Belize’s Ambergris Caye is famous for fly fishing, snorkelling, scuba diving, and a variety of water sports, but the attractions of this Caribbean jewel don’t stop at the water’s edge – there are plenty of activities and venues to excite even the most jaded sun seeker.
Some 25 miles long by one mile wide, Ambergris Caye is the largest of the nearly 200 islands arranged along Belize’s tropical coastline and spectacular reef system, the second largest in the world. Proximity to the reef, which lies less than a half mile offshore, makes it easy to explore this pristine paradise by snorkel, scuba or hire and charter boats. Attractions such as Shark Ray Alley, the Blue Hole, Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Lighthouse Reef are all close by and easy to get to.
Ambergris Caye accommodations are varied enough to suit almost any style and budget, ranging from the luxurious beachside resorts to numerous small budget holiday lodgings. There are also island holiday rental houses, villas and apartments for longer stays and family beach holidays.
San Pedro Town has grown over the years, but still retains its seaside charm and slow tropical ambience. The popular Creole dish of rice and beans with fish or stew chicken remains popular, but visitors now also have European, Cajun, Indian, Chinese, and Jamaican and even Thai dishes to choose from. Seafood is fresh and abundant, with daily catches of fresh tropical fish and lobster, conch, squid, muscles and scallops making their way to the tables.
The island’s restaurants, bars, clubs and hotels are varied and all within sandy walking distance, and while cars are not permitted on this Caribbean paradise, golf carts, the main form of island transportation, are available for hire. But the soft coral sand underfoot just begs one to amble along while sightseeing.
As one can imagine, the sea life is spectacular, with an amazing array of colourful tropical fish, as well as rays, dolphins, turtles, manatees and other sea creatures all in abundance. The snorkelling is breathtaking, and the Belize Barrier Reef is famous worldwide for scuba diving. Experienced divers will find everything they need from equipment to knowledgeable guides, and there are certified scuba lessons in NAUI, PADI, and SSI for the novice or those needing a refresher course.
However you do it, a Belizean reef dive trip is one of life’s great adventures.
Wandering on land you may come across white tailed deer, peccaries, racoons and other animals, and there are still occasionally reports of jaguar sightings in north Ambergris.
Fancy a spot of Caribbean bird watching? Ambergris Caye is home to over 200 species of birds, including hummingbirds, parakeets, woodpeckers, roseate spoonbills, chachalacas and the laughing falcon.
There really is something for everyone on this tropical jewel.
For families, couples, honeymooners or singles, Ambergris Caye, with its pleasant temperatures, balmy sea breezes, one of the most relaxed paces on the planet, and its laid back amenities is well and truly an affordable tropical paradise.
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