Ambergris Caye - Belize Cover

Belize | 2-day tropical getaway to the stunning Ambergris Caye

It must be said that this little paradise really has everything: nice bungalows by the water, refreshing sea breeze, bars on infinite beaches lined with coconut trees, and turquoise waters that promise diving with sharks and manatee sightings. Welcome to Ambergris Caye …

Ambergris Caye, Belize

Ambergris Caye in a few words

With 40 kilometers long and 1.6 kilometers wide, Ambergris Caye is the largest island in Belize. It was first occupied by the Mayas who, according to some historians, would be responsible for having dug the channel that separates the island from the Yucatán peninsula.

In the 18th century, whalers called it Ambergris Caye to refer to the ambergris abundantly present on the beaches of the island or floating in the surroundings. In 1867, many Mexican refugees settled in Ambergris Caye during the Caste War in Yucatán, which explains why people speak English and Spanish on this island.

Very popular since the 1970s, Ambergris Caye was named “the most beautiful island in the world” by Traveler’s Choice Island in 2014. There are long white sand beaches on the east coast while the west coast is overgrown with mangroves.

The main and only town on the island, San Pedro, is the gateway to Ambergris Caye. It offers many hotels, restaurants, shops, and tourist activities (scuba diving, kayaking, fishing, etc.). Many people make a stop in San Pedro to enjoy the main attraction of the island: the coral reef and the Blue Hole.

San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye

Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye?

Both easily accessible from Belize City, Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye are only a few kilometers apart (30 minutes by water taxi). Why choose one rather than the other when you don’t have enough time to stay on both?

If Ambergris Caye is the largest island in Belize, Caye Caulker is, on the contrary, a small piece of land (eight kilometers long and one kilometer wide). The atmosphere on this island is very cool, very “backpacker”. Much more than a local motto, “Go slow” is a real way of life here

Caye Caulker

Speaking of activities, you can explore the island by bike or golf cart (no car on Caye Caulker!) and indulge in many water activities such as kayaking, kite-surfing, fishing, or scuba diving.

Since Caye Caulker is mainly frequented by young North American tourists, you can eat and spend the night at a lower cost, mostly in youth hostels or the equivalent.

➜ When traveling alone or as a couple, Caye Caulker is the perfect place if you don’t want to spend too much! With a wider range of accommodations and activities, Ambergris Caye is an excellent choice when traveling with family or looking for a higher quality of comfort.

How to get to Ambergris Caye?

Two companies offer several daily departures to reach San Pedro by water taxi from Belize City: Caribbean Sprinter Water Taxi and San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi.

Water taxi to reach San Pedro from Belize City
Water taxi to reach San Pedro from Belize City
Caye Caulker from the water taxi
Caye Caulker from the water taxi

Good to know

  • The journey between Belize City and San Pedro takes approximately 1.5 hours, with a stop in Caye Caulker.
  • Round trip price: between $47.50 and $56.50
  • We booked our tickets through the Direct Ferries platform.

Where to stay in Ambergris Caye?

You can choose from many accommodations on platforms like Airbnb, Booking, etc. If the majority is concentrated in the vicinity of San Pedro, it is possible to stay in more confidential places, mainly in the north of the island. Going there, you must be prepared to manage your trips by boat or golf cart on sandy tracks.

We chose the Sun Breezee Suites for its beachfront location in San Pedro. The complex offers suites with a separate bedroom, a sofa bed in the living room, and a small equipped kitchen, which is practical when traveling with family. The swimming pool is also a nice-to-have for the kids.

In front of Sun Breeze Suites, Ambergris Caye
In front of Sun Breeze Suites, Ambergris Caye

➜ Special mention for the Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club which we had the opportunity to visit shortly after its opening and which seemed simply magnificent! Part of the Curio Collection by Hilton™ group, the resort is located near San Pedro, on the mangrove side. Dispatched between the canals, the cottages are colonial-style, with refined furniture and decoration. The swimming pool is magnificent, and the beach club is very exclusive. There are also several restaurants and shops available within the resort grounds. Very chic 🤩

Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club

What to do in Ambergris Caye?

The most famous attraction in Ambergris Caye is the Blue Hole. Located off the east coast of Belize, in the center of Lighthouse Reef, the Blue Hole is a huge circular sinkhole that is over 300 meters in diameter and 124 meters deep. Populated by dozens of species of tropical fish and sea corals, one can also encounter turtles, stingrays, manta rays, and whale sharks. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful dive sites in the world.

With young children, however, scuba diving was not part of our plans. We, therefore, traded snorkeling at the Blue Hole for an adventurous day in a golf cart … Some locals advised us of a confidential beach on the west side, accessible after a long track through the mangroves. Here we go to this “Secret Beach” …

Ambergris Caye

The road is tricky but the place largely deserves the discomfort of the journey. The water is crystal clear, the sand is white … There is a hut on the beach, hammocks, and a few wooden chairs. The kids think as themselves as Robinson Crusoe, and they’re not the only ones 😁

➜ I have to admit that after a few years of word-of-mouth, the magnificent Secret Beach no longer is secret. Several bars and restaurants have invaded the beach, attracting ever-increasing numbers of tourists. However, the color of the water remains the same and it is still very pleasant to swim in it. But for the confidential part, this is not the place anymore 😕

Secret Beach, Ambergris Caye

The children enjoyed the golf cart ride so much, we set off again the next day, heading north this time. We drive for miles, first on a road that provides access to several resorts on the beach, then on the beach directly. The driving is sometimes chaotic, kids are in heaven!

Ambergris Caye

Just behind a coconut tree, we discover El Secreto, a little paradise located 20 kilometers north of San Pedro (by golf cart, it’s very, very far 😂).

El Secreto, Ambergris Caye

From the beach, the resort seems deserted. We hardly dare to stop. When a member of staff comes to offer us a seat by the pool, I don’t believe it … And when he offers to open the kitchens so that we can have a bite to eat, I’m dreaming for good …

El Secreto, Ambergris Caye
El Secreto, Ambergris Caye

➜ I would have loved to recommend a stay in this idyllic place but it, unfortunately, closed a few months after our visit … From this day in paradise lost, we, therefore, keep some photos and wonderful memories 🙂

Ambergris Caye, Belize

There are worse ways to end a 2-night stay in paradise, right? 😉

Belize is a small country that boasts exceptional wildlife and flora, both on land and in the water. Explore various activities to enjoy amidst tropical forests and Mayan temples in this article: “Belize | Travel Guide from the jungle to the heavenly beaches.

Are you craving more of these breathtaking paradisiacal landscapes? Then why not embark on an unforgettable cruise through the stunning Cayes of Belize? Join me on this incredible journey and experience the true beauty of this destination here: “Belize | Sailing cruise in the Belizean cayes“.

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