was sad to be leaving Lydia's in
Placencia, but it was
time to move on to Ambergris. The largest of Belize's
cayes, Ambergris lies 36 miles north of Belize City.
got up early and stood on the main road at 6 a.m. to
catch the bus going to Dangriga. Our backpacks were
stowed up at the front with the driver, and we climbed
our way into the bus and on through to a seat. Ten
Belize Dollars (about $5US) each was the fee to get to Dangriga which is about 2
hours away. It didn't take long before the bus was once again packed.
water taxi to Ambergris Caye
Dropped off at the station, we didn't find much
information posted about the arrival of the next bus so we took
anything going to Belize City. For another $10BZD each,
we purchased tickets to take us onward and when we
arrived in the city, it was hectic. Minivan drivers
were shouting out that they would take us to the dock
for the water transport to San Pedro.
$4BZD each got us to the dock and our transport was
water taxi is pretty much chockers - We be jammin' Mon
Arriving at the dock in
time to take the 12 noon water taxi, we get out of the
minivan and gather our gear. A young man is there
waiting to move us through the paces to purchase water
taxi tickets and to check our luggage through.
$30BZD each buys us our passes for an hour and a half
water ride to Ambergris. Being jammed in like sardines
is starting to be the norm, and the ride across to San Pedro
went smoothly enough. Bumpy at times, water splashed in through the windows, but the color was
beautiful. Views of the barrier reef met us as we
We suggest getting a seat against the wall to
support your back, water splash or not. An hour and a
half of bouncing around can make you tired enough
without adding to your discomfort by having nothing to
lean on. If you have a jacket
or anything else handy to use for a pillow, that would
be good also.
Advertisements of beach, tour, diving and snorkeling
When we disembark from the water taxi, I head over to
the office to obtain information on how, when, where and
how much money it will cost to take our next transport
off the island of Ambergris. Taking notes, this saves us
another stop back here later on. We have this
travel tip and others listed in
The Adventurer's Guide to Early
Meandering around, I find Billy who is at the dock's edge
getting our luggage which is being deposited right there
on the sandy beach. We decide on a direction to go and
walk to the first street past the beach to get our
San Pedro highest elevation is 50
gives you a good idea of what the island is like, and
how to get from place to place. Hotels and essential
businesses are listed in a column up at the top left.
The island itself is pretty easy to navigate one's way.
I'm being silly, but 50 feet in elevation is pretty low.
One good storm and my house, boat, business and anything
else would be out with Davy Jones and his locker!
Ambergris is modern, clean and more populated than
drop Billy off at a corner in the shade while he eats a
sandwich and I go off hotel hunting.
map for the town doesn’t have the two hotels I am
looking for so I go walking around to see what I can
find. Martha’s was recommended so I find it first on Pescador Drive. The place looks a bit
shabby on the outside and is next door to a bar. I try
to find someone at the office - which is locked, the
is on and the fan is going, but it is lunchtime and
Streets are clean and most people walk, bicycle
or use a golf cart to get around
Next I go to Barrier Reef Drive and find Tomas Hotel,
and speak with Mr. Tomas. He shows me 3 rooms, and I
pick out the best one. It's a large room with a
refrigerator and 2 beds, cable TV and large bathroom for
$70BZD per night. It is sandwiched between 2 grocery
stores so this is good - much better than being next to
a bar with the music blaring all night. We get free
drinking water and Billy is able to pick up some Wifi,
so we are all set.
Pina's, a tiny restaurant across from our hotel
Across the street from our hotel is a small
restaurant offering tasty main courses for $9BZD, about
$4.50USD. They are good portions and she has a fresh
selection daily of pork, chicken or beef. Very tasty!
She's open every day but Sunday.
typical meal from Pina's
order to keep travel costs down, finding a solid source
of a daily meal at an affordable price is invaluable.
This allows you the financial freedom to try other
places without busting your budget.
meal above is beef in a Belizean style gravy with red
stew beans, rice and coleslaw.
Bike Rental at the top of the list
Getting around the island by bicycle appealed to us so
we went to Joe's to see what was happening.
and his bikes
Don't you just love his smile?
Joe offers a good deal on bicycle rental:
$5BZD an hour, $12 for 3 hours or $20 for a day. It's a
great way to see the island, and to get some
exercise. Highly recommended!
I am buzzin' around on my rented bike
bit of sand on the road grabs the tires, so biking is more of an effort than a flat road that's totally
smooth. Oh Gee, some exertion in paradise!
But I've got a
basket and a bell and my water bottle is in my daypack.
I'm all set.
Elegance in flip flops
Nothing moves too fast when you are on island time.
Biking is just the right speed. Even golf carting isn't
too bad, and they rent for about $70BZD for 4 hours.
Krazy's Medical Laboratory
What's in a name?
medical laboratory run by a man named Mr. Krazy as
dependable as one that isn't? Glad we didn't have to
guess the city has to pay for the bridge somehow...
Tooling around on our bicycles, we find that to get to
the other side of the island where all the Toney places
are, we have to pay a Belizean buck each way.
the Toneys live
location is on the other side of the island and this
"beach" is makeshift. However, it's still far better
than putting one's towel down on the rocks!
Palapas, shade, a couple of chairs and a gorgeous view.
The only thing missing might be some grilled shrimp!
sea, beautiful sea
are no beaches in Ambergris, and swimming is done off
the docks. The reef just a bit out from here has some of
the best snorkeling in the area. It's not difficult to
rent a boat and driver and go out for the day. Tour
companies are everywhere.
turquoise sea with the barrier reef at the horizon
was odd for us to be at such a gorgeous seaside and not
have a beach to set up our towels and flip flops. We
didn't notice anyone resting on the docks either to soak
up the sun, but we did see families putzing around in
Anyone for swimming in a harbor?
have never swum in a harbor and weren't going to start
now. From all of our boating experience, a harbor is not
where one wants to be swallowing sea water.
Commercialism is far more present here
at its most feverish pace the traffic on Ambergris is
still tolerable. Streets are clean and the tropical
Caribbean colors seem to take the seriousness out of any
can you get upset with someone dressed in lime green or
shocking orange? It would be like arguing with a gecko.
and M" Center
sure what goes on here, and we were pretty stumped as to what those letters might
it easy Mon!
small sundry shop
Plantains, bananas, oranges, limes, guavas, papayas,
eggs and chips. She has it all!
There's probably ice cream in her freezer, too.
Belizean beach band
What a wonderful afternoon extravaganza!
We had some BBQ, tropical drinks and a beach band for entertainment.
Isn't this what people in snow country dream about in
the dead of winter?
finish up our
105 Day Adventure by moving on to the Yucatan
Peninsula in Mexico.
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