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There are no paved roads on the island and the primary means of transportation, after walking, is the golf cart. We walked to town most days and took a cab when the margaritas made the trek seem impossible. One day we rented a cart ($ 55 for a full day ) and toured the island. The landscape of palms, mangrove, sea grape trees and fauna and along with the architecture of the homes, reminded us of Grand Cayman. Most of the tourist attractions in Belize are on the mainland. There are tours of the Mayan ruins, rain forests , etc. available but we went to relax and dive.

The cuisine of Belize is much like you’d find in Costa Rica or Cozumel. Fresh seafood, usually Snapper, Mahi or Grouper pan-fried in garlic and butter and served with rice & beans, fried plantain and cole slaw. Almost everyone recommended Elvi’s in San Pedro and we found the food to be excellent, especially after a day of diving and a fresh Margarita.

Aqua Dives is the largest dive operation on the island and they picked us up at the Yacht Club, just a short walk down the beach. Summer is not a good time to dive in the Western Caribbean since the trade winds have not yet shifted to the southeast and the seas on the east are rough. Ambergris and the other islands do not have dive sites on the leeward (west) side where it is calm, since the reef is to the east. For the four days diving, the seas were very rough with ten foot waves and the water relatively murky. It was an adventure but December or January would have been a better time to dive.

The great "Bill’s Adventure" of the trip was our experiencing the great "Blue Hole" This dive site is actually a giant sink hole in the barrier reef which collapsed over underground caves. The hole is approximately 300 feet deep with formations of stalactites and stalagmites at 135 feet which is the maximum depth of the dive. It was a must dive for anyone visiting Belize.

What they didn’t tell you, until you were on the 40 foot boat, was that to get to the site you had to travel 2 1/2 hours over open seas, and in our case, with a boatload of New York singles making their play all the way. Since there were no rest rooms on the boat, divers were quick into the water once we arrived.

This dive and the next dive off Lighthouse Caye were interesting as was a lunch visit to Lighthouse Caye where Jane traipsed after the famous red footed Booby bird. Yes, she has a picture.

All in all, we found the reef dives to be near to those found in the shallow waters of Grand Cayman and, as importantly, the Dive Masters were very professional and mindful of the safety of the divers. We recommend Ambergris and the more rustic sister islands of Caye Caulker and Turneffe Atoll for those wanting an alternative to the Cayman Islands .

Finally, Belize is not expensive, nor is it cheap as it once was just a few years ago. As the flights are pleasant and direct, Belize is a great destination for a short get away, especially if you are a diver or just want a quiet place to lay on the beach.

 

To Provide support to the Children's Advocacy Center in Burnet, we have the "Lend A Helping Fin" program at the restaurant. Our wishing well in the foyer was built to provide an opportunity for our customers to support these kids. Since we opened, our customers have contributed $623.73 to this cause, The kids thank you.

You can support the center directly at:

Hill Country Children's Advocacy Center

1001 Buchanan Drive, Suite # 2

Burnet, TX 78611

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