Belize aka San Pedro, Belize is the hidden gem of Central America. We traveled to San Pedro, Belize for our honeymoon two years ago and found it to be not only amazingly gorgeous, but a spot that no one went. It’s not like the popular Cabo, Mexico or anything like that. Let’s just say that Belize is not completely Americanized nor is it really a big tourist spot. Don’t get me wrong there is tourist there, but nothing like Mexico or those big tropical vacation spots. Coming to Belize again was an obviously for us because we LOVED the town, people, and how gorgeous the country is.
The best way to travel to Belize is to fly into Belize City and get onto Tropic Air puddle jumper to San Pedro. San Pedro or also known as Ambergris Caye, which is an island of Belize and where I suggest you stay when in Belize. Staying on San Pedro is the best, just take my word. Staying on the main land isn’t the greatest- nor is it really all that safe. When you get to San Pedro you’ll grab your luggage and walk to local bank next to the airport. It’s easy to walk and smart to have money in the right currency. After that, snag a taxi and head to where you’re staying. Tip from the wise- have your taxi guy stop at the local grocery store to get a container of Belkin Beer (if you like beer!) or a bottle of coconut rum and juice. It’s cheaper to pack your own drinks. Just a tip from the experienced. Okay, so a typical taxi ride is $20 BZ. When arriving to your place, I would suggest to unwind and get settled in.
Where to Stay?
We stayed at Day Dreamin’ little private cabanas TWICE and were hooked since the first trip. We won’t stay anywhere else now. It’s part of AirBnB so you’re guaranteed a wonderful stay. The best of Day Dreamin’ is every morning they serve you breakfast on your porch. Y’all the breakfast is AMAZING and sooo good. Fun fact: it’s connect to the popular coffee shop, Marbucks Coffee- super popular on the island. I highly suggest staying here way over any resort because it’s clean, safe, they have everything you need and they help you set up excursion at a cheap price. Every time we stayed here we were the only guest and had the whole place to ourselves. It’s super romantic and the best vacation spot on the island!!
Why do we choose to have Belize be our top spot for vacation? On Styled by Sequins travel guide, I will share the top reasons why Belize is “unbelizeable!”
#1 Experience the Local Way
Knowing how to experience San Pedro the local way is the only way to go! The first step is to rent a golf cart the whole time you’re there. I suggest you go with Coconut Carts because the guy is awesome and won’t rip you off. He’s Canadian and super helpful, so basically you’re in good hands. You can pay per day, but that’s more expensive. I suggest paying in bulk as you’ll save money in the long run. Number one thing when getting a golf cart- always negotiate and always ask for a bridge pass. If you don’t ask for a bridge pass you’ll end up paying a $5BZ bridge toll every time you pass over. Our first visit we were given a bridge pass and learned quickly that if you don’t have anything to flash them, you will get stopped.
Getting a golf allows you to travel up and down San Pedro and really get the full experience of the island. We were able to so much more and had the opportunity to explore from tip to tip with our golf cart. Colin and I actually had some good heart to heart talks on the golf cart. By the end, we were joking that we should record a podcast on the golf cart because we had some good life talks!
#2 Where to eat?
Now let’s talk about the food. You can easily find American food and “safe” food, but who wants to do that? The second trip we hit up more local spots and found some amazing dishes. Breakfast was always at our little bungalow and we ate some amazing pasties, lemon ricotta pancakes, cinnamon French toast, and yummy omelets. Each day was a new menu and I just can’t stop raving about it. My favorite was the vanilla lattes and coconut mango muffin. It was to die for. As far as lunch goes, we hit up a lot of bar food and snagged some amazing lobster tacos, nachos and burritos. We ate lunch every day at Wayne’s World Bar on Secret Beach because we got to know the locals there. It was the hot spot for getting to know the locals. (I shared more about this below) Our top spots for dinner are Waragum’s and El Fogon. These two places are great for lunch or dinner. They offer the BEST Belizean food on the island!! The lobster burrito is amazing and you get SO much lobster it’s insane. For a great after dinner scene I highly suggest going to Truck Stop. This spot is the only spot that’s really Americanized. Truck Stop is a bar and food trucks, plus has a great social scene too. We played Family Feud with our new little family we call the “Royal Family” I was Kate for the game show. It was a blast!! Truck Stop is the place to stop!!
To be honest, when it comes to hanging out with the locals go to Wayne’s World and meet Eric. Stay there all day and the locals will come up to the bar. When they ask you how you are or what your name is – tell them! They’re just trying to get to know you and not steal your money. We met some amazing locals here and miss them already. When you mention to the locals you are returning to the island or how much we love San Pedro, they find a whole new love for you. It’s like we were automatically accepted by them. Day one when we met Eric the bar tender, we had to come back two more days. Y’all that’s where we spend the majority of our time. Great food, reasonably priced drinks (they always give you extra if you make friends with them), local food, and it’s right on the beach.
#3 What we learned from the locals
Once you get to know some of the locals you’ll learn quickly it’s one big happy family. Everyone knows everyone and it’s a close group of people. The biggest take back from the locals is to be in the moment. Americans are always on the go and ready for the next thing. Here in Belize the locals are so relax and just go with the flow. There’s no judgment or expectation to be the best. Everyone is on the same playing field. Don’t we all wish the US was like this? I guess that’s what you start to experience when you travel to a third world country.
If you plan on coming back, I highly suggest trying to remember the people you meet and run into. I was sitting at the bar at Wayne’s world and this local lady came up and sat down. Come to find out, she was the same lady that braided my hair last time we were here. I told her and she remembered me! Like I said, it’s a small world!! Once I said that the dynamic of our conversation and relationship changed because it was “real.”
It’s super interested to hear the stories of the locals because they have such an amazing story to tell. We learned that our new bartender friend, Eric, left school when he was in third grade because he couldn’t pay for it. Y’all the families/ kids in this town full of poverty have to pay for their schooling. I was shocked to hear this because they’re not getting the best education to start with and on top of that they have to pay for it! It’s crazy. Comes to show why the little kids are selling jewelry on the beach, they have to work at a young age. Things become so eye opening to see and hear once you talk with the locals.
#4 Not Overcrowded
The greatest thing about San Pedro, Belize is it’s NOT overcrowded and over populated. Our first trip there it was basically empty of tourism and two years later we definitely see growth in that area. However, it’s not like Mexico where that’s become Americanized with tourisms, big resorts and over population. We found that Sundays and Mondays were super slow in the city, which was nice. We love how Belize is only two hours from Dallas and it’s still like going to any other tropical beach paradise- just not 8 hours away. Belize has become our go-to travel spot in the summer for this reason alone.
Y’all will see more of a crowd when staying at the bigger resorts, that’s why I highly suggest staying at Day Dreamin’. It’s literally your private spot and allows you to be alone with your loved one without anyone. Colin and I are always so confused why more people don’t go to Belize. But, maybe we don’t want people to go so it says the way it is!
#5 It’s Just Easy
Traveling the San Pedro, Belize is so easy!! It’s not fancy or glitzy what so ever. If you do dress up for dinner you will get some looks. We did that for a couple of dinner, but for 95% of the time we were in our swimsuits and cover-ups. They say island life is easy… well it’s true!! When planning what to bring, just pack lots of swimmy, a few dinner outfits and a lot of bug spray! That’s about it. Like I said- it’s so easy and a good break from “life!”
The money currency is easy too! It’s a 2 to 1 exchange – which is easy to translate when dealing with costs. For an example- if your dinner is $20 BZ it will $10 US. The money exchange stays the same and doesn’t change while you’re there.
The common language in Belize is English, but the locals might either speak Spanish or Creole too. In the schools, they teach the kiddos English. So for the majority everyone can communicate with you effectively. This makes it so easy- so much easier than Mexico that’s for sure!!
#6 Why Belize is Unbelizeable
I saved the best for last.. if there’s one thing to read this paragraph is it! From our experience of traveling to Belize twice, Belize is really for everyone. There’s so many different opportunities to enjoy your visit there. The cool thing about your vacation here is you don’t really need to pre-plan your activities. I actually suggest to plan as you go- I know that’s hard to do trust me!
If you’re the adventurous one I highly suggest snorkeling at Hol Chan Reserve where you get a spectacular snorkeling experience with the sea life and sharks! We did this our first trip there and we loved it. The snorkeling trip is about a half day trip and super fun. You can also take a jet ski to Caye Caulker and stop half way for snorkeling too. We almost did this during our trip, but we changed up our schedule.
Snorkeling is a must do when visiting Belize. If you’re a scuba diver this place is a hot spot for divers. We did this the first time in Belize- it was a blast.
For a full day exertions, it’s a blast to get on Tropic Air to the Belize City and go zip lining, cave tubing and hiking up the Mayan Ruins. This full day is a blast because it allows you to see a different side of Belize. I highly suggest doing this if you never experienced Belize before.
Another adventure I suggest is to rent a kayak and go bar hopping along the coast of San Pedro. We attempted to do this one time, but never really left the bar. It’s fun if you’re into easy water activities.
The number one activity that throws all these activities out of the water is the helicopter tour with Astrum Helicopters! It’s the most amazing helicopter ride you’ll ever have. The views are spectacular and amazing!! We did this on our anniversary day this trip and it was unforgettable. We flew from San Pedro to Caye Cauker. Typically people do the Blue Hole tour, but we opted for a short flight to the next island. Y’all I can’t rave enough about how amazing this experience was. My favorite part of the Astrum Helicopter ride was seeing San Pedro in a different perspective, seeing all the sharks and stingrays! Flying from above really showed how amazing God’s world is.
If more chill activities are more your thing then I highly recommend driving to Secret Beach and going the Wayne’s World Bar. It’s the best beach and bar ever and it’s not over crowed. Everyone arrives to Secret Beach and stops. The general public doesn’t explore more than what’s in front of them. So take a left when arriving to Secret Beach and you’ll find Waynes World. We went back from three days straight, so if that doesn’t say a lot I don’t know what else will, but we LOVED it. Be sure to make friends with Eric and look out for my signature on the bar!
Massages are always a good thing to do with a loved one. Colin and I love getting couples massages and tend to get one every anniversary since we got married. This trip we went to the Victoria House and it was incredible. Probably the best massage we have ever had. Not only was the massage amazing, but the resort itself was beautiful. We really enjoyed ourselves there.
Okay y’all if I didn’t convince you already- put Belize on your must go to spot for your next vacation. Y’all won’t be sorry. This country is amazing and a favorite of ours. They don’t say Unbelizeable for nothing!!
Love from Texas,