More than 200 small islands lie off Belize's Caribbean coast. One of the most beautiful and convenient is Ambergris Caye, a low island ringed by white sand, mangrove habitat, and calm waters.
Geologically, Ambergris is actually the slender southern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. It was separated from the mainland centuries ago by Maya traders who dug a channel between the Caribbean and Chetumal Bay. Today this waterway, known as Bacalar Chico, is protected as a marine reserve and mangrove habitat. It is one of the few places on the planet where reef touches land.
At 25 miles long and less than a mile wide, Ambergris Caye—pronounced "am-BURR-gris key"—is small enough that visitors feel at home quickly. The island's only town, San Pedro, is just three blocks wide from the seaside to the lagoon. Its sandy boulevards, with names like Chicken Street and Coconut Drive, are best navigated by foot, bicycle or golf cart. North and south of town, a fine collection of boutique hotels lines the eastern shore, many with fewer than 20 guestrooms. Local restaurant specialties include fresh lobster (from July to February) and conch (from October to June). Coconut and key-lime ice creams are available year-round.
Ambergris Caye's greatest attractions aquatic; the Belize Barrier Reef lies less than a quarter mile off the eastern shore. World-class snorkeling sites such as Hol Chan, Shark Ray Alley, Mexico Rocks and Rocky Point can be reached in less than 20 minutes. Full-day dive trips are also available to the Turneffe Islands Atoll and Lighthouse Reef Atoll—site of the Great Blue Hole.
Visitors can also enjoy windsurfing, sailing, sport fishing and parasailing. Day trips to the mainland include cave-tubing; visits to coastal manatee habitats; and tours of the Maya sites of Altun Ha, Lamanai, and even Tikal.
Ambergris is located 36 miles northeast of Belize City. Local flights reach the island in 15 minutes. Flights and boat transfers can also be arranged between Ambergris and either Caye Caulker or the northern gateway town of Corozal.
The best time to visit Ambergris is from mid-December to May. Strong eastern winds can arrive in March.
Mosaico Travel Services arranges personalized travel to Ambergris Caye and throughout Belize. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, domestic flights, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a Mosaico travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.
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