Posting a trip report - we just got back from 2 weeks in AC and Belize. We had an awesome time and would definitely go back.
Ramons is beautiful- large beach, we enjoyed being close to town to walk to dinner and not having to wait for water taxis. We found it very quiet - no noise from the airport or street. The beach is spacious and the rooms were clean and comfortable. We were staying in the beachfront cabanas and would recommend to stay on the south side of the resort because they were doing constuction on the restaurant. I guess there is never a good time to do construction, but more then one morning we could not speak at breakfast above the sound of saws. The construction was getting done by the time we were leaving- and as long as you stay in the far side of the resort I think it will be fine. Compared to many other resorts - I thought we were staying at one of the nicest places, with one if the nicest beaches. Especially compared to Bannanna Beach which I had considered.
We spent 5 days in the jungle at Caves Branch - this was the highlight of our trip - the "adventures" were amazing- and probably the most fun and challenging thing we have ever done - and we travel a lot! The food was plentiful and tasty. The rooms were amazing, the guides friendly and knowlegable. I would recommend a few days there rather then tyring to do both from AC.
Safety was not an issue- we felt very safe- were offered EVERYTHING for sale on the beach on AC- from cocaine to cookies. The people were very appropriate and took "no thank you" easily.
Water was all safe to drink and readily available in the jungle and AC. We always made sure we did not have to pay for water in the restaurants by not asking for bottled water.
Credit cards were widely accepted despite many posts on this site, that said they were hard to use. We brought cash which we almost never used. Only one place wanted to charge a fee for using a credit card.
In regards to food- my husband and I have very descriminating tastes - and consider ourselves amatuer chefs - and we thought the food was near the best we have had throughout the caribean. The food is simple- but fresh ingredients, and reasonably priced. Cocina Caramba was our favorite restaurant - with smoothies to die for. Elvi's was our favorite for lunch- again excellent and cheap food. Blue Water Grill was good - but more pricey, Caliente - the food was pretty average - but we had fun with the chicken drop on Wednesdays, BC's was excellent for beer - happy hour, Estelles for breakfast . We were not that impressed with Casa Picasso - we unfortunately have a great Tapas bar here in Baltimore, so we must be spoiled - we thought the food was average and the portions ,even for Tapas, were on the small side. We also both got sick that evening - so that may bias us!
The diving we did was with Amigos- del -mar. George was very good, always prompt with picking us up at our hotel. The dving was not as good overall as the Cayman Islands or Bonaire - in terms of fish life, it seemed that there was a lot of damage from hurricane Mitch with broken coral, lots of algae growth. There were more larger fish however- groupers and nurse sharks. There is no shore diving or snorkeling from shore. The pier at Ramons had snapper and small fish- but literally just under the small pier. We were dissapointed in that, because we do enjoy snorkeling from the beach as well.
Overall I thought Belize did offer a "complete" package - we wanted somewhere with diving and jungle - which most islands can not offer. The food was great- the country was clean, and the people very friendly. We would go back as I said - adjusting to life back here has been difficult!!