San Pedro, Belize

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We arrived at this beach town by water taxi. Many people take a domestic flight from the mainland, but for us it was more adventurous and much less expensive.

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We’d taken a water taxi out to Bocas del Toro in Panama, and this was a totally different experience. Organized, with baggage handlers, and an enclosed fiberglass boat, as opposed to the wooden open boat in Bocas. I think we paid $43 for two round trip tickets. (Kids are free.) The boat trip took about an hour and 20 minutes, with a short stop in Caye Caulker.

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San Pedro is full of golf carts, but we grabbed a taxi van to our condo. We’d read that it was over the bridge, but couldn’t quite conceptualize what that meant until we go there. It meant we stopped here at the edge of town:

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And paid $5 for two tickets: over and back. Then we’d cross this:

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Somewhat rickety bridge over about 20 feet of waterway to the other, less-developed side of the island. It was less developed in the sense that there were fewer businesses and more open land, but the more upscale hotels and condo development tended to be on this side.

Our condo was 2 miles from town, along a fairly narrow and often puddle dotted sandy lane. The first morning, we hopped in our golf cart to head to down, and got terribly muddy before being drenched in the morning rain.

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But though we visited in rainy season, I believe that was the only day we had rain.

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We ended up heading into town almost every day, either for groceries or dinner.

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A few of the places we tried to eat at were closed for the season (Casa Picasso), or were partially closed and we were left to eat on an uncovered bench in the blazing noon sun (Rojo).

Rojo was supposed to be the best place to eat on the island, but is mainly accessible by water taxi ($6/person one way). We, of course, attempted to get there by golf cart. We bounced around along the road, the path growing narrower and narrower, skirting mud puddles and mosquitoes. When we finally found the turn off, we thought we’d made it. Instead, a huge tree was downed from the previous night’s storm, completely blocking our path. I, of course, tried to lift it; to no avail. So we hoofed the rest of the way, only to be told by a snooty bartender that we’d only be able to sit on padded benches next to the pool. We gazed longingly at the empty shaded patio with tables and chairs, before turning to the benches. As we sat down and opened menus under the searing sun, our necks threatening to turn crimson, we noticed two things: our rear ends were suddenly wet from the moisture soaked chair pads and the menus said in large letters: NO KIDS IN THE POOL. You know, the 6-inch deep wading fool just inches from our feet. The one that the kids were already splashing in. We clapped those menus shut (as I mourned the ahi with avocado mousse), scooped up the kids and slashed through the underbrush back to our abandoned golf cart.

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Belize itself is an interesting mix of European, Central American, Mexican and Caribbean people.

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Most people speak Spanish at home, but they learn English at school, and to get a job in the country’s main industry (tourism), you need to speak English.

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And I will say this: I’ve visited 40+ countries in my life, and I believe the friendliest people I’ve ever encountered are the Belizeans.

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We stayed in a two-bedroom condo at Grand Caribe.

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Don’t be like me: the locals pronounce it just like it’s spelled in English, not like you would pronounce it in Spanish.

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The staff were super nice and helpful, the rooms clean, spacious and well-kept, and the pool and the food pretty good.

Oh, and the ground were really pretty. The staff was out there every day, raking sand and picking up leaves.

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(And they had lots of crabs in the evenings, which two-year-olds think are pretty cool.)

And while there isn’t much sandy beach on Ambergris Caye, our condo place managed to carve out a small and pleasant little beach right in front.

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I’m sure the sand was brought it, but it was perfect for digging and throwing.

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And the extended boardwalk deck was perfect for fishing from, reading and catching your ride out to your next excursion. D and I spent a few nap times out on the deck chairs on that hexagon-shaped deck to the left deliciously reading.

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So that’s San Pedro, so I still have a few pictures left to share.

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