About two years ago, my husband started declaring we were going to start a new life of renting mopeds on the beach. He was tired of the corporate life and wanted a slower-paced lifestyle. Soon that phrase turned into a mantra: “mopeds on the beach” for bad days, tired days or just when we needed a getaway. One day I asked him, just where exactly was this moped beach? Belize, he exclaimed!
The funniest part of it all was that we had never been to Ambergris Caye, Belize so we had no idea if it was even a destination we would love. So on our anniversary in April, I booked a trip to the island for us to see if we needed to change up our daydreams!
Our trip was a success. We instantly fell in love with the beauty and charm of the island. We have made multiple trips back and already look forward to the next one! There are so many things we love about the island, but here are a few of our top highlights:
Due to some nasty weather, our flights were delayed and we flew from Belize City to Ambergris Caye just after sunset. I was so disappointed because I just knew the sunsets were going to be epic. However, the next morning we awakened to a scene so beautiful, it made me wish I could paint. Since I can barely draw a stick figure, I stuck to what I know and used the camera on my phone.
In the distance, we could see waves breaking on the Belize Barrier Reef. Boats are a constant part of the scenery as people venture out to the reef to snorkel, dive or fish. The reef is actually the second largest in the world. At 190 miles long, it is the longest and most intact barrier reef of the northern hemisphere. The reef and Blue Hole make this a diver’s must see location.
From the time we arrived in Ambergris Caye, the people were incredibly friendly. Everyone introduced themselves and took the time to learn our names; it was like an island version of Cheers! When we asked other tourists and ex-pats their favorite trait of the island, the response was consistently “the people.” We completely agreed! Whether it was sharing the history of the languages on the island to the best company to snorkel, the locals happily conversed.
It also made for a contagious setting where we wanted to share all of our good finds with the next couple we met. After four days on the island, I literally left the island with Facebook friends and locals I know will remember me on my trips back. In such a chaotic busy world, it was so nice to have a place where people made an effort to personally connect.
My husband and I are huge foodies and love to try new dishes and local favorites. Unfortunately, that means we must apply the dreaded food math to the visit.
Foodies + low carb diet + delicious food + vacation = coming home with extra pounds. But there are a number of ways to work off those extra pounds with activities and excursions. (More to come on that in future blogs!)
The food on Ambergris Caye is very eclectic. From Creole to Mexican, shrimp to steak (surprisingly-it’s an island!), 99% of our meals were delicious! Above is a picture of the Spicy Shrimp wraps at the Pineapples in the Beach restaurant in San Pedro. Fresh shrimp tossed in a sweet and spicy chili sauce (not too spicy, but a little kick), wrapped in a lettuce leaf topped with crisp rice noodles. Ooh so good and one of the best bites in the island.
The service was slower than expectations in the states but “when in Belize, do as the Belizeans do!” Everything on the island is at a slower pace. But you are on vacation so what’s your rush? Order another glass of wine, enjoy the stunning views and strike up a conversation with that fun looking couple/family next to you. Share your adventures and stories with them.
Many people seem to have a misperception on the location and/or travel time to Belize. However, the plane ride from Houston is a quick two (2) hour flight. Ambergris Caye is another fifteen (15) minute flight or an one (1) hour ferry.
The flight out of Ambergris Caye, I was able to see the view I had hoped for on our flight in. Flying over the island, reef, and sailboats made me want to ask the pilot to turn the plane around.
Our first visit to Ambergris Caye, Belize made us realize our daydreams were on target. Now, on those days that marching off to the office is tougher than others, our mopeds on the beach give us something to Belize in!