A Guide for Beachlovers | Belize
Braids make sense here. The wind graciously blows the bugs away, but also plasters any hair wispies to skin made sticky from sunscreen and sweat. Braiding my hair tight against my scalp in rows makes practical sense.
Mid-drifts make sense here. The 75% humidity feels like 97% humidity, meaning the less clothes, the better.
Drinking at 10:00am makes sense here. With a resort that is only accessible by boat, the options are to relax on a beach chair, play a game, or snorkel. A guava and coconut rum concoction plays well with all these scenarios. And, I'm on vacation, so why not?
Belize offers the second largest barrier reef in the world (the largest in the Western Hemisphere) and is only an hour an a half plane ride from Houston, Texas. This means that you can wake up in the U.S. in the morning and snorkel in one of the healthiest reefs in the world in the afternoon. Bleaching hasn't diminished the colors of the coral like it has in other corners of the world and diverse sea life rivals what you would see in Polynesia. As we basked on the beach, we couldn't help but think of Belize as a honeymoon destination for people who want their own private cabana with snorkeling from the beach, but that don't want to travel 10-15 hours to get there.
Where to Stay
Day Dreamin' B&B | San Pedro, Rooms start at $185/night
Matachica Resort & Spa | Ambergris Caye, Oceanfront Cabanas start at $350/night
Where to Eat & Drink
The Baker | Located in south San Pedro, this isn't belizean, but it's delicious. The owner, Ken, is Irish, and he makes some really good cinnamon bread, breakfast sandwiches, and coffee.
Melt | This is on Front St. on the water. The best breakfast on the entire island. Seriously. And very surprising because if it hadn't been recommended to us, we wouldn't have eaten breakfast there. It's a bar. But their brunch menu is absolutely delicious. It's so good you'll go back twice! Live music on the weekends in the morning, and you can sit outside while the beach is still quiet, listening to the one man guitar, sipping coffee.
Tacos: (San Pedro) For local tacos you have to go to "middle" and "back streets" as the locals call it. Tacos are a breakfast thing here, so all the shops close before noon.
Two Tree Bahn Mi | This is a hidden gem. seriously. It's a tiny little hut on front street a couple doors down from Melt and for 5-7 bucks you can get a foot long banh mi sandwich.
Waruguma Restaurant | One word: pupusas. This is the place to get your El Salvadorian fix. Our recommendation: buy extra to eat the next day!
Casa Picasso | This is another hidden gem. It's the one place you can wear the one fancy dress you brought. It's located in south San Pedro and reservations are recommended. It's quiet, quint, and delicious. And the cocktails don't disappoint either. It's located on a back side street up the road from Caye Coffee Roasters. We loved it!
The Belize Chocolate Company | Enough said. Real authentic cacao. Their coffee, cookies, all of it was good. We loved the decor and their graphics, too.
The Truck Stop | Located on the north side of the island, this was our absolute favorite spot on the entire island. We stayed in San Pedro and rode our bikes up here on 2 out of our 3 nights in Belize, that's how much we loved it. They have one truck for drinks, two for food, and one for dessert. They have a fire pit, corn hole, and horse shoes. They also have a dock that goes out over lagoon where you can watch the sunset. Word of advice: BRING BUG SPRAY! Seriously, most bugs on the entire island! They were setting up a screen to go out over the water for movie nights when we were there too.
Marbucks | Okay, so we wouldn't normally recommend a "Starbucks" when heading to the Caribbean, or anywhere really. But this place was such a reprieve for us. We stumbled upon it by accident on our way to the Truck Stop for the first time. It's on the north side of the island, tucked away on the cutest side street and is attached to the dreamiest bed and breakfast called Day Dreamin'. They serve wine, beer, coffee, snacks, and sangria. They have live music on Thursday nights, which is when we were there. So we sat outside with our drinks by the pool and listened to some music. It was very peaceful and a nice get away from the hustle and bustle of San Pedro. It's about 1-2 miles after the bridge, and you just follow the signs for Marbucks.
The Lazy Lizard | Located on Caye Caulker at "the split", a narrow split in the island that's said to have been created by a hurricane in the 60's, the Lazy Lizard is a known for their lobster tacos and their laid back attitude. Grab a Lighthouse Lager and head into the water to relax and catch up with your travel buddies. They also have cornhole/bags - the price to play? Free unless you lose to the man who is there everyday, betting contenders a beer ($3) for whoever wins. Of course we lost (he pretty much could not look and make it in the hole every time), but it was worth it!
Palapo Bar | Used to be on the north side of the island, but now it's in San Pedro. They have inner tubes tied up in the water and you can float there all day while you drink. They even have a bucket attached to a pulley system so the server can bring you your beers.
Words by Kat Finley & Kristin O'Connell, Photos by Kristin O'Connell