you are only going to parasail once, and that was enough for me [boring], the clear waters of Belize is the place to go. Visibility is so great that you can really see the underwater life and of course the reef. The reef off of Belize is the second longest in the world. See it from above and then go diving or snorkeling to enjoy up close.
Fondest memory: The people are friendly and helpful. The island seemed to be full of characters right out of Jimmy Buffet story. Take the time to hang out at any of the local restaurants, watering holes to chat up the locals and numerous expats who've settled here. They rate up there with the classic tall tale tellers of all time and are always good for entertaining conversation.
On News Years Eve my dad, brother and a couple other guys chartered a fishing boat and went out fishing in the reef off Ambergris Key. They caught so much that they gave most of the fish to the drivers to sell to the local restaurants, but they came with quite a catch (excuse the the lame pun, but I HAD too!) For dinner that night we BBQed all of the fish in a pit in the sand with some tin foil, some one had some bread, some one went to a local store and bought a prepared salad and the little grass hut outside our inn provided the drinks. Although people were paying $20 a plate in resturaunts around the island, I think we ate the best.
It took quite a bit of lounging in a hammock by the lapping ocean before we were able to make it out to the clubs to celebrate the New Year, but we summoned our strength tossed some fresh flowers in our hair and hit the town. Although I wouldn't characterize the caye as 'the place to party' it definitely worked out that night!
Favorite thing: I can't say it enough times, get to know the people of Belize. I have been visiting Ambergris for 3 years now-ever since I was 13. Maybe as a teenager, it is easier for me to make new friends. I keep in touch with people I met on my first trip down there-and I make new friends every time I go down.
Favorite thing: San Pedro - Ambergis Key. Good base for diving, snorkelling, chilling on the beach. You can also arrange for inland activities from here but I think it's cheaper if you're actually going to be inland to do it from there.
San Pedro town, a fantastic place to relax. Dirt streets lined with small cafes and shops. Dive shops on every corner and the friendlist people I have ever met. You must go diving or at least snorkel.
Fondest memory: The most memorable thing is the genuine friendly people.
Sit and enjoy the very sounds around you-the surf, the birds, and the lack of motors on the cayes. Enjoy the beauty around you.
I just found a new web site which is very helpful about Ambergris-very well done. It is www.ambergriscaye.com/pages/town.html
Stay in San Pedro & do some diving. Go on all day dives & have a lobster lunch(in season of course.)
also travel inland to San Ignacio & visit the Mayan ruins.
Fondest memory: The whole trip is a fond memory. I have been twice & itching to go back. There are very few time schedules to deal with.
Fondest memory: The main walk of San Pedro is three blocks deep maybe eight blocks Wide with the beach being very walkable, both directions leading to resort's.
The town of San Pedro feels safe, looks quaint , and tastes a little dusty , from the dirt roads.
Of the few street vendors you'll see most are selling to the townspeople of San Pedro .