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#397916 - 01/20/11 06:33 PM Ambergris or Caulker
lainey Offline
Can someone compare those 2 cayes for me? Never been to Belize, and we're looking for some place that's not the slowest, but also not high end resorts. Someplace with walking destinations (food and bars, beaches, etc)? Mid-range budget. We'll be there the first couple of weeks in April. Flying to Playa del Carmen for a night or 2, then bus to Belize. Thanks in advance! We're really looking forward to it.

#397917 - 01/20/11 06:45 PM Re: Ambergris or Caulker [Re: lainey]
seashell Offline
May I suggest you pick Ambergris Caye for your stay and take a water taxi over the Caye Caulker, and check it out while you are there. Caye Caulker is very slow. Ambergris Caye can offer slow and a bit faster, walking destinations for food and bars, and beaches, and lots of mid-range accommodations. There are some higher end resorts too, but they won't interfere with your plans. smile
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#397921 - 01/20/11 08:09 PM Re: Ambergris or Caulker [Re: lainey]
MisterB266 Offline
It sounds like you would like Ambergris better than Caye Caulker, but you should get over to CC at least for a day trip.

If you're busing down from Playa, you don't need to continue by bus to Belize City to get the water taxi -- there are 2 water taxis from Chetumal to Ambergris -- much easier.

Schedules here (Section 7):

#397954 - 01/21/11 09:43 AM Re: Ambergris or Caulker [Re: MisterB266]
azbob Offline
Agree. I also recommend Ambergris with a 1/2 day trip to Caulker. You will not be disappointed. There are many great places on Ambergris, just give a little more info and you will get many recommendations.
"Hold on Tight To Your Dreams" ELO

#397987 - 01/21/11 12:10 PM Re: Ambergris or Caulker [Re: lainey]
Diane Campbell Offline

#399626 - 02/05/11 01:42 PM Re: Ambergris or Caulker [Re: lainey]
lainey Offline
Thanks for all the info. We're taking your advice and heading to Ambergris Caye.

#399632 - 02/05/11 06:55 PM Re: Ambergris or Caulker [Re: lainey]
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Here's my boilerplate comparisons of the two islands:
AMBERGRIS CAYE (often referred to as San Pedro):
* The biggest island in Belize (originally a peninsula jutting down from the Yucatan) — northern Belize
* Settled by Mestizos from Mexico
* Most popular destination in Belize (for many good reasons)
* Tends to attract a crowd in their 30s, 40s and older, mostly couples
* Some 20,000 people on the island
* #1 area in Belize for foreign investment and expat living — second homes, condos, retirement
* Sand streets though some of the streets are now paved with concrete cobblestones; formerly no building over three stories, but some new developments have four stories
• Significant new development has place south of town and also on North Ambergris
* By far Belize’s widest selection of restaurants and hotels
* Among the best top-end hotels and condotels: Victoria House, Azul Resort, Pelican Reef and Mata Chica
* Among the best condotels: Grand Caribe, Grand Colony, The Palms, Xanadu, The Phoenix, Coco Beach, Las Terrazas
* Among the best mid-range lodging: Mayan Princess, Corona del Mar, Banana Beach, The Tides
* Among the best budget lodging: Ruby’s, Sanpedrano, Pedro’s Inn
* Some shops, sizeable groceries, lots of bars and places to hear live music
* Some excellent restaurants including:
Very Expensive: Rojo Lounge, Capricorn, Red Ginger
Expensive: Blue Water Grill, Rendezvous, Elvi’s, Pinocchio’s, Hidden Treasure, Sunset Grill, Wild Mangos
Moderate: Caramba
* Very nice beaches though like all beaches inside the reef somewhat narrow and with some goop bottoms and a good deal of seagrass – garbage on the beach in areas not policed by hotels
* Beaches along most of the Caribbean side
* Reef just a few hundred yards offshore, closest at the far north
* Your first decision is to decide where to stay — in town, south of town, on North Ambergris near the river channel or on more remote parts of North Ambergris
* Lots of snorkel tours and day trips to the mainland to visit ruins
* Good recreational diving locally and excellent diving on day trips to Turneffe or Lighthouse atolls
* Get there by 20-minute flights from international or municipal airstrip or by 75-minute water taxi
* Friendly and safe though usual cautions are in order — burglaries and thefts are fairly common, murders not unknown
* Transportation on the island — bikes, rental golf carts, cabs, water taxis
* Traffic in town is starting to get really bad
* New bridge over Boca del Rio (mostly carts, bikes and pedestrians) is helping open up North Ambergris, but cart path there is very rough in places
* Hotels from US$15 to $500+ a night
* Small condos and vacation rental houses available US$100 to $500+ a night
* No golf on island
* Tennis available at sports club and at several hotels
* Water — safe to drink from municipal system or RO/wells
* Good fishing — tarpon, bonefish and other
* Little snorkeling from shore -- best snorkeling requires a short boat ride to Hol Chan Marine Reserve including Shark-Ray Alley
* About the same amount of rain as Atlanta, Ga.

* Still a charming, laidback small village atmosphere with a Caribbean resort vibe
* The main part of the island really is just one village of about 1,400 people, and on the average day maybe 300 or 400 tourists
* The vibes are laidback, easy-going, calm
* This is Ambergris Caye's little sister -- smaller and a cheaper date
* Moving more upmarket, with several condos recently opened, but it is still mostly a moderate, budget and backpacker island -- only five hotels on the island have a pool, for example
* Sand streets, few cars, you get around by shank's mare, bike or maybe a golf cart
* A mix of people on the island, Mestizos, some Creoles, some gringos
* About 55 hotels and vacation rentals, mostly very small, with a total of around 900 rooms
* Beaches are not the island's strong point -- a little swimming from piers and one or two places south, but the Split is the main area where folks swim
* New municipal RO water system
* Best hotel on the island costs only about US$200 a night
* Iguana Reef Inn, Seaside Cabanas and CayeReef Condos are among the most "upscale" choices for Caulker, and all have pools
* Other good low-moderate choices -- Tree Tops, Trends Beachfront, Shirley's, Anchorage, Jaguar Morning Star, Lazy Iguana B&B, Caye Caulker Condos, De Real Macaw, Barefoot Beach, Maxhapan and others
* Good restaurants at the top end include Habaneros, and good food, too, at Rosa’s, Rainbow Grill, Sand Box, Wish-Willie’s, Amor y Café, Femi’s, Jolly Roger and others
* Two or three dive shops do dive trips -- snorkeling and diving here are a little cheaper than San Pedro and Placencia
• The reef is just a few hundred yards offshore
* For booze and what action there is, hit the Lazy Lizard, Ocean Front, I&I and a few other bars
* Rastas occasionally bug you
* No golf or tennis
* Safe, but several high-profile crimes occurred recently on island
* Getting there is easy -- it's a 45 water taxi ride from Belize City and less from San Pedro; or a few minutes by air on Maya Island or Tropic Air
Lan Sluder/Belize First

#399677 - 02/06/11 01:29 PM Re: Ambergris or Caulker [Re: lainey]
windyw Offline
My husband and I started in San Pedro, after many visits we went on a day trip to Caye Caulker. And enjoyed it very much. On our next visit, we stayed on Caye Caulker for 1 night. Now we do half and half and in April are staying on Caye Caulker for 9 nights at Seaside Cabanas. We will take a day trip to San Pedro.
When you take your day trip to Caye Caulker, walk down to "The Split" Simply one of the most beautiful views you will ever see, do not miss it!!
Caye Caulker is very laid back but enough to do to keep you somewhat busy, if busy is what you want.

Enjoy your visit, it is hard to go wrong with San Pedro or Caye Caulker!!

#399811 - 02/08/11 11:30 AM Re: Ambergris or Caulker [Re: lainey]
Babsy Offline
Mike and I will be arriving in CC on Thursday. I can not wait doesn't even explain how excited I am. We plan to do.......NOTHING!!! Sounds like CC will be perfect for our first trip to Belize!

#400717 - 02/21/11 03:35 PM Re: Ambergris or Caulker [Re: lainey]
Babsy Offline
back from CC! Time flew by! We so much enjoyed our time on the island. The people, weather, easy going nature, all are so wonderful. I loved every minute. Can't wait to go back. :-)


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