Looking for a fun tropical getaway with delicious food, friendly people, and a unique island experience? Look no further than San Pedro Town, Belize. Picture yourself strolling through a downtown atmosphere on a picturesque island, surrounded by the bright blue waters of the Caribbean Sea and the gentle caress of tropical sea breezes. Indulge in cool cocktails, savor sunset suppers, make new friends, and immerse yourself in top-rated resorts in San Pedro.
San Pedro Town is located on the southern end of Ambergris Caye, Belize’s largest inhabited island, stretching 25 miles long and 5 miles wide at its widest point. With its proximity to Belize City, it’s easily accessible by air with a short 15-minute plane ride or by sea with a 90-minute water taxi journey. Avis Golf Cart Rental will be ready to pick you up wherever you arrive in town.
Situated on a narrow stretch of land, San Pedro Town is partially surrounded by the Caribbean Sea to the east and a lagoon to the west. Its three main streets, Barrier Reef Drive, Pescador Drive, and Almond Street, are often referred to as Front Street, Middle Street, and Back Street by locals and repeat travelers.
Getting Around the Island
Due to the narrow and bustling streets, standard-sized car rentals are not available on Ambergris Caye. The best way to explore San Pedro is by renting a golf cart. Use Google Maps to navigate your way around this charming town (https://goo.gl/maps/m5eAdCcR1UWfqjGx8). As you drive along the scenic Boca del Rio Drive, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views, discover numerous restaurants, and encounter beach bars. Start your journey at the famous Palapa Bar, where you can float in a tube and have a bucket of beer lowered by rope or savor a local favorite, the rum punch, for approximately $10 BZ.
If you’re approaching the beach road from the north, make Wayo’s Beachside Beernet your first stop. Alternatively, you can visit Boca del Rio Park near Central Park, where you can relax at the palapa-covered picnic tables along the water. People-watching and observing passing boats are popular pastimes here. You might even encounter locals selling tasty snacks, or you can bring your own picnic. Mrs. Gotay’s fruit stand offers refreshing watermelon, and Aba Isieni Arzu Kitchen is nearby for a satisfying lunch.
Where to Stay in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
San Pedro Town and the surrounding area provide a wide range of accommodation options, including hostels, boutique-style and mid-size hotels, condos, and large resorts. Prices vary from $30 up to $800, with many options featuring small kitchens to prepare your fresh-caught fish and locally sourced vegetables and fruits. The local vendors are always happy to advise you on what’s in season and the best way to prepare your purchases. If you prefer, you can also find condos, vacation rentals, and resorts further north or south.
Looking for something specific? Check out our Guest Services page, where we feature some fantastic vacation accommodation options in San Pedro and Ambergris Caye. Many of these accommodations offer tropical gardens, relaxing swimming pools, onsite dining, and serve as an excellent base to enjoy island tours and mainland Belize adventures.
Eating and Drinking in San Pedro
For breakfast and lunch, you’ll find numerous small, affordable local eateries and food carts offering delectable options like johnny cakes, stuffed fried jacks, garnachas, rice and beans, cole slaw, and stew chicken for around $10 BZ or less. On weekends, street barbecues are popular, with chicken or ribs being the main attractions. In the afternoon or evening, you can visit Central Park and indulge in street food, Belizean hamburgers, tacos, and burritos.
From savory to sweet, San Pedro offers a plethora of food options to satisfy your cravings. For a memorable dinner, expect to spend around $50 to $65 BZ per person without drinks, depending on your choice. If you’re looking to experience Belizean culture through food, flavor, and music, head south of downtown San Pedro to the Black and White Garifuna Bar.
Make sure to explore the Artisan’s Market and local art galleries or souvenir shops during your stay in San Pedro.
Getting Around on Ambergris Caye
With all the driving around, don’t forget to check your gas levels. Ambergris Caye has two gas stations, one downtown on Caribeña Street, and another a short drive south at the corner of Sea Grape Drive and Blake Street. If you find yourself near there, stop by the Beach Bar & Grill at Caribbean Villas Hotel for a refreshing cocktail with a stunning view.
Safety Tips in San Pedro
San Pedro is generally safe; however, it’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings no matter where you are. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption to stay vigilant. At night, avoid carrying unnecessary valuables and limit your cash to a set amount along with one credit card if needed. Unless it’s a special occasion, leave your expensive items in your hotel safe or a designated secure location.
Things to Do in San Pedro, Belize
San Pedro attracts travelers from around the world with its world-class diving and snorkeling opportunities, daytime and sunset catamaran cruises, and easy access to exciting Belize tours. Explore the Great Blue Hole, visit nearby Caye Caulker Island, discover Mayan ruins, go cave tubing, try Hobie cat sailing or parasailing, and more. Or perhaps you simply want to relax on a hammock with a view. Whichever path you choose, you’ll find no shortage of things to do.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley
A must-visit attraction is the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, which is just a 10-minute boat ride (approximately 4 miles) south of town. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is popular for snorkeling and diving, allowing you to encounter fascinating marine life in clear waters at depths of 6 to 9 meters. Nearby, Shark Ray Alley offers a shallow area where you can safely swim with nurse sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles.
For a slightly longer boat ride, head to Central Park and catch the San Pedro Belize Express water taxi from Ambergris Caye to Caye Caulker. Check the San Pedro Belize Express water taxi schedule at https://belizewatertaxi.com/schedule/. This self-guided day trip is filled with fun. You can visit the famous split, explore the seahorse sanctuary, or feed the tarpon.
Cultivating an Island Vibe
The motto of Caye Caulker is “go slow,” and you’ll feel that relaxing vibe throughout the town. For another enjoyable adventure, consider a catamaran day trip, snorkeling along the way, and savoring lunch on Caye Caulker before sailing back during the beautiful afternoon skies.
Other Fun Activities in Ambergris Caye
If you’re up for a short adventure, visit Marco Gonzales, a Maya archaeological site located about 5 miles south of San Pedro. Take a quarter-mile walk through the jungle to reach this 2,000-year-old reserve. Although you won’t find tall temples, you’ll discover the foundations of ancient houses, pottery shards, and gain a glimpse into the lives of Maya traders.
If you prefer wildlife encounters without venturingtoo far, visit the Eco Iguana Corner near the town gas station. Marvel at the beautiful, multicolored iguanas lounging in the trees and enjoying their meals of fruits and vegetables. It’s a fantastic opportunity to experience wildlife right here on the island.
North Ambergris Caye
A visit to Secret Beach in the northwest part of the island is a must. Although no longer a secret, this popular destination offers calm, clear waters free of sargassum and seagrass. Load up your cart with floaties and head to Secret Beach, where you can relax and enjoy the tranquility. If you continue further north, take a scenic cart ride to Tranquillity Bay Resort, where you can savor lunch and cocktails at their onsite restaurant. As you journey north of Ambergris Caye, you’ll notice that the reef is closer to the shore, and you might even spot a roseate spoonbill or a great blue heron. Keep an eye out for fishermen cleaning their catch, as you may witness stingrays, frigate birds, and pelicans.
Experience All Belize Has to Offer!
There’s no best time to visit Belize; it’s always a good time to travel to this beautiful country in Central America. Why not mix up your vacation by exploring the town of San Ignacio and its surrounding areas, which offer jungle adventures and Mayan ruins? Stay at one of the many resorts and lodges before heading to the beach.
At San Pedro, Belize, you’ll find the perfect blend of tropical beauty, exhilarating activities, and the warm hospitality of the locals. Start planning your dream vacation to San Pedro today and immerse yourself in the wonders of this Caribbean paradise!