Almond Tree Hotel was really gorgeous. It was like a big cup of cold water in the desert after our long, seemingly never-ending trip from Belize City!! I have included lots of photos of the hotel and its occupants.
It was lush with beautiful vegetation and the lovely light milky blue Corazol Bay in the backyard. It really was a piece of Heaven at the Almond Tree and we were the only patrons there for the entire 5 days that we were there!! Imagine that!!
While we were there we made friends with Samantha who is the waitress/bartender and her husband Steve who is the chef at the Almond Tree. We got to know them both well because there was only one other restaurant in Corazol that we trusted, so we spent most of our nights eating at the Almond Tree and talking with Samantha. We learned that Samantha and Steve are from Canada and had been working in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, but with their Mexican Working Visas, they had to leave Mexico for 72 hours every year and then could re-enter Mexico again for another year. Samantha had traveled back to Canada to visit friends and family and Steve went to The Almond Tree Hotel in Corazol, Belize which is the closest country to Playa del Carmen. Later Samantha joined Steve at The Almond Tree.
On our first night at Almond Tree, we asked Samantha where the closest supermarket was so we could get water and ice and essentials. She gave us directions for two of them and we were off to check out the town. Once we left the paradise of The Almond Tree, it was downhill from there!! The town of Corazol was nothing like we expected. The dirt roads led throughout the town and there were many boarded up and closed businesses. As we got out of the rental car, we felt very unsafe as everyone had their eyes on us. We went into a so-called market run by an Indian guy. I would venture a guess that the majority of items in the “store” were expired and we were just happy to get water and get out of there asap!! The ice was across the street at a store run by an Oriental woman and it was a little bit better, but not much.
We decided to ride around the town a bit and see for ourselves what the town was about. Unfortunately, it was much like what we had seen on our journey up to Corazol. Many homes were falling down, some with no roofs and some with no walls. The town square which I had read was very nice, was also dilapidated. Concrete table and stools and a playground that was probably very lovely 50 years ago were in ruin now. We later learned that many people in the town did not work because there was no work available. How could they possibly take care of their homes when they needed to worry about how they would feed their families? It was definitely a third world country that we had arrived in and not a place where we wanted to relocate to!!