My experiences in A/C
I would suggest that if you are getting in after 5 P.M. and you want to be on a tour or die the next day, ask your hotel before you get there to make the plans for that first day. We ended up with a half day snorkeling trip - which was good for us, but we would have preferred a whole day.
Ratings 0 - 10. 0 being wouldn't ever go back and 10 - recommend it strongly. A 5 means it may not be for everyone so read the comments and decide for yourself.
1. Sundiver Resort
Rating 10 for accommodation friendliness and food.
Rating 5 for accessibility to town.
We stayed at the Sundiver resort. It is located about 5 miles north of San Pedro Town.
We had a lovely Jr. suite that was very comfortable. Nothing I can think of to complain about. Very clean, roomy, well decorated...
The Chef there is fantastic! His name is Kenrick (spelling may be wrong). Everything we tried there was delicious. And we tried something different every night we ate there.
I would suggest calling to see if they are requiring reservations if you want to eat there. Every night it seems that more and more were eating there.
Prices were reasonable. Most expensive was steak and Lobster for 45 Belize dollars (22.50 USD).
They had Italian food, pork, chicken, steak...
George will probably be your waiter, or one of the family members that run the place.
Again, I can't rave enough about the food. (we did have lunch other places and it just didn't compare)
Oh, and for lunch if you get the hamburger it is HUGE! My husband video taped the hamburger because it was so big.
Accessibility to town - well, we are the kind who like to be around lots of people, and we didn't like the idea of taking a boat into town (we do many things on a whim). BUT most of the people we met said they were glad to be isolated with the ability to go into town if they wanted. Also it is a great place to base yourself for dives. They pick you up right on the pier, no need to go into town.
We only ate away one night that we were in A/C and we went to Rendezvous. This is supposed to be a French/Thai restaurant and very goo. I love Thai food, and was bitterly disappointed. We had a traditional Tom Yum Goong, Pad Thai, a salmon appetizer, and chicken curry. All medium spicy. Well, the soup had the tails left on the shrimp - hard to eat it properly, but then it also didn't have much taste :-(
The Pad Thai also had the shrimp tails left on. also hard to eat and not much flavor.
I didn't eat the salmon, so I can't comment, and my husband only ate half his chicken curry.
Snorkeling, Mexico rocks:
10 for a beginner who is scared of snorkeling
I'm the person afraid of the ocean, but this was just right. I don't know how experienced divers/snorkelers would rate it. about 31 USD a person for a half day trip.
I would strongly suggest that if you want to go to Tikal you do one of 2 things...
1. take the overnight trip - you get a bit more time and best of all you get to stay in Flores.
or what we should have done
2. Taken a separate trip to Flores and stayed there for a week. Making the trips to the many many ruins from there. It would have been a fraction of the price and less rushed.
Exchange is about 7.5 to 1 USD.
We don;t speak Spanish and got along fine. Go to the highest point in town at night and hang out with the locals. It's fun.
I give this a 5 because of the travel to and from the ruins. It is a great place to see, but read on for a detail of the travel.
Start out at 7 am. Boat (no cover - too bad if it is raining) across the bay to the mainland (45 min). A bit choppy and during the summer might be a good temperature. Get to the mud flats. Well, the tide was low and the boat gets stuck. All the boats but 1 were getting stuck, so it wasn't just one operator. You would think that the tide tables would be known (they are!) and they could distribute people on more boats or take less people. So...
Get to a small village that exists to sell wood carvings to tourists. go to the bathroom (outhouse), get in a mini-van (or a bus if you are unlucky) and travel for about 45 min on the pan american highway. It was paved 25 years ago and has not been touched since. If your kidneys survive, you are lucky.
Then you get to another boat. You then get to see some really tame spider monkeys and go for another 45 min ride to the ruins. This boat trip is a good one, smooth and good scenery.
At the ruins you get lunch and a tour.
Then you do it all in return.
Arriving back at your pier at about 5:30 PM, we were exhausted and frozen.
If you can deal with the travel it is a good tour.
It was brought to our attention after we got back that the Lamanai outpost has a 2 day package that gives you a tour of the ruins, and other river activity (so you can see the birds, monkeys...). You do this by air and the food we were told was good. So, I would suggest this if you can find out more about it.
ALSO, on the over night tours, I would suggest doing them on your way to or at the end of your stay. Then you can cut out one trip from Belize city to A/C.