Ambergris Caye is the largest and most northern of Belize's islands. It is
twenty five miles long and parallels Belize's barrier reef. Ambergris Caye, once claimed
by Mexico, is separated from Mexico only by a narrow channel. Ambergris Caye is
located east of the Corozal District. Its main town of San Pedro is about
36 miles from Belize City. Like Caye Caulker, Ambergris is a limestone
coral island. It has cool tropical breezes and is literally a stones throw
from the Barrier Reef in some places.
During the Mayan period, Ambergris Caye was a trading post. Ruins have been excavated throughout
the island, including the Marco Gonzales site, the Basil Jones site, and in San Pedro town.
Ambergris is the most commercially developed of the islands. It has quite a
few luxurious hotels and an avid night life. There is also considerable
real estate interest on Ambergris as most of the northern end of the island
is not yet developed. Although there is a small fishing industry, the main source of income
of this once buccaneering and whaling caye is tourism.
Most of the 2000+ residents of Ambergris are of Mestizo-Spanish descent. Spanish is mostly
spoken although everyone does speak English. Like
their sister island of Caye Caulker they are from fishing families. The
island does employ a number of people from the other districts, mainly
The main town on Ambergris caye is San Pedro Town. It is a mile or so long and
encompasses only a few street blocks. Most of the houses are wooden with zinc roofed houses.
San Pedro town is the heart of Ambergris Caye
and offers a wide range of restuarants, bars, souvenir shops, and banks. Since the airstrip
is also located in town, most resorts and hotels are only a hop, skip & a jump away.
The main means of transportation are golf carts however bicycles, scooters, and
some cars and vans are also available. The streets are sandy and unpaved so be
sure to leave your fancy clothes and high heel shoes at home. There are no traffic lights,
no freeways or highways, and no highrise buildings.
The atmosphere on San Pedro is very casual. The dress of the day is usually shorts and
sandals (if you can't handle being barefoot).
San Pedro Businesses
- Big Daddy's Nite Club
- Elvi's Kitchen
- Little Italy
- Tarzan's Nite Club
- The Hideaway Sports Lodge Restaurant
- Ambergris Museum & Cultural Center - Exhibits on the history of the island are on display.
Trace the development of Ambergris Caye from its days as an ancient Maya trading center a leading
- Ambergris Tours
- Bird Watching - Be sure not to miss the egrets, great herons and many other tropical birds.
Guided trips to Bird Caye can be arranged.
- Belize Ocean Divers
- Cruises - Many cruises are available, whether sightseeing, sunset or moonlight.
- Diving & Snorkeling - Numerous charter dive boats and underwater guides are available to take you to many
spots on the Barrier Reef. Arrangements can be made to visit any one of the atoll - Turneffe Island,
Glover's Reef, or Lighthouse Reef where you can dive the famous Blue Hole.
For all your scuba diving or snorkeling needs, check out Fantasea Scuba School & Watersports Center or visit Belize Extravaganza.
- Fishing - All types of fishing trip available - deep sea, river, flyrod, night, etc. Fish for
snapper, snook, grouper, marlin, tarpon, and this list goes on and on...
- Golf carts & Bicyles - Although the caye is small and most everything is within walking distance, a
bicycle or a golf cart is definitely a plus.
- Hol Chan Marine Reserve - This underwater park is a
must, especially if you are a diver.
- Jet Skis - Have the need for speed? Then hop aboard a jet ski. 1/2 hour and 1 hour rentals
- Sailing - Sailboats, windsurfs, and even kayaks are available for rent. For those of you
who aren't afraid of heights, parasailing is also available
- Shark-Ray Alley - Located about 1 mile south of the Hol Chan Reserve, this area gives
you the perfect opportunity to get up front and personal with stingrays and nurse sharks. Diving and
snorkeling must be arranged with a guide.
- Tours - Many in land tours are available. Arrangments can be made to visit the Maya Ruin sites
of Altun Ha in the Cayo District or Lamanai in the Orange Walk District. If you would like to check
out the wildlife, make arrangements to visit the Belize Zoo, the Baboon Sanctuary or the Jaguar Reserve.
You can get to Ambergris Caye by plane or by boat.
Tropic Air, Island Air, and Maya Airlines make hourly scheduled trips to San Pedro from either the
Municipal Airstrip in Belize City or from the Phillip Goldson International
Airport. Flights usually run between 6am and about 5:30pm. The average cost
of a roundtrip ticket is around US$120 and the trip takes about 20 minutes.
There are several boats which make daily trips to and from Ambergris Caye. Boats
usually leave from the historic Swing Bridge in Belize City or from the pier in
front of the Bliss Auditorium. The trip takes between 1 - 1 1/2 hours depending
on the boat and usually cost about US$25 roundtrip. Be sure to look for Triple J,
Thunderbolt or Rainbow Runner.