After a long pandemic season, my boyfriend and I were desperate for a real vacation and a break from the US. I'm so glad we opted for Belize and beautiful Matachica. We followed their advice and took the 15 minute flight to the resort, and it was peaceful, smooth, and gorgeous. (Highly recommended!) We were then whisked to the resort by boat and greeted with warmth, smiles, and excellent cocktails! One of our goals in booking travel was to have plenty of space between ourselves and the other guests, and Matachica does this by default. All the beautiful casita suites are independent and private, and the beautiful pier has private lounging decks. What was probably built to feel romantic (this is a popular honeymoon spot for a reason!) works just as well for social distancing.
And now for the common concerns:
SEAGRASS: Yes, it's a thing. No, it's not a dealbreaker. There are staff members constantly raking, shoveling, and carting it far away. That said, if you are dreaming of walking from white sand to turquoise water, it isn't happening on this side of the peninsula at all. Best bet, rent a golf cart and get yourself to the Secret Beach.
GETTING AROUND: Bite the bullet and rent a golf cart and get to know the island's bumpy dirt roads. Spend some time eating your way through San Pedro (fry jacks, lobster curry, salbutes, blackened fish, and jerk chicken should all be on your list!) You'll also need a golf cart to get to the Secret Beach. No seagrass, great restaurants, gorgeous beach/ocean.
COVID: Belize, and San Pedro in particular, take Covid very seriously. You will be expected to wear a mask at all times unless you are in the ocean or a pool. For real. Plan well and bring your comfiest masks. Check to see if there's a curfew, because if you're caught out past it there's a hefty fine. You will need to show proof of vaccine or recent negative test results to enter the country and a negative test result to leave. This can be done right at Matachica for US $75 (they take Venmo and cash).
FOOD: The Food in Belize is fantastic and the resort is no exception. I'm still dreaming of their flight of tacos with a grilled piña colada. Be prepared, though. Belize is a bit pricy and it's easy for a couple to spend $100 a day on food and drinks at the resort, the Secret Beach, or the popular spots in town.
ACTIVITIES: The resort provides complimentary kayaks, stand up paddle boards, and snorkeling gear. The concierge's suggestions are spot-on and might include excursions to Mayan ruins, SCUBA diving adventures, sailing, and more. And no trip to San Pedro is complete without snorkeling or diving in Hol Chan.
The resort encourages guests to split their time between the beach and the jungle, where they have a sister property, and I would probably do that next time. It's a small peninsula, so it doesn't take long to check off most of Ambergris Caye's most popular offerings.
BUGS: None! I don't know how it's possible, but I didn't see a single mosquito.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: Background music is constant, not just at Matachica, but throughout the Caye. Unfortunately, it is not music that blends into the background well. Adele covers and washed up pop hits were on a constant, irritating loop. But that's much better than some of the things we heard outside of Matachica (Scorpions, Bon Jovi, and Bruce Springsteen just sound weird in the tropics!). There are too many great and setting-appropriate playlists so easily available for this to be such a miss.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.