With the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays falling on the weekend, this is the year the perfect time to give the gift of a Belize adventure. Make memories and spend true, quality time together at Las Terrazas Resort. Because travel is the best gift you can give your family.
Why travel to Belize over the holidays?
The holiday weather on Ambergris Caye is simply gorgeous. Highs around 82* and lows around 73*. Low chances of rain and 11+ hours of sunshine a day. That means more time for exploring Belize’s famous reefs and rainforests. Expect plenty of space in Las Terrazas Resort’s oversized luxury accommodations (and splurge on an Ocean Front Sea House for a special holiday treat). Finally, let us take care of the travel details! Our Reservations Office will book transfers and schedule your return covid tests. We can even stock the fridge with your favorite snacks prior to your arrival.
How can I make it feel like the holidays at the beach?
We love to celebrate the holidays on Ambergris Caye, Belize. You’ll find Christmas sights all around town, including golf cart and boat parades. Traditional holiday fare is served at Las Terrazas Resort’s onsite O Restaurant. We suggest you bring your tacky sweaters and let us help you schedule a private photography session on the beach. Your friends will be so jealous of your holiday cards!
How can I make the whole family happy this holiday?
Let us help you plan an itinerary that will thrill all generations of your family. Foodies and families love the Belize Food Tour, a guided walking tour that introduces you to a taste of authentic Belizean cuisine. Adventurers young and young-at-heart love traveling to the mainland to explore the jungle and Belize Zoo. Ambergris Caye boasts more than 10 “under the sea” adventures, where divers and snorkelers can experience the same sights. Sail the Caribbean Sea on a Catamaran cruise, complete with snacks and Belize’s amazing rum punch. When it’s time to say goodbye to paradise, schedule a beach front dinner on Las Terrazas Resort’s private white sand beach.
Celebrating Milestones and Making Memories in Belize
Life is full of events worth celebrating. And celebrating a milestone event – family reunion, 50th birthday, graduation, or long-awaited wedding reception – with a once-in-a-lifetime milestone vacation is one of the best gifts you can give. Make memories and celebrate the good times at our Ambergris Caye, Belize, luxury resort.
Here are 4 things to consider when planning a milestone vacation.
1. Plan ahead
Scheduling the date of a milestone vacation might be the hardest part, but it’s important to make sure that everyone has enough time to plan their time away from work, as well as to schedule around all of life’s other commitments. “High season” (also known as the dry season) in Belize runs from around late November until mid-April. Tourists fill the country during high season, looking for a relief from the colder weather. This means higher rates and less availability, both in accommodations as well as excursions. Holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas book up as much as a year in advance, so you should start planning well in advance if you are looking to bring a group to Belize during the holidays. Summers are known as the rainy season, and you can expect an afternoon shower to occur almost daily. However, the rain clears out quickly and the crowds are sparser during the summer, which is sometimes easier to navigate with a large group.
2. Location, location, location
Booking individual rooms can quickly drive up the price of your vacation. On the other hand, no one wants to hear Grandma snore so consider your living quarters carefully. When traveling with a large multi-generational group to celebrate a milestone vacation, your main goal is probably spending time together and making new memories. But vacation can also be tiring work, and everyone appreciates their own space after a busy day of adventuring. Consider booking fully-furnished residences with a full range of features. Being able to cook up a quick breakfast in your private kitchen and recounting the previous day’s adventures is a precious way to begin the day. Having a full arsenal of snacks and beverages on hand will help you control your dining budget. Gathering on your private balcony over after-dinner drinks to reminisce about past vacations is another opportunity to make memories that isn’t available in a traditional hotel set up.
The oversized luxury residences at Las Terrazas Resort feature 1, 2, and 3 bedrooms with 2 or 3 bathrooms, and a completely furnished kitchen, dining room, and living room – plus full-sized washers and dryers (but doing laundry on vacation is optional!). Complimentary WiFi, cable TV, DVD players, and surround sound keep everyone entertained during your downtime.
3. Organize excursions with everyone in mind
It’s possible that some of your group is dying to SCUBA dive Belize’s Barrier Reef, while others would prefer to lie on the beach with a frozen cocktail – and that’s okay. Planning a milestone vacation with a large group of people should also include planning a range of excursions in order to offer something for everyone. Some of Belize’s amazing excursions require physical capabilities that the older members of your group may not possess, such as climbing to the top of the ancient Mayan ruin of Lamanai or hiking through the Belizean jungle for a cave tubing adventure. Nevertheless, there are many activities that groups of people with different ages and physical abilities may enjoy together. We recommend a Catamaran cruise and beach picnic, with rum punch and snorkel stops included. In addition to water sports, Belize is also famous for its fishing, horseback riding, and zip lining.
Our Reservations Manager can send a complete list of adventures and excursions to you and help plan an exciting itinerary prior to your arrival or you can view a list of adventures here. Additionally, our onsite concierge is available throughout your stay to book outings once you arrive.
4. It’s all in the details
It’s the little things that will make your trip most memorable for the guest of honor. Notifying your resort of the special occasion in advance will help the staff to greet the guest of honor properly upon arrival and allow the resort to show some extra love.
Other tips include:
Consider hiring a photographer to catalog that day on the Catamaran cruise or capture generations of smiles with a photo session on our picturesque property.
Arrange for a welcome bouquet of local tropical flowers to greet the guest of honor upon arrival.
Make use of the resort’s WiFi and share photos with friends and family who are unable to join you on vacation and allow them to send greetings and well wishes.
Take advantage of a grocery stocking service (see #2 above re: arsenal of snacks!) and have everyone’s favorites waiting for them. There is usually a nominal fee associated with this service, but it will save you precious vacation time and keep everyone happy.
Your crew will enjoy the fabulous eateries on the island of Ambergris Caye, but be sure to plan at least one sit down dinner with true Belizean flair. Chef Nolvin and the team at Las Terrazas Resort’s onsite O Restaurant are famous for our Belizean Beach BBQs, served buffet style on our private white sand beach. If you would rather watch the sun set before partying the night away, plan a dinner at our Rooftop Sky Lounge, where the views will stun you as much as the cuisine.
When you are ready to start planning your special milestone event, call our US-based Reservations Manager at (713) 780-1233 or (800) 447-1553, and we will answer any questions you may have about Las Terrazas Resort and travel in Belize. We look forward to customizing the adventure of a lifetime.
Traditional Belizean cuisine is rooted in our Caribbean and Latin American origins. Our Mayan, Kriol, and Garifuna backgrounds have produced a dazzling collection of diverse recipes, which we are pleased to share with you today.
Want to experience a true taste of Belize? Visit Las Terrazas Resort’s O Restaurant where our Belize-raised Chef Nolvin shares his own recipes. You can create some of his unique creations which are detailed below. But nothing beats a dining experience next to the 70’ infinity pool under the stars. Or attend a Belize Food Tour for an authentic experience of the mom-and-pop restaurants on Ambergris Caye.
For those of you who won’t be visiting Ambergris Caye soon, don’t worry. Below are some authentic recipes that will help you eat like a local. Make them yourself and wow your family and friends at home.
Despite the nation’s culinary diversity, there are still several Belizean staples that stand out as truly authentic. For example, refried beans, eggs, rice, and cheeses are enjoyed with nearly every meal, and are almost always accompanied with flour tortillas and fry jacks. A popular breakfast dish, fry jacks are deep fried pieces of dough that are famous for being circular or triangular in shape. Fry jacks are very similar to beignets or sopapillas. These savory bites are perfect for dipping into refried beans!
A traditional fry jack recipe is easy to make:
2 cups of flour
3 tsp of baking powder
¼ tsp of salt
1 T of vegetable shortening
1 cup of water
Vegetable oil for frying
Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Cut the shortening into flour, then add the water, a little at a time, to make a soft (but not sticky) dough. Divide the dough into two rounds. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. While the dough is resting, lightly flour a hard, spacious surface such as a countertop or cutting board. Roll the dough out to about 10 to 12 inches round. Cut lengthwise into 2 to 3-inch strips and then crosswise to desired size. Heat oil and fry on each side until golden brown.
Delicious tip: Fry jacks can and should be served hot with honey, jam, sugar or refried beans and cheese and fully enjoyed. Or, for those who are acquainted with French beignets, just sprinkle them with powdered sugar and have yourself a sweet treat instead.
Must try: It’s important to distinguish that you have not had a true Fry Jack until you have tasted Chef Nolvin’s at our fantastic O Restaurant. While he keeps his recipe a secret, he admits that he calls these delectable bites “patties” and insists that a fry jack is always filled with fun – it might be sweet or savory, but it is always delicious. His fry jack philosophy is to “stretch it, stuff it, and fry it!”, with his favorite creation being a Spicy Chili Chicken with a sweet sriracha dipping sauce. Come by and try it the next time you are on the island.
Serre (Fish Soup)
After being shipwrecked on course to the West Indies, the Garifuna settled in Belize’s southern villages in the early 1800s. Their blend of African and Caribbean influences created a dish using ingredients easily available in the local subtropical climate, from cassava to coconuts.
Traditionally, a bowlful of this famous fish soup is spooned out with a side of cassava bread on November 19th – a national holiday that celebrates the Garifuna’s settlement. This humble fare can be found almost anywhere in the country. Head to Dangriga or Hopkins on the mainland for a more authentic taste, but even the most luxury island resorts in Ambergris Caye offer contemporary versions.
Chef Nolvin loves this dish and describes it as a rich, comforting soup he would prepare for family occasions and keeping the heritage of Belize alive. He says that part of the appeal is its versatility; you can switch up the ingredients any way you’d like. For example, any kind of fish can be substituted into this tasty broth, and scotch bonnets will work in place of habaneros. If it sounds good, throw it in – you really can’t go wrong.
Because this is such a diverse and ever-changing dish, nailing down a classic recipe can be hard to do. However, with just a few basic ingredients, its staple coconut broth, and time to simmer on the stove, this is one easy soup that anyone can make at home. Some ideas to try include local fish (cleaned, cored, seasoned, and fried), sautéed onions and peppers in a coconut milk broth, with root vegetables like carrot, potato, and sweet potatoes stirred in, and garnished on top with cilantro.
Conch Ceviche & Conch Fritters
It wouldn’t be the Caribbean without a little hot sauce to add to your dish, and Hot Mama’s is definitely the spice Queen of Belize. With three different levels of heat to add to your dish, this local hot sauce company won the 2007 Fiery Food Challenge. Add it to any of these recipes and you won’t be disappointed. Hot sauce aside, this company also provides authentic recipes to enjoy, like their classic Conch Ceviche and Conch Fritters, both of which are local favorites when it comes to Belizeans appetizers.
While traditionally an El Salvadorian recipe, papusas first graced Ambergris Caye with their presence when a woman named Sara brought the recipe to the island and opened her very own Pupuseria on Middle Street. Word quickly spread that these thick, handmade tortillas topped with meat, beans, and cheese were to die for, and the dish quickly became a Belizean staple. While we don’t know her secret ingredients, we encourage all who visit the island to dine at Pupuseria Salvadoreno to taste Sara’s famous dish. But for a basic recipe, here’s a good one to try.
Salbutes are puffed, deep fried, corn tortillas that are topped with lettuce, sliced avocado, pulled chicken, tomato, and pickled red onion. Though salbutes originate from the Yucatán peninsula and are believed to be from the Mestizo culture, today they are a common staple in Belize.
This delicious “on the go” kind of food is typically eaten for lunch in Belize. It is considered a quick fast food that can be purchased from fast food restaurants countrywide and is eaten typically with the hands.
Chef Nolvin uses these savory ingredients and is known to serve them with a Habanero Onion sauce when friends or family pop in. Be sure to request this special dish the next time you visit O Restaurant. The salbutes pictured are served at El Fogon, courtesy of our friends at San Pedro Scoop.
2 lbs corn masa
2 chicken breasts
½ tsp of salt
½ tsp of black pepper
Recado (Annatto spice) OPTIONAL
1 cup of water
Vegetable oil for frying
Mix the corn masa, spices, and water, then knead until a dough is formed. Once doughy, divide into balls that are roughly two inches in diameter. Flatten into rounds and then dip and fry in oil until golden, but not too tough or crispy. Drain on a paper towel.
Top with shredded chicken, tomatoes, lettuce and whatever other toppings your heart desires.
Similar to salbutes, garnaches are another common fast food appetizer or small dish with a fried tortillas as a base. However, garnaches typically skip the meat and are topped with refried beans, onions, cabbage, and cheese instead.
For a classic recipe, try:
1 cup red kidney or black beans (mashed or blended)
Salt & fresh ground pepper (to taste)
4 ounces shredded cabbage (about 2 cups)
1 small onion (small dice)
1 medium carrot, grated
½ cup vinegar
Habanero pepper, finely diced (optional, to taste)
1 lb corn tortilla
Cooking oil for frying
1 cup hard cheese, grated (Asiago, Edam, or Dutch type)
Mash or blend the cooked beans, then season with salt and pepper. Stir cabbage, onions and carrots together in a small bowl with vinegar. For heat, add habanero to the vegetable/vinegar mixture. Fry the tortillas in oil until puffy and crisp. Then spread with beans, top with cabbage, onions, and carrots, and sprinkle with grated cheese.
Belizean Stewed Chicken with Rice and Beans
You absolutely cannot come to Belize without getting a taste of this most traditional dish. Stewed chicken with rice and beans is a country favorite and can be found in nearly every restaurant. This recipe is a must try and can be found here.
These Belizean popsicles are a refreshing delight during those hot summer months. Eat them alone as a summer treat, or wow your friends by soaking them in a cocktail. Soursop is a local favorite flavor, pulled from the large acidic fruit of the tropical evergreen tree, and is a must have on the island. Here is a recipe that can easily be made from home:
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Going Green in Belize
When you think of Belize, you often think of the beautiful turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean that surround the coast. These days, we are all about thinking green. “Green living” refers to a conscious effort on both the part of a government and its citizens to become more environmentally aware and friendly by engaging in cleaner, greener practices for the well-being of our planet. Belize is proud to lead by example in showing the world how to live green.
When a recent report predicted that plastic in oceans would outnumber fish by 2050, Belize took action. In March 2018, the government began a phase out of styrofoam and single use plastics by April 22, 2019 (Earth Day!). Single use plastics are things such as straws, soda bottles, baggies, and plasticware. The goal is to reduce pollution to protect the terrestrial and marine environments within our borders. Another goal is to reduce the enormous costs associated with pollution cleanup. Though single use plastics and styrofoam may only be used for a few minutes, its material stays behind for a lifetime. Literally, they remain for decades in landfills or as litter that lines roads or fills our rivers and oceans.
Belize has won recognition and praise for our dedication to the cause. Impressively, its offshore reef was recently removed from a list of endangered areas. This proves that we Belizeans aren’t just talking the talk, but are putting our words to serious action. The bulk of the island residents make their livelihood as fishermen and tour operators for the surrounding sea and rainforests. Therefore, green living is not just an idea but a conviction. Belizeans are going green, not as a trend but as a way to protect the land for the future generations. When participating in one of the island’s many fabulous excursions, the old adage remains especially true: Take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints. We can all help keep Belize clean and green by limiting the trash we consume and bring with us.
It is not just the government and island residents committed to the cause, but companies and corporations as well. Las Terrazas Resort on the island of Ambergris Caye has put forth numerous green initiatives. Our luxury island hotel has completely done away with all styrofoam and plastic straws, bottles, and coffee stirrers onsite. Kitchen waste is turned into compost. We use LED lightbulbs to save energy and have installed water-saving shower heads and toilets throughout the property. On-demand water heaters warm up upon use, saving energy and eliminating the need to heat enormous tanks of water. Going above and beyond in our commitment to being green, Las Terrazas Resort brings all used ink toner cartridges to the USA to be recycled as there are currently no such facilities in Belize to do so.
As you can see, it is important to Las Terrazas Resort to not only commit to the idea of green living, but practice it as well. And you can help! In addition to the green alternatives Las Terrazas Resort already offers, you can contribute to our efforts with a little planning ahead to make your next vacation as green as possible.
Here are some travel tips to help you reduce your environmental footprint while on vacation at Las Terrazas Resort:
Invest in reusable water bottles to avoid plastic bottles
Bring your own soap, shampoo, and conditioner in bar form rather than the plastic travel-sized versions
Carry a reusable shopping bag with you to prevent adding more plastic bags to the landfills
Enjoy our amazing local fruits and produce while snacking versus prepackaged snacks
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Get Your-self(ie) to Belize – Part 2
As promised in our previous post, below are even more must-have photo ops to capture when you visit Belize. Be sure to share your vacation photography of these historical, breathtaking, adventurous, and favorite foodie destinations on your social media platforms, and invite your friends to experience a glimpse of Ambergris Caye.
Historical hotspots. Belize is famous for our ancient Mayan ruins, and taking a selfie on one of these historical tours is a must. With the help of our fantastic hotel concierge, we can arrange a journey to the mainland where expert guides will take you on a tour of ancient ruins, temples, and other amazing archaeological sites. Prefer to stay on Ambergris Caye? Show off your best pirate pose with the Las Terrazas Resort cannons, located on the side of our famed dock. Initially onboard a British warship in the 1800’s, these rustic cannons now reside on our resort property and serve as a reminder that though Belize was formerly British Honduras, she proudly won her independence in 1981. It is believed that these two large cannons were retrieved from Rocky Point, a rocky promontory where (rumor has it) many wartime shipwreck treasures were once located before being spirited off the island.
Caribbean Sea. We would be remiss to not mention the Caribbean’s beautiful aquamarine waters as a prime photo op. But don’t just take a picture IN the Caribbean – get UNDER it and capture those moments too! Belize is famous for underwater excursions like snorkeling and diving, and the underwater pictures are truly priceless. Grab your GoPro and astonish your friends back home with pictures of yourself amongst the nurse sharks, sea turtles, and countless species of coral and fish that dwell beneath the water’s surface. The pictures you will get underwater are truly unlike any others.
Shoot from the sky. Speaking of excursions, don’t forget the amazing pictures you can take from the sky. Enjoy the Belizean jungle from above as you zipline along a network of tree-top platforms eighty feet above ground. Or venture even higher and take in a bird’s eye view of Ambergris Caye from 300 feet above as you parasail with Castaway Caye. Regardless of how high you decide to go, these sky-top selfies will impress all your friends and will leave you with memories that make you soar.
O Restaurant. Come for the photo op, but stay for a meal and cocktail from O Restaurant at Las Terrazas Resort. The fountain in our palapa lobby, cabanas on our private white sand beach, and Rooftop Sky Lounge are all fantastic spots to pose for a picture. Even better, you can arrange a private beach dinner where your own personal waiter can capture the perfect shot of you and your loved one with the sun setting on the Caribbean Sea just beyond your table. Do you photograph your meals before digging in? You are in for a treat. Our beloved Chef Nolvin is a genius in the kitchen, whipping up his own creative recipes and personalizing them according to guest preferences. His seasonal menus showcase fresh, locally sourced ingredients that boast of Caribbean and Central American flavors. If you are visiting on a Friday, you’ll definitely want to enjoy Chef Nolvin’s Sushi Night, a picture-perfect meal. **Please note that O Restaurant’s operation and hours may vary due to reduced tourism on the island. You may check the current hours by calling the Front Desk or contacting the Reservations Office.
Ambergris Caye is the place to be, as these infamous photo ops will show. The next time you visit us at Las Terrazas Resort on Ambergris Caye, snap a picture and boost your social media likes with these prime photo ops. (And be sure and tag us!) But before you book your next trip, check out our Belize Vacation Packages to find the best deal on a beach getaway.
Get Your-self(ie) to Belize – Part 1
If a picture tells a thousand words and a memory lasts a lifetime, then what better way to create such lasting memories of your Belize adventure than through photographs? Below is a list of the best photo ops on the island of Ambergris Caye — spots that will remind you of the island’s best treasures and bring those memories back into sharp focus after your tans fade away.
The Las Terrazas Resort Swing Set. Situated just outside our Belize beachfront hotel, guests of Las Terrazas Resort are invited (and encouraged!) to splash into the water and swing their hearts out under our very own hand painted and wood carved Las Terrazas Resort sign and swing set. This is one photo op that is impossible to replicate anywhere else on Ambergris Caye and is much more than a picture to take – it’s an experience to be had. Don’t forget to swing by and snap a picture the next time you’re in Ambergris Caye.
Secret Beach. This not-so-secret beach is a favorite among tourists and locals alike. Hailed as one of the top 5 swimming spots in Ambergris Caye, this laidback beach is the perfect spot to take a dip, float on a tube, rent a water toy, or even eat lunch in. The shallow water picnic tables ensure that you don’t have to choose between food and fun while on their shore. The beach itself is livelier with food trucks, beach tunes, and bars, but there are places to wander off and escape the energy if you so desire. Nearby palapas offer a serene place to relax and enjoy the view of the mangrove islands in the distance or to enjoy some peace and quiet as you overlook the beautiful turquoise water for which Belize is famous. Reclining beach chairs and hammocks line the shore, promising a blissful snooze as you soak up the sun and listen to the lapping waters. Whether you are looking to relax, swim, snooze, party, or play, Secret Beach really does have it all, and their enormous sign may just be one of the best parts. Pose on the letters for a picture-perfect moment of your time at the beach.
The Truck Stop. Building with shipping containers is all the rage right now, and there is no better way to utilize them than by filling them with food. The first shipping container food park on Ambergris Caye, The Truck Stop is the place to be on the island. Great food and an abundance of fun and laughter are shared in this local hot spot, where weekly cornhole tournaments, movie nights, game shows, trivia nights, live music, and more are scheduled on the regular. The food trucks offer a variety of options, from a bar to an ice cream shop and mouthwatering menus that boast of Southeast Asian and Latin American flavors, even pizza. A photograph by this unique San Pedro Belize shipping container sign will contain memories for years to come.
Belize Signage. Want to show others exactly where you are? Be sure to stop by both of these colorful Belize signs for prime pictures to post. This cute sign belongs to the magazine My Beautiful Belize, but with such little display room of their own, it is hung on the large wall space on the side of RC Elementary School. Their hand painted Belize sign is the perfect place to stop for a selfie.
If you are heading to mainland Belize for an excursion or day trip, you must stop by the Belize Sign Monument in Belize City. These bright, bold, rainbow color letters are placed just in front of the aquamarine waters of the Caribbean Sea, making it perhaps one of the most popular photo ops in the entire country. This sign and its picture-perfect background make for fabulous photos and the letters are great for climbing on, laying across, jumping in front of, or happily posing next to. This is a sign you definitely don’t want to miss.
Poco Loco. Situated on Front Street on Ambergris Caye, Poco Loco is a miniature food court with a giant and colorfully painted San Pedro sign. With multiple food stalls, Poco Loco offers a plethora of unBELIZEable flavors with something for everyone. Whether you have a hankering for burritos or burgers, soup or salad, or even cocktails, crepes, or ice cream, you are sure to find what you are looking for at Poco Loco. The San Pedro sign at their entrance will help you find them, but their food will make you stay. A great meal AND an Insta-worthy picture? What’s not to love?!
Stay tuned! Our next post will feature even more prime photo ops that are sure to wow your family and friends back home and keep you reminiscing about your time on the island. Until then, head on over to our reservations page to book your trip today. Don’t just look at our pictures – get yourself(ie) to Belize to take some of your own.
7 Reasons to Visit Belize this Summer
Summer vacations mean exploring new worlds and making memories with your loved ones. If you thought the cold winter months were ideal for escaping to the natural beauty of Belize, think again! Why not spend your summer days with your toes in the white sand beaches of Belize with an ice cold Belikin in your hand? With our rich culture and amazing cuisine, summer is an ideal time to explore the diversity that is Belize. Recharge your batteries in the luxurious setting of Las Terrazas Resort, located on stunning Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Here are 7 reasons to visit Belize this summer:
1. Your safety is our priority
Las Terrazas Resort is a Gold Standard Resort, meaning we adhere to the highest cleanliness and safety standards as set forth by the Belize Tourism Board. You can be assured that your safety is our priority.
In addition, traveling to Belize is easy. Simply show your proof of negative PCR test taken within 96 hours of arrival or negative rapid test taken within 48 hours.
For your convenience, Las Terrazas Resort offers concerige covid testing (at your expense) prior to your return to the US.
Questions about traveling to or within Belize? Visit our up-to-date informational page or contact our US-based Reservations Office at (713) 780-1233.
Belize is gorgeous any time of the year. During the summer months, the average temperature is in the mid-80s during the day. Although the mainland receives over twice as much rain as we do on Ambergris Caye, visitors can expect regular rain showers, mainly at night. For those rains that dare to interrupt summer vacation days, they usually hang around for a quick 5 to 10 minute shower – nothing strong enough to disrupt your plans for long. We welcome those quick bursts of rain that push out the humidity and cool the air. Pack light clothing and a pair of sturdy hiking shoes for days that you might dare venture away from Las Terrazas Resort’s private white sand beach. Throw in a good sun hat, and you’ll be all set for an unBELIZEable summer adventure.
3. So many fish in the sea
Whether you prefer to observe them in their natural environment or reel them in, Belize is a fish lover’s paradise. Belize’s commitment to the protection and conservation of its natural resources is clearly visible in the pristine waters and unspoiled beauty of the famous Belize Barrier Reef. The second largest barrier reef system in the world is over 185 miles long. Conveniently, it is located less than 1 mile off the coast of Ambergris Caye. With a plethora of superb snorkeling sites such as Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Shark Ray Alley, and Mexico Rocks located only minutes from Ambergris Caye, snorkelers will see manatees, nurse sharks, sting rays, groupers, eels, and turtles, not to mention sea fans and elkhorn, staghorn, and brain coral.
Summertime is considered to be the best months for fishing in Belize because the famous 3 (tarpon, bonefish, and permit) are plentiful. Tarpon are one of the most popular targets around Ambergris Caye, with most catches averaging 60-90 lbs and some reaching 100-150 lbs. Large schools of bonefish are waiting for you in the lagoons and flats. And if you are looking to nab your first ever permit, Belize is a must. Snook, barracuda, snapper, grouper, and jackfish are also plentiful in the area.
4. Lobster Season
In order to protect the lobster from overfishing (overlobstering??), lobstering is only allowed in Belizean waters for about 8 months per year. Residences and businesses alike are not allowed to sell, serve, or even have lobster in the freezer once the season closes. So, we will all rejoice in Belize when the summer lobster season opens again on July 1, 2021. Lobster ceviche, grilled lobster, lobster kebabs – Bubba Gump would be proud of all the ways that we serve up this local cuisine on Ambergris Caye. It’s not easy, but guests have speared their own lobsters while snorkeling and on fishing excursions. (Just make sure you are not in a protected reserve!) And we will gladly cook up your catch to your liking at O Restaurant at Las Terrazas Resort.
5. So many festivals
Yes, we love our lobsters on Ambergris Caye! The biggest festival of the summer is the San Pedro Lobster Fest, typically a 10-day festival celebrating the opening of lobster season in Belize. You will find special activities and celebrations all around town. Local eateries – and Las Terrazas Resort’s onsite O Restaurant – serve up delicious lobster-themed delicacies. The 2021 Lobster Fest will look a little different than in years past, but it is definitely worth celebrating after being cancelled last year. This year’s festival has events from June 29 – July 10, 2021.
Visitors also flock to the International Costa Maya Festival during the first week of August. Miss Costa Maya, selected from one of the 8 countries represented at the pageant, is crowned on Thursday night. Festivities continue throughout the weekend with live music concerts and summer beach parties at bars all over the island. **Of course, every year is different, and we are still awaiting details on the 2021 ICMF. You can verify specific dates of activities on a number of FaceBook pages, or call us at the US-based Reservations Office.
6. “Go Slow” on Caye Caulker
Take a boat from Ambergris Caye to visit tiny Caye Caulker. Stroll the length of the island and browse the craft and jewelry booths for souvenirs for friends back home. Colorful beach chairs and hammocks dot the shore. Your day on Caye Caulker is a great day to relax in the shade with a refreshing summer cocktail from one of the many bars. Dining options abound, but definitely try the local catch. You can eat pizza every other day of the year. For a more active Belize vacation, try your hand at kitesurfing or take a dip at the split. And if you find a local in the know, ask where you can find the seahorse habitat.
7. Summer Specials
Whether visiting Belize with a group of friends, your family, or as a couple, Las Terrazas Resort is offering a variety of summer specials to suit your needs. Take your kids for a walk on the wild side and make precious memories. When you book one bedroom for mom and dad, you’ll receive the 2nd bedroom free for the kids. Submerge yourself in the rich culture of Belize (and the turquoise Caribbean Sea surrounding Ambergris Caye) and receive one night free when you stay 4 or 5 nights. Bonus! Receive two nights free with a stay of 6 or more nights. Or are you looking for a sampling of the luscious Belize rainforest to go with your beach vacation? Ask us about the Reef and Rainforest package.
Of course, all our special packages include accommodations in our luxury accommodations. Las Terrazas Resort’s oversized residences feature 1, 2, or 3 bedrooms with 2 or 3 full bathrooms, full sized kitchen, dining and living rooms, private balconies or terraces to enjoy Belize’s sweet summer nights, full sized washer and dryer inside every residence, as well as free WiFi throughout the resort. All our specials are available online, and our Reservations Manager is available to answer all your questions.
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Free Family Fun at Las Terrazas Resort
While Ambergris Caye is host to a variety of fabulous and affordable island excursions, equally as noteworthy are the many complementary amenities Las Terrazas Resort offers to their guests. First and foremost, you should expect your vacation to start off with a punch – quite literally, a complimentary Rum Punch greeting by the resort’s staff upon your arrival. What better way to start off your stay than with a dreamy island cocktail in hand? With that delightful springboard into relaxation, continue the vibe by swaying (or snoozing!) on a beach hammock or in one of the beachside cabanas, doing yoga on the mat provided in your residence or on the sandy beaches below, or taking a dip in the gorgeous aquamarine waters of the Caribbean Sea; Las Terrazas Resort has roped off a swimming area at the end of their dock calling your name. If you do find yourself heading out to the dock for a swim in the sea, consider grabbing a rod and reel from the front desk. For a nominal fee for bait, you can fish off the dock as you take in the view and cast your worries away with the tide.
Are you looking for some fitness and fun in the sun? Get your fitness on with your choice of water sports equipment available to all guests. Kayaks, paddle boards, aqua bikes, and Hobie cats (small sailing catamarans) are available to all hotel guests on a first-come, first-served basis and are an exciting way for experts and newbies alike to explore the crystalline Caribbean Sea that surround Ambergris Caye. Free bicycles and golf cart rentals are also at your service, allowing you to explore the resort property as well as island life beyond the hotel grounds.
For a fun and casual environment with friends old or new, you can splash in the hotel’s 70-foot infinity pool or play beach volleyball, giant Jenga, or corn hole down on the spacious private white sand beach. Or, for a real island treat, consider taking coconut tree climbing lessons with one of our beach captains. If you prefer to keep your feet in the sand and not up in a tree, ask them to help you catch an iguana to hold or starfish with which to take your photo. Our beach captains love to show off their unique skills and love of the island, and they are happy to teach you and the kids all of their secrets.
Wi-Fi is also complimentary, of course, so rest assured that you will have access to the world at large however little or much you prefer. Family and friends, co-workers and clients, selfies and posts can all be easily attended to at the simple click of a button. Leave work behind or not, but know that our online services are at your disposal all throughout your stay at our Ambergris Caye hotel.
With all the wonderful complimentary amenities that Las Terrazas Resort provides, you may feel tempted to never leave the resort. However if you are itching for adventure, be sure to visit the hotel’s Front Desk to plan your island and mainland excursions with the experienced concierges on duty. Las Terrazas Resort’s warm and professional staff is ready to meet your needs and help you plan an unforgettable vacation of a lifetime.
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Loving Life on the Caye with Curl Bell
Las Terrazas Resort and Residences wouldn’t be the luxury island hotel that it is if it weren’t for the unBELIZEable staff that keeps it running day and night. With a diligent work ethic, we would be remiss to not take the opportunity to introduce the remarkable employees who are the heart and soul of Las Terrazas Resort. It is a pleasure to introduce the one and only Curl Bell who leads the Front Office team here at Las Terrazas Resort in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Born in Belmopan, the capital of Belize, Curl was raised by his parents Martha and Derek on a farm brimming with chickens, livestock, and produce. At a young age, Curl learned the art of “catch to cook”, a skill that allowed him to prepare and enjoy food caught by his own hands. When he was not working on the family farm, Curl pursued his passion – football, known as soccer to those in the US. He grew up practicing his skills at every opportunity and became an avid fan of the Real Madrid. Though he does not have a favorite player, he is drawn to the team’s free flowing style, with the ball being passed along by crisp moves that are unhindered by fouls, opponent interference, or falling out of bounds. These days, Curl enjoys playing for the San Pedro Veterans league in his spare time.
Las Terrazas Resort has been blessed by Curl’s presence since its inception. He began his career with the organization when he was employed at the former Journey’s End Resort on Ambergris Caye as the Activities Coordinator more than eleven years ago. After Journey’s End hotel closed, he was promoted to Front Office Clerk at Las Terrazas Resort with a focus on tours and activities. His unflappable nature with all guests, knowledge of Belize activities, as well as his exemplary team leadership, made him a natural choice for the position of Front Office Manager where he now oversees the Front Desk Team. Eleven years into his tenure and he is still as enthusiastic about his job as the day he first began, happily leading the Front Desk Team through the joys and challenges that make the resort run smoothly and efficiently. Our guests enjoy challenging Curl’s athletic abilities, as he leads daily games of beach volleyball. Never lacking in patience with our younger guests who are new to the sport, and always with a smile on his face, our guests young and old, athletic or not, enjoy the fun “island” spirit Curl brings to Las Terrazas Resort.
While he is not always on the front lines helping guests, his leadership undoubtedly sets the tone of the resort, providing a positive lasting impression on our guests. Curl leads the rest of the team in hospitality and customer service, entrusting them with special tasks that include but are not limited to check in, dinner reservations, spa appointments, tour and excursion recommendations, the chaos of lost and found, and so much more. It is his warmth, hospitality, and leadership that has cultivated a team that excels in making Las Terrazas Resort guests happy and comfortable during their stay on the island. As regular Greg Johnson, who comes to Las Terrazas Resort annually for a father/son fishing trip, puts it, “Nothing is too big or too small for Curl to expertly take care of – and always with a smile. From lost luggage to the best fishing guides, Curl takes care of our every need each year.”
Managing the Front Desk is so much more than just a job to Curl. It is his passion! When asked what gets him out of bed each morning, he eagerly shares that he loves the variety and challenges that each day brings. The respect that he has earned from the owners and staff alike are motivating, not to mention the obscure and sometimes naughty requests he sometimes gets from the guests. Though these untold secrets keep him laughing, he declined to comment in more detail – undoubtedly forging the trust that wins over those who enter the resort doors! Never one to be bothered or put off by all of the unique challenges that come with managing the Front Desk, Curl explains that he is proud to be “open all hours” and is happy to help every hotel guest no matter the time of day.
Curl has a great future ahead of him both personally and professionally. He just welcomed his second child into the world, a bouncing baby boy who made his debut on August 27th. Professionally speaking, Curl is just getting started in his career, with long term aspirations to one day run his own hotel in the Belize jungle. He longs to combine the fond memories of his rural upbringing with his current day resort experience, hoping to incorporate produce, wildlife, and hunting into the mix of luxury island hotel life. Until then, Curl is happy to lead the Front Office team with warmth, professionalism, and smiles by day and retiring to the soccer field by night.
Curl is much loved by all who encounter Las Terrazas Resort and is recognized by his smile from a mile away. Come visit our luxury boutique resort and make sure to meet Curl and the rest of his Front Desk team for yourself on beautiful Ambergris Caye, Belize!
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21 Things to Know Before Visiting Ambergris Caye
We know that traveling to a new country raises questions about what to expect and how to create the best experience during your beach vacation. For those planning your first trip to Ambergris Caye, Belize, let us help you come prepared. Below are 21 things, in no particular order, that you should know before experiencing the island and our Belize luxury resort for the first time.
We take COVID precautions seriously here in Belize, but we guarantee that you will still have a fantastic adventure. A negative rapid test is required upon landing in Belize City, masks are to be worn in public, and you must stay at a Gold Standard hotel such as Las Terrazas Resort. You may find more information on our website and in the Belize Health App. Other than that, you may still explore the Belize Barrier Reef, venture into the rainforest to the Mayan Ruins, head offshore to fish, and lounge by our 70’ infinity pool or white sand beach.
Free Wi-Fi. Las Terrazas Resort makes it easy for you to stay connected to home from our island resort – free Wi-Fi is available to all guests, both in the residences and throughout the hotel, helping your international vacation feel as close to home as possible.
The early bird gets the worm! The sun rises bright and early – around 5:30am year-round. Ease into your day with a traditional Belizean breakfast and fresh-pressed juices while relaxing by the infinity pool or opt for a beachside brunch at the one of the best Ambergris Caye restaurants the island has to offer. Or rise with the sun and get a head start on adventure; the island has many fantastic excursions to offer. Not an early riser? That’s okay! Our resort in Belize offers luxury rooms complete with heavy drapes to keep your room cozy and dark, giving you permission to laze the day away if you so wish.
If you are traveling from the US, no adaptors are needed. The standard voltage in Belize is 110/220V and the typical 3 prong outlets used in America are used on the island and at Las Terrazas Resort hotel as well.
Don’t overpack – our Belize Spa Resort provides luxury bath amenities, including shampoo, conditioner, soap, and lotion. Also available for your use are hair dryers, umbrellas for those surprise pop up showers, and yoga mats. Your kitchen will come fully stocked with plates, silverware, paper towels, coffee, cream and sugar. Pharmacies and grocery stores can be found in San Pedro town, and ask us about grocery stocking service prior to arrival.
Water. Your safety is a priority at Las Terrazas Resort. While you should drink bottled water while out and about, Las Terrazas Resort has an on-site Reverse Osmosis plant where well water goes through a series of filters to purify it and is tested quarterly to ensure its safety. Our luxury island resort is the best place to drink your heart out – both in terms of water, and by way of our fantastic O Bar on site.
No rental cars or GPS necessary. There’s almost zero risk of getting lost as the island is literally three streets wide, with Front Street running along the coast, Middle Street that runs from Las Terrazas Resort straight into town, and a third street on the lagoon side of the island. Las Terrazas Resort offers printed maps should you desire one, but otherwise this is a safe and easy island to blindly navigate on your own. From golf cart rentals (yes, you can really scoot your way around the island this way— see number 8) to land and water taxis, getting around is easy and affordable.
Las Terrazas Resort wouldn’t be a true Belize beach resort if we didn’t have golf carts available for rent. This is a fun, unique alternative to public transportation and is an easy, breezy way to explore the island. Unlike many other countries, you can feel safe and at ease on our island roads— just watch out for pedestrians. There are no sidewalks in San Pedro so be mindful of those traveling on scooters, bikes, or by foot.
When in Ambergris Caye, you will be on “island time.” Expect a laid-back approach to life, where everything moves at a nice, slow pace that allows you to soak up all the island has to offer. Ambergris Caye is a place where you can leave your worries behind and slow down for a change.
Speaking of island time, Belize offers a casual, happy hour vibe. Bars tend to be tame at night as people are more likely to retire early in order to hit the waters the next morning. Belize is home to the Belikin Brewery and to order a “beer” here means to expect a Belikin in return. One helpful tip: If your beer comes decorated with a napkin, use it to wipe off the mouth of the beer. When the salty air hits the recycled glass, rust tends to form so a quick wipe down will do your body (and your drink) good.
Be sure to tip in Belize. In some countries, tipping can be taboo or even offensive, but this is not the case in Belize. This generous gesture is comparable to the American practice; 15% and up is a good rule of thumb.
Check your passports before booking your trip. All visitors must have a passport to enter the country, and passports must be valid for no less than six months after the intended period of stay. Most individuals don’t require a tourist visa to enter Belize.
Contrary to what you may have heard, Belize is not a third world country; it is more accurate to describe it as “developing” or “emerging”. While more rural areas might fit the third world description a bit more accurately, this is not the case on the island of Ambergris Caye. With high-speed internet, cable TV with channels in multiple languages, electricity, indoor plumbing, A/C, international airport, sophisticated transportation system, advanced and easily accessible healthcare, and impressive high literacy, low infant mortality, and high life expectancy rates, Belize is modern and advanced. While some maintenance standards might be lower than travelers live with, it is certainly nothing inconvenient or unsanitary, and these differences are hardly noticeable once you get acclimated.
Traveling with children? We love kids! US airports as well as Belize immigration require children under 18 years must travel with a valid passport. Immigration officials might also ask to see kids’ US birth certificates. Children traveling with one parent require a notarized letter of authority from the other parent indicating travel consent. Be sure to include your dates of travel, hotel name and location, name of the child, and who they are traveling with. Our Reservations Manager will provide additional information upon booking your reservation.
Just like on many beaches across the world, sand flies – or “no-see-ums” – are present on Ambergris Caye. They are thought to be most active in the sand after a rainstorm, but a few simple tricks should help you avoid these pesky bugs. Wearing baby oil on your legs is a great deterrent as they can’t bite through it. DEET works and is also a great repellant for the mosquitos – especially between the hours of 5-7pm, as they are most active at dusk.
Despite the assumption that many developing or central American countries are unsafe, you will find Belize to be relatively safe – and this is especially true of Ambergris Caye. There are few violent crimes, though petty theft does occur on occasion. Pay attention to your belongings, don’t flaunt your things, and don your fanny pack or money belt if you dare. Las Terrazas Resort also has in-room safes to keep your valuables secure. What’s important to you is important to us, and your valuables are safe in our care.
While our luxury island resort is a paradise on its own, we encourage our guests to get out, mingle with the locals, and experience authentic Belizean life on the island. Belize is known for the warmth, hospitality, and easy camaraderie found among its citizens. You truly won’t meet a stranger while on our turf.
Unlike other tourist destinations, in Belize you will not be overwhelmed by vendors hoping to sell things to you. Entrepreneurs invite you to buy – it is their job after all – but the culture here is much more laid back. A simple “no thanks” will do the trick; vendors will let you peacefully move on to shop. On the other hand, if you enjoy bartering and want to find the best deals, this style of shopping is acceptable among the open-air vendors in town (think flea markets). Belize is known for its jewelry and wood carvings, and the best place to shop for them on the island is along Barrier Reef Drive. The vendors are friendly and can usually provide you with a neat back story on their business and how their items were made.
Speaking of island shopping, it is helpful to know that the currency exchange rate is set at $2BZD to $1USD. Currency exchange is available at the airport, but American currency is widely accepted on the island and credit cards are accepted at most Ambergris Caye resorts and restaurants. It is worth mentioning that AmEx is not widely used on the island and ATMs don’t always have cash available. Should you pay in cash, you may receive Belize currency in change (which works great for tipping), but heads up that there is not an exchange service when you depart from the airport.
A tropical island like Ambergris Caye is more affordable than you may think. Enjoy local fare, like stewed chicken, rice, and beans for just $5USD. Local beer and alcohol typically run for less than $3USD per drink. The island has a plethora of affordable options available to you, but let’s not forget what draws us all to Ambergris Caye in the first place – its natural beauty! The Belize Barrier Reef, Mayan jungles, Caribbean Sea, and ancient ruins are some of the many astounding reasons people are drawn to the island.
Belize is known for its beautiful beaches, but please know that they are not always 100% pristine. In fact, sea grass and sargassum seaweed are to be expected on the beaches. Sea grass grows completely underwater, is a valuable part of the ecosystem, and is what the sea life here dines on. This means awesome snorkeling, from the famous Mexico Rocks and even right off the shore at Las Terrazas Resort. Sargassum, on the other hand, floats on the water, and ocean currents take it to beaches all over the Caribbean. While this does not always make for the most attractive beach, Las Terrazas Resort rakes the beach daily to minimize damage to the beach while making it most attractive for your vacation photos. We guarantee that you will experience a beautiful and pristine beach while on our property!
And there you have it…. The top 21 things that first-time visitors to Ambergris Caye should expect! You’ve been warned: once you come to Ambergris Caye, you may never want to leave.