Discover the Hidden Gem in San Pedro, Belize: Sandbar Beachfront Hostel – A Budget Oasis in the Lap of Luxury. At just $16 per night, this affordable backpacker’s haven at Sandbar Beachfront Hostel offers not only air-conditioned comfort but also boasts a pool, bar, and restaurant, providing an all-in-one solution for your vacation needs.
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San Pedro, Belize, is not only the most renowned vacation island in the country but also the largest in the Belizean archipelago. It stands out for its bustling commercial atmosphere, especially when compared to the nearby Caye Caulker.
Originally, we had planned to attend Garifuna Settlement Day and then proceed to Dangriga. However, due to a last-minute change in plans, my classmates and I found ourselves without suitable accommodation.Facing this challenge, we made the decision to redirect our journey to Guatemala. Having already explored Guatemala in August, I personally opted to stay in Belize and explore San Pedro. Thanks to the recommendation from my Belizean friend, Kevin, I was fortunate enough to discover this exceptionally cost-effective hostel.
Backpackers’ Haven-Sandbar Beachfront Hostel
Sandbar Beachfront Hostel is a multifaceted establishment that seamlessly combines a bar and restaurant. Founded in 2012 by two young individuals from Texas, Brittney and David, Sandbar has become a local favorite known for its delicious handcrafted pizzas and cocktails.
Boasting an enviable location, Sandbar Beachfront Hostel sits right on the beach, offering guests the chance to enjoy vast ocean views from the bar on the ground floor. The front area even features an exclusive waterfront deck with loungers for guests to unwind and relax.
Conveniently located just an 8-minute stroll along the coastline from the Water Taxi, there’s no need to rent a golf cart as you can easily reach key destinations on foot. The hostel’s strategic positioning makes it a perfect choice for those looking to explore the area without the hassle of transportation.
| Sandbar Beachfront Hostel
Address: 7 Boca del Rio Drive, San Pedro
Pphone number: +501-226-2008
Check-in: 14:00 Check-out : 11:00
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Budget-Friendly Accommodation Picks in San Pedro
The check-in counter is located within the interior of the restaurant. After passing through the dining area and bar, you’ll find the check-in counter situated right in the center. The staff at the counter are exceptionally warm and friendly, proficient in communication in English, Spanish, and French. Upon making a reservation on the official website, payment can be settled on-site with either cash or card.
Once the check-in process is completed, guests are provided with a rubber bracelet for identification purposes, ensuring that those entering and exiting the hostel are registered guests. The staff also takes the time to introduce the hostel’s facilities, including the outdoor pool, kitchen, and water station.
The pool, though I always wonder why a seaside hostel would have one, is undeniably charming. Surrounding the pool are various sofas and loungers. The entire hostel offers stable Wi-Fi.
The communal kitchen is shared with Drift Inn and comes equipped with a gas stove and refrigerator available for use. The fridge is well-stocked, and its operating hours are from 8 AM to 9 PM. The kitchen provides various pots, utensils, and condiments for guests to use freely.
Affordable Backpacker Hostel at $16 per Night
Sandbar Beachfront Hostel offers a variety of room options, including 6-person and 12-person dormitories, as well as double, triple, and quadruple rooms, catering to different traveler combinations.
After you check in, the staff quickly shows you to your room. The doors have electronic locks for security. This time, I went for the 12-person shared dorm. The room has AC all day, and each bed has a lockable space underneath (you need to bring your own lock).
Typically, when staying in hostel-type accommodations, I prefer choosing a lower bunk due to the challenge some ladder designs pose for me, given my slight fear of heights. However, as the lower bunk beds were fully booked, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Sandbar Beachfront Hostel’s upper bunk beds feature a staircase design!
The beds are neatly arranged, and the pillows and mattresses are both thick and soft. Each bed comes with a curtain, offering a bit of privacy for every traveler. The most commendable feature is the spacious storage shelf, providing ample room for personal belongings.
The room also includes a table, chairs, and several storage cabinets. Additionally, there’s a large mirror, allowing female guests the convenience of grooming and dressing within the room. Throughout my three-day stay in San Pedro, the room was consistently cleaned by the housekeeping staff, maintaining a high level of cleanliness.
The bathroom facilities are shared, with separate areas for men and women. The staff’s introduction was a bit fast, and as my English isn’t perfect, I didn’t catch the location immediately. After some searching, I had to ask fellow roommates for directions.
There are three showers and three toilets in each section, and the showers provide hot water with good water pressure. However, the storage space is located under the showerheads, making it a bit inconvenient for placing personal clothing.
If you’re feeling lazy to dine out, the hostel’s restaurant and bar downstairs are open from 7 AM to midnight, offering a diverse menu at all hours. Observing numerous dine-in customers and take-out/delivery orders upon entering and exiting the hostel, I assume the meals must be delicious!
Why Recommend Sandbar Beachfront Hostel ?
Having spent over half a year in Belize, I often heard that San Pedro is a hub for tourists, particularly popular among Americans and Canadians. With a plethora of restaurants and hotels, the overall cost of living is on the higher side. Initially, I hadn’t planned to visit, but with some free time and indecision about where to travel, I thought, why not pay a visit to this popular vacation spot in Belize? Seeing is believing, and upon arrival, it felt like stepping into the United States. Thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I fortuitously discovered this budget-friendly hostel on the island! With prices similar to Placencia’s hostels but offering better amenities, including air conditioning, staying at Sandbar Beachfront Hostel was undoubtedly one of the highlights of this trip.
New Transportation Option in San Pedro: Bicycle Rentals
On the streets of San Pedro, one can witness a plethora of golf carts in motion, making them one of the primary modes of transportation on the island. Renting a golf cart in Belize requires a driver’s license. However, if you lack one and are traveling solo, what alternatives do you have? Given my lack of a driver’s license and the desire to explore the rumored secret beach, I decided to opt for renting a bicycle.
Breeze Bike Rentals
Breeze Bike Rentals located just a one-minute walk from the Water Taxi terminal (across the road to the left), is easily identifiable with its green exterior. The rental options include regular bicycles as well as electric bikes. Considering the distance to the secret beach, I chose an electric bicycle.
A deposit is required during the rental process, and the rental shop provides a suitable bike based on your height. Payments can be made with a credit card, and the deposit is refunded upon returning the bike.
The rental includes a safety helmet, waterproof backpack, keys, and bottled water. An hour before the return time, the owner will considerately send a reminder message.
The bike provided was more of an off-road adventure bicycle with robust tires. The bike’s height was a bit tall for me, but the seat was comfortable, making it suitable for long-distance journeys with uneven roads and potholes.
The owner was incredibly friendly. When I encountered a minor issue with my bike during the journey, he promptly delivered another bicycle to me. Additionally, he recommended several local restaurants and places to visit, impressively communicating in various languages!
I first visited the secret beach and then rode to Playa De Sala, recommended by the owner, to watch the sunset. Throughout the journey, people continuously praised my bicycle. While the secret beach turned out to be somewhat disappointing, renting a bicycle and exploring San Pedro turned out to be one of the most beautiful memories I made on the island.
|Breeze Bike Rentals
Address: Barrier Reef Dr, San Pedro
Pphone number: +501 622 7799
Business Hours: 8:00am – 6:00pm（Monday to Saturday）
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