Ambergris Caye, Belize-Travel 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.


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.






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!





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.



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!


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


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.


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!


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.


View from the playground:


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!


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!



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.


Banana shake:


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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  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!

  2. Never been there before. Looks so relaxing! Love the beautiful photos, especially the one of your daughter jumping into the water. Great timing!

  3. 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!

  4. I really enjoyed your post here, it really puts a smile on me every time I scroll down and see you guys enjoying the place. The water is just so beautiful up there, I think it’s both good shots and the place itself.

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. I know you’re talking about a place but I can’t help but look forward to Milana’s next photo! She is so adorable! I envy her lifestyle of being able to travel in such a young age!

  8. Milana sounds like such a thrill seeker. The fact that she loves the golf carts even on unpaved roads is a great sign! I also loved the picture of her with the pina colada in her hands.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

    • 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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 🙂

  14. 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 🙂

  15. 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. (:

  16. Beautiful photographs. Thank you for sharing. I am sitting in work now on! It might seem like an odd question, but based on your article it looks like the majority of the food would contain milk. Do you think this would be a region that someone with a dairy allergy would be able to travel to? More specifically, a child who would have to miss out on all the lovely ice-cream .
    Thanks in advance.
    Right, back to

    • I honestly didn’t pay attention but there is a site for their supermarket that delivers to hotels so maybe you can see what the options are! Those are just the things we ate out, since Town is so far we ate in a lot too. And the restaurant at this resort is very accommodating to allergies.

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