Belize is unequivocally one of our favorite Pickleball Trips destinations. We love it so much that we run multiple Blissful Belize tours each winter (6 this year alone) to thaw out and have a little fun in the sun! The people are warm and welcoming, the beaches are stunning, the seafood delicious, and the activities endless. Our accommodation, a 5-bedroom 5.5 bath private oceanfront house, comes equipped with an in-home chef, private dock, and tennis court which we convert into 4 pickleball courts exclusively for our use. If all of that sounds like your kind of vacation, here are a few additional details to make the most of your pickleball trip.
1. Warm Weather & Sunshine
Ambergris Caye, Belize, is on the Caribbean Sea, nestled between Mexico and Guatemala. The climate is tropical, so we run all of our trips during the cooler “Winter” season. Still, temperatures can occasionally climb beyond the average in the high 70’s / low 80’s into the 90s, with quite a bit of humidity. You won’t want to forget to wear sunscreen, bring sunglasses, and drink plenty of electrolytes. The local Belizean beer, Belikan, tastes fantastic after a long, hot day on the courts, but it might not be enough alone to keep you healthy and hydrated!
2. The Pickleball
All the pickleball on our Blissful Belize tour happens right in our backyard, steps from the beach with a (typically) wonderful ocean breeze. After our repeated visits over the last several years, property management agreed to paint permanent pickleball lines just for us. Most days, we have clinics in the morning while the weather is cooler then fuel up with a home-cooked lunch before heading out for afternoon activities. In the evenings, we try to squeeze in some pre-dinner recreational play with the group or even local players. At Pickleball Trips, we do all we can to assist with the global growth of pickleball so we encourage local players to join us for some friendly rec play!
3. All About the Water
When you think of Belize, you likely picture pristine, crystal-blue water teeming with aquatic life. And you would be absolutely right! In fact, the second-longest barrier reef in the world, as well as one of the oldest marine habitat sanctuaries are both located a quick boat ride away from the dock at Wataview Belize. On our tour, you will experience both underwater paradises on a full-day catamaran snorkeling cruise with an extended lunch stop on the legendary Caye Caulker. If one day isn’t enough time to explore the ocean, we can help you arrange additional activities including scuba diving and fly fishing, which are both world-class on Ambergris Caye. Just don’t forget to pack your swimsuit!
4. Our Private Chef
One of the greatest perks of staying at Wataview Belize has to be the private chef who cooks two meals a day for our groups. The food is locally sourced, always homemade, and absolutely phenomenal. Even better, if you have allergies or maybe you’re just a little picky about what you like and don’t like, they are always willing to accommodate our requests. Be sure to let us know ahead of time! We also keep the fridge stocked with all the local beers, water, and soft drinks you could ever hope for.
5. Is Belize safe?
One common concern regarding travel to Belize is safety. Indeed, statistics do show one of the highest crime rates in the world. However, upon further investigation, you will find that most of the crime is gang/drug related and occurs inland near border crossings. Ambergris Caye is an isolated, tourist haven in the Caribbean Sea and one of the safest places to visit in Central America, with many Westerners even choosing to retire here. Rest assured you will be and feel incredibly safe during your stay!
6. Money, Money, Money
In Belize, both Belizean and US Dollars are widely accepted. While paying for everything with your American dollars is certainly convenient, the downside is you generally get a worse rate than you would using the local currency. Because Ambergris Caye is a small, isolated island with only 300,000 inhabitants, nearly everything has to be imported. This means the price of ordinary goods is surprisingly high for a developing country, even akin to the United States. While the majority of restaurants, hotels, or larger stores, accept credit cards, not all local establishments do so we recommend having a couple hundred dollars of cash on hand.
7. Inglés o Español
Many visitors to Belize are surprised to learn that English, rather than Spanish, is the official language. The reason being that up until the 1980s, Belize was a British colony known as British Honduras. Although locals speak perfect English (albeit with a Caribbean twist), many migrant workers from across Latin American also call Ambergris Caye home. You will find nearly everyone you meet friendly and accommodating, regardless of the language in which you choose to communicate.
Being a tropical destination, Ambergris Caye is home to various pesky insects. Thanks to the heat and ocean breeze, they aren’t much of an issue during the day, but when the sun starts to set, the bugs come out to play. Which is usually when we’re trying to play more pickleball or relax by the pool. Pickleball Trips will provide bug spray so you don’t need to bring any unless you have a favorite brand, but we won’t apply it for you. Unless you ask nicely…
9. Set Your Watches to Island Time
Getting to San Pedro may take a little time, but not only is the journey part of the adventure, the serenity of this remote location is worth the effort. Phillip S.W. Goldson Int’l Airport (BZE) in Belize City offers convenient direct connections to numerous U.S. and Canadian cities, including Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Calgary, and Toronto to name just a few. Upon arrival at BZE, you will transfer to a small single-prop puddle-jumper and land at John Greif II Airport (SPR) in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. While the short plane ride provides fabulous aerial views of the beautiful Caribbean Sea, we do recommend having medicine accessible for those who are prone to motion sickness. After reaching San Pedro, you are officially on island time, which means no one will be in a rush to do anything. So take a deep breath, relax, grab your favorite beverage, and don’t forget your baggage before looking for the driver who will be holding a sign with your name on it. After a quick, somewhat bumpy ride, through town, you will arrive at Wataview where we take care of the rest!
We hope you will join Pickleball Trips for one of our Blissful Belize tours! The beautiful home, tropical weather, private chef and pickleball courts, Caribbean Sea views, endless activities, delicious cuisine, local island vibe, and personal connections make for an unforgettable vacation. Visit our Trips page for additional details or reach out to us at email@example.com. See you in paradise!