Ambergris Caye, Belize’s most visited destination, is the largest island. It measures 25 miles in length and is approximately a mile wide at its broadest points. Its principal town, San Pedro is in the southern half of the island. This area contains the airport, the most shops, hotels and restaurants.
Ambergris Caye lies 35 miles east from Belize City, and 14 miles north from Caye Caulker. It’s also just 0.75 miles from Belize’s Barrier Reef. This reef system, the largest in the Northern Hemisphere and extending across Belize from Mexico to the border with Guatemala, is located near the Belize-Guatemala border.
Ambergris Caye is not the most popular place in Belize . However, it’s not expected to be over-commercialized and overrun by tourists. It has a laid-back, low-key vibe that attracts regular visitors who return year after year. In some cases, they even stay forever. Ambergris Caye is home to the largest concentration of Belizean ex-pats, mainly from the U.S.
Things to Do in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
There are many things you can do on the island, beyond just relaxing on the beach and admiring the stunning views. You can choose from parasailing, windsurfing and kayaking. Or rent a Jet Ski to spend the afternoon. Scuba diving and snorkeling is the main reason people visit Ambergris Caye Real Estate. In fact, four of the best 5 diving spots in Belize can be found nearby.
You can find many dive spots and snorkel stops within 15 minutes of your boat ride to the Belize Barrier Reef, which is located less than one mile offshore. The reef is a great place to spend the morning fishing, and then your guide will prepare your catch while snorkeling or relaxing on the beach.
Where to Eat in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
Even if you spent a month in Ambergris Caye you wouldn’t have the time to visit all the amazing restaurants on the island. While I’ve listed my top picks, there are always new bars and restaurants opening up.
Ceviche is the most loved dish on the island. It showcases the freshness and quality of the local seafood. Make sure you also stop by Estel’s By the Sea to enjoy one of the best Belizean Breakfasts. Don’t forget to try lobster and conch, when they’re in season.
Where to Stay in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Caye offers many lodging options, including luxury hotels as well as all-inclusive beach resorts. You will find the right accommodation for you here, from hostel-type accommodations through major international hotels to PADI5 Star dive resorts.
Best Time to Visit Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Caye’s best season to visit is December to April. This coincides with Belize’s high tourist season . You can expect sunny skies and blue skies during this dry season. The downside to this season is the higher cost of hotel stays and tours.
In all honesty, Belize’s offseason is not very different from the rest of Central America. Also, there are many discounts. The offseason in Belize is during Central America’s rainy season. However, unless you are visiting during a tropical storm or overnight, the rains tend to be for a short time and then it is dry the rest of the day.
If you are looking for the best time to visit Ambergris Caye it is possible that this is during San Pedro’s Lobsterfest. The town hosts a huge festival every year at the beginning of the lobster season, usually the first week in June. A holiday-lighted boat parade is another great way to have fun.
Safety and Security Risks in Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Caye is one of the most popular tourist areas in Belize . It’s as safe as your home.
Petty theft is the most common crime. Follow all safety precautions. Don’t show valuables or large amounts of money. Do not walk alone at night, especially if you are drunk. Lock your door when you leave your vacation rental or room. Resorts have security guards that night and in-room safes to protect valuables.
Ambergris Caye is safe for most food and beverages. However, you should not drink tap water. Hotels and resorts will provide water purified for guests. Make sure to bring a reusable water bottle. You can buy bottled water at your local supermarkets if drinking water is not provided during your vacation rental stay.
Young women who are travelling alone or are single might be subject to unwanted attention from Belizean men. There is no right or wrong way to handle catcalling, but it is best to ignore it. Sorry.