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“A Little Trip to Paradise!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pelican Beach - South Water Caye

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Pelican Beach - South Water Caye
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3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Dangriga, South Water Caye 00000, Belize   |  
Hotel amenities
Buffalo, NY
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“A Little Trip to Paradise!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2012

We were lucky enough to stay at the Pelican on S Water Caye for 1 whole week! If you are looking for a place to vacation as a couple or with a family this is the perfect place to go!

That is, if you are looking for some peace and quiet. If you are looking to AVOID noise, terrible Beach aerobics, cheesy discos, casinos, and watered down all-inclusive mixed drinks (you get the point) this is the place to stay!

I want to start out by talking about the wonderful service we received from Leonard, Theresita, and Ishmael Theresita was wonderful about answering all of our questions and concerns before we arrived in Belize and communicated most everything to us thoroughly. Leonard was managing the resort for our entire stay. He was so good about making sure we were comfortable and somehow was always available when we needed him. Ishmael took us out twice fishing. He was so interesting to talk to and made sure we were having a good time. The grounds were absolutely immaculate. Pablo was out every morning raking the sand and cleaning up the property. Everything was clean!

I also want to mention there was never a dull moment on S Water Caye. We traveled as a couple and also had my brother and his girlfriend with us for the first three days we were there.
Snorkeling: Everyday we went snorkeling and saw new fish, sting rays, and even a nurse shark! (no worries, apparently they don't have teeth).
Kayaking: We also took the kayaks out a few times and went all the way around the island. It was so beautiful!
Diving: We took a three-tank dive out with Avadon Divers (which Leonard recommended). I highly suggest if you dive you use this company. They pick you up on the island and they are extremely extremely professional. I will write a review on their website as well. They provide lunch and healthy fruit snacks between every dive. Leonard promptly set us up with a dive with Avadon as soon as we asked about it.
Fishing: My husband and I went out with Ishmael twice to fish. I am not an experienced fisherman but we had soo much fun! We literally just used a thick fishing line, no rod, to catch fish with some bait. There were so many fish and we caught about 3 or 4 each both times we went out. THis would be a really fun activity to do with kids as well since it was not hard to do. My husband also is into fly fishing and every day he was fishing for Bone Fish right off the dock. This is a popular area for bone fishing. If you want to Bone Fish you have bring your own fishing gear.

The most important part about these activities is that we could pretty much do whatever we wanted whenever. We never had to worry about where to go, when to sign up, whether or not something was booked or full. We just had to leave our little house with no shoes on and go! No shoes! We never had to put shoes on!

There were three meals a day. Every meal was great and they always offered 2nds if we were still hungry. They even cooked up some of the fish we caught when we were out with Ishmael. The fish was so fresh and cooked how we wanted it to be. We were pleasantly surprised with how great the food was.

At night for something to do, we would walk down, with our flashlights, to the other side of the Island to the Blue Marlin. They have a full bar with a pool table and a great deck outside. They even have a big light they turn on next to the dock in the water and you can see the all the fish at night. We liked it there. There are often people who boat and park the boats outside of the Blue Marlin and come to the bar at night so there are some more people around.

The cabins are very clean and cozey. We had no issues with not having air conditioning as there is a constant breeze from the ocean. There is no need for A/C on this island at all.

I think another reason why we had so much fun is because the other guests at the resort were just as laid back as we were and very friendly! We met this awesome couple Phil and Linda from Britain. We had an absolute blast with them-- partied at the Blue Marlin and went fishing. They totally made our trip!

I could go on and on about the wonderful things people have written about this resort but you wont really understand how nice it is until you stay there. Like I said before if you your looking for a typical all inclusive resort, this will not cut it for you. This little slice of paradise is wonderful just the way it is.

Room Tip: Egrets Nest North has a Roof Top Deck-- Awesome for Star gazing
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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119 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2012

We stayed a few days at Pelican's Pouch (Pelican Beach resort location on SW Caye) while on our Belize road trip.
This place was perfect for us.

The location
The property occupies the entire south point of this tiny little Caye which sites right on the reef within the SWC reserve.
Though there are a couple other lodging options on the island (2 I believe), this is the one I feel which has the best location and overall grounds. I could walk right out of our little house, slap on some flippers and a mask, and see rays, turtles, and sharks just a few feet from our house off of the shoreline. People from the other resorts needed to walk down the beach paths and through to this property then to the south beach in order to snorkel the main spots on the island - so this was a big plus in itself.
It was also the only location I saw where you had fantastic sandy swimable beaches on 3 sides of the property. Once or twice we saw people from the other locations come over to this beach in order to relax and tan - I can't blame them - the beach here is amazing.
From our house, we could see both the east and west beaches just a few feet away, and the southern tip maybe 200ft away. (This is a small island)

The staff/facilities
I communicated via email with Theresita (Terry) in order to setup a shorter plan than they offered online. She was very detailed in her responses, and clear on direction.
My wife, 22 month old son, wife's mom (babysitter :) ) and myself stayed in one of the houses that was a duplex. (I bleieve there are only a complete total of 5 small houses on their property for accommodation).
The house was fairly small and basic, but very well maintained, clean, and a queen, a double, a double fouton, and a crib (we requested the crib). The houses are 'green' and use reclaimed rainwater, solar power and heating, and the bathroom uses bio toilets - we liked all this and everything worked great. There is no AC, but you really really do not need it - the small island, with the strong breezes, and very ample ventilation (all windows are shutter style) - it was never remotely an issue.
The main house had a large raised thatch covered patio where juice, water, coffee/tea, and basic snacks were always avialable and where they served meals. The bar here is where you could order other drinks and/or corrdinate day trips as well as charge any cameras or phones if wanted. There is WiFi.

Leonard is the co-manager on the island, and was our primary contact for pretty much everything. He is a great person, very kind, and easy going. He ensured all our needs were met. Since this property is so small, and the amount of other guests here was minimal (2 other groups is all I ever saw), there were only a few staff and all were always available. Elvis was a newer employee - full of excitement and very customer focused. The groundskeepseers were great, and even reorganized some beach chairs for us so watch the sun rise. The cleaning maid was courteous, thorough, and prompt.

There are 3 meals a day that were served at the dining area, and a basic snack available on demand through the day (cookies, dried plantains etc).
The food was all basic, but fresh, and tasty. We were almost always offered seconds, though it was rarely needed.
Juice and water was always available, and the juice type changed daily.
All other drinks would be from the kitchen/bar, and could be put on a tab, but even then, the prices for them were very reasonable.

Day Trips
We went on a Snorkeling day trip with Ismail (sp?). On the way he took us out to Man O' War Caye where there were loads of different species of birds all crammed onto this tiny island - it was crazy! But cool. Ismail was great - very laid back. He took us to an area on the reef near Tobacco Caye. It was good, but to be honest, I saw more 'big' species right near the bouy from the shoreline of SWC. The trip was still worth it though, even if just for the scenery , the birds, and change of pace alone - it was an inexpensive afternoon daytrip.

The equipment
There was plenty of snorkeling gear available for anyone, and for the most part the gear was sufficient, but other equipment we used elsewhere on our trip was generally better. I do not want to put too much emphasis on this, as the gear did work, it is just that some of the masks would fog easily, others had straps that would not stay tight, and the flippers were strap behind heel style - though any time we had an issue, staff promptly replaced the item, and all was fine after a couple of swaps.
The kyaks are the basic plastic type, they worked fine and they had padded clip in seats for comfort as well as decent life vests. One kyak had a broken loop clip, but pretty minor - we just grabbed a different kyak and were off.

We were on a roadtrip through Belize, so for us we just drove to thier seaside resort in Dangriga and were able to park our car safely in the rear parking area on thier property.
The trip from the seaside resort to the property on the Caye was by a 20-25' or so open hull boat that was also used to transport goods, supplies, and staff to/from the island. It was super basic, not enclosed, but fast and sufficient. The trip by boat was about 25-35 minutes if I remember right.

If you are looking for a postcard perfect isolated carribean island to plunk down on - away from the crowds and noise. A place where life slows down. A place where you can lay in peace in a hammok to enjoy the breeze and sand - then I think you would be very hard pressed to find anywhere else on the plant better.
If you like to snorkel and want the convenience of walking right in off the beach to see loads of amazing sealife - this is the place.
As great as this place was, it was made even better by the excellent staff.
What you will not find here are in room TVs, pools, buffets, speedboats, discos, or any of the amenities you might expect or even disire elsewhere - but here - at this place, I am glad none of these were here, I think it would have taken away, not added to the experience.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
143 helpful votes 143 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2012

The beach is absolutely beautiful. It is not large, but neither is the resort. I had the entire beach to myself two entire days as my husband was off snorkeling or reading in the shade and we shared it with one other couple on another day. The water is crystal clear and the beach is meticulously groomed every morning beginning at 4 a.m.! We snorkeled off shore and found it to be good. We did take one snorkeling trip with the resort to Tobacco Caye - it was relatively inexpensive, but the snorkeling was just as good from shore. The trip to Tobacco Caye itself was enlightening. It appeared to be filled with run down ramshackle buildings and a very small trash filled beach. It made South Water Caye and Pelican Beach even more special! The food was a set menu, but was very good Belizean style fare. The staff were very hospitable and accomodating. Leonard and Terry manage the resort and are eager to please. Cold beer or a wonderful tropical drink was always on hand. I gave it a 4 only because it was a bit rustic. Sheets and towels were not changed during our stay, but water is precious and laundry isn't done on the island. There were some bugs in our room, but they really weren't a bother. The bed comfort was just OK; however, sleep came easy because of the active sun-filled days and the lulling tide at night. Our room adjoined another in one "building" on the grounds. Though the building was totally private from the rest of the resort, we shared the deck with the adjoining room and limited privacy. There were a large number of annoying flies during meals. Despite those slight inconveniences I would definitely recommend this resort to others. The beach, water, and staff are top notch!

Room Tip: Obtain a private cottage
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harshaw, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
183 reviews 183 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 82 cities Reviews in 82 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2012

South Water Caye is only 15 acres. Pelican Beach Resort has the east 1/2 of the Caye. The site is beautifully maintained and the food is wonderful. We snorkeled from the beach when we were not hanging out in the hammocks among the palm trees. Snorkeling excursions are arranged in the resort's boat to several coral gardens and near Bird Island.

Some things to keep in mind - South Water Caye can only be reached by a 45 minute boat ride accross open water - so be sure to bring your Dramamine if you are prone to get queasy on rough water. There was satellite internet access, which is spotty as weather systems move through the area. Most of the toilets are composting toilets, which were great and odor free, but required stepping on a stool to reach the throne. If you want to surf fish, you need to bring your own rods, but the experience is worth it!

I would highly recommend Pelican Beach Resort if

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2012

We chose this place for our honeymoon because it was supposed to be right on the reef and away from the tourist crowds. Check and check!
Beautifully appointed, private accommodations. Most with views of or right over the water. All with hammock.
Complementary kayaks and snorkelling gear for exploring. Immediate proximity to the reef so no dependance on a tour's schedule.
Pristine, quiet, well-maintained, white sand beach with views of east AND west.
New, complete meals every day with impeccable service.
Eco-friendly amenities.
Mostly couples here who want tranquility and relaxation.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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San Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2012

My husband and I have lived and travelled outside Canada for some years now and we've experienced quite a wide range of vacation accommodations in all sorts of countries. What we were looking for for this particular getaway was peace and quiet and just basically a really relaxing time We found it at the Pelican Beach South Water Caye in Belize. The trip to the island is fun, the setting is beautiful, the cabins are comfortable, the place is very clean and ALWAYS kept that way and Teresa, Leonard, Kevin, Erica, Pablo, the cooks and the rest of the staff really know how to make you feel welcome and happy every minute you are there.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2012

First let me say, I was pretty spooked when arriving - being from Southern CA, I had never been somewhere so remote. It literally takes 15 minutes to walk around the entire island. That being said, this place is one of the most beautiful serene beaches that I have been on. The water is gorgeous and you are litterally right on the reef. The snorkeling is incredible, and the nearby dive sites are awesome too. At Pelican Beach, you are limited to getting food with each meal (aside from that its just chips and other snacks) so make sure you don't miss any meals. The food each day is a set menu, so it is not really a good place if you are a vegetarian or have special needs. Bring a book and RELAX in paradise :)

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pelican Beach - South Water Caye

Address: Dangriga, South Water Caye 00000, Belize
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > South Water Caye
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in South Water Caye
Hotel Class:3 star — Pelican Beach - South Water Caye 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Two special locations, one great vacation - South Water Caye and Dangriga! South Water Caye, our island getaway-seaside cottages and rooms with fantastic views and cooling trade winds. On a gorgeous beach, atop the barrier reef and within South Water Caye Marine Reserve. Snorkel from shore, dive, fish, kayak or do nothing at all. Environmentally-friendly facilities with separate student group accommodations. For the simple pleasures - spending time together, sharing new adventures and making new friends. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Pelican Beach - South Water Caye Hotel South Water Caye
Pelican Beach - South Water Caye Belize

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