San Pedro (Isla Bonita) is an island located off the coast of Belize. A ferry ride got us there from Belize City in an hour and a half. A handful of passengers squeezed tightly below deck, but luckily we snagged two seats up top behind the captain! You never know unless you ask, right?! Surprisingly, English is the official language making it a great place for us to start the trip. The island is filled with palm trees, cobblestone roads, and brightly colored buildings. The locals are extremely friendly and the city runs on golf carts, rum, and Belikin (Belizean beer)… which is delicious by the way! We arrived in San Pedro Tuesday afternoon and spent 4 full days at the Caribbean Villas Hotel.
On our first day we explored San Pedro to get a feel for the town. The golf cart, bicycle, and taxi traffic was crazy on the small bumpy streets, not to mention locals, tourists, and kids in school uniforms are everywhere! We have a goal to send a postcard to someone in every city we visit along the trip so we stopped in the San Pedro Post Office with two postcards we picked out (keep an eye on your mailbox :)). 30 cents to mail a card from Belize to the US! Cheaper than sending a card within Santa Rosa Beach. That afternoon, like most, we hung out on the Dock Bar at our hotel playing bar dice with the bartender, Kadel and other locals/tourists jamming to Usher and 50cent. Pretty quickly we realized Kadel only plays one dice game called 3's over and over, so we taught him a couple new ones- Ship, Captain, Crew and Aces.
Another day we we were picked up from our dock by Efron, a Belize native. He took us fishing for half the day and snorkeling for the other half. Belize is home to the world's second largest barrier reef and this was Efron's backyard, so we knew it was going to be a pretty successful trip. Efron started out quiet, but by mid-day was throwing back Belikin and exchanging stories and laughs with us. We ended up spending the entire day with him. We mostly caught snapper and grouper that Efron fillet on the boat while we snorkeled. For lunch we took the fish back to shore and grilled it with fresh vegetables over a fire made from coconut shells and dried palm leaves. By far one of the best lunches we've ever tasted!
After lunch it was time to explore the reef! Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley are the two spots we visited and were incredible! Wildlife was everywhere. From nurse sharks, sting rays, and eel, to horse-eye jacks and blue tangs (Dory from Finding Nemo). Even though nurse sharks aren't aggressive, it's still pretty nerve-wracking to swim surrounded by them! The eel even swam up to Ron from under a rock and touched it's face against the Go-Pro. Video coming soon!
That night Efron took us to Wahoo's Lounge, a beach front bar that hosts the infamous 'Chicken Drop'. The bar was packed with a line out the door with hundreds of locals purchasing tickets with a random number. A chicken is set loose on a giant checkered board with squares numbered 1-100, surrounded by wild and crazy cheering ticket holders. Whoever's number the chicken poops on wins the pot. They even had a designated 'Fluffer'- a man who blows on the chicken's rear end before the round starts to get him ready. Well, we won.. TWICE! Apparently this is rare because they debated on whether or not to pay us for winning the second 'poop'.
One the last day Ron went scuba diving in the afternoon. The swells were massive and they almost cancelled the dive, but once they got off the boat and below the surface it was well worth it. Mermaid's Lair, a dive spot on the back of the reef drops to 100 feet and has tons of crevices and caves to swim through. Looking at a100 foot wall of coral and plants is something you have to see to believe how special it is.
We had an amazing experience in Belize and met a lot of cool friends, but are excited for our adventures in Guatemala! Hefners out!
Efron and Ron.
Caribbean Villas Hotel in San Pedro.
The view from the Caribbean Villas Dock Bar.
Playing bar dice with Kadel.
A busy street corner in the middle of San Pedro.
Golf carts were everywhere!
Fishing boats on the lagoon side of the island.
GiGi, the boat that took us fishing and snorkeling.
One of Ron's snapper.
Nurse Sharks around our boat right before we snorkeled.
Round one- #60
Round two- #47
New favorite drink.. Coconut margarita. Tequila + coconut cream + triple sec + fresh lime juice. Shaken.
San Pedro, Belize video!