Famous for water sports, scuba diving, snorkeling and some of the most pristine Caribbean beaches you’ll find anywhere, it’s no wonder Belize’s largest island, Ambergris Caye is a popular destination for travelers. This slice of paradise just might currently be the best place in the Western Hemisphere for a luxurious getaway on white sands. Belize vacation rentals are available all throughout the island, but you’re not going to get to the beaches or any of the alluring attractions until you figure out how to get around.
Below are some tips that will help make your trip to Ambergris Caye seamless.
Getting Around the Culture of Ambergris Caye
If you are vacationing in Belize from the West, drop your own understandings of how things are supposed to work upon arrival. While buses, taxis, and other forms of transportation run much better here than the rest of the region, they still aren’t on par with the efficiency of the systems we are used to in the West. So if things run behind, or you hit figurative or literal road bumps, just relax. I have always found it’s better to change your perspective than the infrastructure, culture, and government of an entire country.
Getting To Ambergris Caye
If you aren’t already flying into Ambergris Caye from Goldson International Airport in Belize City, you will need to take the 90 minute water taxi ride to the island. Presumably you will be going to San Pedro, the largest town and hub of the island. If you arrive in Belize City’s airport, you can take a taxi to the water taxis. If you arrive by bus, the water taxi station is very close to the main bus station, so you’ll be able to easily connect.
Getting Around Ambergris Caye
Upon arriving, you can hail a taxi at the airport or find one after debarking the water taxi.
If you are keen on exploring the island by road, the best way to do so would be to rent a car or motorbike. There are no roads connecting the entire island; the roads that are in place are a mixture of dirt roads, paved roads, and cobblestone roads.
Getting Around San Pedro on Ambergris Caye
Walking San Pedro
Despite it being the largest town on the Belizean Cayes, San Pedro is still a town, and as such, it is very possible to navigate by walking. During your walk, pop into Elvi’s Kitchen for the best curry dishes on the island or MOHO Chocolate, which is owned by a Belizean family who produces organic chocolate on a small farm in the south of the country. In the morning, stop in at The Baker for a coffee and some divine pastries (try the cinnamon role) or a proper breakfast sandwich before heading to the beach.
Biking San Pedro
A great way to cover more ground than you can on foot, and explore more remote parts of town on the island, is to rent a bike. For 80 Belizean dollars ($40 USD), you could rent a bike for one week. There are numerous places in town to rent one, just ask around because in Belize everyone speaks English (it’s the national language).
Getting Around Ambergris Caye by Golf Cart
Personally, I think the best way to get around Ambergris Caye is to rent a golf cart. By golf cart you can explore most of the island and it is the best way to truly soak in the beauty and charm of the island in open air comfort. Outside of the practical, it’s also tons of fun — driving around a tropical island in a golf cart – perhaps enjoying a beer because no one minds here!
Sailing Ambergris Caye
Sail the tranquil seas on a traditional Belizean style fishing boat or soar through the water on a catamaran. Both serve as the perfect transport to the island’s best snorkeling spots or to Caye Caulker, a sleepy and colorful neighboring island that is worth a visit.
Don’t Forget to Check Out Cayo Espanto
We hear the words “private island resort,” a lot on TV, but have you ever been to one? While planning a trip to Belize, check out the private island resort Cayo Espanto, it is as white sand paradise a place as anyone dreams about.
About the Author
Luke Maguire Armstrong is the author of “The Nomad’s Nomad”, a travelogue featuring a raccoon mauling, run-ins with Narco Traffickers, and kids playing the most dangerous game on earth. He has worked in various educational development projects over the past decade and is currently working to enable an education center in Guatemala.
Photo by cloud2013