Ambergris Caye Destination Guide; A Mix of Marine Life, Beaches, & Chic Hotels

Last updated on May 13th, 2024 at 07:06 pm

ambegris caye destination guide

Along the sandy shores just a 10-minute plane ride from Belize City, Ambergris Caye is the country’s largest island. An abundance of marine life in the ocean’s depths, the tropical spot draws flocks of travelers and locals to its incredible diving and snorkeling areas. With a laid-back atmosphere, you’ll be fully immersed in the local way of living in no time.

Where to Stay in Ambergris Caye

San Pedro Town

The gateway to the Island, the town of San Pedro is a hub for restaurants, charming streets, and lively beaches. It’s by far one of the best places to stay if you’re looking for easy access to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the infamous Great Blue Hole. Hopper planes will wizz you from Belize City to San Pedro in just under 15 minutes from the main airport- so there’s really no going wrong with the town’s location.

Alaia Hotel, Autograph Collection

When it comes to experiencing luxury mixed with the elements of the Island, Alaia Hotel really hits the mark; the hotel features direct beach access, open communal spaces, and a private dock available for all guests to experience the best of Ambergris Caye’s marine life.

Spearheaded by Executive Chef, Alex Alcantar, Alaia Hotel has an array of experiential dining concepts for guests to understand the flavors of the Island. Just as vibrant as the hotel’s design are the friendly staff willing to assist at any given time.

alaia hotel belize

Where to Eat in Ambergris Caye

Happy Island Beach Bar & Grill

A no-fuss indoor-outdoor bar and grill, this is the spot to visit if you want to feel a part of the Belizean family. The restaurant staff are incredibly friendly and will give you their recs if you ask! The platter is the way to go; with stuffed jalapeno poppers, onion rings, ceviche, and conch fritters. Directly on the beach, the bar has lockers to use for your possession if you fancy a dip.

Blue Bayou

Those looking for laid back bites in the middle of the ocean (literally) should consider Blue Bayou. Those looking to escape the sports bar and get some sun can choose any of the picnic tables available in the water. Even floating around you’ll feel the vibes of the bar as they blast the music. Honestly what’s better than drinks delivered while you float?

the cellar alaia hotel

The Cellar

Located on Ambergris Caye’s famed Alaia Hotel, The Cellar offers some of the best of Belize’s flavors with modern twists. Alex Cantara presents the Chef’s Table; an interactive dining experience consisting of a 6-course meal and wine pairings. In an intimate setting with bottle-lined walls, senses are in overdrive throughout the entire meal, with hands-on activities, presentations, and unique tastings.

Sea Salt

By day, Sea Salt hosts the incredible breakfast buffet; with a made-to-go mimosa cart and fresh-squeezed juices daily. Be sure to ask the servers about the flavors- there’s a lot of brain power that goes into these concoctions! The dinner menu features an array of meat, seafood, and veggie options for all palettes. Want the chance to try an invasive species? The Lion Fish dish is a must try.

What to do in Ambergris Caye

San Pedro’s Shops

Hire a golf cart or stroll the winding streets in San Pedro’s downtown area. You’ll find a slew of local restaurants, sandy roads, a chocolate shop, fruit stands, and craft shops. If you want to experience the excitement of the Island, there’s no better place to immerse yourself in the local culture than San Pedro.

Boat Ride to Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley

Covering approximately 18 km² of coral reefs, seagrass beds, and home to numerous species, the UNESCO site of Hol Chan Marine Reserve is only a short boat ride from San Pedro- in between Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker (if you’re staying at Alaia Belize, you can even book a tour and depart from the hotel’s private dock area).

Continuing the outdoor adventure, Shark Alley gives guests the opportunity to swim with nurse sharks. Though incredibly gentle and friendly, the species can often reach up to 14 feet!

Secret Beach

A well-known area, Secret Beach is worth it even just for the golf-cart ride to get there! Mangroves and miles of dirt roads, the jaunt to Secret Beach isn’t a quick one, but once you arrive at the blue waters and lively bars, it’ll be worth the wait.

In-water dining, water sports, calm beaches, and local restaurants/bars, Ambergris Caye’s Secret Beach is definitely a tourist hot-spot- and for good reason. It’s at least a 40-minute drive from San Pedro’s main town, so be prepared with sunscreen and some water!

caye caulker

Visit the Neighboring Island

30 minutes by boat from San Pedro, and you’ll find yourself on the relaxing island of Caye Caulker; A long stretch of sandy streets, chill restaurants, and blue waters. An abundance of wildlife, you’ll get the chance to see Stingray, seahorse, tarpon, pelicans, and more in their natural habitats around the island.

With a population of around 2,000, Caye Caulker is an extremely walkable and bike friendly island. If you venture around, be sure to visit Stingray Beach and the seahorse sanctuary. I spent hours here swimming amongst the friendly giants.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *