Traveler Review – Ambergris Caye, Belize

Having been to many spots in Mexico, our group of friends decided we needed to branch out. With 9 personalities in play, we somehow landed on Ambergris Caye, Belize, and we’re sure glad we did! Everything about the place had personality. 

The laid-back, easy-goers loved the casual atmosphere of San Pedro and the quiet beaches, piers and hammocks while looking out across the second longest barrier reef in the world. San Pedro had all the beautifully colored buildings and beachfront restaurants and bars that you’d expect from a Caribbean paradise – but none of the pretense. Our homebase for the week was north of town and only accessible by water taxi, foot, bike or golf cart. It was quiet, but not isolated.  A short walk brought you to excellent bars and restaurants, each with an awesome rum punch recipe. We opted for dinner at “home,” poolside, a few nights and the provisions from the local grocery (delivered, thank you very much) were fantastic!   

The adventurers among us found amazing dive masters for our first real SCUBA trip at Chuck and Robbie’s. One blew air bubble “smoke rings” at 40 feet and the other dove with a baseball cap. 

Another excursion brought the crew to the Mayan ruins of Lamanai located deep in the jungles of mainland Belize. The “commute” to the ruins was scenic enough, but the birds, wildlife and view from the top were even more amazing. We snorkeled with sharks and pet (yes, touched!) stingrays in the world’s most amazing nature preserve, Hol-Chan. They feel like wet mousepads, BTW. 

And we had the most unique adventures with the local fishing guide who we kept busy for three straight days! We fished the most remote and beautiful shoreline for bonefish – and caught a huge barracuda. We took him up on his offer to show us his favorite kind of fishing, night fishing for grouper – and we caught huge SHARKS! We also took up the first mate on his offer to take us on his favorite kind of fishing trip: spearfishing  – which most tourists aren’t privileged enough to experience. We got fresh lobster and did some free diving for conch. Let’s just say our shore lunch was not the usual Minnesota fare: conch ceviche, grilled lobster. Yum! 

The nightlifers and foodies were satisfied, too. During the day, johnnycakes, fry tacos and ceviche were a hit. At night, it was all about rum punches and Belikin (the locally brewed beer). We even found a hopping Midwest Super Bowl party, thousands of miles from Green Bay. 

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