This past week…I wasn’t sure if it was just me. I saw tourists. Lots of them. More people unloading at Tropic Air, more golf carts filled with visitors and town just felt like it was hopping. But…it’s early November? A time of year that’s just…quiet. Usually super quiet.
Could it be true?
Sure the weather on Ambergris Caye has been gorgeous…these are pictures taken on the island yesterday.
The streets were busy so…
I decided to talk to a few professionals. A golf cart company manager. Two hotels. One of the airlines. One of the tour companies…to see if I was right. Is it busier right now than it usually is in the beginning of November?
Hotels, bars, restaurants…are all open and some very cool new ones are opening soon.
Here’s what I found out.
I spoke with Ultimate Golf Carts – the manager said that they have 20 carts and are busier than they have been in seasons. They are almost fully booked November to February – and totally booked for Christmas through New Years. (And there is certainly more transportation competition on the island).
CHECK: Golf cart companies busier.
Okay, what about tour companies? I talked to Rebecca, the owner of Seaduced by Belize with her husband. They specialize in snorkeling, sailing and mainland tours.
She said that they are busier – and especially for bookings in the beginning of December. A historically slow time as people abroad prepare for the holidays.
But a GORGEOUS TIME to visit Ambergris Caye. The San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat parade takes place during the first week of December and it’s spectacular.
Last year, we had a gorgeous full moon. But I’m moving off on a tangent…
CHECK: Tour company busier.
I checked with a popular, long standing resort…and they have more bookings. November as a whole (not just the Thanksgiving week) is busier…
CHECK: Hotels busier.
Reasons? If I had to guess, I’d say cheaper fares – what I will continue to call the “Southwest effect”. Lower prices are encouraging people to book vacations. That momentum will continue if prices stay low and temperatures in the US and Canada continue to drop.
And that’s what they tend to do in the winter. It’s 25 degrees F in Calgary, AB as I type this…52 degrees in Minnesota…50 degrees in Buffalo, NY.
Here are some prices I just found for that first week of December (on Kayak.com – no red-eyes allowed): Saturday the 5th to the Saturday the 12th. Never hurts to have a little sun glow in those Xmas family photos.
NYC – BZE RT: $357US United Chicago – BZE RT: $389 (American) LA – BZE (non-stop, red-eye) RT: $339! and Houston – BZE RT: $299 US United
AND soon we have COPA Airlines flying from Panama City to Belize City – connecting us SO much more easily with destinations south…and them with us. Here is their route map.
The island is ready…and I think the visitors are really starting to come.
Copa Airlines starts December 6th – twice a week – from Panama City to Belize City. And if you have never been to Panama…it is ONE AMAZING COUNTRY.