This past weekend, I was on the beautiful island of Ambergris Caye off of Belize for a fly-fishing trip. We went to a lodge that is very near and dear to my heart, El Pescador. If you guys are ever looking to head to the island for ANY reason: fishing, snorkeling, exploring, anything…look into this lodge. They are the best in customer service and there is something for the whole family, whether you are all anglers or not. Okay, enough about my rant of the lodge…
If you are traveling to Ambergris Caye anytime soon, there are some tips that you need to know about. I definitely learned some lessons the hard way, so I want to make sure you all are prepared!
Sand Fleas: These things are the WORST and they are everywhere on the island. Normal bug spray doesn’t work…and you can’t really see the little buggers until they bite you. I left both trips with my legs completely covered in bites. At the end of this past trip, I finally found relief in this bottle of oil. It’s apparently what all of the locals on the island use, so it must be legit.
The Airport: To get to the island of Ambergris Caye, you will be flying through Belize City and connecting after you make it through customs. This is important so listen closely: once you get your bags in Belize City, and after you go through customs, you will walk through double doors where men with carts ask to take your bags. DO NOT let them trick you! The walk from the baggage claim to the terminal for the island flight is literally 3 SECONDS away. These men will take your bags and walk them a few steps over, then give them back to you and ask for a tip. We fell for it the first time we went, but this time we KNEW. You can carry your own bags, don’t fall for their trick!
Another airport trick is the flight times are MUCH more relaxed than any American airport. If you have a ticket with Tropic Air that you are worried about making the connecting time, don’t stress out. Your ticket reservation time with Tropic Air doesn’t really matter. They put whoever checks in at the ticket counter on the next flight to the island until that flight is full, but there are flights every 40-minutes or so, so don’t worry.
Since it doesn’t really matter about your flight reservation time to get to the island, this means one VERY important thing…..BOOK IT off of your plane to get into the customs line faster than everyone. The faster you get through customs, the faster you will get on the next flight out to paradise. 🙂
Snorkeling: Ambergris Caye is world-famous for their diving and snorkeling. This past trip was my first time to experience Belize snorkeling, since we are usually fly fishing the whole time. If you chose to go snorkeling, you must go to Shark Ray Alley. Don’t worry…sharks are one of my biggest fears, but the sharks here are all nurse sharks so they’re harmless. I was only partially terrified…
If you book any activities that require someone to come pick you up at your resort, expect them to be on island time. Don’t stress out if a guide to an activity is late! Their culture is laid back, and if they witness you rushing around, you will definitely be told to “slow down…you’re on an island, man!”
If you have any questions, let me know in the comment section below!