If you have ever wanted to find cheap food and adventurous, fun things to do on Ambergris Caye, Belize, this story will satisfy that itch.
Unexpected is often how the best adventures happen on our island. And that’s exactly how this one went down.
My Wednesday afternoon suddenly got mobile when my friend Gem stopped by to see if I was up for a joyride – of course I was and quickly shut down my laptop. She had it in mind that we should go see our other friend PJ down south, and do something in the area.
Not wanting to go to a bar, we were trying to figure out where else to hang out close by, when suddenly inspiration hit – an island style jungle waterfall adventure. This is a semi secret self guided tour option on the Xanadu Island Resort property near Marina’s Store.
The sounds of the water cascading and splashing against the rocks, created a relaxing background to our satisfying conversation. We marveled at our surroundings, and how everyone felt blessed with such a wonderful way to spend our Wednesday afternoon. In a thoughtfully designed space in nature, and so close to home – priceless. This small tropical waterfall, to our group, was a symbol of nature’s beauty and bounty that we appreciated and respected.
Jungle Tour Time
As my friends and I headed through the lush pathways towards the nature walk, instantly the thick earthy smell of the jungle permeated our senses and the rest of the world fell away. The scent of the tropical jungle is a unique and fascinating sensory experience that can sometimes evoke different emotions and memories. That day it flashed my mind back to 2004 and smelling earthy river rocks on the Jaguar Paw cave tubing tour near Belmopan. It also put us all in the moment and made us grateful for the opportunity to do something fun so close to home.
Although the parking lot was 30 seconds away, we were fully immersed in the ‘Jungle’ and ready to climb up into the trees a bit.
One of the great benefits to living on a tropical island is the ease of finding yourself in magical moments.
Onward and upward. Since this adventure was on the fly, two of us were not wearing sensible shoes, but had both done the bridge a few times before. PJ was lucky she as was wearing something a bit sturdier for her first time to navigate the boards.
The Nature Walk gives you a burst of cardio with a view.
At the end you get to pass through a magical Banyan tree.
And finish back in the jungle.
I decided to turn our afternoon adventure into a jungle and beach tour 😀
I knew you would like to see the rustic hand carved wood furniture on the beach at Xanadu.
And of course the beach and sea view.
The beach was so peaceful at dusk. Then just as quick as we were in the jungle, I was suddenly back on the clock.
We got pulled back to the real world as I needed to go to Tropic Cargo to get an organic vegetable order from Kunahmul Organics on the mainland.
If you are interested in a stay at Xanadu, it’s eco friendly, has a lovely pool and is in a great location. I did a weekend birthday holiday there several years back and it was so peaceful. Aside from going for meals, I enjoyed my island staycation on the property.
Tasty Cheap Food
After dropping PJ back at her apartment and getting my vegetables, Gem and I decided it was time for a low cost dinner at Pupuseria Salvadoreño. Both of us have been enjoying this family owned restaurant (open since 2005) for many years.
In fact my first apartment back in 2006 was literally 60 seconds away from the popular San Pedro restaurant and many of my friends and blog readers are fans.
The picture below is Totti and Sara, you will find them outside in the evenings greeting customers and offering street front cooking of a favorite option to many – pupusas. Although they are only cooking out front in the evenings, you can order them all day long through the kitchen.
For those who have never tried one, pupusas are made from corn masa (flour) also known as masa harina. They look like a small pancake and are stuffed with your choice of up to 3 ingredients and cooked on the hot grill. They are served with curtido and salsa roja on the side. I never take the red sauce but I am a fan of the curtido which is a Salvadoran cabbage slaw. It’s made with cabbage, red onion, carrot, oregano, and vinegar and is typically fermented a bit to enhance the flavors, but it can also be eaten fresh.
Pupuseria Salvadoreño also serves fajitas. tostadas, quesadillas, carne asada and more.
My favorite pupusa combination is spinach, pumpkin and cheese – absolutely delicious. This kind is $3 each and if I am hungry three will make a meal, if I just want a snack two will do. Other ingredients available are pork, beans, chicken, lobster (seasonal), and shrimp.
Now Gem was a longtime non pupusa lover, but that day she decided to put that aside when she heard my order and give them a fresh try and was glad she did.
Here’s what Gem had to say about the experience of giving a food she didn’t like a second chance years later: “It took me almost 14 yrs to give papusas a try again and I’m so glad I did !! My friend, tacogirl, explained the right ingredient combination might make the difference and she was 100 % correct – my new favorite snack is spinach, pumpkin n’ cheese papusas. If you haven’t tried them I highly recommend you do, cuz they are awesome !!”
As you can see in the picture below below, social media agrees, 414 people weighed in favorably on Pupuseria Salvadoreño.
A few of the many comments:
- Kimberly Gonzalez: My favorite place. Great food and good service.
- Macarena Belize Rose: My fave !!
- Cortney Block – Love this place!
- Chris Crispo: Always go there when we visit, great food!
- Patty Sopp Fish – Great place, great food!
- Samantha English: Our favourite place.
- Heidi Allen Klukas: We ate there twice when we were there. Absolutely loved it!
- Tracy Ellis: The people who work there are amazing and the food is top notch!
- Tony Hodge: My favorite place on the island!
- Jamie Sanchez: Sooo yummm.