Ambergris Caye is the largest island in Belize, located North East of Belize City. To get there visitors can either take a 15-minute flight or, a 90-minute water taxi. San Pedro is the only town on the island, but that doesn’t mean there is a shortage of things to do. In fact, there are many wonderful restaurants and attractions on Ambergris Caye with many involving the stunning blue ocean. Keep reading for the 8 best things to do in Ambergris Caye during your vacation.
Secret Beach is the worst kept secret in Ambergris Caye, in fact, it is the most recommended place to visit. Located on the opposite side of the island from San Pedro, through a mangrove swamp, it is a must-do activity. Once at Secret Beach, visitors can lounge in the sun and water, or visit the bars and restaurants located here. As Secret Beach is on the West side of the island, it is also the perfect location for watching the sunset over the ocean. When visiting ensure you bring sunscreen, bug spray, and your towel! If you do stay to watch the sunset, be careful driving back to San Pedro, or book a bungalow at Paradise on the Caye.
Hol Chan is a small protected area around the Belize Barrier Reef. Diving and snorkeling are only allowed in the area with a tour guide to ensure the safety of the reef. As you snorkel you will see amazing coral formations, and see stingrays, turtles, and fish in their natural habitat. Thanks to conservation efforts there are now over 160 species of fish in the area. With shallow, clear water, snorkeling at Hol Chan is great for first-timers and experienced divers.
Located in Zone D of Hol Chan Marine Reserve, here you will find an abundance of friendly nurse sharks and stingrays. Local fishermen used to use this area to clean their catch, and as such the sharks and rays will swarm towards the boats. Now, as this area is protected, tour guides will feed the sharks and rays. You can either stay on the boat to watch the feeding or swim alongside as they eat.
Perhaps the most famous area of Belize, the Great Blue Hole is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This diving location is over 400 feet deep and is the largest sea hole in the world. Located 43 miles off the coast, this amazing atoll is well worth the trip. Now, this is a dive site for experienced divers only. However, those without experience can instead snorkel in the surrounding reefs. Ensure you book your tour ahead of time as time slots quickly sell out.
Located in San Pedro, is the Iguana Eco Center, a sanctuary dedicated to protecting endangered reptiles. Here you will find over 200 green iguanas resting in the mangroves as you wander the reserve. Take your time, and expect to see iguanas absolutely everywhere, on the paths, in the trees, and in the water cooling off. If you time your visit right you can even help to feed some of the iguanas and possibly pet them. As a family-run charity, the Iguana Eco Center is free to visit, however, donations are welcome.
To sample delicious Belizean chocolate, you must stop at the Belize Chocolate Company in San Pedro. As Belize is well known for its cocoa plantations, trying the chocolate is a must. Belize Chocolate Company offers a variety of bean-to-bar options, alongside hot chocolate, cookies, and even chocolate soap. For those looking to make their own chocolate, roasted cacao beans are also available.
This small marketplace is one of the best places to shop on Ambergris Caye. Filled with various local artists selling their wares, you are bound to find a souvenir or two. Be sure to bring cash with you as most vendors don’t accept credit cards. Vendors are always happy to help you find what you are looking for and will often offer suggestions for restaurants or activities on the island.
This hidden treasure is on the northern side of Ambergris Caye. If you like hiking, this is the best place on the island. There are amazing coastal forests, swamps, lagoons, and savannahs throughout the park. With over 11 miles of nature trails available to hike and a small museum, it is easy to spend an entire day here. Be careful as you hike and make sure to stay on the main trails or get a guided tour as pumas and jaguars both live in the jungle.
This tropical paradise is a must-visit for those visiting Belize, even if just for the day. However, to make the most of your trip and experience the best things to do in Ambergris Caye, you should spend at least a few days on the island.