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Ambergris Caye

Discover the "Secret Beach" of Ambergris Caye
Rent a golf cart in San Pedro, grab a towel, and head off on a day of adventure. Locals will likely send you to the island's "Secret Beach" when asked where to head for a quiet day on some pristine sand. Bring a map and $10 Belizean ($5 U.S.) to pay for a bridge toll, and then wind your way through mangroves and dirt roads. The 45-minute journey will end at a beach with heavenly waters. Sip on fresh coconut juice or enjoy an ice-cold Belikin beer as you wade in the warm sea. You can pack some of your favorite snacks, but there is also a restaurant where you can grab a bite between dips. Moncho's is one of a number of golf-cart rental operations in San Pedro.

To learn more about the many adventures waiting in the seven regions of Belize, visit travelbelize.org.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve
“The Hol Chan Marine Reserve. You can swim with sharks and stingrays at Shark Ray Alley and you are pretty much guaranteed to see a huge variety of fish and other sea life. All of our guests are excited when they come back from a day there after seeing the many shades of the sea, which is 82 degrees and crystal clear, while the skies are usually blue and the sun bright, bringing out all the colors below. Huge fish, sharks, sting rays, sea turtles — you never know if there is going to be a dolphin or manatee joining everyone. The sea is our playground.”

Kirsten Miglio, owner Ak’boL Yoga Retreat

Scuba Diving Seas of Blue
Ambergris Caye is a remote island off the coast of Belize, well-lauded in the diving world as a must-see hotspot. Nestled on the island's center, the small town of San Pedro buzzes with barefoot excitement. This is a very common departure point for divers seeking the dark blue depth's and legendary rock formations to be found at Belize's notorious Blue Hole. Though others may travel here for more adventurous diving, swimming amongst seas of angel fish is certainly a highlight, a colorful interaction with marine life not easily forgotten. My languorously luxurious stay at Victoria House offered the perfect reprieve from active days.

Party at September Celebrations
Another very festive time in Belize is “September Celebrations.” This incorporates National Day, which is the Battle of St. George’s Caye Day (September 10), and Belize’s Independence Day (September 21). Belize City hosts a number of related activities and its own Carnival. Festivities take place for nearly three weeks, but the best time to visit is around Independence Day. Watch the annual parade, filled with lots of locals and expats showcasing their love for Belize. It’s an incredibly festive and proud time, and one of the country's best cultural events to attend.

San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival
Typically held during August, the International Costa Maya Festival celebrates the Mundo Maya countries in Central America. Delegates are chosen to represent each of the countries, and one of the girls is ultimately crowned Queen during the beauty pageant. There are traditional dances and theatrical performances that tell the story of the Mayan culture and traditions. International sounds like reggae, Punta, salsa, meringue and more fill the air each night.

Events take place over several days and include carnival type rides, arts and crafts, traditional foods, performances and concerts.

Celebrate New Year's on a Belizean Caye
While it may not rival legendary New Year’s Eve destinations like Sydney, Paris, Amsterdam, or Hong Kong, don’t count Belize out for your end-of-year partying. Travelers searching for a fun tropical locale to ring in the new year should look no further than one of Belize’s popular islands, like Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye.

Bars and resorts in Belize know how to throw a good party, and New Year’s Eve is when they pull out all the stops. Plan to spend the night hopping from celebration to celebration and watch the clock for the midnight fireworks. Then dance the rest of the night away in the clubs that stay packed until sunrise.


Eat Fry Jacks in Belize
Whether you eat them plain or stuffed, fry jacks are a “must-try” on your Belize vacation. A breakfast staple around the country, they are often compared to Mexico’s sopapillas or Louisiana’s beignets. Fry jacks are typically eaten plain, with honey and/or local jam on the side, or served as an accompaniment to egg and meat dishes. Some bakeries offer stuffed versions that can easily serve as an entire meal.

Eat Ceviche on the Cayes
If you are staying on Belize’s North Islands, do not miss trying ceviche. With an abundance of fresh seafood on hand, ceviche in Belize is some of the best I’ve had on my travels. Look for options like shrimp, octopus, conch and lobster (both seasonal), or a combination of the above. Eat it as an appetizer, hangover snack, or even a meal, but just be sure to try it. One of my favorite spots in Belize for ceviche – El Divino Restaurant at Banana Beach Resort on Ambergris Caye.

Graceful Under The Sea
Quite used to tourists by now, the resident sea turtles of the reefs off Ambergris Caye are ideal models to try and capture grace underwater.

While the diving is spectacular it is not necessary - it's a snorkelers paradise just off shore!

In Search of Locals on Ambergris Caye
The first trip my boyfriend and I went on together was to Belize on a 7-day hotel/flight package deal. We were unfamiliar with Central America at the time, and with the package deal, we ended up at a resort on Ambergris Caye, one of the most touristy places in Belize. Now we like to avoid the "resort-only" type of islands when we travel so we can actually meet locals and get a feel for the spirit of the places we go, but in all fairness, the diving and snorkeling was superb off Ambergris Caye. We rented a golf cart one day and went out exploring the island, in search of some local Garifuna culture. This inlet over on the locals side of the island is a little glimpse of the relaxed Caribbean life we've found throughout Central America. We found a sweet little coffee shop with coffee from a local plantation and met some locals and dogs along the way. Even on the resort-iest island you can find something real!

Gourmet Caribbean Cuisine in Ambergris Caye
The delicious Caribbean fare at Mambo Restaurant in Ambergris Caye is artfully presented and served by candlelight. Try the seared jerk scallops with plantain guacamole!

To get to the island, you'll take a six-seater flight across the second largest barrier reef on earth.

La Isla Bonita
Madonna sang about San Pedro in La Isla Bonita which is reason enough to visit. Stop in San Pedro for lunch on a snorkeling day trip organized by Anda De Wata Tours. Departing from Caye Caulker, you'll experience swimming alongside turtles, thousands of fish, sting rays and gentle sharks. Definitely not to be missed!

Ambergris Caye, Belize