We just returned from our first visit. 12 wonderful but all too short days on Ambergris. We rented a condo called San Telmo #1 from Caye Management. Great location on the beach just north of Banyan Bay, nicely furnished with a well outfitted kitchen.We mainly shopped at the supermarket for staples,the various fruit stands for produce, La Popular for bread and goodies and at Chicos market for meats.
Johnna at Caye Management was super friendly and helpful in arranging tours and answering questions.She hooked us up with Roberto who owns the Winnie Estelle and does day trips combining snorkeling and visiting Caye Caulker. It's a very pleasant trip and he makes sure everyone has a good time.Lunch at the Sand Box just can't be beat. Hands down one of our favorite meals of the whole trip.
Johnna also arranged a trip with Daniel Nunez for a wildlife river trip combined with a visit to Altun Ha.If anyone can spot wildlife it's Daniel. He found tiny crocs at the river's edge, toucans, howler monkeys, iguanas, etc... . Nothing escapes his eagle eye. He also seems to know every plant and tree as well as their medicinal uses, and his enthusiasm is contagious. A walking encyclopedia that guy! A great tour with a delicious lunch served at the Mayan Wells restaurant.
We used the dive shop at Banyan Bay to arrange most of our snorkeling trips. Eli runs that operation and she is helpful in explaining trip options and making sure you have what you need. Most in our party brought their own snorkels and masks and rented fins there. Those who rented masks did have some trouble with leaks,(all masks just can't fit all faces), so I would recommend buying those before your trip.The fins were fine. We went to Coral Gardens,Hol Chan, Shark Ray Alley, Mexico Rocks, Los Cocos, and Mexican Reef. Out of those, Mexico rocks was our favorite. No other people and lots of sealife not seen at the other places.Our 11 year old daughter really loved Shark Ray Alley though.
Eli also arranged a fishing trip with Fellipe that proved to be a very fruitful afternoon. We ate snapper for days afterwards. Fellipe was very hospitable and accomodating. Even when I asked him to cast for me (I am a hopeless clutz).
As for restaurants, we enjoyed lunch at Cannibal Cafe and Banyan Bay's beach hut. Dinner at Elvi's was somewhat of a dissappointment after all the hype.El Patio was better food and more reasonable. Pizza delivered by the Bun Man was tasty and hot.
In all an excellent trip and well worth the effort to get there. We had 3 generations staying in the condo together and there was something for everyone. I wish we were back there right now!