Last night I dreamt of San Pedro….
Does that little tune by Madonna sound familiar? Did you know she was referring to San Pedro town in the beautiful land of Belize in “La Isla Bonita”? Well if you don’t know, now you know. In staying true to the beauty of San Pedro (aside from its gorgeous beaches and resorts), I wanted to share with you some local gems that are both creative and sweet.
Belizean Melody Art Gallery as seen from the street
As San Pedro is such a huge tourist destination, catering mainly to the tastes of North American visitors, it is easy to get caught up in the hype; the shoreside karaoke joints, restaurants, hair braiding, etc. Having visited numerous times, and no longer considering myself a tourist, I have discovered that the beauty of San Pedro is deeper in town, starting as close as a few streets away from the sea.
Being a lover and consumer of art, I always make it my duty to purchase artwork/crafts from local Belizean artisans on all of my trips. I’m reminded of such by my grandfather’s late wife, Miss Shirley, who always told me to “support your Belizean brothers and sisters”. Staying true to these words, I stumbled across the Belizean Melody Art Gallery on Barrier Reef Drive while perusing the streets with my mother, and decided to stop in.
A bevy of works inside Belizean Melody
Once stepping through the threshold, I was transformed in a space filled with artwork solely from local artists, which was refreshing. There were reminders around the space that mentioned that none of the artwork/souvenirs were made in China. Kind of cheeky, huh? Mom and I sifted through the pieces and ended up in a corner that housed homemade spice blends and freshwater pearl rings.
Mom near the spice blends
It was in this corner that we decided on our purchases. My mother got two spice blends to bring back home, and we both purchased delicate, freshwater pearl rings. You can see mine in the photo below.
My freshwater pearl ring
After admiring the local art and chatting with the sales associate at the gallery, it was time for ice cream, because it’s always time for ice cream! Directly across the street was the famous Manelly’s Homemade Ice Cream, a San Pedro staple since 1985.
Signage for Manelly’s
As this was a repeat trip to Manelly’s, I wanted to try a new flavor. The ice cream joint sells Belizean favorites in Soursop (Guanabana), Craboo, Strawberry, Mango and more, but on this day I wanted to try the Belizean Fudge flavor. Belizean Fudge refers to a dessert made with sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and butter, that is often mixed with nuts or raisins. The ice cream flavor was vanilla with generous chunks of peanut fudge throughout.
My Belizean Fudge ice cream cone
Disclaimer: this cone is EXTREMELY sweet, but it was such a treat. I’m really picky when it comes to fudge, but to have a great piece of fudge with peanuts (my favorite) in this cone was a delight! Can you sense my happiness whilst writing this? I hope it radiates throughout the computer screen. Along with ice cream cones and cups, Manelly’s sells fruit paletas, milk shakes, and waffle cones.
Full menu at Manelly’s
The ice cream really perked me up, and prepared me for the rest of my exploring that day. This is just the beginning of my series on Belize. Look out for more posts covering different locales and spots in the country!
*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo