Again we've been to Belize in the past and seen the interior as well as having the done the cave tubing experience. This time I told the driver I wanted to see Belize City, the good and the bad. When approaching the "bad area" he told us not even the police go there at night. I told him, "Hey pal, I can tell, you've never been to Detroit."
We took the cab down to Mahahual so see a friend who runs the Tropicante, a beach front bar and restaurant. The drinks are very reasonable, the food is cheap, tasty and plentiful and the atmosphere is so so relaxing. It's like being in a Corona beer commercial. Steve Uhl, the proprietor, says Mahahual means "Mayberry" in Mayan, Catch his blog regarding Mahahual and the Costa Maya area at http://ahhhmahahual.wordpress.com/.
We hired a car and driver to take us on a tour of the island. It was $25 a person (3 of us) plus a $20 tip (aggregate) at it was well worth it. We visited the beach areas as well as the interior. I feel it was money well spent as we saw both the tourist side and inhabitant side of the island. It sure beat sitting around in a Senor Frog's all day.
We've been to Roatan a number of times before. My wife wanted to go a shop run by a couple of missionaries as a co-op selling locally made items; 80% going to the producer and 20% to cover the co-op expenses. We've been there before and the prices are reasonable and nothing has a "China" label on it. It is outside the "tourist village" area. Roatan has beautiful beaches and is great for snorkeling and diving.