Updated: Feb 13, 2019
This January, Jacob and I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Belize with family. It was such a memorable trip, with lots of good food and experiences The local people of Belize are incredibly sweet and personable; their culture was a beautiful one to experience. I was amazed at the wide variety of activities offered in Belize. From scuba diving, to relaxing on the beach, there really is something for everyone.
For the first half of our trip we flew into the town town of San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye. There are beautiful resorts and hotels all over the island. At the resort we stayed at, Las Terrazas, the beach was nothing special. There was a lot of wind and seaweed, so we did not swim there much at all, but we did enjoy the pool, sailing, and fishing off of the dock. This side of the island is not known for it’s beaches, but on the other side there is the not-so-hidden-gem of the area called the Secret Beach. This beautiful, calm, turquoise beach was not secret at all, it was packed with people. Luckily, someone from our resort recommended that we turn left instead of right when arriving at the Secret Beach sign. We drove a short way down to the end of that road until we reached a parking lot in front of a tall, dark blue beach house. Behind the beach house was a restaurant and bar that went out into the water. There were even tables to swim to in the water. The water was so shallow and calm we were able to walk out far and find some nice shells and even touch some jellyfish (the tops – don’t worry no one got stung). There were only a handful of groups here and it was a lot more peaceful. The food was decent, there were gluten free options like corn tacos and curry soup. So instead of spending time at the crowded Secret Beach, we loved this smaller, relaxing area.
Other fun things to do on Ambergris Caye include driving golf carts (the main mode of transportation) to downtown San Pedro to shop and eat. The best souvenirs in this area are the hand-made wood products. Make sure to stop into the Belize Chocolate Company store. Another fun excursion that we loved was sailing and spending the day snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, swimming with nurse sharks at Shark Ray Alley, and stopping at the nearby island of Caye Caulker. Caye Caulker has a fun, relaxed vibe to it with locals selling handmade goods, smoothies, ice cream, etc. We enjoyed the restaurant Rainbow Grill that had great fish and quite a few gluten free options. Jacob and his brother loved bone fishing on the flats of Ambergris Caye as well.
San Ignacio – Chaa Creek Resort
Now for my absolute favorite part of the trip – our stay at Chaa Creek. Chaa Creek is a beautiful resort nestled in the jungle of mainland Belize near the town of San Ignacio. There is a wide variety of options for accommodations, from new condos to small cabins on the river, every place looked so cozy and clean, we would love to go back again someday! I'm not going to lie, my favorite part of our stay was probably all of the food. 80% of the resort’s food comes straight from their organic farm, and the rest comes from local farmers. The staff was very knowledgeable about celiac disease, and the chef even made homemade gluten free bread daily! There were gluten free pancakes, deserts, and more. Everything tasted so fresh and delicious. Some of my favorites were the coconut gelato, risotto, and vegetable soups that changed daily. I could probably write an entire blog post on how good the food was – but I’ll spare you of that.
There are so many fun things to do at Chaa Creek. We could have stayed another week at least with all that there was! On site, they have horseback riding, a butterfly exhibit, guided hikes all throughout the day, an infinity pool, and more. We loved touring their organic farm on horseback, the guided night hike to see tarantulas and other creatures (not for those with a fear of spiders..), and the guided medicinal plant hike. Off-site, we enjoyed visiting the nearby Aztec ruins of Xunantunich. The views from the top of the ruins are amazing. We also canoed to downtown San Ignacio and ate at the resort’s restaurant Guava Limb which also had a lot of healthy, tasty options. Last but not least, we walked and swam through the famous ATM Cave. This is a must-see if you're going to Belize. I was a little nervous about being in a cave for about 3 hours, but it ended up being one of coolest things I’ve ever experienced. The water inside was warm and refreshing, and there were even full skeletons inside from the Aztec period. Overall, there is so much to do in this area, and I would absolutely love to visit again someday. The wide variety of experiences and natural beauty in Belize showcased God’s creativity so wonderfully.
Gluten Free Friendly Restaurants in Belize:
Rainbow Grill (on Caye Caulker)
Guava Limb (San Ignacio)
Mariposa (Chaa Creek Resort)