All About San Pedro’s Artisans Market

by Dion Vansen

San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye isn’t just about beaches, bars, and restaurants. Ambergris Caye, nicknamed La Isla Bonita, also features the talent of craftsmen at San Pedro Town’s Artisans Market on Angel Coral Street, or as locals say, on Back Street. At this small market away from the beaches, find intricately handcrafted jewelry, interesting textiles, and even unique wooden carvings. Plus, the history of how it was made. All in all, the San Pedro Artisan Market is a must-place to visit when looking for that special Belizean souvenir

Where to find the Artisans Market in San Pedro

The San Pedro Artisans Market is fairly recent to this location, moving from Central Park in 2016 to its new, permanent location on Angel Coral Street. This location was considered ideal because this is where one of the water taxis serving the island operates. Unlike the old days when visitors would be greeted with the artisan market, today, they can find signs guiding them to walk from Barrier Reef Drive (Front Street) heading west, until you hit the third street of downtown to ‘Back Street.’ Besides the signs, people on the street will also kindly guide you and let you know that once you see the large fenced field called Saca Chispas; the artisans’ market is just across the street.

What to buy

Starting from the right-hand side of the market, you’ll find the results of talented woodcarvers. Some of their products include wooden bowls, utensils like serving forks and spoons made from wood and conch shell, wooden cutting boards, walking sticks, Caribbean-esque mini-carvings, and even festive, colorful masks as well. Then, as you move from one stall to another, you will see colorful handmade bags and purses, woven baskets, beaded bracelets, and necklaces.

In addition, there are paintings available from local Belizean artists depicting a number of tropical settings. There is also jewelry available, and not necessarily gold or silver, but from natural materials like jippi-jappa and seashells. There are also stylish earrings with colorful feathers and sculpted stones. Along with all these native products, one of the favorites is the handwoven hammock. There are different types of hammocks to choose from. They have those with a spreader bar, the hammock chair, and lastly, the Maya hammock. 

No cash? No problem

artisans market card machine

There is something for everyone at the San Pedro Artisans Market, and if for some reason you don’t have cash on hand to pay for your purchase? Don’t worry, most of the different merchants at the market carry a portable credit card machine. Here, they accept both Visa and MasterCard. 

So now, you have an idea where to go if you are a lover of native products made by locals and from local raw products. The San Pedro Artisans Market is also a learning experience about Belize’s natural resources, its people, and its talents. Don’t forget to stop in while visiting San Pedro, open daily as early as 8 am until around 8 pm.

All images courtesy Dion Vansen.

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