Matachica Resort & Spa is perched on a private stretch of sand facing the Caribbean Sea on Ambergris Caye, a 25-mile-long tropical isle that is also Belize's largest.
Phillip SW Golden International Airport (PGIA) in Belize City is the country’s main hub for international and domestic flights. Once in Belize City, the quickest way to reach San Pedro is by hopping a 15-minute flight on Maya Island Air or Tropic Air.
There are only a few roads on Ambergris Caye, and those are best left to the locals to navigate. Taxis are available around San Pedro, but otherwise people travel on foot, by bicycle or golf cart.
If travelling in a puddle-jumper plane is not for you, you can also connect from Belize City to San Pedro via a 90-minute boat ride via Belize Water Taxi. Regardless if you arrive in San Pedro by air or sea, the hotel can arrange transfers from San Pedro via a zippy 10-minute boat ride to the resort.
Worth getting out of bed for
If your aim is to keep things mellow, Matachica will not disappoint. Spend a day at the infinity pool or unwind in the Jacuzzi before booking an appointment at the Jade Spa (+011 501 223 0002). With an assortment of treatments from banana and papaya facials to coffee scrubs, you’re in for a true Belizean experience.
Paddle out in the Caribbean Sea on a complimentary kayak or snorkel with a Matachica guide as they lead you along the barrier reef in a private or group tour. Fish with a Matachica captain and catch snapper, grouper and barracuda on a private or group tour, and – the best part– a Mambo Chef will prepare dinner that night with your day’s catch.
Scuba diving in the world’s second-largest great barrier reef is a must. The concierge at Matachica will set you up on a tour at Lighthouse Reef where you can dive at the Blue Hole or head to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and swim with over 100 species of tropical fish.
If you’re curious to explore beyond the resort, hop on a shuttle at the hotel or a catch a ride on a water taxi and venture into the nearby town of San Pedro for local shopping and dining.
One of the area’s most renowned restaurants, Mambo (+ 011 501 226 5010), is right in your backyard. Throw on your lightest sundress or tropical shirt at dine on local Belizean cuisine with an American twist as you sit outside on the deck overlooking the turquoise water.
Leave the resort for a night and head into San Pedro to Elvi’s Kitchen (+011 501 226 2404). The tropical-themed restaurant is a local favourite and known for the best ceviche on the island. Every Friday night they host a Mayan feast with traditional dishes and live music.
Stop by Palapa Bar & Grill set on the bay and float in the bay on inner tubes as you sip a locally brewed Belikin (+011 501 226 2528), or grab a seat on the sundeck and feast on fresh fish tacos.
Another excelleint water hole is Rojo Beach Bar set next door to the resort (+011 501 226 4012). Order a rum punch, try the lobster pizza and dig your toes in the sand – it doesn’t get more laid-back than that.