Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Quick guide to the most helpful links about visiting or living in Belize!

We get a lot of the same questions from people coming to Belize, either for a vacation or to check it out as a potential place to move. I find that I send the same links over and over, so I thought I'd put them all in one place!
What to Pack:
An even more comprehensive guide

The most comprehensive FAQ list you will find about questions you didn't know you had:
More geared to Placencia
More geared to Ambergris Caye
What to do/Where to Go:
Ambergris Caye:
Daily Updates and Events - Live Feed
General Belize Nightlife Ideas
Ambergris Calendar of Events

The perfect itinerary for your first time to Belize:
Ambergris Caye
Country-wide (basic) 

What it is like to drive in Belize
How to get your passport stamped if you are staying over 30 days:
Ambergris Caye

How to get your pet into the country
Insider knowledge about managing the airports and travel throughout Belize

A very comprehensive Facebook group about what it is like to live in Belize
Great Facebook groups about living in Belize:
General What's Happening
Restaurant Happenings
Rentals - long term
Ambergris Caye
General Belize News:
Ambergris Caye:
San Pedro Sun
Ambergris Today
Placencia Breeze
Two great blogs to follow in Ambergris Caye:

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Coming to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye or Placencia - but you are Vegan - Vegetarian - Low Carb? Here's where to go for special dietary needs!

I think that 8+ years ago, this blog would have been pretty unthinkable in places like Placencia, maybe not so much in Ambergris Caye, but definitely elsewhere in the country. There really are not things like Vegan, Vegetarian, or Low Carb in the local Belize culture...the national dish is chicken, rice, and beans, and tortillas/carbs with meat protein are everywhere. You couldn't even order a soup with these restrictions as the soups are all usually bone-broth based, and then additionally are served with rice, so not a win there for either party. Many guests tell us when they have tried to order vegan at some local spots it has not translated well (veggies may be cooked in butter, etc). It is no secret that the restaurant and food options have exploded in Belize, and there have been many North Americans who have moved to Belize to start businesses that have brought more of the North American diet trends down.

Side note - one of the side effects of living in Belize is becoming very accustomed to made-from-scratch truly is "whole food" and not in like a gluten-free brownie kind of way. If you watch the locals cook, it truly is corn mashed by hand, boiling chicken for stock, and there are no shortcuts from the SYSCO truck. When I go back to the US, the food at chain restaurants definitely tastes different than Belize (....not in a good tastes kind of processed.) 

There are more options than ever for diet restrictions, and we will do our best to keep up with the new places coming. While you are probably already good at figuring out how order if you eat like this, these places are known to have specific menu options or are particularly easy and/or delicious to do straight from the menu...

Vegetarian/Vegan Options (you can at least find good options)
Cha Chi's Vegan pasta - Facebook 

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Ambergris Caye
 Vegetarian Enchiladas at Iguana Juan's - Facebook
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Low-Carb Options 
**I do follow this diet myself so I know how hard it is here. I started a Pinterest page for living in Belize and eating Low Carb - you can follow it HERE. I only include ingredients that I know you can get here. While you technically CAN eat low carb anywhere, just order a grilled chicken breast or salad (salads are rare and not great here, and it can get boring!), these are places where I had a better/easier experience. You almost can't eat at most stands or BBQ places - the sauce is full of sugar :(. Soups are typically not low carb at all, either. Sugar is also added to a lot of stuff - even cole slaw.

  • Wende's - Great fresh fish with good veg side options.
  • Cozy Corner - Another great local fish with good, substantial veg sides.
  • Rick's -  He has a vegan salad that I add chicken to  - it's outstanding! 
  • Merl's Cafe - They make actual low-carb treats like muffins!!! First time I have ever seen this in Belize.
  • Dolce Vita - They have awesome portions and you can do a veg or salad on the side, totally huge, great, filling.
  • Rumfish, De'tatch, or Secret Garden - These places are great for special protein options, and will let you sub veg for the side. 
  • Barefoot Bar or Tipsy Tuna - Dry rub wings, salad, or a burger with no bun - these places have amazing non-low carb bar food but you won't feel totally deprived :)
  • The Shak - Omelette with meat side - yum.
  • Rotisserie chicken from Sidewinders - Easy and predictable!
Merl's Cafe - Low Carb Blueberry Muffins - Facebook
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Ambergris Caye
  • Salads at Poco Loco's Food Court - Easy peasy
  • Iguana Juan's - Great burgers (no bun) and salads
  • Nook - They often have awesome veg sides or cauliflower substitutions, & Parker's Poppers
  • Hungry Grouper - I had a great experience with the protein and veg options for sides - generous portions/many options.
  • Elvi's - Elvi's salad with chicken
  • Warugama - Get the chicken skewer with a side of veg - amazing
  • Blue Water Grill - The tuna salad is to die for
  • PUR Taco Bar (shameless plug, this is our place!) - Low carb salad options listed on taco bar menu plus low carb soup option
Low Carb at Nook - Facebook
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***I plan to keep this as a live document so please reach out to me if I missed any good ones!!