Got all this from a Delta captain I flew with. Info is a few years old. He rented a place on the beach. He and his son went diving every day and brought home fresh caught/speared food to cook up. Sorry for such a long post but I hope it helps.
Ambergris Caye, Belize
From the US, you fly into Belize City International Airport. From there you take a commuter airline flight to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye (Key). There are two commuters that fly the route. Tropic and Mayan Airlines. I prefer Tropic; they fly good turboprop equipment (Cessna Caravans). It's a short 15 minute flight to San Pedro. From the airport in San Pedro some hotels will pick you up with a courtesy vehicle or it's only a $5.00 US taxi ride.
Here is some useful information for getting there:
Tropic - PM
Belize City - BZESan Pedro - SPR
Non Rev Deals:
TACA – ZED fares + Jump Seat ( must call their dispatch in San Salvador Phone=011-503-3-399461) Res: 800-535-5780.
Tropic – Airline Discount. Full fare ticket is $ 107.80trip (20% discount). Best to call and make reservation; tell them you'll pay at the airport in BZE. Be sure toget the record locator number. Res: 800-422-3435. Web: www.tropicair.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to Stay:
Decide how much room you need. If its two bedroom or more, you'll probably like the condo route the best. If you just want a hotel room then that will be cheaper. Here's what I recommend (all of these I have stayed in or have looked at personally):
Banyan Bay Villas: Best place in Belize. Real nice spacious 2 BR/2 Bath,
Jacuzzi tub, full kitchen, good cable TV package, nice pool. Good location. Normal Rates are about $190 to $250 per night, but you should be able to get an airline discount. These condo's will easily sleep 6 (2 BR + 2 sleeper sofas. Call them direct at 866-352-1163 or local at 011-501-26- 3739. Web site: www.banyanbay.com.Email: email@example.com.
The Palms: Nice 2BR/2Bath condo's. Great location, right next to Ramon's Village (good restaurant/night life) and close to town. All the basic stuff - pool, AC, full kitchen, laundry. Reasonable prices.Phone: 011-501-26-3322. E.-mail -" firstname.lastname@example.org". Web site -www.ambergris.com/palms
Belize Yatch Club: Nice, mature resort, with a good location relative to town. One, two and three bedroom condo's available. One bedroom ($165.00 per night) sleeps four and the three bedroom ($300.00 per night) condo should sleep six. Phone - 01 1-501-26-2777. Email - bychotel@ btl.net. Web site - www.bychotel.com.bz.
Royal Palm Inn Ltd: One bedroom condos. A little further out of town than most, but they are pretty much self-contained with a nice pool, bar, restaurant and dive shop. About $127.00 to $158.00 per night. Phone - 011-501-26-2148. Email – email@example.com. Web site - www.bbelize.com/royalpalm.html. They also have a deal with the RCI timeshare outfit. If you have a timeshare somewhere this may be an option for a swap.
Victoria House: Best hotel on the island. A little far out of town, but still walkable, the hotel provides free bikes or you can rent golf carts. A real nice place, big rooms (for a third world resort), excellent service and food. Very quiet with the feel of your own private resort. I prefer the rooms over the dining room area. (atfirst I was concerned about the noise of being over the "dining room" area, but it's no factor). Nice ocean breeze with a large balcony area. There are also a couple two and three bedroom villas. These are real nice beach house type units with all the amenities of a condo (kitchen, TV, VCR). Airline discount.Should cost around $ 95-110.00 per night. 800-247-5159; 504-8650717.
Ramon's Village: Nice location. Right next to down town. Some night life (bands at the bar on some nights). Not all the rooms are airconditioned so be sure to check. Could get hot if no ocean breeze plus its noisy with the bar hopin and the windows open. Good restaurant with verandah on the beach (good breakfast spot). About the sarne price as Victoria House with an airline discount. Phone: 800-624-4215.
Coconuts Caribbean Hotel: Good location (about 10 min beach walk to town). Small room and pop type of place. Clean, AC, beach bar, and reasonable. Listed in the ASU Guide. Rates are around $65 to $95 per night. Usually run an off season (fall months) rate of about $55 per night. Phone - 01 1-501-26-3500. Fax 011-50125-3501.Email - coconuts @btl.net.
SunBreeze Beach Hotel:Great location. Just across the street from the airport and right next to town. Good reputation as a good clean place to stay. If all all your looking for is a place to crash this is it. Phone: 1-800-688-0191 (501)-226-2191/2345. E-Mail - firstname.lastname@example.org . Web: http://www.sunbreeze.net/ Normally around $90 to $100 per night but they always run special deals so call for latest rates.
SunBreeze Suites: Good location, north end of “downtown”. On beach near good dive shops. Phone: 800-820-1631 Email - email@example.com . Web – www.sunbreezesuites.com
Four basic options:
2. Golf Carts
Taxi: Cheap, quick, and reliable. Best way to find stuff. Take a taxi there and walk home. Standard fare is 10 BZE ($5 1 JS) one way anywhere.
Golf Cart: About $10-12 per hour. Daily/Weekly rates available. Expensive but good for a heavy grocery store run or a nice dinner outing.
Carts Belize: 501-226-4084 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.cartsbelize.com.
Bicycle: Some hotels provide them free (Victoria House). Can be rented daily/weekly for reasonable bucks, if not available at the hotel/condo.Good idea if you plan on going to town a lot.
Walk: Generally dependent on your location. Most hotels/condos are an easy 1520 min walk to town. Best plan is to walk along the beach (shorter distance and nice ocean breeze) and then cut one block over into town. There is unobstructed public access walking along the beach so the beach route to town is no problem. A good compromise is to taxi one way and walk the other.
Where to Eat
There are a. couple supermarkets in town called the "Rocks". They have a good selection of booze and basic foods, prices OK. If you do the condo route, bring some staples (suitcase full-o-junk food/snacks). Go fishing on one of the first days you are there and then you'll have fresh fish for the week. If you don't fish, go to the fish market and buy it. All else can be bought at the "Rocks". The beverage distributors will deliver beer by the case to your door cheaper than you can buy at the "Rocks". There is also "The Bun Man"
Fish Cooperative: There is a "fish coop" in town. Its on the far side of town next to the power plant. Ask directions or take a taxi (easiest way to find things -take a taxi one way then walk home).
Fish Markets: There are also a couple of places on the west side of town (hay side) where the smaller fisherman sell off their catch. Much cheaper here (a little less than a buck a pound for fresh snapper!), but you have to do your own cleaning/filleting. Bring a good fillet knife or go to the coop.
Elvi's Kitchen: Great food, good prices. Somewhat unique with its tuxedo clad waiters, the sand floor, and the five banyan tree growing in the middle of the floor.
Fido's: Good place for happy hour & snacks
Real Cafe: This is a little restaurant next to Fido's. As you enter Fidos, go left, up the stairs and across the roofl Yeah, I know sounds funky but they have an outstaring Lobster or Conch salad for lunch.
Little Italy: Good food and nice location on the beach. "Snapper Mediterranean" is to die for.
The Reef:A locals kind of place. No amenities but good cheap food. Walk down Front Street (main drag in town, l block off beach). When you get to "Lopez' Drug Store" turn left, go one block, then right. Two or three buildings down on the left.
Tropics Cafe & Bar: Nice beach bar and grill. Good place for a nice quick b'fast, lunch, or dinner. Just south of Banyan Bay Villas on the beach. Look for the large American, English, and Canadian flags.
What to Do ???
Dive / Snorkel: Best diving and the second largest barrier reef behind Australia. Great diving inside (shallow) and just Outside the barrier reel. The reef is only 3/4 mile off shore so the boat rides are short. World class diving out on the Atolls. Somewhat deeper (60-130 ft) and a longer boat ride ( 1-2 hours ) but well worth it. Snorkeling is also world class. There is a marine preserve close to town that is great. Also, there is the "Shark-Ray" sandbar. Kind of like stingray city in the Cayman's but with the addition of sand sharks. Good fun. A good half day would be to do Hol Chan Marine Preserve and Shark-Ray Sandbar. Should cost around $ 25.00 per person. There are also day longsnorkel picnic trips where you snorkel, pick up conch, spear some snapper (or the guide will do it) then stop on a deserted beach and have a cookout. All you bring is the beer.
Misc. Water Sports: Reef and Flats fishing, Deep Sea fishing, Night fishing. Sightseeing trips. Wave runners and Jet skis.Parasailing. Bird Watching. Manatee watching.
These guys are the guides I use when I'm there:
Amigos del Mar Dive Shop: On beach near Fido’s. Full service shop with in-shore and off-shore atoll trips. Two nice boats. Good Blue Hole trip. Good service with friendly divemasters. 501-226-2706. Email: email@example.com. Web: www.amigosdivebelize.com.
Ecologic Divers: On Beach, right next to Amigos Dive shop. Full service shop with single or two tank in-shore dives. Also has day tripsto atolls and Blue Hole. Good friendly service. 501-226-4118. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.eocologicdivers.com
Other Dive shops:
Money:No need to change any. US and Belize Dollar used interchangeably. Rate is 2 Belize Dollars to one US. Most guides you book on your own, deal in cash. If you book through the hotel/condo or through one of the dive/travel shops in town you can either charge it to you room or all major credit cards accepted.
Passports:Need one, no visa required.
Ambergris Caye: Largest of the offshore keys. The only one with scheduled hourly air service. Most populated and largest tourist business. Only about 2000 indigenous folks live there full time. All streets are sand/dirt. Only a handful of motor vehicles. Most everyone uses bicycles or golf carts. Mostly, only the southern end of the island is inhabited, around the town of San Pedro,
Caye Caulker: The only other large key with a tourist business. Much more rustic. Little to no AC in the hotels/restaurants. Periodic air service; most people get there by boat.
People: Mayan Indian descent (not Black or Mexican). Mostly Catholic/Protestant religious people. Extremely nice; they like Americans and Tourists Without being
Other than Water: I don't have much experience with this stuff 'cause I'm booked on the beach/diving stuff but there are some good trips back in country for jungle safaris/hiking, river cave tubing, caving, and river trips to the Mayan Ruins. All this can lie hooked at any hotel. Also, there are day trips down to Caye Caulker. It's a smaller island just south of Ambergris Caye. Somewhat more "rustic" than Ambergris. Its a good half days entertainment to go down and have lunch, walk around town and then return. Several of the guides will do the trip or your hotel can hook the trip.
Night Life: Not too much on the keys. A couple bars get hopin, once in a while. Most people make their own entertainment. After being out in the sun and suds all day; happy hour boat drinks and a belly full of good food takes its toll, so most folks crash early.