I just returned from my 14th trip to Ambergris Caye and thought I’d (finally!) write my first trip report! We own a condo and always come down for a few weeks in early January, then again later in the year. I was a bit apprehensive this time because of an unfortunate incident on our last trip and the reports I read here of the increase in crime and police issues. My worries were unfounded and everyone had a great time!
We had to alter our plans slightly and stay at Coco Beach our first night because guests renting our condo were staying an extra day. Since we brought 4 friends with us, we were offered nice rooms and dinner at the newly opened CocoBlanca restaurant. It’s easy to live out of a suitcase one night when our entire wardrobe for several weeks consists of flip flops, swimsuit, tee shirts and shorts! The restaurant is beautiful and everyone at the table enjoyed their dinner. Even though the restaurant had only been open a week, the service was superb – attentive without hovering. It was more like being in Venice than San Pedro, but there is room for a wide variety of restaurants and cuisines in any locale. I think it will be a nice addition for people celebrating a special occasion, and the little private dining nooks scattered around the restaurant looked so cozy!
Our second day was busy moving to our condo and getting our boat ready while one of our friends arranged for a night dive with White Sands (best dive EVER, he declared). My husband had to arrange to renew his boat registration, but everything went smoothly and he was legal and ready to go before long. I wasn’t so lucky with my Digicell phone because I accidentally let my registered SIM card expire and my phone was useless for over a week while BTL waited for a shipment of SIM cards. The ladies at the BTL office were friendly, endlessly patient, and helpful as I made numerous trips in to see if the SIM card had arrived since we also had no phone or internet at the condo for days. In the end, I had a working phone and determination that I would never let that SIM card expire again!
We had toys and dresses for children at Holy Cross and were rewarded with hugs and smiles. The school has come a long way from our first visits and our guests were thankful to have had the opportunity to visit the school and realize that they, too, could do something to make a difference.
We ate at Capricorn, Elvi’s Kitchen, Lazy Croc, Palapa Bar, Fido’s, Licks (the super nice people upstairs let us inside their home to finish eating when the skies opened up and soaked us during one of the many rain showers), Blue Water Grill and from vendors on the street. There wasn't one bad meal the entire time, but we aren't picky and love the staff as much as the food on the island. We loaded up on the stuffed jalapenos from the ladies with the carts, and had a great time chatting with the vendors as our friends bought gifts. We had so many requests from people at home for Marie Sharp’s that we added 15 pounds of weight to each of our suitcases!
Our ATM tour was cancelled due to rain, but our days were filled with fishing, snorkeling and running around. Our guests approached everything with great gusto and they never met a stranger who couldn't come a friend.
The only time one of our group was stopped on the street and asked for money, people came out of 3 shops and intervened. That had been a huge problem for our guests on our last visit, so we were happy to see the change (even though it was something we rarely experienced ourselves for some reason). We drove the golf cart on the dark north roads at night and never felt afraid (but we were a small crowd!), and every police officer we encountered was polite. We had rainy days, windy days and sunny days, but every day was a beautiful day. Our guests had the time of their lives and left hoping they would return again one day. They were enchanted for the same reason we keep returning to San Pedro – the warm and friendly people. Thanks, San Pedro, for another warm welcome!