With our time in the jungle finished, we took off east towards the Caribbean Sea for the town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye (pronounced key). Golf carts and bicycles filled the stone cobbled roads lined with locals selling a variety of crafts. A taxi took us to our hotel, Exotic Caye Beach Resort.
The outdoor space at the hotel was amazing. As its name suggests, ECBR was right on the beach. Sandy beaches are not common in Belize but the owners had added palm trees and comfortable loungers to make sunbathing possible. It had a small pool, which we never used, that was surrounded by hammocks. There was a series of small thatchish buildings, each with two rooms – one upstairs, one downstairs. Ours was the second building from the beach, on the first floor.
We began each day sitting on our porch watching the beautiful sunrise while sipping Belizean coffee. Just typing that makes me sigh as I miss that view so. Aside from the view and location, ECBR was a pretty mediocre establishment. The rooms needed a bit of updating and never seemed fully clean. Looking back, I wish we had ponied up a bit more money to get a nicer place but, as you will read, we still had a fantastic time in AC.
We spent about a day and a half just exploring the town. The people staying above us were incredibly kind and allowed us to use their rented golf cart for the day. We drove around before getting soaked in a morning shower (it only rained twice our entire trip and this particular one only lasted an hour) and ended up at Elvi’s Kitchen, one of the famed restaurants on the island. Not terribly hungry, a split meal of plantain chips and conch fritters (complete with cole slaw, rice & beans, and a fried plantain) hit the spot.
Later on in the day, we stopped at DandE’s frozen custard, owned by a friendly ex-pat, and a brewery where we heard a man do a great cover of Johnny Cash. We also ate at Blue Island Grill (good, but a bit overrated in my opinion) and Caramba’s (awesome). Do not miss out on the ceviche in AC! It is amazing!
San Pedro is famous (perhaps infamous) for their legendary chicken drop at Wahoo’s. Check it out if you are there, it’s quite a riot.
A few recommendations… First, buy papusas off the street. There are two vendors across the street from each other and they are AWESOME. One more vendor recommendation, if you come across a man named Leslie, please buy one of his beautiful sculptures. Unlike many of the other “artists” in the area, he actually does his own work and they are lovely and reasonably priced. He takes requests as well.
Staying AC was completely different than our stay in Maruba, yet was equally enjoyable. We were able to chose where we went to eat and what we wanted to do… It helped us experience the culture a bit more, and enabled us to explore. I am thankful we did both a relaxing and remote resort and stay in a bustling little tourist town, it was perfect.
Check back later for my posts on snuba and fishing in AC!