Best Things To Do In Ambergris Caye, Belize
(updated September 9, 2020)
Getting built-up, but still off the beaten path, Ambergris Caye is a great place for families to get on island time and snorkel the worlds second largest reef. Water, water, and more water, Ambergris Caye is a diver’s and snorkeler’s dream come true, as it is home to the second largest reef system in the world. You can also find your inner-fisherman here and challenge your family to how many times you can scream “fish-on.”
We instantly fell in love with the bright aqua green, clear water of Ambergris Caye and the laid back atmosphere of the Caribbean island. Ambergris Caye, the biggest of the Cayes in Belize is a bit more built up than the other Cayes, but still very laid back and compared to other Caribbean islands, a bit more rustic. Here you won’t find the big high rise hotels with sprawling lush acres of land dotted with pools, multiple restaurants and paths that lead you to the beach. Instead, what you will find are smaller hotels, more modest hotels.
We went reef fishing, ate our catch on a secluded beach, snorkeling,and took an evening stroll around the town of San Pedro for a meal at typical Belizean restaurant. It has the Caribbean laid back attitude with Latin American warmth.
Snorkeling in The Mexican Rocks
with Searious Adventures. We were guided by a knowledgeable guide who pointed out the rays, fish, lobsters, types of coral, and eels. Nurse sharks approached with caution as
they swam ever so close to us, but not close enough that we could touch them. We loved seeing the rays glide by and even were, as the kids put it, “attacked” by an eel swimming out of hiding.
We headed out to sea with Portifino Hotel, Belize. “Fish-on,” was the call as we spent our morning at sea on a small boat catching our lunch. Indeed we caught enough to have a full meal. After fishing one of the crew-members speared lobster while we snorkeled around the reefs. We headed in to shore to a less-populated beach and prepared our catch for a mid-afternoon picnic.
Lunch was prepared over an open flame with spices and vegetables, while the kids played and swam in the shallow, crystal clear waters. After lunch we spent a bit a time snorkeling some more and watched as sea turtles glided by. The boat took us for a nice ride, parallel to shore, back to our hotel.
Snorkeling off the Dock
Kids and adults alike can snorkel right off the docks and find loads of sea life. Best thing about it, it’s free and kids and parents alike are having a great time.
The tides are calm and the water is warm. We had plenty of fish, eels and even rays swim right beneath us. No need to go to far with this kind of sea life right near shore.
There are an abundance of critters and shells just waiting to be discovered on the shores of Ambergris Caye. Let the kids roam around and explore their surroundings. Lots of conversations can be shared about what has been found during their discoveries. When the tide is low, kids can find small tide pools filled with small fish and some shrimp. This is perfect for younger kids who are not quite ready to head to the deeper waters to snorkel.
Where to Eat
Great for Traditional Belizean Stews.
El Fogon is designed to look like a rustic Belizean kitchen, the welcoming smells and atmosphere here is a treat for any family wanting to try traditional Belizean stew cooking. All meals are prepared over an open fire and incorporate a lot of curry and creole flavors with specialties in seafood. We sat outside on the patio at a large picnic style table and our waiter discussed in length the differences between curry and creole dishes. The restaurant easily handled a large party with strong recommendations for each individual. The kids will tell you that the conch fritters are a must have item.
Sun Deck Restuarant and Bar
When you think of a small beach shack serving homemade fresh food, Sun Deck fits the description. This small, Jamaican jerk restaurant located in right on the beach, sandwiched between private residences, is a rare find these days. The food is prepared in a Jamaican jerk style with chicken, pork and seafood offerings. There are plenty offerings for kids if they are more interested in a traditional American fare. Go on a Sunday and enjoy the sounds of Reggae while sitting on the outdoor decks or hanging out on the beach.
This little gem of a restaurant located on the beach a couple of miles outside of the main town of San Pedro,
Where To Stay
The Portifino Hotel is a wonderful, small hotel with a couple of rooms situated right along the beach. They have a restaurant and breakfast is included in the stay. If you are a larger family, not to worry, there is even a room that can accommodate more than 4 people. Spread throughout the grounds, there is a pool, a bar, hammocks both in an out of the water, and some chairs right on the beach. The hotel will rent golf carts for your stay to get into town, but it can be a bit pricy. The only downside is the boat going to town only leaves twice a day, unless guests have a plane to catch, then you may be able to hitch a ride with them.
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