on April 19, 2010
Belize, an adventure for sure, lots to entertain, but, certainly, not a honeymoon destination! I have worked for Travel and Tourism and have managed a travel agency for many years. Travelled thru Europe, France, USA, Canada, Mexico and thru the Caribbean. If you are looking for Paradise with crystal clear water and white sandy beaches that you can walk out into and enjoy the water sports from the beach...this is not what you will get in Belize! You need to rent a boat or stay at Ramones or Banyan as they have small beach area clear of sea grass! I have been to many, much more beautiful destinations with gorgeous white beaches, clear water and sandy bottom you could walk forever! Travelling from the USA to Belize to see what the talk was about, we booked a two week stay at Exotic Caye Resort when we could not get in the Xanandu and thank goodness we got it at a discount on an auction site! Still the two week holiday cost us $4500.00USD. We will consider going back to an all inclusive resort! Cozumel for two weeks was $2300.00 for everything!An hour and a half trip by water taxi from the run down Belize City to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, we stayed and explored the island for two weeks! We were very disappointed on arrival but made the best of it! At $150.00 plus a night, Exotic Caye Resort advertised 5 star, was not! I would only rate 1 star at most as accommodations were very run down, 30 years old and so showing it, very rustic was the word the managers used. Very rusty or rustic it was! We did though, have a great view of the water, palm trees and white sand beach. It looked so inviting, thank goodness for the above ground fresh water pool to swim in! Watch out in the water, as another traveler stepped on a conch shell or garbage and cut his foot requiring stitches the first day there! You can’t see anything in the water for the sea grass!Do not stay in Exotic Caye standard as you may be very disappointed. Upon arrival, we made our own way to Exotic Caye Resort, do not expect anyone to meet you. It is a $5.00 golf cart ride from dock and same upon leaving.Accommodations next to us were no longer in use, which was great to hang a hammock up as we had the whole deck. We were told they were going to knock down our building and rebuild sometime and for an additional $100.00USD more they would move us to a deluxe room; we looked but declined, so much for hospitality. The bed linens were clean and so was the cracked tile floors, in the sitting area, a futon is a futon and old TV worked to get the news on. We did not dare venture up the loft and liked the rustic look with thatched roof but did have to get a broom to sweep up debris inside when it got windy out. The bathroom tub had footprints ground into the old enamel and we overlooked the mold. Clearly, a coat of paint and renovations was needed at the very least. The stove took a couple of knocks to get going but eventually worked, and the old fridge kept things cold. What more could you ask for, when you see how the locals lived, it was a 5 star to them. It would have been nice to have a BBQ available as we did cook in the kitchenette once and awhile and had to run around to find broiling pan. Maid service was daily and they did do the dishes and what they could, the flowers were a nice touch.For those that like to gamble, a note, the casino is no longer there. The resort does have a complimentary fitness center down the street with an Olympic size pool which was being used as a giant bird bath until we arrived, then we had it to ourselves. Wave as the planes fly by overhead as it is right next to the airport! The mini golf course has long been taken over by Iguanas and it and the restaurant have both been closed up for quite awhile, but there are rumors of a bistro opening there in the near future by the new lease owners.We are snorkelers, going to the reef, Shark Ray Alley and Ho Chan and doing some fishing was great but I would even recommend Cozumel for snorkeling over the second biggest barrier reef here for color and fish species. As for the sharks, I waited for the guide to stop feeding them and they dispersed before I got in the water! Seeing them and barracuda from a distance was fine with me! The sea turtles, fish and rays were amazing! We still had fun as we make our own! Word of caution for those fair and sensitive skinned like me, watch out for swimmers rash, looks like chicken pox and lasts for couple of weeks. It is caused by the algae in the water at the reef.Plus, bring lots of sunscreen as sun is hot, hot, hot! Make sure you are not on a Malaria antibiotic like Docycline as you may find you will burn in the strangest places!Watch out for the Belize timeshares, something is not quite right as the sign went up on a building lot when we heard shareholders were flying in and we did check out Captain Morgan’s for something to do! $30,000.00 a week NOT! You can buy a timeshare for $1.00 on eBay right now anywhere in the world! But, hey, they are offering $100.00USD voucher for dinner! Again the food was good, better at the resort though!Paul and Kelly are great people who took over management 6 months prior, they are very knowledgeable and can arrange any tour. Belize people are friendly and kind considering the very poor environment they live in, as in many places; the island has not quite recovered from the last hurricane in 2000. Prices are very expensive; triple what you would pay in US for anything. The resort bar Crazy Canucks is now owned by a Texan, is the busiest for locals and for some great live music, horseshoe tournaments etc. it is the place to be, Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sundays! The Blue Iguana also under new management, (where did all the English go?) the resorts restaurant, offers some of the best food on the island! Love the seafood, grouper and snapper! There are many great restaurants to choose from on Ambergris Caye! We never had a poor meal! Pepperoni across the street has the best pizza ever, even over our pizza places here! Georges, excellent! The new Super Buy had the best variety and shopping prices on the island and you should make sure you hit duty free for wine before you arrive, as it is $40.+ Belize for a small bottle! We were warned to be cautious at night, to not wear anything flashy as heard of drunk American stabbed and robbed coming out of nightclub and yes, you may have the odd person selling items including drugs on the beach. We were approached numerous times, but, that is the same anywhere. A must is the evening Catamaran Tour, beautiful sunsets! Beware though, you may smell garbage day when they are burning and the sewage when the wind changes that may make you take yourself inside for the night!Overall, we had a great relaxing holiday and that is what we went for! We enjoy exploring new places the culture, Mayan ruins etc., but Belize, we will not be back!
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