Ambergris Caye: Five fun things to do on Ambergris Caye (San Pedro) in Belize.

Ambergris Caye in Belize: an island (or peninsula) near the coast. In this blog, I will tell you about five awesome activities on Ambergris Caye. Also, I will share our favourite hotels in Ambergris Caye and cool restaurants!

Five awesome activities on Ambergris Caye (San Pedro) in Belize!

Ambergris Caye often called San Pedro after its main city, is a long peninsula right off the coast of Belize. With 40 kilometres it is one of the largest Cayes (islands) of Belize. At the top, it borders Mexico. You can easily reach Ambergris Caye by plane or by boat from the port of Belize City. From the port, the Belize Water Taxi and Ocean Ferry Belize will take you to the port of San Pedro in 90 minutes.

Secret Beach

Is Ambergris Caye worth a visit?

In advance, we didn’t know what to expect from Ambergris Caye. After being sick for a few days, we decide not to travel to Hopkins or Palencia in the South of Belize (as originally planned), but just to relax on one of the Cayes. Since we have already planned to spend a few days on Caye Caulker, we think it would be nice to visit another island. This becomes the easily reachable Ambergris Caye.

Click here for our guide on which island to choose: Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker?

Ambergris Caye is a big culture shock compared to Guatemala and is initially a bit disappointing. After arriving in San Pedro, the city of Ambergris Caye, it feels like we have arrived at a Caribbean Benidorm. San Pedro is a touristic place, set to (mainly) retired Americans, with matching higher prices. The narrow streets are filled with golf carts, there’s a lot of advertisement and the restaurants often look American. Now we understand why they call San Pedro, Florida in Belize.

We search a while for the ‘idyllic white beaches’, but unfortunately, they are all man-made and often border with concrete to the sea.  Since a few years, the coast of Belize and Mexico has been struggling with a seaweed problem and that is no different here (caused probably by climate change). Everywhere stinking seaweed floats in the water which makes it unattractive to jump into the sea. Our hotel is not only disappointing but is genuinely scary, with a weird owner and old rooms full of mould. Later on, locals tell us that the hotel has a bad image.

But so far all the whining! In the end, we had a fun time on Ambergris Caye!

When I express my doubt to Ries on coming here, he is much more positive and decides that we are going to make the best of it. And so we do! We don’t stay long, after a day and a half we catch the boat to Caye Caulker, but in the end, we have a great time on Ambergris Caye! However, if you would ask us if we would go again then the answer would be: no, we would rather visit another island but it was fun nevertheless.Coconut Belize

What to do on Ambergris Caye?

Although we didn’t like Ambergris Caye at first, we had a lot of fun during the 32 hours we were here. Are you on Ambergris Caye and do you also wonder what to do with your time here? No worries, we know the feeling and have some nice activities that will make your visit to Ambergris Caye fun!

1. Rent a golf cart and drive around the island.

Do like all other (retired) tourists do and rent a golf cart. There are hardly any cars on Ambergris Caye, golf carts are the main means of transportation. We laughed so much while we were cruising around the whole island. And it made it possible for us to see a large part of the island in one day.

In the South, you will see lots of luxury resorts. The beaches are a bit nicer here and often the seaweed is cleaned up. The beaches of the resorts are generally freely accessible.

North of San Pedro you drive over an old bumpy road full of holes. There is much less construction and you will find large pieces of mangrove. From here it is fun to drive to the western Secret Beach. This beach is no longer secret and it is not that beautiful either. But the sea is nice here and it’s fun to have seen this place. Don’t lie at one of the large beach tents at the entrance, but walk a bit to the left. Here you seem to be able to eat delicious lobster.

Where: everywhere in San Pedro there are shops that rent golf carts.
Price: 80 Belize $ and 10 Belize $ for gasoline.

Tip: Don’t forget to carry your driver’s license. There are often police checks.Golf carts Ambergris Caye

2. Visit the ‘Chicken drop’ in San Pedro

Are you completely crazy about bingo or chickens? Then visit the ‘Chicken drop’ at Hotel Spindrift on Thursday evening. Unfortunately, we have not been able to experience this, but it seems to be legendary. For $ 1 you buy a ticket with a number on it. This number can be found on a huge plate in a kind of chicken boxing ring. Someone brings a chicken, which is put down on this plate. And now it’s waiting for the chicken to poop. The owner with the number on which the chicken poops wins $ 100.

Nice detail: before you get the $ 100, you as a winner have to clean up the poo!

Where: On the beach at Spindrift Hotel, Barrier Reef Dr, San Pedro, Belize.
Price: $ 1 for a ticket with a corresponding number.Secret Beach

3. Go diving/snorkelling above the Belize Barrier Reef

Ambergris Caye is located near the beautiful Belize Barrier Reef. You can make amazing dives here, but it is also really nice to go snorkelling above the reef. There is a great variety of marine life. We saw dozens of sharks and many different rays while snorkelling at Shark Ray Alley. During a dive we made in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve we encountered a school of thousand small fish, we saw a sleeping shark and let ourselves drift by the current to the other side of the reef. Our dept during this dive: 10 meters.

These two places are relative closeby and you can do these dive as a beginner, or certified diver. Further away are more complicated dives such as the Turneffe Atoll, Great Blue Hole and Light House Reef. We didn’t do these dives. Turneffe Atoll and Light House Reef were not available since the sea was too rough when we were here. The Great Blue Hole we found way too expensive (the price is around 350 USD per person).

Where: We dived at Ramon’s Village Resort. A nice resort with a good dive instructor. There are dozens of other diving schools in San Pedro.
Price: We paid for one dive plus snorkelling session (half day) 134 Belize dollars per person. That is about € 60 per person. The dives to places further away are a lot more expensive, around 80-150 euros per person.

Planning a trip to Belize? Read this blog with all you need to know on traveling in Belize!

The great blue hole. Source: Lonely Planet

4. Take a scenic flight over the Great Blue Hole.

The famous Great Blue Hole is a zinc hole just outside the Belize Barrier Reef. This hole is so perfectly round and large that you can see it even from space. It’s possible to make a scuba dive into the Great Blue Hole, but we heard people were often a bit disappointed afterwards. There is little underwater life to be seen. In addition, the price of 350USD per person makes this a very expensive activity. To me, it seemed much nicer to make a flight over the Great Blue Hole. In 60 minutes you fly over it and you have plenty of time to view this 124-meter deep hole from above.

Where: From San Pedro, there are daily flights from Tropic Air and Maya Island Air. Book a few days in advance, when we arrived there were no seats left.
Price: At Maya Island Air you pay 215 USD, at Tropic Air 250 USD. You can also charter a plane from 750 USD, if you are with more than three people, this will be cheaper.

Tip: are you also visiting Caye Caulker? Then consider booking a flight from there. The prices of flights are just a little lower than Caye Ambergris.The Truck Stop

5. Watch the sunset and have a nice dinner at The Truck Stop

When we were touring with our golf cart, we passed this nice place. The Truck Stop is like a marketplace with a number of food trucks. They serve nice food from different cuisines. In the evening there is often a band and a cosy atmosphere. Don’t just stay at the food trucks, when you walk further into the garden, you will come to a small pool and then walk on a deck that looks out on the lagoon. There are hammocks, small lights and it is very quiet here. When we arrived, we were lucky enough to see a beautiful sunset over the lagoon. Just the two of us, while the last sun rays went over the water, a super romantic moment!

Where: The Truck Stop is about 1.5 kilometres north of San Pedro. Click here to see the location on Google Maps.
Price: Food at The Truck Stop isn’t really cheap. However, it’s a lot cheaper than at one of the restaurants in San Pedro itself. Here you will find different menus.

Tip: always wanted to see a crocodile? There are some in the lagoon and mangrove. From the deck at The Ruck Stop, crocodile tours depart daily at 06.00 AM. A tour costs 50 USD.The Truck Stop!

Read this blog with the ultimate one-week Belize itinerary!

Where to stay on Ambergris Caye?

I definitely won’t recommend our hostel, but we found some nice hotels, which I wrote down below. Please note that Ambergris Caye has relatively expensive accommodations and that, especially in high season, everything is quickly full.

Ambergris Sunset Hotel €

Ambergris Sunset hotel

This brand new hotel is located in the middle of San Pedro. You have relatively cheap rooms here, including a swimming pool. There is air conditioning and they have free bikes. From €48 per night for 2 pers.

Book here

Drift Inn at Sandbar €

Drift Inn at Sandbar

This hotel is also in San Pedro, but on the beach. There is also a swimming pool. The hotel looks a bit older, but is relatively cheap for the location. From € 61 per night for 2 pers.

Book here

 Xanadu Island Resort €€€€

Xanadu Island

This is really luxurious! An eco-resort where the smallest suite is almost 40 square meters. The resort is located 1.5 kilometres south of the centre and is located on the beach. From € 160 per night for 2 pers.

Book here

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  1. by storiesbygary on 20 January 2019  21:24 Reply

    What a shame you didn’t pass on Ambergris Caye and just visit Caye Caulker and Placencia. Although I love visiting Caye Caulker, I chose to live on the Placencia Peninsula. The best white sand beaches in Belize, scuba, snorkeling, fishing, cheeped to visit or live.
    Didn’t you hit Fido’s or the Palapa Bar ?
    My favorite resort is Coco Beach on AC, best poolon island, hands down. 😎
    Nice post though.

    • by Charlotte van de Sande on 20 January 2019  21:26 Reply

      Thx a lot for your kind comment! Luckily we did go to Caye Caulker, unfortunately we didn’t have the time left to visit Palencia but have to go there next time!

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