Ambergris Caye

Travel Guide Central America Belize Ambergris Caye



Ambergris Caye is the largest of several hundred islands in the northernmost waters of Belize, Central America. This simple island is a top destination in Belize for tourists worldwide, and its lack of high-rise hotels or big city public transportation gives the island a relaxed, laid-back feel.



Sights and Activities

The beaches are coral sand beaches and you may need watershoes or sport sandals. There are many piers (every 330 feet/100 metres or so) where a tourist can rent a boat for diving, deep-sea fishing, or sailboating to other islands.

Snorkeling and diving are a must if you are going to be in town for a couple of days. The spectacular Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the longest in the Western hemisphere, offers superb coral reefs and marine wildlife. Several marine reserves are also close by.




Events and Festivals

San Pedro Carnival

A highlight of virtually every nation in the Caribbean region, Belize is no exception. Every February, the week before Lent, Ambergris Caye transforms into a huge street party with costumes, parades, music and all kinds of fun for kids and adults alike.

International Costa Maya Festival

One of the premier cultural events in Belize every August, for a week San Pedro brings the heritage of the Maya to Ambergris Caye for an extravaganza of cultural performances, parades and the nation’s top beauty pageant.




Tropical weather, meaning warm temperatures and humid conditions year-round. The breeze keeps things comfortable though. June to October is the wettest time of the year, with a chance for hurricanes.



Getting There

By Plane

You can head to the airport in Belize City and book a flight which will take about 20 minutes. You can also fly to Ambergris from the Phillip Goldson International Airport. There is a modest airfield near the center of the island and next to San Pedro town. There is also air service from Corozal, Belmopan and Caye Caulker, Belize.

By Boat

San Pedro Belize Express has departures, 14 first class boats and first class service to get you to and from Ambergris Caye. From Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula Chetumal, Quintana Roo The connecting hub from Mexico to Belize is Chetumal, Quintana Roo. From Chetumal, take the San Pedro Belize Express water taxi from Muelle Fiscal (Municipal Pier). The boat leaves Chetumal en route to Ambergris Caye every day at 3:00pm and ticket cost is US$60, one way.

From Belize City San Pedro Belize Express has daily runs to Ambergris Caye from Belize City. Departure times are 9:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm, 5:30pm. Tickets are one way US$15/BZ$30, round trip US$27.50/BZ$55.

From Caye Caulker San Pedro Belize Express has daily runs to Ambergris Caye from Caye Calker. Departure times are 7AM (Connection to Chetumal), 9:45am, 11:45pm, 12:45am, 1:45pm, 3:45pm, 4:45pm, 6:15pm. Tickets are one way US$10/BZ$20, round trip US$17.50 US/BZ$35.



Getting Around

There are three main north-south streets, and several that link them, running east-west. Barrier Reef Drive is closest to the two- and three-story apartment buildings that face onto the beaches.

Only some of the roads are paved with cobblestones, and in the rainy season, many can fall into poor condition from traffic and rain erosion, and provide numerous potholes which are sufficient to slow the bicycle and golf cart traffic. There relatively few automobiles licensed on the island, and they are not needed because you can get to most places walking, by bike, golf cart, or water taxi.

Golf carts are the dominant form of transportation, and can be rented by the hour or day. As of January 2016, around BZ$10 a day is a reasonable rate for golf carts. Advertised rates may be intentionally overpriced, so a polite haggle may result in a better offer. Pricing may also relate to the condition of the golf cart. For travelling throughout the island, good tires and working headlights and taillights are a must. There is a BZ$5 toll for crossing the bridge north of San Pedro, but the bridge is often unattended in the later hours.

Bikes can also be rented throughout the island, but are less preferable for travelers staying further away from San Pedro.

Water taxis may be offered by beachside resorts. Dive shops in particular may offer water transport free of charge with a paid diving excursion.

Walking is the most common way of getting around within San Pedro. There's a great deal of quality hotels in town, and many resorts are less than a mile away.




All food on Ambergris Caye is inexpensive. Eating "street food" or catching and cooking your own are also part the adventure that awaits you on this island.




The water in San Pedro is safe to drink, but on the mainland and smaller islands, use bottled water to be safe.

Many piers have bars where you might order a rum drink with a parasol in it. For a nice laid back bar on the beach try BC's. The Tacklebox makes a mean mojito.

The local beer is Belikin, which can be bought everywhere.




You should call ahead to make reservations, but can usually find accommodations even without them.

You can rent fully furnished and stocked homes by the week or more, for less than what it costs to get a hotel room for the same amount of time.



Keep Connected


Internet cafés can be found at most major tourist destinations around Belize. Wi-Fi is also increasingly common, and many hotels are offering it for free. Rates at cybercafes run between BZ$2 and BZ$10 per hour.


See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency number is 911. The country calling code to Belize is 501 and to make an international call from Belize, the code is 00.
Belize has a standardized seven-digit phone numbering system. There are no city or area codes to dial from within Belize.

Payphones are the most common public phones and accept pre-purchased phone cards.

If you bring your own cell phone, avoid roaming charges, as the bill for internet can add up quickly. Instead, use only wifi or buy a local SIM card.
Belize Telecommunications Limited (BTL) and their cellular division DigiCell have a virtual monopoly on cellular service in Belize. Luckily, DigiCell does have affordable packages for SIM card activation.


Belize's postal service provides services throughout the country. Services are not very reliable though and it might take weeks for a postcard or letter to arrive at your destination. Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 5:00pm, with a one hour lunch break starting around noon.
Most hotels will post a letter for you, and there are post offices in the major towns. It costs BZ$.80 to send a letter to the United States, and BZ$1 to send a letter to Europe. Postcards to the same destinations cost BZ$.40 and BZ$.50 respectively. If you want to send a package, it's better to use international companies like TNT, DHL, UPS or FedEx, as they are fast, reliable and not too expensive.


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This is version 4. Last edited at 13:50 on Aug 9, 17 by Utrecht. 5 articles link to this page.

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