In Belize, Ambergris Caye is the most popular tourist destination and ex-pat haven. The phrase 'Isla Bonita' first became popular after Madonna released a song in 1987 about the island. The water surrounding this Caribbean island is bright turquoise. You're greeted with quintessential Caribbean scenes when looking out to sea.
Ocean waves break on the ocean's offshore Mesoamerican barrier reef, an area filled with exotic marine life, coral, and sponges. If you're searching for the perfect island paradise with white sand and turquoise waters, you've come to the right place. You won't be disappointed with Ambergris Caye if you're into diving, snorkeling, fishing, or sailing.
As early as 200 B.C., the Maya inhabited Ambergris Caye. Ambergris Caye was created when Mayas dug a canal on the north side of the Mexican peninsula. With 25 miles, the caye is by far the largest island off Belize's coast.
Belize's most popular tourist destination in Ambergris Caye. This island offers Belize's most sophisticated lifestyle in addition to its natural beauty and outdoor activities. There's no wonder Ambergris has become so popular with its casual beach life and upscale amenities. Unfortunately, tourism, infrastructure, and amenities have resulted in Belize's high cost of living, and real estate prices have been rising since 2010.
San Pedro Town is the only town on the island. There is a lot to do here. Since 2010, the island has expanded significantly. There are currently an estimated 20,000 residents. Ex-pats still prefer golf carts for transportation.
You can use them to get to different grocery stores, trendy restaurants, nightclubs, coffee houses, and friendly mom-and-pop shops from your home. Residents still prefer to get around by bicycle, on foot, or by taxi. During the rainy season, much easier travel is possible from the paved main streets of the island, once sandy.
From humble beginnings as a fishing village, Ambergris Caye has grown substantially. In the 21st century, development has progressed rapidly. Today, Ambergris is the hub of activity and tourism, surrounded by a lot of traffic.
San Pedro is a popular destination for a reason. From San Pedro, there are many eco-friendly activities, like snorkeling with nurse sharks, sunset sailings & day trips to Caye Caulker. There is plenty of hammock time, or you can choose your favorite water activity.
The weather is pleasant during the high season, with mild temperatures and light breezes from November to April. In addition to beautiful accommodations and activities such as diving, snorkeling, fishing, and sailing, the town is home to top-notch beachside lodgings, hotels, and resorts.
A small coral reef gap in Hol Chan Marine Reserve in Ambergris Caye makes snorkeling and diving very enjoyable. Hol Chan is four miles from San Pedro and is a popular diving and snorkeling spot. Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, can only be reached by boat. Belize's UNESCO World Heritage Site status was removed in 2018 after the government had made significant efforts to safeguard it.
Right from your resort in San Pedro, you can take a day trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Within 6 to 9 meters of clear water, the walls of the channel are lined with corals, and the marine life that inhabits them is abundant. Several species of fish, turtles, rays and even sharks can be found here. A knowledgeable guide can help you experience the underwater world even if you have never snorkeled before.
Among Belize's top attractions is Shark Ray Alley in Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Swim with nurse sharks and stingrays that swarm when approaching boats are heard in this area.
Nurse sharks are harmless to humans and use their mouths to consume small fish, shrimp, and squid. The medium-sized sharks feed on fish that are thrown to them by the guides, which they consume. Stingrays often join the frenzy, hence the destination's name. The best way to observe these incredible animals is to observe them from a safe distance if you are in the water.
A long time ago, Jacques Cousteau referred to the Great Blue Hole as one of the best underwater diving sites, which still holds today. Accessible by boat from Ambergris Caye to the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. This giant submarine sinkhole offers experienced divers unparalleled views of massive rock formations and the creatures that inhabit the cave. Sharks of various species can be found here, including hammerheads and bull sharks.
The sinkhole has a depth of 137 meters and a diameter of 304 meters. Dark blue waters surround shallow turquoise waters, as seen from above. San Pedro Town has dive shops and resorts where you can arrange dive tours. You can even do night dives at some of these shops.
April and May are the best times to visit during the dry season. Tour Half Moon Caye and the Great Blue Hole at the same time. From an elevated observation platform in this World Heritage Site, you can see frigate birds and red-footed booby birds up close.
There are many great places to stay in Ambergris Caye, from luxurious resorts to more affordable hotels and guesthouses. Many visitors prefer to stay in the town of San Pedro, which offers a wide range of accommodation options as well as easy access to the island's many restaurants, bars and shops.
The only airline that flies to Ambergris Caye is Tropic Air and Maya Island Air. They offer daily flights from Belize City and San Pedro.