After spending four fantastic days in the Stann Creek area of mainland Belize, on the Sanctuary Belize Tour, I headed by air to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, Belize. This was to be the second half of what I looked at as a discovery tour / vacation. The next two weeks I would be combining total relaxation with business, by investigating the entire island, restaurants, shopping, hospitals, stores and meeting as many locals as possible.
I wanted to see exactly what everyone was experiencing here on Ambergris Caye, and why once here they just didn’t want to leave..ever. Part of my plan was also to spend time getting to know Ann Kuffner, of the Escapeartist fame. Ann and her husband have lived on Ambergris Caye for some years now, and her business besides writing, is working with potential Expats so they get a good idea about life on the island.
I had made my reservations after much due diligence, at the X’ Tan Ha “Waterfront” Resort, a few miles north of downtown San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, Belize. I had decided on this resort for a variety of reasons, the ratings by visitors, the beautiful colored residences, and especially because it was touted as the only sandy beach on the island. Why would I stay anywhere in Belize on the water, without a sandy beach and clear waters?
Now there were some “flags” in my research, as it seems the resort had been called the “Legacy Beach Resort” previously, and actually been closed for almost 3 years before opening recently as the X’tan Ha. Since opening this resort has received rave reviews for the accommodations, beach, accessibility, staff, management, grounds and of course, the beachfront bar. Not getting the best of reviews, the restaurant. However, the restaurant was now under new management, new owners and name, and I would reserve judgement. I already was aware of some fantastic restaurants nearby that would easily be available by water taxi, the main source of transportation on the island, besides golf carts.
Arriving by water taxi, arranged by the resort, I could pick out X’tan Ha from quite a distance away, by the brightly colored buildings. As we arrived and proceeded down the dock with the staff and out ton of baggage, mainly because of dive gear, there was Hill, the bartender with 2 exotic rum drinks in hand. Honey..I’m home!!!
After a quick check ion we were escorted to our beachfront room on a second floor overlooking the Caribbean Ocean. Standing on our balcony, cocktails in hand, my wife were positively amazed at the beauty of this place. We could actually see and hear the barrier reef, which by the way, is the second largest in the world. Holy crap ! I could hardly hold back my excitement that I was going to have several dive trips this first week, out there beyond the reef.
Within minutes we were in our suits, back at the bar, then on lounge chairs soaking up the sun. A little baking at 375 deg. and into the water we went. My god..the water was in the 80’s and just as clear as can be. We learned that “somehow” the sea grasses disappear from the water leaving a nice sandy body of water to swim and or lounge in right in front of the resort. As we would see and experience in the next two weeks, was all the resorts down the coast between this resort and San Pedro, had waters full of sea grasses. So if you are planning any visits to Ambergris Caye in your future, I would seriously keep that in mind.
The first evening we decided to give the resort restaurant a go, so after a quick shower and new sandals and shorts we headed to the Temple Run Tavern. When we arrived what I found was a single level building set back behind the residences, in the middle of the resort.There was a nice inside dining room, and an outside screened in dining room, all nicely appointed with comfortable tables and chairs. Nothing special or fancy, but I was here mainly to eat, plain and simple.
We both had the lobster special, fresh caught from local waters, and I will tell you it was a special. The waiter was a quiet local man, very polite with an excellent smile, when I could pull it out of him. All in all, a fine dinner, but a restaurant lacking in atmosphere, but more about that later.
We spent the rest of the evening working our way through the exotic and lengthy “drink book”, a wood encased monster at the Katanga Beach Bar, and meeting many new friends there.
And the sunset was fan-fucking- tastic ! Just saying
Cheers all, until we meet on the continues adventure they call Belize..
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