From beginning to end, our trip to San Pedro / Playa del Sol was fantastic! Iz was great and without being intrusive, was always concerned about our enjoyment. He, along with all the other folks, made our stay very memorable. Not having been to Belize before, we were concerned about whether our stay would meet expectations. One of the best vacations we’ve had. Iz and the people who work with him were always helpful and enjoyable. Don’t miss out on using the boat, makes things much easier than having to rent a boat. Also, don’t miss out on the fun times at El Norte the Tiki bar on premises (Chris the bartender / owner won’t fall for your Texas Holdem tricks). We also enjoyed meeting all the other vacationers from rentals away from Play Del Sol who came to the tiki hut. Having a golf cart on premises was also great. We used it the days we needed, but weren’t locked into paying for days we didn’t. With David as our guide, it was great catching our own fish, lobster and conch and having it prepared that day. I think, like most other, we read all the reviews before booking our stay at Playa Del Sol. We have to say we can’t disagree with those reviews. Each person will have their own experience, but the adventures we chose, were lifetime memories thanks to all the folk at PDS and El Norte!
We are a week back from our amazing vacation at Playa Del Sol in Belize. We (me, my husband, 16 year old son and 13 year old daughter) spent 8 marvelous days there over Thanksgiving. Ambergris Caye in Belize feels a little "undiscovered" which i LOVE. The north side of the island where PDS is located is definitely away from the hustle and bustle you find in San Pedro. It is about a 45 minute car/golf cart ride to the resort. Iz and his wife Shae who own the property live on site. There are three other units. It is picture perfect.
The resort is lovely. We stayed in one of the the two bedroom units. Our son slept on the futon in the living room. The beds were comfortable--slept like a baby. There was plenty of room. The hot water was HOT and the A/C was COLD. The furniture is lovely. You have everything you need.
Upon arrival we were sent a taxi to pick us up from the airport, take us for groceries and drive us to the resort. Iz, the property owner, was waiting with a smile and a welcome drink at El Norte, the outdoor palapa covered bar located steps from the units. Honestly, it could not have been more perfect.
Iz met with us the next morning and organized our trips: hunting for conch and rock lobsters with David--WOW! (which the amazing Yuri--David's wife--cooked for us that evening), fishing with David and Hill (the greatest tour guide!), snorkeling two separate times and places (this was AMAZING--like swimming in a fish tank) , swam with sharks!!, and fed tarpon. We organized a trip to the Lamania ruins (highly recommend. the boat ride alone was worth it. We took the plane to the mainland--worth the $80 each it cost to save the time!) we rented jet skis from Iz which were a hit with the teenagers!
We became more endeared to Iz and all of the others at PDS each day. We spent our days on adventures, either planned or last minute (with the help of Iz) and our afternoons at the El Norte Bar with Chris (the awesome Canadian owner) and Fernando. These guys are sweet, smart, & interesting. We looked forward to this time of day! (and I mean ALL of us--kids included).
My advice: take water shoes, flip flops and tennies for the ruins. NOTHING fancy! Skin So Soft for the noseeums (if it is still), bug spray w/DEET (we were NOT bothered by mosquitos), & sunscreen. If you are high maintenance this is probably not the trip for you BUT if you want a true Belizian experience with amazing people GOOOO! We will be back!
This is where you want to stay if you are looking for a private, relaxing getaway. The house was big enough to hold our group of six. The kitchen is fully equipped so we were able to cook some lunches but we also looked forward every night to Yuri's cooking. Exploring the coral reefs and fishing for our own dinner was an awesome. The boat captains, are knowledgeable. They'll take you to 3 great snorkeling spots without a cost.
The owner, Iz is great company and are very accessible if you need anything.
He has created a gorgeous houses with a simple elegance. This boutique resort is great, but it's the people that really make the place feel special. We felt completely at home on the property.
Went with my wife and another couple. We loved every minute of Belize and Playa Del Sol was a big part of it.
- Having your own boat is absolutely amazing. Watching the other tourist groups pile into boats with strangers made us realize how awesome this is. It sets the experience apart.
- El Norte Bar was next level. Yuri is honestly one of the best cooks I've ever eaten. Without her, travelling to other dinners would have been very difficult. Fishing on the boat with Iz's guides (peanut/Hill/Ellis) and then having El Norte bar (Yuri) cook it up IS A MUST. Both times we did this it was UNREAL. Our whole group felt like it was some of the best meals we've ever had.
- Great service from Iz and his team. Really appreciated.
- Construction was going on while we were there. Should be done soon but it was a con.
- It's far north. Just know that you're away from town about 45 minutes. We loved this but you should know what you're getting into.
- We had bugs throughout our days bc of the rainy season. Didn't ruin our trip but it was annoying at times. (Hint, go to Sapphire beach for less bugs).
Our group had a memorable experience here that we'd recommend to anyone.
This resort is amazing - everything you want to do for your daily activities is here! A boat with a captain, snorkeling and fishing guides that know the history of the island. The owner will help you plan your activities and will take care of all the arrangements all you do is show up. Our golf cart trip into San Pedro will always be a memory. The restaurant and bar serves the best authentic cuisine and drinks. Also pick up and drop off to the boat or airport is available. The staff are always on time and dependable. This was far my favorite vacation and planning my next trip for next year. The owners are very special people. Highly recommended!!!!
My wife and 3 boys (ages 8, 12 and 14) just came back from 5 days at Playa del Sol. What an adventure! Upon getting picked up by boat from San Pedro, it was about a 20-25 ride up the scenic coastline of Ambergris Caye to Playa del Sol. They had drinks ready for us at the El Norte bar as we arrived and we had a great little meal as we chatted with Iz and the rest of the staff. The house was great with ice-cold AC in the upstairs bedrooms for pure comfort (BTW, Playa del Sol has a backup generator, so even with frequent power outages, we always had power and AC).
The first morning we were there, we sat down with Iz and made an overall plan for our time there based on the weather forecast, proximity of different points of interest and variety. We spent 3 full days on the boat with our awesome captain/guide Adam. He really is a special treat... easy going, great with kids, helpful, knowledgeable and totally responsive to our needs (super spear fisherman too). We basically mixed in snorkeling and fishing every day... hitting different spots and seeing different things. Also spent half a day at Tranquility Bay and a half day at Caye Caulker.
Not only did we catch a bunch of fish, but Adam would also go spear us some lobster and fish as well. One night the cook at El Norte prepared a wonderful meal from our catch (for a small fee) and we ended up cooking up our catch the other nights.
We also spend a full day utilizing the free golf cart to go into San Pedro. We did some shopping, restaurant/bar hopped and stopped by one of the other resorts for a quick dip in the pool. On the way back, we took a detour to check out "Secret Beach", which is on the western side of the island where a lot of the locals hang out.
Finally, I just want to say that Iz is quite an accommodating and gracious host. He was always helpful, even getting up in the middle of the night to make sure the generators were running and hand spraying bug spray around the grounds to help keep the mosquitos and sand flies away.
All in all, it was a week of great memories and great times with the folks at Playa del Sol.
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This place..... Definitely one, of if not the most memorable trips we've ever had. I will not repeat the other reviews about the fabulous crew picking us up and taking us for groceries upon arrival. It was all there.
The house is gorgeous and has everything you could possibly need. The laid back vibe of the beach, breeze, dock (with hammocks) and tiki bar are so relaxing and private. We felt completely VIP the entire trip. Iz and Shea go out of their way to make sure that anything you need, they will make it happen. We spent our days either fishing, snorkeling (yes with sharks) and even took a memorable trip to caye calker during lobster fest. We spent our evenings at the tiki bar visiting with Iz and Shea, playing dice, dominos, and darts with the kiddos. Adam, the boat captain, took us to every amazing snorkeling and fishing spot, even baiting our lines, and spear fishing lobster for dinner. He even kept my son and his friend busy fishing off the dock while we relaxed. We have been to many places around the world and not one has compared to the "everything" about this trip. I would describe best as "barefoot elegant." It's an amazing remote paradise with everything you need or want. We left with sad goodbyes, huge hugs, and promises to return very soon. We are already planning our return trip this winter and have only been home a week.
Thank you Iz and Shea for sharing your beautiful home and paradise with us. We will see you guys soon!