Belize resort review: “Best trip ever!”Franklin Seal | May 6, 2013
Helen and Brian Dunn were out to the island for their first time in March and this is what Helen had to say about it on TripAdisor:
I just returned from a full week at Slickrock’s Long Caye Resort and it was absolutely perfect. Even a day of pretty bad weather couldn’t ruin this island for me.
I admit to being a little nervous before the trip. Seven days without “real” plumbing, no AC, lots of tropical critters, and figuring out how to get back into a kayak from the middle of the ocean were all worries for me but after the first 24 hours, I realized that I worried for nothing. The plumbing is totally fine, the breeze in my cabana (number 7) was enough that most nights I needed to use the fleece blanket and the critters were totally cute and there were really NO BUGS! Kayak orientation was difficult (thank you to our guide Carlos for his patience with me and my constant tipping over) but I was able to do it eventually and then found out that I had a variety of kayaks to choose from besides the standard sea kayak and those were easier to get back into. (Versa boards and the Maui ocean kayaks.)
My husband and I spent almost all of our time snorkeling (twice a day, every day!) and barely took advantage of the other activities but we had an amazing time. I hope that we can get back to the island so we can branch out and do some windsurfing, surf kayaking, and maybe even the diving. The tide pool walk on the rainy/windy day that substituted for the “normal” activity was one of the best parts of our trip — we spotted four octopus on the wall and a handful of eels too. Amazing stuff!
The staff was FANTASTIC. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to snorkel without them on future trips. They were so knowledgeable about everything in the ocean and I really feel like I learned a lot of this trip thanks to them. They were all extremely personable and in my opinion, went over and above to be friendly to the guests, by eating meals and playing games with us when they probably didn’t have to.
The wildlife (birds and fish) are amazing. The snorkeling got better ever day we were there as the winds died down and the visibility improved. We did a two hour drift snorkel on our last full day and saw sharks, multiple types of huge rays, squid, a massive moray eel, a crazy big spiny lobster and too many fish to name. That swim alone was worth the trip to Belize.
All of the food was delicious but I was especially fond of the fresh cookies every day at lunch and the homemade punch for happy hour each night.
Your days are structured loosely on the island and it’s a good mix of busy and not busy and it’s all very low pressure. You decide at breakfast which activity you want to do at nine AM and then decide at lunch what you want to do in the afternoon. Guides were flexible about the activities too and would switch locations for snorkels if there was a request for it. They were really very good about keeping the groups small (usually 5 or fewer in a group) and were really attuned to our safety and comfort. We had some tricky wind and currents to deal with but they always had a boogie board available so people could rest if they needed to and once they even added a fixed rope to help swimmers make it past a tricky current getting back to land after a snorkel from the beach. I don’t consider myself a strong swimmer and I never once felt nervous or at risk in anything that we did — even when we swam out to The Wall.
I’m a pretty terrible kayaker — this trip was my first experience with kayaks but I was able to do what I needed to. If you are like me, just pack your patience and rely on your endurance and try to look at the pretty scenery while you’re paddling instead of worrying about being slow (it took me a day or so to figure that part out!) The guides will not abandon you and they’ll help you feel good about what you’re accomplishing.
We had a range of ages on our trip — the youngest person was 11 and I’m not sure how old the oldest was — but everybody seemed to be having a great time and finding their own best way to pass the time. Multiple guests told me during the week that this was their best ever vacation. We were all sad to be leaving on Saturday.
I’m quite sure that we’ll be returning to the island someday and I strongly encourage anybody who is considering this trip to take the plunge and do it. It took us a few years to commit to the trip because the logistics are tricky but they are absolutely, positively worth it.
Other tips: stick with the packing list and you’ll be fine! We added extra stuff that we didn’t need. Bring as much quick-dry/tech fabric as you can and leave most cotton at home. The other reviewer who suggested Ziploc bags was smart — that’s a great tip! We bought the full body dive skins but probably didn’t need them — we never got cold but lots of other swimmers did find the long snorkels chilly. I ended up wearing running tights and a long sleeved rash guard most days and I liked that better than the dive skin with the zipper up the front. We got the neoprene booties and they were awesome and totally worth it. If you can bring a mesh bag to carry stuff in around the island, you’ll probably be happy.