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Reagan1k

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Belize / Ambergris Caye

Jet is still alive and kicking in the bar/grill at BZE Airport.

The Truck Stop on Ambergris Caye is pretty cool and the food is good.

Secret Beach isn't a secret anymore - the road there is a beating but the beach is awesome.  Eclectic gathering of people with 3-4 bar/grills open now.

Elvi's Kitchen fried chicken is damn good.

Hidden Treasure's sounds like a scrip club but is a damn fine restaurant if you can find it.

New Palapa Bar is bigger....not sure if that makes it better but the food is still good and the atmosphere is cool.  Still has that new feeling but that'll wear off soon.

Ak'Bol Yoga Retreat has a great breakfast on the beach....no yoga required.

DandE's ice cream hasn't changed and that's good.  Stop in for a visit with some old ex-pats and good desert when in town.

 

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 Do experiences from decades ago still mean a shit?

 

1) Belikin Beer isn't great but beats tap water.

2) Avoid fer-de-lance and bushmasters at all cost.

3) From San Pedro, take one of those cheesy reef tours to the Hol-Chan Marine Reserve and snorkel your lungs out. More than anything else, the memories from this will remain precious and vivid for the rest of your life.

4) Belize City is (was?) a dump, but the bus-stop sausage vendors in Belmopan are legit. Same for the little taco stands.

5) Budget enough time for a trip inland to see the Mayan ruins up north.

6) Drift a canoe down the Mopan, Macal, or Belize rivers. Admire the iguanas sunbathing overhead. Try to catch fish with hand-thrown lines and corncob bobbers.

7) Eva's Restaurant and Bar is San Ignacio is worth a stop.

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If you want a more secluded beachfront getaway with great hosts Barnacle Bill's Beach Bungalows is excellent. Just north of Placencia.

Belize1_006.jpgBelize1_012.jpg

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Whether it’s drinking a warm Dragon Stout at the falls on the mountain pine ridge, walking along the beach at Seine Bight, holding the mace in Belmopan, being jaguar bait near orange walk town, or just longing for another fun filled night in Chetumal... been there, done that.

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I've been to Belize twice. 

 August of 2017 by myself.  Got stuck due to hurricanes in Houston.  Stayed at the Blue Tang good spot.  Drank a ton.  Fished with Tino twice.  Did the Yolo.  Met lots of random Texans.  Did the chicken drop.   Drank some more but stay away from the local vodka. God awful.  It's Texas hot and dead in August but the flights are cheap and the water is still great.

January 2018 with a young lady.  Stayed at the Paradise Villas.  Good spot.  It rained a lot. Bought a bottle of Titos at the duty free.  Still fished with Tino.  Had a big cobia get away.  Plowed 31 yr old ass.  Snorkeled with Lil Alfonse.  Drank lots.  Did the chicken drop again.  Ate our caught snapper at Elvi's. 

 

 

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Robin's Kitchen is some legit jerk bbq.

Neri's tacos are great. Order 12 per person. That equals 2-3 normal size tacos.

Wild Mango's was the single best meal I had there.

Don't get shot. They love killing people there.

 

 

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Pro Tip: When you land in Belize City you go through customs then right back to the same gates for your puddle jumper. That leads you right past Duty Free where you can stock up for your stay.

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Went last March and stayed at an expat's complex (has like 5 other rooms besides there) called Twisted Palm Villas north of the bridge in San Pedro.  Highly recommend.

 

Now for the important. There's a spot called Dive Bar 2 houses down where the main bartender Tua will hook you up with green/white (those are drugs) and strippers. Fun bachelor party.

 

Did a catamaran tour where they take you to the snorkeling reef and another island.  The reef is dope. The other island is great and has good bars.

 

Wish I would have done more stuff in town rather than hang out north of the bridge on what I considered the expat part of town. Secret Beach was great, wasn't too much of a secret anymore but was not crowded in the least.

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Cave tubing is excellent.

Hol-Chan (as stated above) great snorkeling for beginners or experts

Shark Alley - kids dig it - do the combo trip with Hol-Chan.

El Pescador for the hard core fishing trip

Victoria House for couples

Grand Caribe for families or groups

Eats - 

Mambo, Portofino, Blue Water Grill  (I 2nd Wild Mangos  too - is close to BWG)

As I mentioned above, Hidden Treasures and Elvi's kitchen

There's a new sports bar/grill just north of the bridge - I forget the name but you can't miss it....built up in the air.  Lunch was pretty good.  Appeared to have a decent night time crowd.

If you 

2 hours ago, CooterBrown said:

Don't get shot. They love killing people there.

You taking about Belize City right?- Ambergris Caye and Palencia are very safe.  I wouldn't wander around Belize City but there is no reason to anyway.

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I've never been even a little nervous on Caye Caulker either.  You need to not be an idiot in Belize City, but once you get to the islands it's perfectly safe.

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Same - 100x more likely to get carjacked at a stoplight on Broadway getting to Hobby than you are having an issue on C.C, A.C, or Palencia.

 

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Lots of great suggestions above, I would only add a day-trip to ATM cave near Belmopan is well worth it. Hike for about 45 minutes then spend 1-2 hours wandering through an amazing cave with 1,500 year old pottery intact (and the main attraction, a human skeleton possibly used in a sacrifice).

Hol Chan snorker, Belekin Stout...ye

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4 hours ago, Reagan1k said:

 

You taking about Belize City right?- Ambergris Caye and Palencia are very safe.  I wouldn't wander around Belize City but there is no reason to anyway.

Belize City is terrible but the violence and murder rate in Ambergris Caye is pretty high as well. I follow the San Pedro Sun newspaper and Breaking Belize News on Facebook and the crime is crazy. 

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Belize City was pretty grimy when I was there 2 years ago. Wanted to walk around and check out the downtown area. Never felt unsafe at all but it totally felt grimy. Not as bad as Detroit or some other places I've been in the US. 

San Pedro was pretty alright though. Good restaurants and seemed to be oriented around tourists/vacationers.  

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On 3/25/2018 at 7:52 PM, Reagan1k said:

Belize / Ambergris Caye

Jet is still alive and kicking in the bar/grill at BZE Airport.

The Truck Stop on Ambergris Caye is pretty cool and the food is good.

Secret Beach isn't a secret anymore - the road there is a beating but the beach is awesome.  Eclectic gathering of people with 3-4 bar/grills open now.

Elvi's Kitchen fried chicken is damn good.

Hidden Treasure's sounds like a scrip club but is a damn fine restaurant if you can find it.

New Palapa Bar is bigger....not sure if that makes it better but the food is still good and the atmosphere is cool.  Still has that new feeling but that'll wear off soon.

Ak'Bol Yoga Retreat has a great breakfast on the beach....no yoga required.

DandE's ice cream hasn't changed and that's good.  Stop in for a visit with some old ex-pats and good desert when in town.

 

He was still around last week, but wasn't working the bar.  Mostly just hung around the terminal, talking to folks.  He looks old all of a sudden. 

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He was working the bar in. January

He was still around last week, but wasn't working the bar.  Mostly just hung around the terminal, talking to folks.  He looks old all of a sudden. 


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Planning our first trip to Caye Caulker. I’m looking at a flight to Belize City that lands at 3:45. Is that too late to make the 5:30 water taxi? We won’t be checking bags. 

Edited by 4th&Five

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Planning our first trip to Caye Caulker. I’m looking at a flight to Belize City that lands at 3:45. Is that too late to make the 5:30 water taxi? We won’t be checking bags. 


Should be fine. Customs is fast if you’re not waiting for a bag. Probably 20 minutes at most. I’d be more worried my flight would be delayed.

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Check out the Iguana Reef hotel on CC, guy named Eric runs it, he’s from Houston (Klein High School) and is a great guy, I grew up with him, he can help you out with any info/Pro tips you might need while on the island.  

Beef is a luxury to him there, bring him a few steaks and mention “Grayson said you’d like them”,  you’ll be in like Flynn.

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Da Real Macaw on Caulker is nothing fancy, but it's clean and good ac and showers.  Nice porches with hammocks also. 

Your flight is a little closer than I would be comfortable with.  It's almost a 30 minute cab ride from the airport to the water taxi.  If a couple of planes land at the same time, customs can take close to an hour.  You could check what a puddle jumper flight to Caulker costs.  Tropical Air has a bunch every day.  Or find a hotel a head of time in Belize City so you aren't scrambling last minute if you miss the last water taxi.

Edited by kevwun

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1 minute ago, kevwun said:

Your flight is a little closer than I would be comfortable with.

This..I give you a 75/25 chance of making the taxi...If you are delayed at your departure they can usually make up 20 mins.  I've never seen more than one flight land at once.  Even then their customs is fast...they are just stamping as fast as they can and getting you into the country to spend money.   The only reason my last time at the customs took more than 1 min was because he saw my other Belize stamp and started asking about why I came back and how much I like the country etc.   Hopefully you'll have time to hit the duty free because US liquor is expensive on the islands. 

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I have waited in customs a couple of times there.  It's not always a breeze.  That aside, everything is going to have to go perfect for them to make it in time and counting on that is never a good idea.  I wouldn't want to start vacation stressing over making it to the water taxi in time.

Edited by kevwun

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great info, gents.  thanks!

i'll take an earlier flight.  i don't want to stress about it and would rather get to CC earlier in the day anyway.

 

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Also, depending on when you are going, Belize does not observe daylight-saving time.  In the summer they are an hour behind central time.

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2 hours ago, kevwun said:

That aside, everything is going to have to go perfect for them to make it in time and counting on that is never a good idea.

True.  There are a lot of places where getting stuck is no big deal but stuck in BZE and wasting a night vs being on CC would suck.

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If you’re flying SWA, they deboarded my flight from both the front and rear doors. If that’s still the case, sit near one or the other. You can high tail it to customs once you clear the stairs.

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If you’re flying SWA, they deboarded my flight from both the front and rear doors. If that’s still the case, sit near one or the other. You can high tail it to customs once you clear the stairs.
I was going to suggest that but swa lands at 430

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I’m looking at booking a trip for March for the wife and our two year old. Is Caye Caulker the best bet for a family? I’ve been looking at Grand Carib, but would like some other family friendly places to stay. Also, should we take the water taxi or puddle jumper? 

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Take the flight IMO.  Trade the money for the time saved.  

Ambergris has a little more variety than Caulker but not much.  Either would be great.  Find the best deal at a resort you like and fire away.  

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I think I would fly to the islands if you are traveling with a family.  A lot less hassle than the water taxis for you.  A crowded and hot boat won't be very fun for the little one either.  We are planning a trip for June.

Edited by kevwun

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Anyone been too Belize from a cruise? I'll be there in Nov and am wondering what's good to do. 

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We did the water taxi from Belize City to Ambergris and it was rough as fuck for 90 minutes. Take the 12 minute flight.

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Looks like a flight is the right call. Thanks.

Any recommendations on places to stay on Ambergris would be much appreciated. 

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Looks like a flight is the right call. Thanks.
Any recommendations on places to stay on Ambergris would be much appreciated. 
Ask them if you or your wife can sit in the right seat if there isn't a copilot

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1 hour ago, 3adays said:

Looks like a flight is the right call. Thanks.

Any recommendations on places to stay on Ambergris would be much appreciated. 

We’ve always enjoyed Grand Caribe.  Facilities are top notch for BZE. The pool set up works well for adults and kids.  There is a splash pool that I’ve seen a lot of toddlers enjoy.  They make it turn key with booking any excursions and on site cart rentals, etc but other places like Victoria House have been great too.   Pretty hard to go wrong with any of the main resorts. 

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Victoria House doesn’t suck. It’s smaller and has less people. 

And yes, take the flight. 

Edited by Neonmoon

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We stayed at Xanadu. There’s only 20 condos so the pool is never crowded. Free paddle boards, kayaks, bikes, etc. We liked it a lot but it is not luxurious. It’s south of San Pedro. IMO, north of town is nicer but you have to pay a toll every time you cross the bridge going to town to eat.

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20 minutes ago, CooterBrown said:

We stayed at Xanadu. There’s only 20 condos so the pool is never crowded. Free paddle boards, kayaks, bikes, etc. We liked it a lot but it is not luxurious. It’s south of San Pedro. IMO, north of town is nicer but you have to pay a toll every time you cross the bridge going to town to eat.

Full disclosure, its $5 for the round trip and it isn't uncommon for it to be unmanned and free....especially if you head to town later in the evening.

There are plenty of restaurants north of the bridge as well, but in reality if you are there for a few days you might spend $20-$30 max in tolls.....unless you just like driving a golf cart up and down the caye all day.

 

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Don't forget to get liquor at the duty free. Liquor is expensive on the island.

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Recs on fishing guides? I have a buddy that honeymooned there 18 years ago and only fished with locals. Paid $140 a day and fished and snorkeled 8 times . Can this still be done? It’s not about money, it’s about getting fried in the sun. I cant do an eight hour charter without shade.

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The funny thing about Belize is that it's always seem to be overcast.  I've been 3 or 4 times and I still haven't seen a clear day.

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7 hours ago, JimmyRussels said:

Paid $140 a day and fished and snorkeled 8 times . Can this still be done?

I pay $250 for a half day of reef and bay fishing...$140 sounds ridiculously cheap but maybe 18 years ago.  

1 hour ago, kevwun said:

The funny thing about Belize is that it's always seem to be overcast.  I've been 3 or 4 times and I still haven't seen a clear day.

I've only been twice.  August...hot and sunny all four days.  Went again a year ago and there was clouds and rain for 3 days and finally sunny the day we left. 

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