Turtle Cove is the perfect getaway for adventurous friends and couples who want to get off the grid and indulge in the spectacular, untouched beauty of Ambergris Caye. If you like snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking, you will be in heaven. The owners are warm and knowledgeable, and they helped us create what I consider one of the top vacations of all time.
Located 4.5 miles north of San Pedro, the property opens up onto white sand beaches and cerulean water. About 50 meters off the coast, easily accessible by kayak, is Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest coral reef system in the world (not to mention the best snorkeling I have ever done on a vacation property). Watching the sunrise each morning became one of our favorite activities. On several occasions we were greeted by a mother and baby dolphin, spotted eagle ray, and countless diving birds all trying to catch the bait running from the groupers. So much incredible life right at your front door! We snorkeled nearly every day along the dock because it was so much fun. Rojo Beach Bar, named by Huffington Post as one of the "10 Awesome Beach Bars around the World", is a 2 minute walk down the beach.
We are fairly experienced, DIY-type travelers. We like to cook local foods (and save a little money too) by having our own kitchen. We also really like having our own mode of transportation. In this respect the owners proved invaluable, facilitating our taxi to and from the airport as well as our golf cart rental and our groceries, which were both ready when we arrived. They even treated everyone to pizza & margaritas one night & we had a little party. Sweet!
The staff were extremely helpful and warm - always ready to help you take your kayak down to the ocean, or give you extra towels, or even do your laundry if you ask! (I think there is a charge for the laundry).
Importantly, each unit includes a 5-gallon jug of water, which was plenty for 2. You can use the well water for bathing, brushing teeth, doing dishes, etc. but for brewing coffee and things like that it was helpful to have access to plenty of fresh, filtered water. The kitchen & appliances were all new and exactly as described. I'm sure if we'd needed anything extra, the owners would have been happy to oblige.
Mata Grande Grocery: They're 5 min walk away & can deliver your groceries so they're waiting for your when you arrive. "Essential Starter Kit Option 2" was perfect for us. Order online. They're more expensive than downtown, but your fridge will be stocked & ready when you arrive and hey, you're worth it.
Renting a golf cart will give you the ultimate freedom to explore the island on your own terms. It is the best way to see & do more. At one point some kids who just got out of school jumped on the back of our cart for a couple of blocks - it's pretty laid back & awesome like that. We drove into town every day for 7 days on a single tank of gas. Some of the road isn't paved and it's a bit rocky, so if you're drinking a beer, or you have more than 4 people, or if you have a lot of luggage, the drive might prove a little tricky in these parts. Having a golf cart also gave us easy access to all of the restaurants that dot the coastline.
Carribean Breeze Tours gave us a GREAT snorkeling tour of Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley:
Hol Chan National Marine Reserve is the first sub-sea national park in Latin America. It makes you feel like you've been shrunk and put into a fish tank at a fancy sushi restaurant. We saw sea turtles, horse eye jack, nurse sharks, spotted eagle rays, a moray eel, in general a wild variety of fish & flora with impossibly psychedelic colors. It is truly a breathtaking array of marine life.
Shark Ray Alley: Not for the faint of heart. Get in the water and swim in a feeding frenzy of nurse sharks as the tour guide chums the water! The sharks keep their distance but they're real and they're there. Tons of different sorts of rays also follow, as well as the usual horse eye jacks and other stragglers. Don't worry- they don't hang around long, and you'll get to tell your friends you swam with sharks! Bring underwater camera.
Don't forget to bring: suntan lotion/sun block, mosquito repellent, snorkeling gear, simple fishing gear, underwater camera
It must be noted that the back corner of this property, behind the pool and the cabins, was still under construction during our stay. This did not affect the quality of our stay at all, and to be fair, almost everything in Belize is under construction. Still, it bears mentioning in the interest of full disclosure.
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