O. Kay, I promised this and will live up to it because I got alot of great info from this site. 1st time visitor to AC not to Central America though. Was in San Jose, CR in November.
Been Back two weeks now and needless to say, feeling the post trip blues. However, I was not like alot of people on this board, I was not down there for my vacation but for a wedding. 5 days 4 nights. Stayed at Ramon’s. Oh, by the way, I do not sugar coat but try and tell as I see it, JMHO. No time for arguing.
Trip down from Atlanta - Not too bad. I am a frequent traveler so used to the BS. Miami was a bitch with the airport under construction. Flight from Belize City was a breeze on Maya Air. Nice view and if you don't go through any clouds, its smoothe. Touched down AC 35 minutes later. Airport is common 3rd world country. Small building that looks like an old house and an airstrip that has a pathway for locals to cross over. I had a carryon briefcase and getting out of the plane, one of the non-uniformed (no worries, the pilot was the only one wearing one) wanted to take my carryon and place it with the other luggage. I explained it to him directly that he couldn't have it, it had important stuff in it and he seemed a little pissed. I didn't care though. I am not going to do something I don't care to. For those who may be curious, I don't think they were trying to do anything else than earn a tip so don't be concerned just be aware.
Gotta say, we were directed to a phone hanging on the wall, picked it up, dialed 1 and an operator picked up and said something like "yes?" I said "Can you pick us up at the airport and take us to Ramon’s?”“ How many?”“ Four."...Silence...I thought, this is going to be a wait and our ladies went to sit down and no sooner had their cute fannies hit the wood bench did we have a smiling, uniformed (Ramon's Shirt), nice young man to grab our luggage and place us in his cart and whisk us no further than 4 minutes to our Tropical Paradise. When we pulled into Ramon's it was like driving through a well manicured Jungle. Fantastic first impression. We were dripping with sweat and walked into an office that was like a refrigerator, nice. Friendly staff. I asked about the safety boxes I read about on this board and she unlocked one and handed the box to me where I put passports and cash reserves in. She handed me a key and explained what will happen with a fee if I loose it and I felt very comfortable my valuables would be safe. They told us our room was still being cleaned and would bring our luggage to us in one-hour just call. Went straight to the bar. Boom! Belikin! Blue Parrot! WOW! Great drinks and fantastic atmosphere. Everything was just as I had imagined. Beautiful view of the pool, beach, reef, and dogs. Oh, did I say dogs? Well, you are saying, hell yes AC and dogs exist together in mostly harmony. More later on that.
Room was great. We saw the others rooms and were glad we paid the extra 30us a night to get, pay attention, an UPSTAIRS, BEACHFRONT, MIN SUITE. This room rocked. High ceiling, kitchen with microwave, coffee pot, pots, pans, utensils and, thank GOD, a fridge. Here’s a fricking hint. Don't leave the ceiling fans on with the AC because the fans draw in heat from the thatched roof hut and the room isn't as cool as you may like. We figured that out our last night. No worries though, we had the deck door open at night to catch the strong ocean breeze. Some of the other rooms were small, and although very cool with the decorations and creature comforts, not like ours. Beachfront rules. The extra is worth it, not a rip.
Elvi’s Kitchen – Food was OK but service was terrible. One of our people did not get their food until after we had all finished. They were not apologetic and didn’t seem to give a shit. When our tip matched the service we received, they chased us out the door and said, “the tip no good”. We said, “the service no good!” the young little guy’s looked like they were going to push it until my buddy who was pissed already having to pay for his late meal, gave a look that sent the little guy’s scooting back in their place. Trying to intimate the wrong guy’s can be trouble even if we are tourist. Right is right and they were definitely wrong. That place was disappointing.
Supplies – the grocery shopping experience was interesting. Mostly US type foods but why get what you can get back home. Experiment a little but don’t blame me. Bought coffee, beer, snacks and juice.
Golf Carts – Moncho’s has the best air-conditioned office on the Island and that is because they can afford it. They are more expensive and if you walk 50 steps next door you can save about 20us a day. They are a rip. Don’t forget to barter. Nice office though. Across from Ramon’s.
Our room included breakfast so mostly eat breakfast there. It was pretty good.
The hammocks rock. Could stay in one of those all day.
Pool is probably the best on the island.
Ramon’s staff is awesome.
The dog’s beg politely and for the most part, are not a nuisance. If you have a friendly face and or any food, they will follow you everywhere. Some, I would not pet though. For you posters and lurkers who may want to know how your favorite dog is doing, they are all happy, well treated and mostly able to roam like cattle can in parts of India. Respectfully.
Beach is great but the snorkeling off the pier was even better. I know, better snorkeling was to be had at other places but this was fun and easy.
Traveling – went north on a Golf Cart. In town, a boy named Jason had jumped on our cart and scared the hell out my lady. I stopped and stared him down to let him know not to F with me and he was harmless. About 11 y/o and very articulate. Said he would take us North for 10 Belizean, 5 us. I thought hell, cheapest tour guide I would find that day and besides, I wasn’t going to pay him until our tour was mostly over. Always a good way to do that type of business. He was pleasant and seemed very willing to share his life with us. Went across the hand pulled and ferry and was glad they were pulling and not me. I think it was 10 bel. Roundtrip. You might say they have the ferry market cornered. Not a whole lot to see up there but marsh and some pretty landscaped homes. Watch out for the fricking mosquitoes! We went through an invisible fog of them and I had 4 on me before I knew it. Forgot the deet I brought all the way from the US. Oh well, no problem until then. Went as far as Captain Morgan’s and turned around. We were burning up and it was only 10am. If you’re the adventurer, go ahead and take the trip, but I wasn’t too impressed. Jason, however, was a hoot and he stayed with us until we went back to Ramon’s and was a great guide. One of his buddies jumped on board as we were heading back to town and asked for 10 bel. for his company. No deal. We bought several nice chains and anklets that some of the older peddlers were asking a lot more for the same thing. Was approached by about 35 women, men and cute little kids selling the same thing during this trip. Go ahead and buy one or two and then you can tell the rest you gave at the office.
People – most everyone we came in contact with was nice and seemed glad we were there even though they had had their fill of tourist. There was this looney old crazy man at Ramon’s that I honestly do not know why they allow him to lurk and harass the customers. Not what I want when staying at a nice resort. One night he was walking by about 10 of us sitting and enjoying the deck area around the pool and one of the dogs with us snapped at him and he began trying to kick it and hit it with a conk shell he was always trying to sell. One of our lady dog lovers told him to leave the dog alone. He began yelling at her and getting overly nasty. That’s when the guy’s had to get involved and we understood that he was not all there, if you know what I mean, and gave him a little room until he threatened one of my friends by approaching, too damn close, with a conch shell raised above his head. Seconds before we were up and about to beat the shit out of this weirdo purely in defense, out of the shadows came “VOODOO MAN”. Yes, Voodoo man is what we call him and apparently he is the long time night security man there who lurks around and looks like he is either wired on something or has been dead 10 years. I want to be his agent and take him to Hollywood. Anyways, this guy corralled crazy man out of the resort and said some things that sent him packing very quickly. Only strange event on the whole trip and by comparison was disappointing but not a trip buster.
Caliente’s for lunch was a great decision. Fantastic seafood fajitas! Great salsa and fresh chips!
Blue Shark – great coconut shrimp and drinks. Watch out for rigormortous kitty.
Capricorns – great atmosphere and if you take a water taxi around 6:30pm, you get to see a wonderful skyline. Food was amazing but take you skeeter stuff cause they will get you. This place is in the middle of nowhere.
Para sailing is great if you go with Jim. He is the best. And takes any fear out for any who may have some like my lady. Very personable and professional. Happened to be on the same boat with the only island veterinary that had wanted to parasail for years. She was a cutie and extremely nice. English accent. Had drinks afterwards at Fido’s right in front of the Parasail place.
Coconut Rum and Cubans at Travelers store down from Elvi’s. The local made coconut rum will sneak up on you. Had a blast one night and drank a whole bottle with coke. Cigars are of course a great treat for those who enjoy them. I do. Snuck a few home.
Wedding – Ramon’s did a wonderful job with the whole thing. Dinner, drinks, band and dancing were unforgettable. Everyone got smashed and then watched Tyson get his ass kicked on the only TV in Ramon’s, at the bar.
Fishing was a blast. 5 of us caught about 6 – 7 fish a piece on a half-day trip in the flats area. Great guide.
Will give more details later.