Ambergris Caye - Alot of what Madonna sings about San Pedro in La Isle Bonita actually applies to this place.
We stayed at Caribbean Villas on the beach about a mile south of town. Warnings: Walk the beach into town!!!! While downtown SP has a whopping total of 3 streets (Front, Middle & Back), the only hard-surfaced road heading north from our resort was a Caribbean version of the Indy 500. Total golfcart gridlock; sometimes had a sidewalk. Pedestrians do NOT have the right of way. Watch out for the sneaky [--] electric golf carts. At least the gas powered carts, cars, etc can't creep up silently from behind and run you over. Also, unlike a lot of places in Central America, Mexico, Caribbean countries where the first one to honk has the right of way, no one in San Pedro ever honked.
A couple of construction & unlite zones makes it advisable to take a flashlite on your first nite's beach foray into SP till you learn the route, but we always felt safe. Did get a few offers for local weed while walking the beach, one guy even had his young child with him while vending his wares?
Food: While the menus at Blue Water and Sunset Grill made my mouth water, we vacationed this trip with a cousin whom the locals in Zihuatanejo last year nick-named Senor Barato (Mr Thrifty en Espanol). Plenty good, economical food can be found at the likes of Mickeys on Middle Street's fresh fried Snapper sandwich for lunch. There's Warumugas on Middle street. Watch for lady frying papusas in street. Restaurant behind her is same dimensions as a mobile home. English menus on right wall, Spanish on left. A papusa is sorta like a calzone made with corn tortilla dough containing beans, cheese & pork(in that order). But for $2.50 BZ ($1.25 US) eating several and washing them down with a cold Beliken made this place the high-lite of Senor Barato's trip. Jambel Jerk Pit's jerkpork wasn't quite as tender as what I've had in Jamaica, but had a good flavor. Try their award winning orange/key lime pie. Spindrift Hotel beachside - Caliente's good mex food and can get a very good tart margarita - just booze & fresh lime juice (no sweet&sour mix with a 5-year shelf life used). Also has a good balcony to watch the Chicken Drop at Pier Lounge nextdoor (Wednesday's only, 6 to 9 PM). Georges Kitchen south of town opens at 6 AM and had good breakfast. Beach vendor's fried plantain was good.
Tacklebox's menu drew us in with $30 BZ lobster(half the price of high-end places) but was told they were sold out. Unfortunately I then ordered their lobster & shrimp in fresh tortillas. I got over-grilled pita bread with a few chewy chunks covered in a gooey cheese. Go for the burger instead - cheaper & better(Sr Barato liked it). Sunday BBQ at Caribbean Villas Catamaran beach bar was decent. Was also a great place to watch Superbowl 09 barefoot in shorts rather than in bluejeans & sweatshirts like back home. The Rum & Cigar House on Middle Street gave us free samples of 3 rum liquors. Buy a fresh Cuban cigar for a relaxing on your veranda or beach bar.
We booked a half-day Reef fishing trip with Tino Gonzales. He used a net to catch live-bait off a pier south of CV. We caught several Spanish mackerel, yellow-tail snappers and Bluerunner & Horse-eye jacks. We had Tino filet just half the fish for us and had enough for 3 lunches and 1 dinner of fresh fried fish back at the condo.
Also did Hol Chan & Shark Alley snorkel with Lil Aphonso (booked at CV). He loaded about 10 -12 snorkelers on his boat, but shows everyone how to use equipment, checks before you jump in water and does an excellent job of finding and showing everyone the coral & sea creatures. His 2nd-mate swims along pulling several life-preserver rings tied to a rope for anyone that poops out and needs an sea sag-wagon. You can pet &/or hold nurse sharks and sting rays in Shark Alley. Both guides picked us up at CV's pier.
Rumor - heard from Canadians next door if you order a case of Beliken from SP brew distributor they will deliver and costs $1.25 a bottle (Not sure if that was in Canadian, US or BZ). However, Beliken brewery uses the thickest glass in their bottles I've ever seen. Sorta disappointing when you think you still have some brewski left only to find 1/2 of the bottle weight is the glass, but this is one time I can say I drank my weight in beer while on vacation. All in all - AC, SP & CV were pretty much OK paradise-wise.
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