Ambergris Caye (pronounced key) is the largest of the Belizean islands. It’s roughly 25 miles long and half a mile wide. It is one of the most popular places for vacationers to Belize.
How to get to Ambergris Caye:
You can get to the island one of two ways. You can fly on a small regional plane for approximately $80 a person or take a $20 ferry from the mainland. They ferry takes approximately an hour and a half. It first stops at Caulker Caye, which is a popular spot for divers and snorkelers. The regional flight is only 15 minutes. It is much more convenient but four times as expensive.
The town of San Pedro (made popular by Madonna’s son La Isla Bonita) is located on Ambergris Caye. It has a cool Caribbean feel with a great nightlife and plenty of places to shop, eat or throw back a few fruity beverages.
Many of the resorts are built just outside of the town and offer free water shuttles for their guests upon arrival. To make the journey into town from the resorts during your stay, you can either rent a golf cart from your hotel (most traffic on the island is restricted to golf carts) or you can take the water taxi for $5 per person.
The beaches in the cayes are not the greatest. If the plan is to hang out in the ocean and relax in waist-deep water, Ambergris Caye is not the place to do so. You will be hanging out in waist-deep seaweed instead. The beaches are narrow, as is the island, but clean. The hotels and resorts clean the seaweed each morning and maintain the waterfront to provide guests a great place to relax. If you venture just a little ways out from the shore (even at the end of some of the docks) you will find beautiful, clear water that is roughly 4 feet deep. In fact, the water around the cayes is fairly shallow, even if you venture a good distance from the shore.
The Belizean cayes are known for the fantastic snorkeling and diving in the surrounding reefs. If you’re traveling with kids who are old enough to snorkel, Belize is a great place to vacation. With babies and toddlers, I’d recommend sticking to a hotel or resort with a nice, peaceful pool. Many of the resorts do offer babysitting services for an additional charge.
Click here for a review of the Belizean Shores Resort where we stayed while in San Pedro.