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Hi there!  Tanya here. 

Looking for fresh vacation ideas? You're in the right spot!

Recess. Adventure. Discovery. 

San Pedro, Belize | rad family collective

San Pedro, Belize | rad family collective

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This article was written based on a conversation with my friend Katy Patton, who both hosts a podcast and writes a blog about travel and family over at Happy Playces

Some links may be affiliate links.

Introducing Rad Family Collective!

We dream of some day traveling wherever and whenever we please.  Naturally, we have that never-ending destination bucket list going.  

It's like we have our own version of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.

You too?

We love listening to other family's travel stories about far-out places and breath-taking adventures.  Think for a moment, what was the last travel story you heard?  I bet your thoughts drifted towards planning your very own next get away.  Am I right?

 Slip on some flips flops and bask in the sunshine, snorkeling, and food adventures of San Pedro, Belize. Katy Patton, of HappyPlayces.com, shared her family's weekend vacation on the beach in San Pedro.  Photo credit: Katy Patton | HappyPlayces.com

When my new friend, Katy Patton, told me her family's story of a long weekend in San Pedro, Belize (more on that in a sec!), I started looking up flights and hotels as soon as we got off the phone.  

Not even kidding.    

Enter Rad Family Collective: a new series based on other families' escapades.  Featured right here on the blog.  I'll be interviewing moms and dads who share our love for exploring cities, beaches, national parks, and other countries too!  Or, some of my friends may write guest posts for Rad Family Collective.

I'm excited!

Our first guest is Katy Patton.  Soak in all she shares about how to spend a heavenly, long weekend basking in the sunshine, snorkeling, and food adventures of San Pedro, Belize.  Have your calendar and spouse nearby.  You'll soon see why it's top on my list for our next beach getaway.

San Pedro, Belize! 

Getting there

Belize is a small country in Central America tucked in between Mexico and Guatemala.  The town of San Pedro is found on Belize's island of Ambergris Caye.  To reach San Pedro, you'll fly into Belize City and then hop on a small airplane.  Flying over beautiful turquoise water feels like an excursion itself!  Water taxis stand by to ferry you to your hotel along the shore.

Your golf cart awaits

It's ridiculously cheap to rent a golf cart from your hotel to putt around town.  Or you can just venture out barefoot.  Throw on a cover up over your swim suit, if you like.  Let's pretend we've slipped on the Patton family's flip flops and dive into San Pedro...

Copyright: 123rf.com profile: vlkvojtech, Belize San Pedro beach

Why you must snorkel in San Pedro

San Pedro is located on a barrier reef, which means fantastic snorkeling.  All activities are quite affordable (about 1 Belize dollar = 50 U.S. cents)  Belize is home to the second largest coral reef in the world!  It is about 190 miles long, and they are very protective of it.

Snorkeling at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve

Book a snorkeling excursion with Searious Adventures.  Upon "entering" the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, you'll see a guide in a small boat floating in the water.  But first, everyone will be promptly trained the correct way to snorkel through the coral reef.  

Keep in mind, you'll swim a good ways to the reef.  Thankfully, they give you life jackets which makes the swim very doable, especially with kids.

Wave to sea turtles and ogle at purple coral.  Weave in and out of schools of fish.  Hold your breath and take a quick dive down through a little cave, then pop back up in the water.   

Copyright: 123rf.com profile: vlkvoitech, aerial view of San Pedro Belize

You'll catch sight of the most beautiful colors. (Bring your go-pro if you have one!)

The best part is swimming with nurse sharks.  Don't worry - they won't bite!  You'll ride a boat out for this part of the excursion.  All told, you may spend up to fours hours oohing and ahhing at sea life.

Savor fresh pineapple when you're finished.  Which will remind you you're famished...

Best places to eat in San Pedro

You know when you find that one restaurant on vacation that you just have to visit again before you leave?  The Patton family says look no further than the Ak'bol Yoga Retreat.  Wait, what?  I thought we were talking about lunch!  We are...

Whether you are lodging there or not, rumor has it that Ak'bol serves the best tacos loaded with fresh seafood or chicken.  And your kids will drink Fanta like water.  

When the kids have eaten their fill, they are invited to jump in the alluring swimming pool.  From the kitchen hut look out upon the wharf where yoga sessions take place. 

Then jump off the dock.  Pura Vida!

Another highly recommended eatery is Doc'ks Tiki Bar & Grill (formerly Licks Beachside Cafe).  The breakfast is scrumptious and will tempt you to return for dinner.

Reminds me of our favorite waterfront restaurant Burdine's in the Florida Keys.  Yum!

 Slip on some flips flops and bask in the sunshine, snorkeling, and food adventures of San Pedro, Belize. Katy Patton, of HappyPlayces.com, shared her family's weekend vacation on the beach in San Pedro.  Photo credit: Katy Patton | HappyPlayces.com

Where to stay in San Pedro 

A luxurious two bedroom villa is top-notch at the Coco Beach Resort.  

Two large pools, one with a built-in cliff jumping spot for kids (and adults too)!  Parents, you can relax with pina coladas while the kids jump in over and over again.  Kayaks, paddle boards and snorkeling on site are included with your villa stay.

Stop by a a little market on your way into town.  Buy local eggs to cook up breakfast back at your villa.  

Rent your golf cart from the resort for going in to town for a meal.  Katy and her family discovered San Pedro to be so laid back and safe.  Even at 10 pm walking back from dinner. 

 Slip on some flips flops and bask in the sunshine, snorkeling, and food adventures of San Pedro, Belize. Katy Patton, of HappyPlayces.com, shared her family's weekend vacation on the beach in San Pedro.  Photo credit: Katy Patton | HappyPlayces.com

Pura Vida!

Pure life!  That's how the Pattons describe San Pedro.  Sounds close to heaven. 

Walking along the beach barefoot.  Sitting down in open air restaurant in just a cover-up and flip flops.  Just the kind of vacation I've been dreaming of.  

This quaint town bustles with character and charm.  Kids piling on golf carts ten deep, laughing on their way to school.  Local fathers riding their bikes to work.  Smiles everywhere.

More about Katy & Happy Playces

The Happy Playces blog is written by Katy hoping to help others find their Happy Playce in life!  She and her husband Ryan live along the gulf coast with their two children Evian and Miles.  They love to travel, eat great food, be active, and enjoy each day to its fullest. They also have a Podcast, where she has conversations with people about life events, faith, travel, and topics that influence our day-to-day happiness.  They strive to find their happy playce in their life as parents and love to plan their next adventure to visit a happy playce on the map!

Check out the Happy Playces podcast here.  

Katy's earliest travel memory was camping with her family in the mountains of Colorado.  Her dad always carved out time to take their family to the mountains or the beaches in Texas, where she grew up.  

Growing up, traveling gave Katy a big picture about the world around her.  Because she spent a lot of time in small towns, traveling showed her different terrains, climates, different places and different people.

Katy believes traveling with her family helps her kids see many different things... especially the playful, relaxed side of mom!  Traveling has taught her kids street smarts, self control, and patience.  Her kids have gained a bigger perspective and see themselves impacting the world on a larger scale.  

And Katy loves seeing the world around her through her kids' eyes.  When she pointed out children coming out of cardboard houses with torn clothing, all her children saw were happy kids playing in the street with their friends.

Thank you Katy for sharing your travels and your photos with us!  We look forward to hearing about your next trip.

What about you?  What has traveling taught your kids?  What adventure are you dreaming up next with them?

p.s.  Need beach vacation ideas?  Consider Cape San Blas, Florida or a trip to the Middle Keys

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