A Mid-Summer Holiday, Off the Grid, On the West Side of Ambergris Caye

As i mentioned in the last post, family is here!  They spent just over a week on the reef side of the island (in a HUGE 3 bedroom condo way up at Sapphire Beach Resort) for 8 nights.  Ocean views, strong AC, pools, internet and a long beautiful, very well tended beach.

It was perfect for a family of 5 – and only 3 miles north of our home.   (Note:  This resort is also about an hour drive by golf cart to town…but for a huge 3 bedroom condo, the price is fantastic!)

Here is my two night stay at Sapphire Beach Resort a few years ago.

The last few days of the vacation was spent off the grid – on the west side of Ambergris Caye at Cayo Frances Farm & Fly.  Where the electricity is made by the sun and the water gathered during rain showers (or when that runs out – which it did with 11 people showering – from lagoon by the RO machine).

Without TV or consistent internet (our Mi-Fi was no match for three teenagers who live in the heart of Silicon Valley), there were other things to do.

Amazing photos taken and edited by the 16 year old who is a serious photography buff.  (I am hoping he shares some more with me over the next few weeks…)

He took a number of 30 second open exposure shots in a row and then worked them together to achieve this amazing photo of the Milky Way from Sapphire Beach.

Toasting marshmallows over the nightly bonfire.  Fishing for mutton snapper in the deeper channel.  A bit of gardening.  Playing games like Scrabble and the card game Exploding Kittens (not my cup of tea).

Cayo Frances.  The large lagoon in middle of Ambergris Caye.  Quite shallow and surrounded by gorgeous mangroves.

You can get a sense of the lagoon’s size in this map.

Good GRIEF beautiful weather.

And approaching the camp.

Warm…very warm July weather.  The mosquitoes are not so bad – the doctor flies are more of a nuisance right now on this part of the island.  (For more info, see Bugs that Bite)

We headed out to one of the sandbars with bathing suits, a paddle board, a flyfishing rod and a cooler.

Such a nice breeze out there.

Boteboard, Leeward Side of Ambergris Caye

The tiny caye — when we arrived there was a flyfishing boat on its leeward side.  The angler was after some of the permit that frequent there.  But no luck that day.  They soon moved south along the massive flats.  This whole area is part of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

To the south of the island, a MASSIVE sandbar.  Really as far as your eye can see.

Sometimes I can’t get over how beautiful it is out here.

I just sat in the water…looking for tiny shells.

Others went for a sandbar walk…or took out the paddleboard….

You can see beautiful Cayo Rosario in the distance.

Jeff tried his luck at fishing.

A few hours later, our sunblock could hold out no longer…if you REALLY want some sun, this is the place!  We piled back in the boat and scooted back to the camp.

Camp life (for me) requires a short siesta.  Zzzzzz…

For a bit more information on the back side of the island (the leeward side), see the posts below.  About MJ’s KiteSurfing floating shop.  About Blackadore Caye – the island owned by Leonardo DiCaprio and team just a few miles west that is getting ready for development.






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  • FJL

    Just curious how is ‘Cayo’ pronounced as in Cayo Rosario?

    • Cay (rhymes with tie) – O. Like the westernmost district of Belize. Spanish for…island I think. Though that doesn’t explain AT ALL why western belize is called cayo.