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Our San Pedro Experience

Maryland
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9 posts
8 reviews
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Our San Pedro Experience

We just got back from a week long vacation at Banana Beach Resort in San Pedro, Belize. We had to get out a day early to play things safe with Hurricane Wilma. While the trip is fresh in my mind I will include some thoughts from our trip.

Impressions: Belize is a very poor country and that may be a shock to foreigners when they first arrive. Tourist money is one of the only way people can survive here. Things are somewhat expensive, so be prepared. San Pedro may not be the most picturesque town to most. The streets are dirt, there are shanty homes, and somewhat polluted with litter. With that said, San Pedro’s beaches (yes there is a beach) and resorts are very nice. People are usually friendly and polite, but some will see you as a dollar sign. The town is full of ex-pats, tourists and natives. Generally everyone we met was very pleasant and helpful.

Activities: Watersports are the thing to do in Belize. Some of the activities we did included snorkeling, scuba diving and cave tubing/zip lines. Snorkeling is a must, even if you dive. Do the Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley trip. We went with Lil' Alfonso's and they were great guides. I got to hold a Nurse Shark and touch Sting Rays, along with seeing a ton of cool fish and coral. Diving was cool; we just did local dives, but heard that the blue hole is the dive to do. Cave tubing and zip lines were great, truly a surreal experience floating down those beautiful rivers and into the dark caves. However, try to go on a trip that flys to Belize City, instead of taking the boat which is a long and tiresome ride. Other than that, the beach and pools offered enough R&R for us.

Bar/Restraunts: Night life was kind of slow during October, but we had a great time at Fido's (bar). We checked out Big Daddys night club, which was OK and the Tackle Box (bar). Elvi's kitchen was our favorite restraunt, we liked El Patio, Carumbas was OK, and El Divino (Banana Beach) was sub-par. Seafood is big here and lobster and conch will be on most menus. If you like seafood and cilantro try the conch ceviche.

Resorts: We stayed at Banana Beach and it was pretty much everything we expected based on the reviews. Other nice resorts that we saw included: Xanadu, Victoria House, Banyan Bay, Ramones, Belizean Shores and Captain Morgans. I am sure there are more, but these were some of the nice ones we saw.

Final Thoughts: We had a great time in Belize. The people were nice, the weather was pretty good, the watersports were great and the food was good. Many people have a love hate relationship with Belize and Ambergris Caye. The people that will enjoy Belize and Ambergris Caye are couples and singles that are active, enjoy watersports, enjoy meeting different people, are open minded, are not strapped for cash and can stomach some less sightly things to see true beauty. I realize I could write for hours, but if anyone has specific questions I will check the forum periodically.

Saint James City...
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for San Pedro
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14,674 posts
10 reviews
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1. Re: Our San Pedro Experience

Thanks for taking the time to post a report. It looks like San Pedro was spared any major damage from Wilma. I'm one of those people who loves San Pedro. Wouldn't be surprised to find ourselves as one of the expats there one day.

Bend, OR
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2. Re: Our San Pedro Experience

Thanks for the great post geb. We are heading there in Dec and can't wait. It souns like our type of place, but it seems ironic that such a poor area would be so expensive. We loved the carribean side or Costa Rica because it was poor and underdeveloped. No mega resorts, or really resorts period as we went 7 years ago. Did you go to the northern part of the island at all, and if so was it difficult to get to and from? Also how were the beaches outside of SP?

Maryland
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3. Re: Our San Pedro Experience

SillyBilly, it took us back that the island was expensive too. It may be for the fact that the island is isolated from the rest of Belize. Also, we found the tours somewhat expensive, but you have to pay to play.

There are definatly no mega-resorts on the island, but many locals feel that Am. Caye is a tourist trap, and by their standards it may be. It seems that some of the southern cayes and Caye Caulker are less developed compared to San Pedro.

We did go to the Northern half of the island. The Caye is split in two by a small channel that has a hand ferry to cross. We befriended a local tour guide Capt. Joe and he cruised us around on his boat for some snorkeling and to see the Northern half of the island. There are two ways to get to the Northern part, by boat or crossing the hand ferry. If you ferry, it was reccomended to have a GAS golf cart, as the road is more rough up that way. There are water taxis that pick up from the various docks including the one outside of Fido's. Not sure how much it was for one way probably around 5-10 US. We didn't visit any beaches outside Am. Caye. The best beaches are proabaly south and north of San Pedro. Banana Beach suposedly had one of the better beaches. There is a reef that breaks all the waves, so there is sea grass that grows. It is not too bad, but some people preffered swimming from the peirs. Most of the resorts have piers with a small roped of area to swim.

Bend, OR
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4. Re: Our San Pedro Experience

thanks again for the info geb!

Columbus, Ohio
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5. Re: Our San Pedro Experience

Good honest and impartial review. I love San Pedro but agree it may not be for everyone.