San Pedro – Ambergris Caye – Belize – GRANDPAcking Costs

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NOVEMBER 2016:



OVERVIEW:

ambergris-caye-location-mapMy costs start in Immigration, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and include:


CROSS REFERENCES:

For more detail, read about San Pedro.san-pedro-map

Click here to read about Retirement Locations in this country.

Click here for detailed Travel Information and more Travel Budgets in this country.

Read About – GRANDPAcking Costs if you don’t know how to interpret my figures.


SPREADSHEET SUMMARY:

san-pedro-grandpacking-costs


MY ACTUAL 1 PERSON GRANDPAcking COSTS:

Cost Of Existence (COE):

My costs are purely provided for information purposes. I do not always follow ‘GRANDPAcking Standards’. In fact, I deviate from them all of the time! But, my costs are real costs and they may help you formulate your own budget.

In San Pedro, I was BACKPACKING. I lived the majority of the time in GRANDPAcking Standard accommodation but, as a result, I could not afford to do much else.

Accommodation:

My initial accommodation (the Pedro’s Inn) was BELOW ‘GRANDPAcking Standard’. It was a ‘box’ with two single beds and no furniture with a shared bathroom. I paid US$20 / night. I booked just 4 nights so that I could search for better value accommodation once I was on the island. However, I wasn’t expecting Pedro’s to be as bad as it was (not for US$20 / night).ambergris-pedros-room ambergris-pedros-shared-showersambergris-pedros-shared-toiletambergris-pedros-shared-bathroom

My longer term accommodation (the Hotel Ocean Paradise) met ‘GRANDPAcking Standard’. It was an average sized room with a Queen Bed, furniture, wardrobe, good in-room wifi, Cable TV (with lots of English Sports & Movie Channels), aircon, ceiling fan, and hot water ensuite. I walked in ‘off the street’ and negotiated them down to MXP65 / night (US$32.50). This was 50% of their Rack Rate. I was lucky to get it at that price.ambergris-ocean-bed ambergris-ocean-ensuiteambergris-ocean-room-entryambergris-ocean-furniture

Transport: In San Pedro you can walk everywhere. You don’t need any transport.

Communications & Fees:

I purchased a BTL SIMcard for BZ$22.50. It included BZ$10 credit. I topped it up with BZ$20 and bought their 1 month 1GB data plan. This only lasted me 2 weeks, so I topped it up with a further BZ$40 and bought another BZ$30 1 month plan.ambergris-town-fire-police-btl

BTL have a good signal in San Pedro (4G). Free WiFi is available around town but not in the cheaper places.

Food & Drink:

I averaged BZ$27 / day but only because I ate BELOW GRANDPAcking Standard.

I had a Breakfast Burrito at Neri’s Tacos or a Belizean Breakfast at My Secret Deli.ambergris-neris ambergris-my-secret-deli-belizean-bz11-50

The latter was sufficient to allow me just to snack at Lunchtime.

I ate a cheap Dinner each night at a budget restaurant, from a hamburger stall, or from a Takeaway.

Summary:

My ‘Cost of Existing / Day’ was BZ$86 / NZ$61 / US$43 / €41 / £35.

Cost Of LIVING (COL):

My available ‘LIVING Funds’ each day were BZ$23 / NZ$17 / US$12 / €11 / £9. This was NOT enough to LIVE on.

Visa: There is no Visa Apportionment. The 30 Day Visitor’s Visa is free. GRANDPAckers cannot afford to stay in Belize for more than 30 days.ambergris-immigration-terminal

Getting There: It cost me BZ$2.50 at Immigration for Arrival Tax. The costs of getting from Xpujil, Mexico to San Pedro, Belize have been excluded.chetumal-boat-to-ambergris-mxp950

Drink / Partying: I averaged BZ$13 / night. I had a couple of drinks at sunset on the beach. A small 300ml beer costs BZ$5. I mixed these with other bars that sold 3 bottles for BZ$10.ambergris-lilys-beach-view

I had a couple of big party nights which cost BZ$92.

Personal: None.

Entertainment / Trips: Nothing major … just a number of small things that added up. I spent BZ$113. This included cigarette costs at BZ$5-8 per packet.ambergris-beach-south-3

Shopping: None.

Other / Gifts: None.

My actual GRANDPAcking costs came in at BZ$109 / NZ$78 / US$55 / €52 / £44 per day. This was 97% of my total budget … I had 3% left to play with.ambergris-town-2


WHAT IT SHOULD COST 2 GRANDPAckers:

Cost Of Existence (COE):

Accommodation:

In San Pedro, it is hard to find a decent ‘GRANDPAcking Standard’ Double Fan Room with Hot Water Ensuite online for less than BZ$90 / night (US$45). Under BZ$90 you are usually looking at below GRANDPAcking Standard rooms in Hostels and / or rooms with Shared Bathrooms and / or Cold Water Ensuites.

GRANDPAckers cannot afford to come in Peak Season: December through to May.

GRANDPAckers have 2 one month ‘Shoulder Season’ slots: November and June.

GRANDPAckers cannot afford to stay on the beachfront (the cheapest basic Double in a run down hotel costs US$50 / night). GRANDPAckers will be living in town or in a side street.ambergris-ocean-frontage

Low Season (July through October) is also possible if you are prepared to put up with variable weather and rainy days.ambergris-beach-south-7

I suggest that you start looking for Hotel ‘specials’ online (with someone like BOOKING.COM or EXPEDIA.COM or AGODA.COM) several weeks in advance and compare them with the Holiday Rentals found on TRIPADVISOR and AirBnB. Then, you can pick the best deal for you. If you start searching early enough, you should still be able to find something on AirBnB. You will be lucky to find somewhere affordable on TRIPADVISOR even in Off Season.

I suggest that you book 2 nights in a discounted hotel; you should be able to get something for BZ$100 / night. Once in San Pedro, have a look around and do a long-term deal; you should be able to get something for BZ$80 / night (cash up front).

Transport: I have budgeted for 2 people to take a weekly Day Trip to Caye Caulker.

Communications: I have included a prepaid BTL SIMcard with a 1 Month 1GB data plan.

Food: I have budgeted for you to have a Belizean Breakfast with a coffee in a cheap local restaurant (like My Secret Deli), a cheap Lunch (from somewhere like Neri’s Tacos), and a cheap Dinner from a local restaurant (or Takeaway).ambergris-la-hora-taco-front

For water, I have budgeted 5 Gallon Bottles.ambergris-5-gallon-water-bz5

Summary:

The ‘Cost Of Existence’ of 2 GRANDPAckers is about BZ$157 / NZ$112 / US$79 / €74 / £62 per day.

Cost Of LIVING:

This leaves you NOTHING to LIVE on (i.e. you are already 40% OVER your GRANDPAcking budget).


CONCLUSION:

San Pedro is the most expensive place that I have been to in the 2 years that I have been travelling on this specific trip.

As I say in my Information post, there are many better and cheaper places for GRANDPAckers to go.

In San Pedro, you will not be on the beach. You will be in or near the centre of town, so you also miss out on much of the best beaches and ‘beach life’. You end up just EXISTING in a grubby town near the sea …

San Pedro is not worth these costs.

San Pedro has NOT made it into my Retirement REVIEWS.


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