It’s not every day someone asks you whether you want to go on a fishing trip to Belize—but when they do, I suggest you go. Which is exactly what me, Kelly Young, Dusty Adinolfe, and Maddy Hazlett did when the opportunity arose. The flight to Belize City was short, coming in at around two and a half hours from South Florida, and from the moment we arrived in the city, the locals made us all feel nothing short of welcome. The airport in Belize City is easy to navigate; a fun fact of the country is that despite being in Central America, the official language of Belize is English, making travel easier for those who are new to going abroad. And with the possibility of catching a blue marlin and staying at a luxury resort, it’s hard to resist at all.
After gathering our bags, we then boarded a small prop plane to make the 15-minute trek over to San Pedro, where we spent the remainder of the trip. While in the air, we adored the reef system and crystal-clear waters stretched out below us. It’s easy to see why so many people fall in love with the country at first visit. Upon landing in San Pedro, the Sunset Caribe resort arranged transportation for us, and we had a driver ready to take us on the trip of a lifetime.
When we arrived, welcome cocktails (or mocktails, if you prefer to avoid the alcohol) were awaiting us upon arrival, and the check-in process took no longer than five minutes. We went through the paces and opted to rent a golf cart for the trip because it is the main mode of transportation while on the island. Entering our rooms, we were greeted by a sight that brought forth a sense of comfort and modernity. Clean and inviting, it felt like a home away from home, a sanctuary where we could relax and recharge. The attention to detail in every corner made us feel truly pampered.
But it was the impeccable service provided by the staff that truly stood out. Their dedication and professionalism were second to none; their smiles and willingness to assist us at every turn made us feel valued and cherished. From the front door to the back, their warm greetings and open doors left us with an overwhelming feeling of belonging. After taking a moment to appreciate the breathtaking views, we went out to explore the bustling town.
Driving through the quaint, lit-up town of San Pedro for the first time was a scene we are likely never to forget. From small boutiques to high-end restaurants, the town has everything a traveler would want. We chose to eat at a local hotspot, Caramba’s, for the first night because we wanted to explore the city and get our bearings straight for the remainder of the trip. Upon pulling up in the cart, underneath a string of lights, we were amazed at the selection of fresh fish and crabs lining the entrance of the restaurant. Once inside, we had a fantastic dinner and got to help celebrate some local birthdays.
We chose to call it an early night in preparation for diving the following morning. However, we were all looking forward to what we would get to experience next.
The Belize Experience
One of the many perks of staying in Caribeville at either Grand Caribe or Sunset Caribe is the ability to partake in excursions. We started out ours with a day of diving and spearfishing along Belize’s famous barrier-reef system. The Belize barrier-reef system is one of the largest in the world, stretching 190 miles, and it was evident from the moment we plunged into the water that the life along the reef was abundant. Young was able to spear a mutton snapper that was hiding under a ledge, which we later took to cook for lunch on a secluded beach. In addition to the mutton, we mingled with nurse sharks, manatees, porgies, and various baitfish while under the water, and for those who want to experience more underwater wonders, trips are also offered to the famous Blue Hole.
Following our day of diving, we quickly cleaned up and had the honor of meeting Sean Feinstein, the CEO of the resort. Feinstein introduced us to the restaurants located within Caribeville and provided us with recommendations of what else we should experience while on the grounds. The entire resort has two separate pool bars in addition to two conveniently located restaurants that made it easy to grab a quick and delicious bite. Rain, one of the restaurants that we frequented for lunch and dinner, is also known for its sunset views during its rooftop dining experience.
The following day, we sneaked out on a flats-fishing trip to target bonefish, tarpon and permit. Within minutes, we were getting bites on cut shrimp. The bites started out as small snapper—until we saw a school of permit hunting on the flats. Although we didn’t have the preferred bait for permit—which is crab—it was incredible to see the fish pushing bait, and we remained enthused that we might get a bite. Young landed a small bonefish that was safely released to be caught another day, and we headed in to prepare for the Grand Caribe Deep Sea Classic captains’ meeting later in the evening, but not before a quick stop at the pool bar.
There are two swim-up pool bars located within Caribeville—one at Sunset Caribe and one at Grande Caribe. We chose to visit Grande Caribe in hopes of meeting up with some local anglers and to get another in-depth look at the resort. We were quickly drawn into a deep sense of relaxation while sitting on the stools, in water that was the perfect temperature, overlooking the turquoise waters, and having a perfectly mixed cocktail. It’s safe to say that we could’ve stayed there for hours, but it was time to get ready for the captains’ meeting.
Although we had only a short time to explore the amenities, other tours offered by the Grand Caribe and Sunset Caribe included a tour of the Maya ruins, sailing, zip-lining and helicopter tours.
In the end, we can only express our utmost admiration for the Grand Caribe Belize resort. It stands as one of the most remarkable destinations we have ever visited. From its proficient coordination to the stunning beauty of its surroundings, every element of our stay was nothing short of exceptional. We wholeheartedly recommend this extraordinary resort; it has left an indelible mark upon our hearts and memories.