It is said La Isla Bonita is sang about San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. I don’t know how true that is.
Tropical the island breeze
All of nature wild and free
This is where I long to be
La isla bonita
I wish I were “where the sun warms the sky” for this vacation has featured a lot of rain and only cool tropical weather. I often thought about my vacation last year to Barbados that left me, dark as I am already, darker. Save the weather, I’ve enjoyed my time here in Belize. I guess whatever system is bringing me 50*F winters back in the “midwest” is responsible for this very wet dry season in Belize.
We spent three nights in San Pedro having taken the water taxi from Belize City there after our ziplining and our visit to the Belize Zoo. It was a long almost two hour ride but not too uncomfortable. However, our first impression of San Pedro when we disembarked was, “oh my goodness, we are back in the States.” It was loud and busy with golf carts threatening to run us down at every step.
We stayed at Ruby’s Hotel, a budget hotel on the beach. It was damp but then again nothing seemed to dry well during our time in Belize. Dont know if that is how it always is. We had meant to stay four nights but the owner misunderstood our reservation and did not rectify it even after I emailed her right back weeks prior pointing out her mistake. I didn’t make a big deal of it when we arrived because again our first impression of the town was “too busy” and I immediately started to think about spending time on Caye Caulker instead. I probably wouldn’t stay at Ruby’s again, but the WiFi service was great and we could even access it at the restaurant next door.
After adjusting our mindset, we started to enjoy San Pedro. That is, we started to enjoy all the varied foods we could get. It was like a remake of New Orleans, where I ate and ate, just so I could sample many different meals. Gluttons we are!
On our first night, we ate dinner at Elvi’s Kitchen, recommended to us by that talkative man in San Ignacio. The food was so good that we ended up eating there again our last night. Fresh seafood cooked so scrumptiously! I guess that man wasn’t too crazy after all. I didn’t have the “famous fried chicken” so I guess a return is in order.
We missed an opportunity to partake in an “Irie dining experience” at Jambel Jerk Pit, in a mission that left me riding a golf cart with one butt cheek on the seat, the other hanging out, flashing who knows who in my skirt, holding on to dear life least I fall of the golf cart, while the driver, the captain on our snorkeling trip who had graciously given us a ride, tried to find us a place to eat. What a ride!
Lunch had us trying a pupusa at Waruguma, a well known hole in the wall establishment. We were a bit apprehensive of what a stuffed tortilla would taste like so we split an order for the seafood papusa (the most expensive at 5 USD) only to be pleasantly delighted by it and wanting more. We also had a decent enough humongous chicken burrito and shrimp ceviche at Wild Mango’s. M’sa now has a new found love for ceviche, especially the conch ceviche the captain made for us on the snorkel sail.
We enjoyed Belizean breakfast at both Blue Water Grill and Estel’s Dine by the Sea. The latter was suggested by a vendor on the beach and even though it doesn’t look that impressive as an establishment, if I had another opportunity for breakfast I would choose to go there again.
But that wasn’t it. We enjoyed countless bags of plantain chips sliced lengthwise like they do in Ghana, frozen custard at DandE’s which was delicious (I had the soursop flavour), ice cream at Mannelly’s, and a mango papaya smoothie (me) and a frozen mocha topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate syrup (M’sa) at Latitudes while we strolled along the beach hunting for sea almonds.
As for drinks, I don’t think there was an establishment we entered where M’sa did not try a piña colada. Not a single one! All over Belize a drink called “panty ripper” is served. I really dislike that name but I will admit I ordered it several times as it’s a mix of the local coconut rum with pineapple juice, and thus relatively cheap (~ 2.50 – 4 USD) and yummy. I hang my head in shame.
It was just by accident that we were lured off the pavement into a “Cigar, Rum, and Coffee Store” where the employees tried to get us to sample Jankunu rum cream billing it to be just like Bailey’s. M’sa initially didn’t want anything to do with it while I decided to give it a try because, although I’m not a fan of Bailey’s, I do like Amarula. Well, oh my! It was delicious. It didn’t take long to convince M’sa to sample it, and after mixing their chocolate liqueur with it she was soon asking for more! I meanwhile was contemplating checking in my backpack for the sole purpose of taking back a couple bottles. As it is now we collected their email address with the plan to place an international order. Yeah, that good!