Ambergris Caye With Kids

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Belize is one of our favorite places to visit.  It’s rare that we go to the same place twice, but we loved Ambergris Caye so much that we went twice in 2014 and once in 2015.  We stayed at X’Tan Ha resort each time, and had a blast! Belize, specifically Ambergris Caye, is a very kid friendly destination.  From Los Angeles, we took a 5 hour flight to Belize City, then a short 15 minute flight on a 11 passenger plane to San Pedro, and finally a 15 minute boat ride to the resort.  Sounds tiring, but it’s really not so bad! The resort is beautiful. It’s the only resort on the island where sargassum (the seaweed littering beaches from Texas to pretty much all of the Caribbean) is not an issue because the staff cleans the shoreline all day long, making their beach one of the most popular ones in the area! I’ve heard the don’t allow outsiders to use the beach or pools anymore, which is great news for paying guests!

We visited this location in April, June and August and had awesome weather each time (rained maybe one day while there) so I’d say any of those months are great to visit! Be sure to pack some family beach essentials to make your trip a success!

Before making your way to the resort, many people recommend stopping at the local grocery store in San Pedro to stock up on some food items. The hotel only has one restaurant, and getting from one resort to another (or back to San Pedro) requires some planning and time on your part, since you’re literally in the middle of nowhere!  There’s also a grocery store closer to the hotel, Mata Grande Grocery, that will deliver to your room. You can order online before you even arrive, and your fridge will be stocked when you check in. Each room comes with a full-size fridge, and a giant jug of drinking water that they replenish throughout your stay. We preferred to just either go in to town to get what we needed, but some people prefer to just stay at the resort their entire time.

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Our room was ocean front, and literally 10 steps to the water! It was a child’s dream come true.  We had a hammock on our patio and the resort provided free use of water equipment (paddle boats, paddle boards, kayaks, etc.)  There was also a large trampoline in the ocean, which kids (and adults!) seemed to really enjoy.

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There was only one pool on our first visit, however by the second time we went, the other pool was finished.  The main pool has a shallow area where you can sit and relax and the kids can play without having to fully go into the pool.  The pool was definitely a huge hit with Milana!

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A video of Milana swimming at the pool:

Swimming in Belize

Next to the beach, is the bar which serves drinks (Milana loved the pina coladas!) and limited food. You can then take your food and eat it on one of the tables in the water.

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Getting to San Pedro used to only be done via water taxi (Coastal Express) because the road behind the hotel was pretty bad and unfinished.  However since our first visit, they almost completed the paving of the entire 7 mile stretch and I heard that it’s now fully done.  We rented a golf cart on our last trip at the hotel, the desired form of transportation, and made the 7 mile drive to San Pedro.  Half of it was still unpaved, but it was totally fine and Milana loved the golf cart so much, she asked to go on it every day!

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The road to San Pedro from the hotel. Nothing to see, just lots of jungle!

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San Pedro itself is a really cute, small town.  The locals are really friendly and really like kids, something the US can learn from!  As you can see, it’s definitely a golf cart type of town.

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One block from the airport on Front Street are some of the best tacos you will ever have.  They eat tacos for breakfast, so this place stops serving them pretty early but is so worth the visit! It was the first place we went to when we landed, and the last place we went to before heading back home.  6 tacos for $1, you can’t beat the price!

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Just south of the toll bridge is a small playground, right on the beach. We stopped there so Milana can play and a local girl took to her right away and they played together.

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View from the playground:

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We had some of the best pupusas in San Pedro. We stopped to get some on every trip!  D and E’s Frozen Custards is another really popular place with locals and tourists alike. The owners are from Pennsylvania, and are now living in San Pedro.  If you’re wandering the streets of San Pedro, make sure to stop by one of the many fruit smoothie booths, you won’t be disappointed!

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There’s a school in San Pedro, and when it lets out in the afternoon, local vendors set up selling everything from candy to island specialities like this raspado.  It has cherry juice on top of ice with condensed milk and crushed pineapples on top. So good!

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Another one of our favorite restaurants in San Pedro is El Fogon.  It’s a small place, behind the airport, with some really good local food.

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Banana shake:

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Jerk chicken:

Mango Mojito:

This is the kind of trip you go on if you want to relax and not have a huge itinerary of things to do.  It’s not often we go on trips like this, so this is definitely our relaxing destination!  Something to keep in mind if you are coming with young kids/babies: the streets aren’t very stroller friendly (even the huge jogger type) so leave the strollers at home and bring a carrier for the younger ones.

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