Planning Your Trip
Astrum Helicopters (tel. 222-5100; www.astrumhelicopters.com) is a new company with modern four- and six-passenger helicopters available for charter tours and transfers all over the country.
Based in Placencia, Goss Chocolate (www.gosschocolate.com) makes organic dark and milk chocolate bars that are available in gift shops and supermarkets around the country. These bars are delicious and make great gifts.
After many years in the downtown business district, Jambel's Jerk Pit has moved to 164 Newtown Barracks Rd., near the Princess Hotel & Casino. The restaurant is now called Jambel's Jerk Pit Too (tel. 223-1966).
The folks at the Belize Zoo have begun to try to attract more overnight visitors, re-christening their few rooms and dormitories as the Belize Zoo Jungle Lodge (tel. 220-8003).
Northern Cayes & Atolls
Cayo Espanto (tel. 888/666-4282 in the U.S. and Canada; www.aprivateisland.com) has added one more luxurious villa and updated their interior decor and linens.
Jambel's Jerk Pit (tel. 226-3515) has moved to a new location, right on Barrier Reef Drive in the center of San Pedro.
Forget about golf carts, scooters, and bicycles: If you want a unique means of transport on Ambergris Caye, check in with the folks at Segway of Belize (tel. 226-3344; www.segwayofbelize.com).
Over on Caye Caulker, Kitexplorer (tel. 602-9297; www.kitexplorer.com) is a new operation offering classes and rentals for those looking to either or both kitesurfing and sailboarding. Or, if you're looking for more mellow pursuits, you can check in with Great Island Yoga (tel. 660-0411; www.greatislandyoga.com).
For eats on Caye Caulker, it's worth stopping in at Agave (tel. 226-0403), an excellent restaurant with a chill ambience and creative menu. Also, be aware that the longstanding Rasta Pasta Rainforest Café (tel. 206-0356) has moved to a new location on the southern end of Front Street.
The small Garífuna village of Hopkins now has an excellent Indian restaurant, Taste of India (tel. 660-0971).
In Placencia, Turtle Inn (tel. 800/746-3743; www.turtleinn.com) has added six new cabins, a new swimming pool, and a new outdoor grill restaurant.
The Placencia Village Square is a new shopping center located just across from the soccer field; it now houses the Placencia Information Center and Tutti Frutti ice cream shop, as well as several other stores. Right next door is the rebuilt and renewed Purple Space Monkey (tel. 523-4094).
Creating a taste sensation in Placencia, The French Connection (tel. 523-3656) has kicked up the ante on fine dining in this little beach town.
Finally, for nightlife in Placencia, there's the new D'Eclipse Entertainment Club (tel. 523-3288), offering live music, DJs, and karaoke in an air-conditioned space near the airstrip.
Down in Punta Gorda, the former El Pescador South is now Machaca Hill Lodge (tel. 722-0050; www.machacahill.com). The old Titanic Bar has become the Deja View Café for breakfast and lunch, and the Reef Bar (tel. 702-0154) for dinner and drinks.
Up in Corozal, the Mirador Hotel (tel. 442-0189; www.mirador.bz) is a new high-rise option -- four stories is considered a high-rise in Corozal -- set right on the waterfront in the center of town.
Cayo District & Western Belize
The United States has moved its embassy from Belize City to a large new building in the capital city of Belmopan.
In March 2008, two massive rocks collapsed the ceiling near the entrance to St. Herman's Cave. At present, the cave is closed, and it's unclear if and when it will be reopened.
The folks at Jaguar Paw (tel. 824-2023; www.jaguarpaw.com) have opened the first zip-line canopy tour operation in the country.
Blancaneaux Lodge (tel. 800/746-3743 in the U.S., or 824-3878 in Belize; www.blancaneaux.com) now has two new honeymoon villas and one exclusive "Enchanted Cottage"; all include a private plunge pool and butler service. They have also added a midsize outdoor pool and a new intimate restaurant specializing in Guatemalan cuisine.
Tikal & Guatemala's Peten
At the time of this writing, the exchange rate was 7.38 Guatemalan quetzales to the U.S. dollar and 14.09 quetzales to the British pound.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.