Ambergris Caye, Belize-Travel with Kids

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!

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.

1466009_10203304761802291_1444583739752655606_o

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.

1498054_10203295777417687_3694428463885573482_o11406632_10206556834742082_8499129270590683413_o

DSC_1683

DSC_1668

11406710_10206556824581828_6866376216258974573_o

11536482_10206556828541927_7563087648496280832_o.jpg

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!

1965417_10203304660959770_5564643148176070938_o

11406540_10206556815781608_6801322013568674888_o

11406362_10206556838462175_7717559945611114149_o

DSC_1486

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.

1617632_10203304682760315_8256578416070111926_o

1960853_10203304748681963_4902374211112952722_o.jpg

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!

11217572_10206556827101891_4767354383494611882_o

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

11206795_10206556832502026_2683821620859473537_o1502170_10203295181402787_267609105648905652_o11017696_10206556820701731_8043336036485524889_o

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.

10582924_10204218944776294_1321536522547326228_o10014360_10203295158762221_50035176144627843_o

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!

10495300_10204218942496237_5842869151326085572_o10623410_10204218942296232_3518222590339705337_o

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.

1614526_10203295140041753_7317180820558283508_o10256718_10203295157482189_8375311784466073799_o

View from the playground:

1412683_10203295139681744_1617016911671162551_o

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!

10507053_10204218946056326_2191828255623742673_o10494918_10204218949176404_2911136218695552712_o1974376_10204218944816295_7056569936282125829_o905869_10204218946096327_2564370367010948071_o1269261_10203304671600036_4272770944887448598_o

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!

11312841_10206556833022039_8211915682138404909_o

10987757_10206556832782033_1992926677370268020_o

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.

11538159_10206556821901761_6819959781702233845_o

Banana shake:

1939909_10206556822981788_9177761741216878496_o

Jerk chicken:

10258875_10206556822341772_1969002743968296357_o

Mango Mojito:

11427316_10206556823501801_8057583403319422003_o

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.

53 comments

  1. Looks like quite a place! And how cute is Milana?! Oh my goodness, she looked like she had it made 😀 So my sone is grown now and so if I went there, it would probablly just be me and my partner; so are there some romantic restaurants or bars around? What about snorkeling? Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    Like

  2. I love all the pictures, what a little diva you have! 😀 And the colors are soooo Caribbean….makes me want to join your daughter and husband at that awesome picnic table in the water! PINA COLADA TIME!

    Like

  3. What a beautiful resort and town!! It looks like the perfect place for a very relaxed holiday with (or without) kids on a dreamy beach!!

    Like

  4. Thank you for sharing! I am always on a lookout for great beaches, and this place looks like it’s worth checking out. Completely agree with previous commenters – your daughter is a beauty!

    Like

  5. Milana is so cute and good for you for traveling to places like Belize with her. I’ve never been but I’d love to go. That food looks delicious!

    Like

  6. I’m just curious because it’s a great post about where you stayed, but I didn’t see a cost what it was to stay there. I love to plan trips (and my airline flies to Belize) but I usually need to estimate the cost of the trip. 🙂 Great post

    Like

  7. Beautiful! I, too, don’t generally go to the same place twice, but I’d return to Belize in a heartbeat! It seems like resort you stayed at was perfect place for soaking in some sun and sand. Milana looks like she is having a great time! Good tip about the stroller for those traveling with small children.

    Like

  8. I’ve never been to Belize but now it’s on my bucket list. My kids would love this resort too. And I’m craving that raspado – it sounds amazing 🙂

    Like

  9. What an amazing place! Love the trampoline in the ocean. I have two water bugs who would think that is the coolest thing ever!!! What sort of tours are available? I see the ‘no worries tours’ in the background. Your kiddo is adorable!

    Like

    • They had all sorts of tours! Diving (super popular in Belize), fishing, jet skiing, snorkeling and many more. I know they started using a different tour company recently but I’m not sure of the name since we haven’t been there since.

      Like

  10. Oh, how I love Belize! We went for the first time this summer with our toddler. Good info on the seaweed. I was disappointed in the beaches in front of our hotel. We will keep this hotel in mind the next time we visit. I love family friendly reviews! Your daughter is absolutely adorable by the way!

    Like

  11. Love the beautiful beaches…amazing! I’ve heard a lot about Belize, but have never seen or read such an in-depth review. I do think it is worth visiting!! The food looks amazing and you can’t beat those prices. Thank you for helping me reconsider Belize. Adorable little girl by the way 🙂

    Like

  12. This looks like an amazing trip – I LOVE going back to places a second, third, even fourth, time! I find you always discover something new 🙂 I loved your daughter’s matching suit and bonnet – looked liked she enjoyed the trip too 🙂

    Like

  13. This looks like such a relaxing trip! I have only been to Belize once for one day and really wish I was able to stay longer. We went on a cave tubing expedition, and our van broke down on the way back! We were stopped there for a day as part of a cruise, so we were worried we weren’t going to make it back to our boat on time and get left behind in Belize! It was an exciting day, but I may need to go back for a more relaxing trip like yours. (:

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s