Well everyone, we just got back late Sunday and I wanted to at least post a short report while everything is fresh in my mind.
We arrived with no complication to BZE. We met a gentleman traveling on business on the plane, so we sat and had a few Belikins while we waited for our Maya Island flight. Turns out, we were so enthralled with meeting Jet (Jet's bar in corner of departure terminal) and chatting with our new friend, we almost missed the flight - but they came and got us!!! This was our first clue as to how wonderful everyone treats you.
We stayed at Ramon's and were pretty satisfied with that decision. We were only there for 3 nights, so we were pretty glad we stayed close to town. I knew going in that their food wasn't great and that it was on the pricey side for what you get, but everyone was very nice. Also being that it was mid-September and the 'height' of low season, I was glad we were there since some hotels seemed pretty deserted and Ramon's was not.
The first afternoon, we just walked up the beach all the way to the Blue Tang, and then walked back through town to get oriented. That evening, we had a fairly early dinner at Elvi's. My husband had a shrimp and pasta special, I had the 'famous' Fried Chicken. I'm not a huge fried chicken fan, but this was absolutely the BEST fried chicken I've ever eaten. We just walked back to Ramon's and crashed since we were exhausted. Friday morning, I watched the sun come up (at 5:30 AM!) from our balcony! We had purchased the package from Ramon's that included breakfast, (It was actually cheaper to do it that way) so we had breakfast there each morning. Then we walked the short block to Moncho's and rented a cart for 48 hours. I think the rate was around BZ $70 per day, which they said was 50% off.
We took off to the south first and drove all the way to Caribe Island Resort. It was so much fun to see all the places that I researched for the trip. Most of the places are pretty accurately represented on their web sites. I will say that Villas at Banyan Bay actually looked nicer in person than on their web site. We stopped there at Rico's for coffee. Great location! Very pretty. We ended going back there for dinner Friday night. The food was not as great as the setting, but it was still nice.
After we went south on the golf cart, we decided to turn around and keep going north. We drove all the way north to Captain Morgan's! My husband found every pothole on the way. We stopped at Captain Morgan's for a cold drink and chatted with the bartender. He gave us a pitch to stay there and told us that there were only 14 people staying there. He said that the office would make us a great 'cash walk-in deal'. He was very nice about it, though. Overall, we saw quite a few of the places to stay on the island. We were glad we were at Ramon's on this first trip, especially since we only had 3 days. On the way back to town, we encountered two Belizean men with water jugs walking to town. It was hot and they kind of waved to us so we stopped and gave them a ride to the hand ferry. My skeptical American side was thinking, is this safe? We were basically out in the middle of nowhere. Well, we were perfectly safe. We did not speak spanish and they did not speak spanish, but we laughed all the way each time my husband hit a pot hole!
Next, we had lunch at Shark's Bar. I had chicken quesadillas and my husband had beef quesadillas. They were pretty good, although the service was on the slow side. The rest of the day, we just wandered from the pool to the beach and back. We did get some snorkel equipment from the Ramon's pier and snorkeled a bit around their man made reef. It was a cool thing to do without much effort or cost. We told them we were going snorkeling with them the following day, so they comped us on the use of the snorkel equipment that afternoon.
That night, we had dinner at Rico's - I had overcooked chicken and my husband had overcooked lobster, but it sure was pretty. After dinner, we went up to the Jaguar Club.
Several things struck me while we sat on the porch. First of all, there was a high school talent contest going on across the street, and the whole town came out. Families, babies, teens, and everyone was friendly. Second, we met and talked to 3 or 4 different groups of people at the bar. We were even invited to join a dice game going on at the next table. The third thing that struck me was when we were leaving, we were walking down the street and a group of the guys we were talking to yelled to us. I turned around and my husband said to just keep walking. I turned back around and started walking again. They yelled again, I turned and saw they were holding up my purse. I had forgotten it and they were letting me know I'd left it behind. I was so grateful, but also embarassed that our initial reaction was to ignore them. The whole evening made me realize how glad I was that I chose AC for my vacation. There was a large crowd in town, but when you walked down the street, you felt totally safe. There was even a mass being said-with the doors wide open-as we walked around on Friday evening. What a cool place!
Well, this got awfully long. Have to finish later. I'll post part two in a day or so.