When it comes to our family’s vacations, we have two simple, yet firm, requirements: a great place to stay and great activities to experience, and our recent stay at Casa Rana over-delivered on both.
A great place to stay.......
Casa Rana is a unique beachfront home on the north end of Ambergris Caye owned Richard and Diana. The grounds are immaculately maintained by Omar, and “friendly canine” services are provided by Hydro (Richard and Diana’s dog). The house is beautifully decorated and we made full use of the kitchen to work around some food allergy issues we have. There was more than enough room for the four of us and the media room was great for watching World Cup updates after a long day of diving or climbing ancient Mayan ruins. The bedrooms were awesome and the bath towels felt luxurious after long days on the water.
Richard and Diana offered great help planning our stay and great support during our stay. Just like waiters in a fine restaurant, they were there when you needed them and invisible when you did not. But, it was the little things that stand out like Richard getting us fresh lobster from one of his local contacts (lobster season had just opened), or Diana showing my daughter the best places to hunt for shells (later giving my daughter several beautiful conch shells).
And great adventures to experience......
Richard’s knowledge and network of contacts on Ambergris Caye made planning much easier than if I had to do it from scratch. With Richards help, I was able to put together a plan that included a fishing trip, a tour of the Lamanai ruins on the mainland, scuba diving, snorkeling, and sailing trips. I followed Richards’s recommendations on whom to engage with on all these activities, and each one was a pleasure:
Fishing with Ricky. Our kids (10 and 15) reeled in barracuda and snapper as my wife and I watched. A great time was had by all.
Tour of Lamanai. We had previously toured Chichen Itza and our kids wanted to see more with the opportunity to climb a pyramid. The trip was arranged by Suya and was fantastic. My son called this a land, sea, and air expedition because it included a water taxi from Casa Rana to the airport on Ambergris Caye, a short flight to Belize municipal airport, a van ride to Orange Walk, and a great boat ride to the ruins.
Scuba diving and snorkeling. We worked with Elbert at White Sands on arranging 3 days of diving and snorkeling. The water was warm, visibility great, and our dive master, Raul, attentive and helpful.
Day sail on El Gato. Geraldo and Eric made this a great final day for us as we sailed north stopping for snorkeling at two spots along the way. Lunch was prepared by Geraldo and cooked on his grill on the stern of the catamaran. I must say that I did not know what to expect, but the food was excellent - prepared with the freshest local ingredients (think freshly caught snapper and lobster), cooked simply, and served with tortillas, salsa, chips and steamed plantains!
I highly recommend Casa Rana as a family destination on Ambergris Caye, Belize. The house is perfect for families and you can easily use it as a base for all the activities you plan. Richard and Diana provide great, unobtrusive, on-site support, and the vendors they have built relationships with deliver quality tours and adventures.
A final thought for parents
Wake up an hour before your kids, have a cup of coffee on the front patio, and relax. The view is amazing.