Ambergris Caye is a remote island off the coast of Belize, well-lauded in the diving world as a must-see hotspot. Nestled on the island's center, the small town of San Pedro buzzes with barefoot excitement. This is a very common departure point for divers seeking the dark blue depth's and legendary rock formations to be found at Belize's notorious Blue Hole. Though others may travel here for more adventurous diving, swimming amongst seas of angel fish is certainly a highlight, a colorful interaction with marine life not easily forgotten. My languorously luxurious stay at Victoria House offered the perfect reprieve from active days.
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San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival
Typically held during August, the International Costa Maya Festival celebrates the Mundo Maya countries in Central America. Delegates are chosen to represent each of the countries, and one of the girls is ultimately crowned Queen during the beauty pageant. There are traditional dances and theatrical performances that tell the story of the Mayan culture and traditions. International sounds like reggae, Punta, salsa, meringue and more fill the air each night.
Events take place over several days and include carnival type rides, arts and crafts, traditional foods, performances and concerts.
Whether you eat them plain or stuffed, fry jacks are a “must-try” on your Belize vacation. A breakfast staple around the country, they are often compared to Mexico’s sopapillas or Louisiana’s beignets. Fry jacks are typically eaten plain, with honey and/or local jam on the side, or served as an accompaniment to egg and meat dishes. Some bakeries offer stuffed versions that can easily serve as an entire meal.
If you are staying on Belize’s North Islands, do not miss trying ceviche. With an abundance of fresh seafood on hand, ceviche in Belize is some of the best I’ve had on my travels. Look for options like shrimp, octopus, conch and lobster (both seasonal), or a combination of the above. Eat it as an appetizer, hangover snack, or even a meal, but just be sure to try it. One of my favorite spots in Belize for ceviche – El Divino Restaurant at Banana Beach Resort on Ambergris Caye.
The first trip my boyfriend and I went on together was to Belize on a 7-day hotel/flight package deal. We were unfamiliar with Central America at the time, and with the package deal, we ended up at a resort on Ambergris Caye, one of the most touristy places in Belize. Now we like to avoid the "resort-only" type of islands when we travel so we can actually meet locals and get a feel for the spirit of the places we go, but in all fairness, the diving and snorkeling was superb off Ambergris Caye. We rented a golf cart one day and went out exploring the island, in search of some local Garifuna culture. This inlet over on the locals side of the island is a little glimpse of the relaxed Caribbean life we've found throughout Central America. We found a sweet little coffee shop with coffee from a local plantation and met some locals and dogs along the way. Even on the resort-iest island you can find something real!