My husband and I spent 4 blissful days in Belize during the first leg of our honeymoon too; you made a great choice in destination! Belize if the perfect balance of relaxation (which is much-needed after planning a wedding!) and adventure (jungles and beaches).
Belize offers a little of everything and it is wise to sample a little of it all. I think you are smart for wanting to see the beaches, but also the interior of the country. I’ll definitely work hard to blend your must-do lists with the best that Belize has to offer. You have 15 days to really explore and I can’t wait to get started planning your honeymoon!
Get Acquainted with Each Other on 2 wheels
Get up close and personal with the charming island you chose to spend the first days as a married couple on Garry and Karen!
Ambergris Caye is a perfect place to explore on two feet or two wheels. Use the bikes offered at your resort (if they’re allowed off the premise) or rent a bike from Joe’s Bike Rental in San Pedro. As you pedal north along the eastern beach road you’ll pass hotels and restaurants on your left and stunning views of the blue hued water on your right. Take your time. Stop for pictures and marvel at Belize’s beauty. Cross the small bridge and ride under the shade of the palm trees to Palapa Bar and Grill, a thatched roof bar and restaurant over the water. Here, chat with locals and other travelers while sipping a frozen concoction or Belikin. Bobbing in the water are tubes where you can relax while the staff serve your drinks to you in the water. They serve a great burger and it’s loads of fun. Sign your name somewhere if you can find space. Their specialty is a BBQ, Slow Smoked, Pork Sandwich and Fresh Caught Fish Tacos. (Happy Hour Drinks from 4:00pm – 6:00pm.)
When you’ve had your fill, turn south and ride back along the white sand road that hugs the beach and enjoy the smell of the ocean and warm sunshine.
Return your bikes and rest your legs and mind at the Mata Chica pool. Let the warm breezes and sunset wash away the stress of wedding planning and soak in that newly wed euphoria!
Shop, Sip and Sun
San Pedro is the heart of Ambergris Caye. Stroll her streets and shop in beach side boutiques, open-aired bodegas and markets. Search hand-crafted carvings, jewelry and artwork. There are lots of store fronts to explore, a shore side cemetery to discover and cafes to stop at for a coffee or mid morning snack before heading back to Mata Chica. Spend your afternoon with your toes in the sand with a book or beer or both!
San Pedro restaurant recommendations. Wild Mangos: Go to Front Street at the very southern end near the chocolate store and walk to the beach. We tried several times to eat here before we finally managed. It’s always packed and there is good reason, Amy’s Salad, Taco Salad, Tacos, pork chops, the guacamole – all of it excellent.
Elvi’s Kitchen: Located on Middle Street, the floor is covered in sand and the service extravagant. Good burgers, great salad, the coconut shrimp is delicious and so was the pork chop. The coconut pie takes it to a whole new level, yum.
Hidden Treasures: Tucked away south in the suburbs is a unique restaurant. Pricey, but high-end gourmet. For a special occasion highly recommend.
Rojo Lounge: A US$10 water taxi ride will get you to Rojo Lounge north of the island, about 5 miles from the centre of town. This place is not just a restaurant, it’s a day out. Located on the beach they have lounges, hammocks, a pool, bar & restaurant. (We spent about 5 hours there.) They had the best pizza on the island, the staff were friendly andif you miss the 3:30pm boat back, get the staff to call the water taxi to stop for the 5:30pm speedboat back to San Pedro.
If you can, pull yourself from your state of bliss to prepare for one of the most beautiful natural phenomenons. Set sail with Searious Adventures Belize for a sunset cruise. They happen daily from 5.30-7.30pm, and are magnified with the presence of the ocean. You will meet new friends while toasting another great day in Belize.
Note: This company also offer more adventurous half day and full day activities.
Take a Walk on the Wild Side
Explore the “other” side of Belize; the jungles. Your day will start early as you make your way back to the mainland with Discovery Expeditions Belize for a full day of adventure.
Your first stop will be the airport for a quick, but beautiful flight to Belize City. Then you’ll be off to zip line through the jungle before your float through caves. Prepare to be blown away by the wild side of Belize and relax knowing that your tour includes round trip flights to and from Caye Caulker, two adrenaline packed activities, park entrance fees, lunch and beverages.
Go ahead! You can scream in excitement! It will be a long, but unforgettable day.
Better than an Aquarium
Contrast your day in the jungle with a snorkeling trip to Hol Chan today. Hol Chan is Mayan for ‘little channel.”
Enjoy the short boat ride to the marine sanctuary and get geared up and psyched up for an underwater show. Swim with sea turtles, tropical fish and even nurse sharks. Be confident in your choice of guides at Seaduced Belize and enjoy the spectacle of colorful coral, rainbow fish and a plethora of sea life surrounding you.
Wash the salt from your hair and make your way to The Split for a drink and sunset with other sun-kissed travelers – no day on Caye Caulker would be complete without hanging out at the Lazy Lizard. This bar at The Split is THE place to be at sunset. Grab a Belikin beer, chill out to some reggae beats, and watch the sun slip below the horizon. Cheers to another great day of adventure in Belize.
Note: Keep an eye out for a man on Caye Caulker simply known as “The Cake Man.” He carries around a basket of fresh-baked cakes and tarts, and I promise his banana bread will change your life!
Adios Belize, Hola Mexico. If you are sad about leaving Belize, know that Tulum will not disappoint. Hurry up and get settled, because you have a lot to see in a short amount of time.
Start your Mexican adventure with Tulum for Foodies tour during the day or evening, depending on your arrival day and time. Tequila? Tacos? Si, Senor!
Another option is to rent a car or take a bus to Akumal, a relatively unknown and small area between Tulum and Cancun. Akumal is home to one of the best-kept secrets in the Yucatan;swimming with sea-turtles in the wild for free! So, instead of paying the extortionate prices that many parks in the area offer for the same experience, head to this beautiful, relaxed beach and swim side by side with these amazing creatures yourself.
If you’ve got your own snorkel gear, or if you’re able to borrow some from your hotel, you can do it completely free. However, renting gear in Akumal won’t set you back a lot. (You don’t need a guided tour, although they will try to sell you one!)
A life jacket is definitely recommended, especially if you get tired easily in water, since the turtles are usually out a few hundred feet from the shore, so you’ll need to tread water for a substantial amount of time to remain in the same area as them. However, once you see them swimming below you, and coming up for air, you’ll never want to leave the water.
There are some nice restaurants around the beach to get dinner, so if you get tired of watching the turtles (which you probably won’t), you can go back to the shore to relax and grab some delicious Mexican seafood!
Or recover from your day of food and drink feasting with your head resting on the powder white sands steps away from your home away from home at Hip Hotel.
Old Buildings and Holes in the Ground
Rise and shine! Beat the crowds and arrive for the sunrise (which will be 7:15 am) at Tulum. Climb to the top or perch yourself somewhere a view of the ocean and watch in awe as the world wakes up.
The Tulum Archaeological Site will be your first experience of the amazing Mayan Ruins. Although Tulum is one of the most commercial and touristic attractions in the Yucatan, it doesn’t take away from how beautiful the site is, and how fascinating the ruins are. Allow about 2-3 hours for exploring the area. (Take a photo of the big map on entry so you can find your way around during your visit.)
After wandering around and enjoying a relaxing dip in the ocean below the great ruins, drive 20 minutes north for another swim; this time in the refreshingly cold and beautiful Gran Cenote. Cenotes are natural swimming holes that boast of crystal clear waters and natural beauty. Take a towel, sunscreen and maybe even a cooler and enjoy your day in the shade of the trees.
Travel Tip: Try to leave the Tulum Ruins before 3pm so you have time to go to Gran Cenote and enjoy it for at least 2 hours before it closes at 5pm.
Gran Cenote is gorgeous and is a great introduction to Mexico’s cenotes, as it has both caves and a lovely open water area. If you’re feeling really brave (and if you have previous experience) you can book a cave diving session in advance, with a guide who will take you deep into the darkness of the underground cave system.
If you’d like, take an afternoon siesta poolside at Hip Hotel and then head to Zamas for your last evening in Tulum and ocean side drinks and dinner. Executive Chef, Gerardo Molina Cruz honed his passion preparing elaborate meals in his grandmother’s kitchen and uses only local ingredients to compose elegant, innovative, and seasonally driven dishes.
Leave Your Mark Use a marker to make your mark at Palapas.
Book Early Book tours and cruises early in order to avoid missing out on all of the fun due to tours filled to capacity.
Beat the Crowds The earlier the better when it comes to Mayan Ruins in Mexico. Catch the sunrise and beat the heat – but also the crowds!
The food takes awhile everywhere. Most food is made fresh on the spot so add in your wait time and get there early, not when you’re starving.